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Battle of Guilford Court House

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Surnames/tags: American_Revolution 1776
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Battle of Guilford Court House

The Battle of Guilford Court House was a battle fought on March 15, 1781 in Greensboro, the county seat of Guilford County, North Carolina, during the American Revolutionary War. A force of 1,900 British troops under the command of Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis defeated an American force of 4,000 troops, commanded by Major General Nathanael Greene.

Despite the relatively small numbers of troops involved, the battle is considered pivotal to the American victory in the Revolution. Before the battle, the British appeared to have had great success in conquering much of Georgia and South Carolina with the aid of strong Loyalist factions, and thought that North Carolina might be within their grasp. In the wake of the battle, Greene moved into South Carolina, while Cornwallis chose to march into Virginia and attempt to link up with roughly 3500 men under British Major General Phillips and American turncoat Benedict Arnold. These decisions allowed Greene to unravel British control of the South, while leading Cornwallis to Yorktown and eventual surrender to Major General George Washington and Lieutenant General Comte de Rochambeau. (1)

Images

  • Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene observed as the veteran 1st Maryland Regiment threw back a British attack and countered with a bayonet charge. As they reformed their line, William Washington's Light Dragoons raced by to rescue raw troops of the 5th Maryland Regiment who had buckled under a furious assault of British Grenadiers and Guards. Battle of Guilford Courthouse, 15 March 1781
  • 1893 Map of the battlefield, Guilford Courthouse Battleground Company. Map
  • Letter from George Washington to Comte of Rochambeau (31 March 1781), in which Washington reports he is hearing first reports from the Battle of Guilford Court House. Letter


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