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Battle of Cowpens: January 17, 1781

The troops I have the honor to command have gained a complete victory over a detachment from the British Army, commanded by Lt. Colonel Tarleton. the Action happened on the 17th inst. about sunrise at a place called the Cowpens...
In the early morning of January 17, 1781, in South Carolina, American troops under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan defeated a force under British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton in one of the more decisive victories for the Americans in the south during the Revolutionary War

In late 1780, the American commander-in-chief of the southern theater, Nathanael Greene, made the daring decision to split his already limited number of troops in the face of a superior force under British Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis. Accordingly, part of Greene’s force was given to Daniel Morgan. The British saw Morgan’s troops as a threat to some crucial posts, so Cornwallis sent troops under up-and-coming commander Banastre Tarleton to take on Morgan.

When word reached Morgan of Tarleton’s approach, he decided to face his enemy in a cow pasture called Cowpens rather than risk being overrun while trying to cross the Broad River. Knowing Tarleton favored frontal attacks, Morgan deployed his infantry troops into three lines—meant to exhaust the energy and resources of the British—with his dragoons positioned in reserve behind the third line.

When Tarleton’s men arrived, they were met by fire from riflemen in Morgan’s first line, who after a few shots withdrew to join the second line, composed of militia. Morgan had instructed the militia to fire two volleys at the approaching British and then retire, which they did. Seeing the American militia appearing to flee, Tarleton sent dragoons after them, but they were met by the American dragoons, led by Lieutenant Colonel William Washington.

The British infantry had been stunned by the fire from the American’s first two lines and now faced the third line, predominately composed of experienced Continental troops overseen by Lieutenant Colonel John Howard. Meanwhile, Tarleton sent his reserve infantry and additional dragoons to try to outflank their opponents on the Americans’ right. The Americans on that side were commanded to turn to face the British, but the order was misunderstood, and they instead began marching to the rear, triggering a retreat in neighboring parts of the line. The confusion was corrected, however, and they turned to face the British in time. Those Americans were joined in the fight by the militia of the first and second lines, who had circled around the back of the American position.

Morgan‘s near-genius plan worked, and the Americans decimated the British. Although the two forces were relatively evenly matched, with roughly 1,000 men each, the British sustained 110 killed and 830 captured or wounded, while the Americans had 12 killed and 61 wounded. The battle wiped out nearly all of Tarleton’s force, striking a serious blow to Cornwallis’s army.

Did you have an ancestor who fought in the Battle of Cowpens? Tell us about them! Or learn more about the battle on Fold3.

290 Comments

  1. Does anyone have anything or know anyone who has any info on Col. Thomas Brandon and his son Thomas who moved to Greene County AL. This is my 5th and 4th GGrandfathers and I am trying to find documentation that connects Thomas Jr. to his son George and granddaughter Martha so I can apply to the SAR. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Semper Fi
    Jay Lindsey

    • Contact the SAR who rely a LOT on DAR research. A local chapter has volunteers to assist you on this. Someone else may have already joined SAR or DAR under this same Ancestors’ name but you don’t know it unless you find someone to help you with these sources.

    • ..BROTHER JAY! YEAH I KNOW THIS BOUT THOMAS BRANDON…..he was born in 1741
      DIED 5 FEB. 18TH AFTER MIGRATING to UNION COUNTY SOUTH CAROLINA DURING 1754-1755..HE ROSE IN 1780 TO COMMAND A REGIMENT IN WHICH HE SAW SERVICE UNDER SUMPTER..AFTER RESIGNING HIS POST AS COL
      He took a position UNDER col
      JAMES WILLIAMS AND WAS IN THE BATTLES OF MUSGROVE MILL KINGS MOUNTAIN (AS A COMPANY CAPTAIN) BLACKSTOCK PLANTATION AND THE ICONIC FIELD AT COWPENS
      MANY THANKS FOR YOUR ”’SELECTIVE SERVICE!
      SEMPER FI

    • ALSO THOMAS BRANDON HAD A ‘NEPHEW NAMED CRISTOPHER’ 10 FEB. 1764 UNION DISTRICT AND SERVED UNDER CAPTAIN BENJAMIN JOLLY AND HIS UNCLE THOMAS BRANDON…HE FOUGHT STALLIONS AN COWPENS AND THEN WENT WITH JOSEF HUGHS ….SPENT A LOT OF TIME WITH ”’WILLIE FAR FIGHT IN TORIES….JUST THOUGH THIS WOULD BE OF INTEREST#AGAIN THANK YOU!
      SEMPER FI!!!

