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Joseph - The Hero That Ran Away (2 of 5)
OPEN: One of my favorite stories from Revolutionary war involves the "Battle of the Cowpens".
Toward the end of the Revolutionary war, the British General Cornwallis had captured Savannah, Charleston and Camden in South Carolina - and in the process he had defeated and imprisoned much of the Southern Continental Army. Now, his intention was to crush any further resistance as quickly and thoroughly as possible. And for that task, he assigned the hated and feared Lieutenant Colonel Tarleton and a crack army of the best British soldiers. Tarleton was hated by the revolutionaries because of his unscrupulous and ruthless tactics.
The Continental Army still existed, but it survived mostly by running away from any pitched battle with the British. A portion of that army was under the command of General Daniel Morgan, and Morgan kept retreating and evading the British until Morgan could find the place he wanted to fight. When he made his decision, he sent out an appeal to any remnant of Revolutionary forces to meet him at a place called the "Cowpens".
There, General Morgan organized his men into 3 lines.
• The first line was made up of special sharpshooters who, as the British attacked, picked off Tarleton's best troops and officers. THEN they were to retreat 150 yards back to the 2nd line…
• At the 2nd line, Morgan's standing orders were to get off two volleys and THEN RETREAT again another 150 yards to the 3rd line of defense.
• Sometime during the confusion of battle, a flank of Morgan's forces got the impression they were to retreat still again, and the British forces - mistakenly believing that the Continental army was beaten and demoralized broke ranks and began a wild charge at the retreating forces
• Morgan's managed to rally his flank and ordered them to turned and fire into the English forces. The unexpected volley exacted a terrible toll
• The Continentals ...
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