The Hesse Kassel Jaeger Korps will present programs on edged weapons, eighteenth century crime and punishment, and the militia at Cowpens National Battlefield on May 7 and 8, 2011. The Jaegers will set up a soldiers' camp behind the Visitor Center. In addition to talking to visitors and answering questions in their camp throughout the weekend, they will give 20-minute talks in the Visitor Center museum immediately following the 11:00, 1:00, and 3:00 movies on both days. This event is free to the public.
Usually, when one thinks of weapons, one thinks of firearms. However, in the eighteenth century, the black powder used for ammunition had a tendency to cause misfires in damp weather, and the flints used to ignite the powder would get dull or break. Therefore, the most effective weapon of the period was not the firearm, but the bayonet that the infantry used and the sabers that the cavalry used. In the eighteenth century, punishment for many crimes tended to be public embarrassment of various types, using peer pressure as a means to keep citizens in check. Militia, the eighteenth century equivalent to today's National Guard, were volunteers who furnished their own weapons and uniforms, and who fought for short periods of times, as opposed to the regular army which was issued weapons and uniforms and who signed up for longer enlistments.
The 2nd Company Hesse Kassel Jaeger Korps is an educational group dedicated to informing the public about the American Revolutionary time period and the contributions of Germanic peoples and the Hessian Forces to the birth of our country. The Jaegers, which is German for hunters, represent the 1500 professional German hunters who fought for the British in the American Revolution.
Cowpens National Battlefield is the site of the American victory over the British on January 17, 1781 and is located 10 miles west of Gaffney, SC, and 3 miles east of Chesnee, SC at the intersection of Highways 11, 110, and 221-A. For more information, call (864) 461-2828 or visit the park's webpage at www.nps.gov/cowp/.