Tory plantation owner Hiram Saunders owned a fine herd of beef cattle which he could round up and drive to market at Charleston. His stockyard was known in the region as the cowpens. There were other cowpens, but not so well known.

On Friday 06Oct1780, the over mountain men reached the Cowpens. While the foot soldiers were catching up with the horsemen, the Whig patriot rebels selected a Saunders Tory beef contribution for a bar b q. Hiram stayed in bed appearing to be sick. He told the patriots that Patrick Ferguson had not been there and he did not know where he might be. Patriot scout/spy Joseph Kerr learned where. Overnight the patriot horsemen rode to Cherokee Ford of Broad River and on to the Saturday battle at Kings Mountain. They wiped out Ferguson’s loyalist regiment before they could join Lord Cornwallis’ British army.

Again in January, half the Patriot Southern Army under General Daniel Morgan came to Cowpens. Regional militia units from four southern states joined them to wipe out the second Cornwallis regiment under Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Military academies have studied the tactics of the two patriot battles through the following decades.

Please be patient as we post the stories of the patriots who gave blood in the 17Jan1781 battle at the Cowpens.

War College report to congress

Kings Mountain 07Oct1780 Overmountain Victory trail National Park History Battle Casualties Patriots