    • Hello Jay,
      I’m an DAR member and I took a look for you in DAR and in the South Carolina wills index.
      I did find something very interesting…
      I found the will of a “Gen Thomas Brandon”, signed 14th day of Dec 1801 in Union County, S.C. Will gives to his daughters and 3 sons and wife Rebecca.
      But the interesting part of this will states that a witness is Geo Brandon and then it states there are “two” Geo Brandon’s and that they are his brother John Brandon’s son. So I then looked at http://www.fold3.com and there is a John Brandon who was born in Pennsylvania and served in the Rev War. So I think these would serve you well to prove that Geo Brandon goes with John Brandon. Which then you’d have to
      research John Brandon’s service record at Fold3. I did save the documents and I can email them to you, for you to evaluate…
      Regards,
      Lorrie

  2. The battle in the movie in which Marion and his son observe the conflict from inside a house and then leave, is Camden. If there were two more battles portrayed then they would have been Cowpens and then Guilford Courthouse. If only one, then it would have been Cowpens. Right now I don’t remember how that went. Incidentally the Gibson character is probably Francis Marion ; but Marion had no children. The scene in which his son was shot was more likely Marion’s nephew. My wife’s 4th GG James Jenkins, son of Elizabeth Britton Jenkins, was an eye witness to this murder and saw it while hiding in a tree. He was too young to fight at the time, but described the incident in his diary

  3. I would like to make a correction to one of my entries. My ancestors name was Erasmus Tolleson not Uriah Tolleson. His son was John Tolleson.

  4. There is a book entitled ” Devil of a Whipping” by Lawrence E. Babits. In his book he describes a moment where the British use a psychological sort of tactic by discharging “two small cannon and shouting three Huizzas” basically to scare the American militia. At Cowpens before they start there charge. Daniel Morgan realizes their tactic responds as follows: He yells loudly for many of the militia to hear “They give us the British halloo, boys give them the Indian hallo, by G—-“. If one researches the ‘rebel yell’ even films as old as the 1930 reunions of Gettysburg veterans it sounds like Indian hallos by Ken Burns. My theory is the birth of the rebel yell was at Cowpens. This is conjecture, but it is my belief.

    • Your so right brother! …but it started long before cow pens. …..it worked really well for WILLIAM WALLACE……..AND JOSHUA TOO!

    • John –
      I reviewed a lot of books on Cowpens and the other battles in the area and Babit’s book was by far the best I found on this battle. As the daughter of a Navy officer, the widow of an Army Infantry Airborne Ranger, and the wife of a retired MP Airborne officer who was in Vietnam as an advisor from ’64 – ’65 I have more than the normal female interest in books of war. I have read most of my husband’s collection of VN books and bought many of them but have to admit my narrow view of Navy operations in WWII, particularly those my father participated in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. Babit’s book is my ‘go to’ book for the Battle of Cowpens as the 5th great-granddaughter of Col. John Cunningham, although his portfolio on Fold3, which I find no more difficult to use than any other site, tells the story of the battles in the south from Kettle Creek to Cowpens. He was just a young teen when he began driving wagons for the Army and was involved in the militia the rest of his life. I am not sure if my 6th great-grandfather, Absolom Davis Sr. was with him at Cowpens but he fought in many the same battles and was John’s father-in-law. But I agree with you about Babit’s book.

  5. One of my 4g grandfathers, Captain John Miills, fought in this battle.

    • ANDY I GOT A GOOD BIT ON (5) JOHN MILLS….YOU GOT ANYMORE INFO….ANYTHING WILL HELP US MATCH’MY UP…..A COUPLE OF THESE BOYS WAS ”’PERDY BRASSY

  6. Col. Benjamin Roebuck was my 4th great uncle. His brother George was my 4th great grandfather. They had another brother John. Their father was George Roebuck Sr. They were all in the revolution and served under Benjamin at different times. I know now that George Jr. served at the Cowpens as a Capt. under his brother Benjamin. They are mentioned in the book “A Hell of a Whipping, the Battle of the Cowpens” by Lawrence Babits. George Sr. and John were probably there as privates.

