One of the major stops on my Greensboro, NC; Columbia, SC; Cowpens National Battlefield Road Trip was the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro, NC. Over the past few years, I’ve visited other American Revolution Southern Campaign sites such as Cowpens, Kings Mountain, Moore’s Creek, and Musgrove Mill, but Guilford Courthouse had long been on my list. I’d hoped to have gone to Yorktown on this trip as well, but things conspired to prevent it (maybe next year…)
The Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in modern day Greensboro, NC during the American Revolution on 15 March 1871 between American forces under General Nathaniel Greene and British forces under General Charles Lord Cornwallis. Greene opted to fight the battle much as Daniel Morgan had at Cowpens, with a defense in depth formed by three lines: two consisting of militia and the third of Continental Regulars. Unlike Cowpens, however the result was not a victory, but a tactical loss. At the end of the battle, the American suffered approximately 1300 casualties and the British suffered 532 casualties. The problem for the British, however was that those 532 casualties were approximately 25% of Cornwallis’ total force. Greene was also able to withdraw instead of surrendering; between that and the heavy losses incurred by the British, it was a strategic victory for the Americans. Cornwallis and the British withdrew toward the North Carolina coast and eventually towards Yorktown, VA where they were forced to surrender to American and French forces after the Siege of Yorktown. It’s truly worth a trip to Guilford Courthouse National Military Park to learn more about the battle and experience the battlefield by walking it.
There are two ways to tour the Guilford Courthouse battlefield: there is a tour road that goes around the battlefield and there is a network of trails through the battlefield. I didn’t take the full walking trail, but I did the tour drive around the battlefield and took some of the trails at the tour stops.