The Battle of Guilford Courthouse, on March 15, 1781, was significant to the American victory in the American Revolutionary War.
Although British troops under Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805) had a tactical victory at Guilford Courthouse over American forces under Major General Nathanael Greene, the British suffered significant troop losses during the battle.
Afterward, Cornwallis abandoned his campaign for the Carolinas and instead took his army into Virginia, where in October of that year he surrendered to General George Washington following the Battle of Yorktown.
At the Battle of Guilford Courthouse on March 15, 1781, roughly 1,900 British soldiers under Cornwallis attacked Greene’s 4,000-plus Continental troops and militia. The 2-hour battle ended with Greene ordering his troops to retreat, giving the British a tactical victory but enabling Greene’s army to remain mostly intact.
More than 25 percent of Cornwallis’s men were killed, wounded or captured during the battle.
One British statesman, Charles James Fox (1749-1806), said of this result: “Another such victory would ruin the British army.”
Last weekend, actors reenacted the battle at Country Park. Watch the “battle” in the video player above.