    • YEAH TOM JOHN WAS THE WITH PICKENS.HE ENLISTED IN SPARTANBURG UNDER CAPT. JOHN THOMAS.WAS AT BUSH CREEK WITH CO. WILLIAMS .AND ALSO SERVED WITH HIS BROTHER CO. BENJAMIN HIS BROTHER.IN 79 JOINED CAPT. CULBERTSON…HE GOT REPLACED WITH WILLIAMS SMITH.THAT CO. JOINED GEN. SUMPTER AND FOUGHT AT BLACKSTOCK PLANTATION.THEN CAPTAIN EDWARD MICHISON REPLACED CAPT. SMITH AND MICHISON WAS REPLACED BY CAPT.GEORGE ROEBUCK.HE GOT COMMISSIONED CAPT. UNDER COl WHITE….HE ALSO HAD HAD HIS HEADQUARTERS AT AN OLD FARM PLACE IN THE TWO MILE CREEK AREA IN SPARTANBURG….THE OLD FARM BELONGED TO EBENEZER MOSS…..THEN THEY HOOKED UP WITH ANDREW PICKENS AND LATER MOVED TO ALABAMA…
      NOW GEORGE COME OUT A NC UNIT TO SPARTANBURG HE COME AND SERVED WITH CAPT. PRINCE AND CO. PICKENS.HE TO WAS UNDER WILLIE SMITH AND COL HAMMOND..AFTER THAT CAPT WOFFORD AND MAjOR FORD he was in gaged at Fort Halpin and the siege of 96…commissioned captain in 81….and served under his brother begin in then……
      NOW OLD BENJAMIN SEEMS LIKE A REAL SPARTAN TO ME! HE…WHILE LIVING IN SPARTANBURG HE ENLISTED IN A GEORGIA UNIT AS A LIEUTENANT AND FOUGHT STONO AND SAVANAH .IN 1780 HE JOINED SUMPTER AND FOUGHT HANG IN ROCK AN MUSGROVE MILL…HE COMMANDED A CO AT KINGS MOUNTAIN AND MY RECORDS SAY HE “”DISTINGISHED HIMSELF AT COWPENS! !! THEN GOT PERMOTED TO LIEUTENANT COL AND COL AS WELL! HE GOT WOUNDED IN THE SHOULDER AT MUD LICK GOT CAPTURED AND SENT TO 96…THEN HE GOT PUT ON A PRISON SHIP AT CHARELSTON..AND IN 81 GOT EXCHANGED…..FOLLOWED DIRECT ORDERS FROM GEN PICKENS …FROM SEPT. 81 TO 10 DECEMBER OF 82…. OLD BENJAMIN NEVER DID RECOVER FROM THE WOUNDS HE RECEIVED AT MUD LICK. ..AN BLESS HIS HEART HE DIED IN 88…..HE SUFFERED SEVERAL YEARS. …I HOPE THIS WILL HELP YOU SOMEWAY…….WAS YOU AWARE OF HIS DEATH?….AND THE EBENEZER MOSS FARM WHERE HE HAD HIS HEADQAURTERS …..YOU KNOW WHERE IT’S AT?

    • Jim, thank you so much for the information on my Roebucks. I found some on Fold 3. Where did you find all of it? I knew Benjamin didn’t last very many years after the war and their father George Sr. died as a prisoner at Camden in 1781. I would love to know more about them. Thanks again Jim.
      Tom Thompson

    • Laurentiis Roebuck b about 1520
      Thomas Roebuck b1562d1598
      Robert Robuck b 1585 d1637
      Robert roebuck 22/3/1630-1670
      Robert roebuck 2…b 1688
      Robert roebuck 3rd….b 1688….in USA
      Robert roebuck 4 b1713-1793
      George roebuck b1730-1783
      George roebuck b 1757-1848
      The above had brothers and sisters as follow
      Mary
      Benjamin
      Sarah
      John
      Francis
      Catherine
      Elizabeth
      Rhoda
      Obidia h
      There are too many dates and my divise thinks it knows morn’n we do and tries to write for me….get in touch….for specifics….this is the rest of what we spoke of…Robert the third was first one borned in US…in Northumberland VA. …hope this helps….

  7. EVERYONE!!

    Please turn your CAPS LOCK off. A message in all caps is VERY, VERY hard to read!

  8. My forefather George Porter was a Captain in the Pitt County NC. Militia. They must have been in some battles because he and others appear to have been promoted after some deaths. I assume these other officers were KIA. It seems they would have fought in battles like Cow Pens. Info is sketchy on this unit. Anyone have any info?

