The annual celebration for the battle of Cowpens is my favorite annual pilgrimage. Its always a good time driving up the night before, attending an evening event, then walking the grounds Saturday morning.
Ken Johnson will portrayed Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton, British commander at the Battle of Cowpens that Saturday night at a local library. It was a packed room and Ken took an interesting approach as he portrayed Tarleton as a member of Parliament, looking back on his days in America. Lively, fun and often hilarious, Ken answered questions and traded barbs with the packed house.
The last few years, we’ve had some good luck with weather. This year was a little overcast, but not too bad for a January. I met with some members of the 6th North Carolina and walked the grounds again that Saturday.
My favorite demonstration at Cowpens has to be the cavalry. The talks are enlightening, and I learn something new every year. 18th century warfare is a diverse and specialized affair, and cavalry provide a critical tool in the lines of any army. Essential tasks include scouting, protecting infantry and cannon, and chasing down fleeing troops. I remember reading that Napoleons loss of horses in Russia was perhaps more devastating than the loss of men. After that, Napoleon was never able to capitalize on his victories by chasing down and removing the defeated armies with cavalry. They simply regrouped and came back again.
Will follow up with another post about what I have learned about Cavalry.