The Glory of Guilford
The largest and most fiercely contested battle of the Revolutionary War’s Southern Campaign was fought in the small North Carolina hamlet of Guilford Courthouse. Almost 4,500 American militia and Continentals, commanded by Major General Nathanael Greene, defended the ground against 1,900 British veteran regulars and German allies commanded by Lord Charles Cornwallis.
After two ½ hours of intense fighting, Cornwallis forced Greene to withdraw from the field. By retreating, the strength of Greene’s army was preserved, but Cornwallis’s victory was won at the cost of almost 25% of his army. Weakened, Cornwallis headed to Virginia where seven months later in Yorktown he would surrender to General George Washington.
More than 300 Revolutionary War reenactors from across the county muster at Guilford Courthouse Nation Military Park, the Colonial Heritage Center and Greensboro Country Park each March to reenact the battle and to live as the colonials did for the weekend. This year’s event takes place March 18-19. OH
Lynn Donovan is a contributing photographer to O.Henry magazine.