    • Bill I know he was at lacey’s fort during 1779-80……he was in a militia any first names of porters

  9. My Aunt, Meta Moore Waldrop, died as result of inhalation of smoke when visiting family at the old homestead in Cowpens. As I recall, this was about 1970. Family names from that area are Waters and Moore. There is another that my memory fails to recall at the moment, but I do remember from family lore that the old homestead was very near the battlefield, which, by the way, was called “The Cow Pens” as I under-stand it was a pasture-like area used communally by all for grazing their milk cows. Wish I had written more down at the time I was being told all the family lore!!! Don’t we all?

  10. As I understand, Daniel Morgan had two daughters – no sons, so I guess that means no direct line of descent for me. Richard Morgan.

  11. 1-14-2017: I am a KEITH. The Keith’s arrived in the US in 1750’s from Scotland. I researching them. There are many famous KEITH’s and I would like to find more. My father was Thomas Graves Keith (born Gadsden ALA to George T. Keith and Adele (Della) Groover of Alabama. They lived in ALa to their deaths, mostly as farmers and a large family: There was: George, Olera Keith (Cannon), Thomas Graves (1907) (fa), Shellton, Robert, Burnett, Woodrow–seems like there may be 1 or 2 brothers missing, Oh, there was one boy born who was handicapped–no one ever knew exactly what the diagnosis was and he died with 10 years of birth. Any way, they all lived in Alabama, came North to work in Michigan in the auto industry, and then later returned south. I believe the majority have passed one as they were all born after 1900. I would like to get more information on the arrival of the KEITH’s and their migration to NC, SC, Ga, and AL.
    I have done research that shows we are descendants of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquataine in the 1150’s in England, making us Plantaganets. Any additional information would be greatly appreciated. You may email me at: pocofrostyjack1@provide.net. Thank for all help and hints.. I’m also looking for my maternal grandfather August Henry Schultz, who married Maargaret Bell Grimes in 1910 in Cook Cty, IL. My mother was born in 1911. Her name was Caroline Marie Schultz

    • I’m also a Keith through maternal grandmother. There are many Keiths that fought in the Revolution and any search of the Keiths in America should start with James Keith born 1699 Peterhead, Scotland and married Mary Isham Randolph. If you’re not of that group, then I have no information.

  12. Hello Bill,

    Could it be possible to try another way i.e. one of the grandsons of Allen?
    First I could not reach Douglas because of a wrong telefphone number.
    Maybe we can have another try with the other grandson named Daniel?
    If you are able to find out what number he has we can give it that try?

    Kind regards,

    Piet.

  13. To answer Rabrunson request about ” James Dillard and William Ruben Bryant” This also is for mlenabryant@ gmail.com and Myrna Mdigan both had inquiries abour the name Dillard and Bryant or Briant I believe. The name Bryant was spelled both ways by the same family. There is a book by Jennings B. Pope, Ph.D. a descendant of the Bryants and Dillards of Spartanburg. His book is entitled ” The Bryants of Spartanburg”. The two families intermarried. There were many double first cousins. And to those out there who mentioned a Keith. My 4th great grandfathers wife was I believe a Keith. His name was George Huey. He was a Patriot at Kings Mtn.

    • My 5th great grandfather, James Huey born VA 1742 – died LA 1839, married Sarah Mason, 8 children. Enlisted SC 1777. There is a LASSAR chapter in Ouachita Parish named for him. Any relation? Thanks.

  14. I have made some contributions to help anyones searches out. My intent has been to help and not to hinder. I am researching my own ancestry like everyone else I presume. I have had some help from friends, from the DAR, SAR, and Ancestry.com. Doing your DNA is really cool. If anyone would like to contact me I am at felixgravino@gmail.com.

  15. Would anyone have information about Ephraim Cooper in the battle? I’ve seen notes that he was killed at Cowpens but don’t believe this to be true since there were so few casualties. Perhaps he was wounded? I found a Bounty Warrant voucher dated 1783 but it was illegible online. I don’t know if he was living at that time or not. I regret I don’t have more time to research this myself. If anyone could help point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it.

