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Civil War Trust

With Zeal and Bayonets:
The Battle of Guilford Courthouse (Sunday)

Historian/Archaeologist: Lawrence E. Babits

Description: (Light to Moderate Walking Tour) Join our guides for a tour of the sites where one of the most important, but least known, Revolutionary War battles raged over 230 years ago. It is one and a half hour drive to Guilford Courthouse National Military Park where General Nathanael Greene's Southern Army fought British General Charles, the Earl, Cornwallis's army to a bloody standstill on 15 March 1781. There will be a brief video introduction to the engagement, followed by a short walk to the American first line where the heavy fighting began. A drive to the second line will follow before dismounting to walk a portion of the Second Line where the Virginia militia had a mixed performance in thick woods. The final stop will be at the Third Line where "Howard's Warlike Thrust" stabilized a collapsing American line prior to an orderly withdrawal. We will stand where North Carolina militia fought the Hessians bayonet to musket butt and Virginia militiamen engaged in a firefight that Otho Holland Williams claimed was the loudest he heard during the war. At the crucial Third Line we will walk from the Maryland positions where they outfought the British Guards, then go down to view where the 33rd Foot held a key hill against American Light Infantry before visiting the point of land where Cornwallis ordered his artillery to fire through American cavalry with his own men in the kill zone. Throughout the tour we will go over the strategic and tactical aspects of the "Invasion of North Carolina that led this costly battle where over a quarter of the British and Americans were casualties. The importance of the battle in relation to the ultimate Victory at Yorktown will be covered as well.

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