January 17, 1781

Daniel Morgan Defeats Banastre Tarleton at the Battle of Cowpens

After Nathanael Greene replaces Horatio Gates as American commander in the south, he sends Daniel Morgan against Loyalist forces in eastern South Carolina. Charles Cornwallis counters by ordering Banastre Tarleton's loyalists and regulars to intercept Morgan. Tarleton, however, rides straight into a masterful trap set by Morgan, which devastates the British troops, almost 1000 of which are killed or captured in one of the bloodiest — and one-sided (the Americans suffered only 12 killed and 60 wounded) — conflicts of the war.

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