    • Mr.Dailey
      I have at this point 39 cooper’s from south Carolina alone…who served in the revelution….any other info such as dates or just anything would really help me as I have many records not availible in cyberspace….strangley only two under the E’s…..those being an Edward and Ezekiel….the militia’s are far harder to research than those of the regulars in most cases…..will help if I can….let me know what else you have…regards

    • Jim, you helped me a lot on my Roebucks. I also have Coopers from Union County that we’re here before the Revolution. William Cooper died at Padgett Creek I think in 1775. He had several sons who were of age to have been in the war. I don’t have them in front of me but I think they were William, Stacy, Jeremiah and maybe Jacob. Thanks.
      Tom

    • Tom in regards to your enquiry on the Coopers….resend all names…I have found a Samuel…Jacob…the William of four…and why I think he’s your folk…..but there were a couple more… right?
      I had a partial post prepared yesterday…and hit the ‘send message….and in my disgust …my devise failed..with your reply, expect another more complete report of findings I think will be of interest to you!
      Regards Jim

    • Jim, the ones who were of age would have been Jacob, Nathan, William, Stacy (Eustacy), and Jeremiah. Thanks
      Tom

    • Stacey Cooper joined up with the militia when Charleston fell to the brits
      Jacob Cooper served as a captain under John mills.in addition to that he served as a private under captain George Heely, major Adair and general Thomas Sumpter
      And we know very well how a fight unites a ‘family…especially a Scottish family! An this clan of cooper’s joined up with their brother William Cooper as he served under captain Mapp Vardry McBee and Samuel Adams. ..this whole crowd fought together on and off under Lacey and (ready Tom)?…COL. ROEBUCK!!!!…….OUT OF 5 BILLY COOPERS ….THIS IS HOW WE KNOW THIS IS THE RIGHT BILL….he’s just everywhere the rest is!…
      The ‘j for jerimiah. …is missing Tom….
      It’s interesting to know this Vardry McBee. (His son)…was brothers lead ing a south Carolina outfit in the civil war…..they was getting tore up by the Yankees. …but ‘stubbornly stood anyway…..seeing Thomas Johnathan Jackson Givin it right back….Mac bee rallied our troops as he shouted to’m. ..LOOK!….THERE STANDS JACKSON …LIKE A ””’STONEWALL….THE REST IS HISTORY TOM!….just like today is the 236th aniversary of the battle of cow pens! …….hallowed be their fame

    • Jim, this is just fantastic! How are you finding all this? Thank you so much again! Makes me very proud.
      Tom

    • Tom see my post in response to Mr David White….there is so much there for Yall in Spartanburg. ….Google the father of Greenville…Vardry Macbee..(his father the patriot)…notice the bias of Wikipedia in making so little mention of him and his war record…(they don’t want our children to know who they are!).that’s vardry Sr. ..now…..you will probraly find the rest of the post very interesting too….the Ole man vary was the one mentioned with George and Ben gamin Roebuck at the siege of 96……and Stonewalls wife fell victim to persuasion on the ‘story of Gen Bee naming stonewall…it’s all duly recorded….you got the father of Greenville. ..who was a spartan….the Roebucks. ..and the Coopers……no wonder the records in London attest to English mothers complaining to the crown about their sons sailing off to the colonies…never to be seen again!…………but on the other hand. ..Yankee moma”so complained bout their sons Goin off to die in Virginia and Georgia. ….an as ignorant but true as it sounds….leave us alone dammit!!!…….can you just imagine what an army that truly was!!!???…and you can see the metamorphosis from cow pens. …to Gettysburg. …….to ww1….ww2..no wonder the shadow government is constantly trying to tear us apart…because you can’t control a people with such an army…ya’d have to whoopem first….and so far by the grace of God…..that ain’t happen yet!!!… and won’t. ..IF MY PEOPLE THAT ARE CALLED BY MY NAME ””’SHALL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY AND SEEK MY FACE AND TURN FROM THE WICKED WAYS, THEN WILL I HEAR FROM HEAVEN AND WILL FORGIVE THE SIN AND WILL HEAL THERE LAND….2 CHR 7: 14
      LET FREEDOM RING!!!

    • “There is Jackson standing like a stone wall. Let us determine to die here, and we will conquer. Rally behind the Virginians!” is usually attributed to Confederate Brigadier General Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. of the 1st South Carolina Regulars.

