The Battle of Cowpens took place in the southern campaign of the Revolutionary War on January 17, 1781.  The battle was a decisive victory for the Americans and has come to be known as the turning point in the southern campaign of the Revolutionary War.

In the winter of 1781, the Continental Army was on the run. Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and his ruthless British Legions pursued General Daniel Morgan’s rag-tag Continentals and Militia army throughout the back-county of South Carolina.   On the morning of January 17, 1781, Tarleton caught up with Morgan and the two armies faced off just outside the small town of Cowpens, South Carolina.  As Tarleton’s army approached, General Morgan famously shouted to his men “Boys, get up! Benny’s coming!”

During the battle, General Morgan’s South Carolina militia pulled off a brilliantly timed military maneuver called a Double Envelopment.   This led to a rout of the British regular army. The battle lasted less than 1 hour, and the British forces surrendered by the hundreds as Tarleton and his dreaded Legion Calvary galloped away and escaped.

Using GIS data and the ArcGIS Online Time Aware template, InterDev has recreated the battle in 5 minute intervals.  The Time Aware feature allows the viewer to see how the Double Envelopment maneuver worked so effectively.  Click on the image below to be taken to our Battle of Cowpens interactive map.


The Battle of Cowpens

The Battle of Cowpens


Mike Edelson
GIS Manager