06-30-2012, 07:08 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Annapolis MD
Day 1 Ruther Glen to Tennessee
Leaving Ruther Glen
First stop Greensboro NC
Battle of Guilford Courthouse Visitors' Center
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.
The battle is commemorated at Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.
Now to Kings Mountain battlefield in South Carolina
The Battle of Kings Mountain was a decisive battle between the Patriot and Loyalist militias in the Southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War. The actual battle took place on October 7, 1780, nine miles south of the present-day town of Kings Mountain, North Carolina in rural York County, South Carolina, where the Patriot militia defeated the Loyalist militia under a Major Ferguson.
Ferguson had arrived in North Carolina in early September 1780 with the purpose of recruiting for the Loyalist militia and protecting the flank of Lord Cornwallis' main force. Ferguson issued a challenge to the rebel militias to lay down their arms or suffer the consequences; in response, the Patriot militias led by James Johnston, William Campbell, John Sevier, Joseph McDowell and Isaac Shelby rallied for an attack on Ferguson.
After receiving intelligence on the oncoming attack, Ferguson elected to retreat to the safety of Lord Cornwallis' host; however, the Patriots caught up with the Loyalists at Kings Mountain on the border with South Carolina. Having achieved surprise on the Loyalists, the Patriots attacked and surrounded the Loyalists, inflicting heavy casualties. After an hour of battle, Ferguson was shot dead while trying to break the rebel ring, after which the Loyalists surrendered. The Patriot soldiers gave no quarter to the surrendering Loyalists until the rebel officers re-established control over their men. Although victorious, the Patriots had to quickly move from the area for fear of Cornwallis' advance.
This park is also the terminus of the Overmountain Victory Trail. The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail (OVHT) is part of the U.S. National Trails System. It recognizes the Revolutionary War Overmountain Men, Patriots from what is now East Tennessee who crossed the Great Smoky Mountains and then fought in the Battle of Kings Mountain in South Carolina.
From here is is just head west till I figure the day is over. As some of you are aware the East is having a real heat wave. The temps kept climbing until the thermometer on the bike read 107F. This may have been just the effect of the road but take my word for it - it was uncomfortable. 20 miles past Knoxville I called it quits for the day.