    • Mr. White with all due respect I know you have read that…but it aint true…I feel as I’very opened up a can of worms here…..first the name Bee is a reduced from of McBee. …his real PA ain’t the one that you’ll read of neither that went off and helped settle the Republic of texas(SEE BEE COUNTY TEXAS)…..he lived right here in the upstate….buried in pendleton. …and if I told you his real PA was the father of Greenville SC ………would you be leve it? He was left by his pa (they doll it up an cal itl family)…an they went to Texas. ..Bernard went to VMI …and finished a spot in front of stonewall his self. …you talk about a fighter!! And a member of the Aztec club of 1847 with of course Robert E..Lee and Useless Grant!!! I’m trying to say to much here and I simply can’t but he is my kin…..THRU MANSON SHRILL JOLLY (MY LIFELONG HERO! ) HE WAS WITH LEE AT Apomatox AND HAD TO STOP IN NC AND CHOP OFF A BUDDIES LEG WITH AN AXE….ANYHOW I ASKING YOU TO DO THREE THINGS..
      (1) GOOGLE VARdrY MCBEE
      (2) GOOGLE BERNARD BEE
      (1) GOOGLE THE ANDERSON INDEPENDENT ARCHIVES …JULY 5 2014…an look for Gen. Bee
      OH YEAH……THE AZTEC CLUB OF 1847…..AND I MONA GO AHEAD AN TELL YOU VARNEY MCBEE WAS/IS THE fATHER OF GREENVILLE….and if anybody don’t know Manse Jolly….he was a confederate army!…and he did follow that Yankee general to Texas and killed the sorry Thang over Tom’s sister…cause I got a pit of the grave…and have been to itI I CHALLENGE ANYONE READING THIS TO CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF……Rl DABNEY was stonewall staff sear gent and he come up with what you said(in his bio.I said (what I beleve) PGA BEAUREGARD SAID….PORTER ALexander SAID SOMETHING ELSE…PROVE ME TRUE….ANDERSON INDEPENDENT JULY 5 2014 WILL TAKE CARE OF
      MOST OF IT!
      VERY RESPECTIVELY YOURSELF DAVID

    • Hello Jim!
      Thank you for your reply. I don’t have much info on Ephraim Cooper and what I have needs to be verified. He is believed to have been born in Scotland in 1740 and married Henrietta Brown. They had a daughter, Mary Cooper, born 17 APR 1774 in Virginia. Perhaps he was in a regiment from VA? I did find a word doc online (Large_Patriots-Killed-or-Mortally-Wounded-In-The-Battle-At-The-Cowpens-2.docx) but he is not listed in it. Any help is appreciated. I hope to research him more in the near future. Thank you!

    • Mr Dailey….yes indeed he was from a virgina outfit that I know….my pages are about unreadable now…with few exceptions…but I could make out a # and entered it into this very site) fold3)and this young whippersnapper helped me…he feed this thing some#’s and it says the following of
      EPHRIAM COOPER
      Record Groupe 15
      National archives record #300022
      Publication#my
      Roll#0647
      Nara m804
      And we started with this# bl wt 1165-100…..aparently this is what they call his pension#
      But there is 16 pages
      And it all begins on page 12
      I’m not a member so I don’t have access. ..this is all you need however I did see his land warrant for his land…
      I asume his payment for fightin?
      I only have 200 year old books some Ina barn for 75 years I was told….and it’s amazing what I have…that the archives know nothing of…..let me know the story on ole Ephriam…us’es manassa’ans are way out here in front thanks to him…we are lookin back to him……and you know he see’s our struggles!
      High regards, jim

  16. My ancestor Lewis Corder was at The Cowpens. He was from Caswell Co. North Carolina.

  17. I had several branches of my ancestral tree in the battle of Cowpens and the Battle of King’s Mountain as they were all families in the Over the Mountain community and were recruited to fight with the Rebels. Events back in Over the Mountain territories were Tory and Indian revenge on families left behind. It has been exciting finding sources of information that provided the names and facts and one is below in which there is a great account of the battle of Cowpens. It is in the following Google Book.
    KING’S MOUNTAIN AND ITS HEROES: HISTORY OF THE
    Battle of King’s Mountain, OCTOBER 7TH, 1780,
    AND THE EVENTS WHICH LED TO IT, BY LYMAN C. DRAPER, LL. D., Secretary nf the Stale Historical Society 0f Wisconsin, and member 0f various Historical and Antiquarian Societies 0f the Country.

  18. Good info here. Maybe someone can help me. I have traced my ancestors back to Warren Boyd in Pickens CH Pickens SC. Born 1827 I know he contributed what he could as a member of the 2nd SC rifles through the entirety of the war between the states ending up as. 1st Lt. His father came down from Virginia but I don’t know when and I don’t know what his name was. I cannot find anything on the family beyond Warren. There was an older Boyd in Pickens around the same time a Robert Boyd he was in his 60’s in the 1860 census and appears to have a son Robert who was born 1851 I don’t know if they were related. Warren lived a long life married again in his 70’s and had two more daughters.
    I’m stumped on where or what to look for ?

    • Mr Boyd
      Do you have any other info at all as far as complete name and any militia/army information…..perhaps I can help….I have record of many Boyds from SC alone…..

    • Mr Boyd,,,, warren was born to Robert and Rachel on June 2 1828…died 1 June 1911….he had a son named Robert also borned June 2 1868 died Dec. 7 1930 he made major. ….and was with Longstreet outfit under Micah jenkins ……children;
      Larkin
      Joseph
      Luther
      William
      Irby
      Nancy
      Robert
      He is buried in second batista cemetery on Walhalla highway
      I reside in Pickens courthouse (named for Andrew Pickens) district as well…a well known figure indeed…he seen the civil war….in spades! Cold harbor Gaines mill Frasier farm bull run (1 and2) Knoxville. …was with Lee at a appomatox April 9..1865!
      Hope this helps..

  19. Jim that does help, I had the information on Warren but couldn’t find anything on his parents. There is a slight discrepancy in some records. which indicate his birth in 1827. I attribute the difference to the times and Warrens longevity, after his first wife Arminda passed away he remarried to a Martha Adkins and they had two daughters. Larkin Alexander disappears from the census between his birth in 1849-50 and the 1860 census. Luther is the father of Thomas W. Boyd, and his son Thomas W. Boyd is my grandfather. Thomas moved to Arkansas and married Nancy Josephine Higgens in Oklahoma. In around 1923-4 they moved the family to Portland Oregon where my father Charles H Boyd was born. We’ve been on the left coast ever since.
    Now I can look back at warrens parents and see where that takes me.
    Thanks for the help it is much appreciated. I have been completely stumped on who and where to search next.
    Can’t thank you enough.

    • Jim, what I meant to say was I have found some information on Warrens life, his children, his incredible service in the war. I have heard it said that few ever saw more bloody work than the 2nd SC rifles. When I read the stories of the battles again I will be doing so with new eyes. His father was born in Virginia. And his mother South Carolina. It appears that Robert came down as a single man sometime after or during the revolution, I am estimating his birth between 1760 and 1770, he would have been a young boy during the revolution but his father may have participated?
      I would sure like to find how far back the line goes in America and when the first Boyd in this line came into the country and if they had any service in the revolution. Any information you might have or any recommendation you could give me to aid my search would be greatly appreciated.
      Kind regards
      David

    • You know….the further away that war gets….the more glorious it becomes!
      The 2nd scrifles(the fifthscrifles being it’s necleus)was…… you could truthfuly say was a Pickens county brigade (s!)….almost entirely! Even more so than the first (Orr’s rifles).bull run…chancelorsville..Fredricksburg (that was like shooting fish in a barrel!) Gettysburg…Petersburg. .to name just a few….then that day in april (9) 65’……if another outfit seen anymore action …I can’t imagine who it was!
      That day While with Gen Longstreet ‘the Ole warhorse…outside wait in. ..under some apple trees at APommatox courthouse while Gen Lee was inside with useless grant talkin bout(you know)…..this gallant yellow haired would be Indian fighter boy galloped up to Gen Longstreet…..and demanded his surrender!!!!!on the spot! He billigarently did! No doubt in hopes of noteriety for himself.later on…..Ole Pete just ignored him till he no longer could and….(a few 2ndsc rifles was snickering an laughed at him)he repeated his demand ultimately and Longstreet went off!
      He called him a boy as he told him to get his ass on or he’did turn the artillery on him right then and there! Gen Lee aint said nothin yet! Snorted the Gen Some of the second that heard/seen this stupidity from George Armstrong custer…..some in tears too! Started hollering tell in Gen Longstreet to lets fight it out now!….right here to the last man!…we can whoopum !! I guess we’ll never know how close that came to bein a reality….you can tell by some of GL’s memoirs..incredibly outnumbered….didn’t make a bit of difference!…..he shut up an went on too! One of my kin was there..Manse Jolly…..then the long walk back to Pickens District…SC..Ole Manse and a childhood friend left there that day an a few days later his buddy with a very serious leg wound….finally had to stop in NC..(it got to stinking an caused a big fever!)….and amputate the leg……..with an axe!….less Largent would die!….anyway they made it back home…..only to learn ….of the six Jolly brothers that left the Lebanon community (pickens/Anderson county line)…..Manse was the only one that made it back…poor Moma…..he swore to kill 5 yankee’s for every brother lost…and he did! He started Killin too..they was stationed everywhere from Anderson to Spartanburg and beyond…You ever heard of Posse Comitatus act. ….well upstate SC…..is what brought that legislation to fruition! People don’t know this …but 5 upstate counties were harassed by union troops for several years….and never did take the oath of readmision by way of reconstruction in 1868…I have personally seen the papers!!! An stayed on public display for years…it was a constitutinal violation to have a standing army in peacetime…think about this…Research it!….keep in mind the Yankee general useless s grant was the presdent then too! How soon we forget! It’s just like our flag (they call it a battle flag)….the present day skeedadler…that took that away…….will she now do the same with US sovernty?……let me tell you why that flag is hated….its SAINT ANDREWS CROSS TURNED SIDEWAYS with stars added….(the cross of JESUS CHRIST).13 of’me (the 12 tribes of isreal…..JOSEPH HAD HIS TWO”’SONS BLESSED INSTEAD OF HIMSELF) 12+1=13…..(I CHALLENG YOU ALL TO READ GENISIS 48)why would the most modern advanced country the world has ever known be afraid of its own heritage? Especially what it ”’put down so to speak 150 years ago?…..cause that is”’the only flag ever to put a whooping on the US Federal government…day after day…after day…and almost in all major engagements from 62 on…it was lead by the 2nd scrifles! !! That’s why!!

  20. Jim Patterson, You sure are solving a lot of mysteries on here. Hope you can help me. My ancestor, William Sergent was born in Virginia about 1740 so he is the right age to be in the rev war. No other records found on him until he receives a land grant of 210 acres near Hill Creek, Orange Co, NC and later in 1796 another land grant of 50 acres in Montgomery Co, NC. His wife is Sussannah but I have no other info on her. His daughter Sarah H. Married my 3rd ggf Benjamin after the war in NC. Benjamin was a pvt in company of Capt Maj Taylor’s Regt NC line.
    Would be grateful for anything you can add about this family.

  21. Jim Patterson, thank you for this information on Ephraim Cooper. I will let you know what I find out. It will try to make it a priority to follow up with this.

  22. My 4th GGF, Joseph “Quaker Meadows Joe” McDowell, 1756-1801, led the NC Militia in this battle:
    http://www.carolana.com/NC/Revolution/patriot_leaders_nc_joseph_mcdowell.html

    I have been looking for any first-hand accounts of participants of the battle that any readers may have access.
    I have also been looking for any images of his grave site or first hand accounts of his gravesite within the McDowell family cemetery outside of Morganton, NC (named in honor of Daniel Morgan). Joseph McDowell was said to have been buried next to his brother, Charles, a tree with a “J” carved into it to mark his gravesite. Since Joseph is eligible for a U.S. government headstone, as a veteran of the Revolutionary War, any information that would help confirm the location of his grave site will enable the local historical society to help place a headstone. Any information would be greatly appreciated in helping to formally mark the final resting place of a patriot.

  23. My 4th great grandfather, James Smith, was a loyalist soldier in Tarleton’s British Legion (formerly Cathcart’s Infantry, from New York). He was captured and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner-of-war at Lancaster, Pennsylvannia. He married and raised a family in New Berlin, Chenango County, New York.

  24. I’m the 5th great grandson of Andrew Pickens, and the 4th great grandson of his son-in-law, John Harris II … both militiamen at Cowpens! Proud of my ancestors, for sure!

  25. Very cool, email to me and let’s figure out the connection, if you will. Bmrowland@yahoo.com

  26. Can anyone help me with info about a Graves that fought in the Revolutionary War and particularly at Cowpins and was later awarded land in what became northern Alabama?
    Thanks!

  27. Can you tell me anything about Samuel Welchel/Whelchel whom was under General Washington or about any whelchel / Welchel names ?