Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse

235 years ago, General Cornwallis led his hungry, tired and poorly supplied troops to Guilford Courthouse in present day Greensboro North Carolina.

Unable to be resupplied and strengthened by fresh troops, every British Soldier lost meant 1 less man in Cornwallis' Army.

At Guilford Courthouse, a short but very vicious battle pitted desperate forces on both sides, with the Crown Forces outnumbered by more than 2 to 1. At the end of some bloody hand to hand fighting, the British Forces won the battle and held the ground, but suffered horrendous and crippling losses of more than 27% of their forces. This marked the end for Cornwallis and his depleted Army, his only hope was to head to Yorktown, Virginia, for rescue by the Royal Navy. Unfortunately for them the French Navy got there first.

With Cornwallis, attached to Tarleton's British legion was a detachment of approx. 50 17th Light Dragoons. The only regular cavalry attached to the Army, the men of the 17th were still proud of who they were and the regiment they represented. They refused to be recognized as Loyalist troops of the British legion by wearing the green coats of the Legion. Instead the 17th patched their ragged red coats and continued to wear the distinctive uniform and headgear unique to the regiment.

At the 235th Anniversary of the battle this year, members of todays recreated 17th Light Dragoons were present to reenact the battle.

The anniversary this year also marked the unveiling and dedication of the Crown Forces Monument at Guilford Courthouse National Battlefield Park. We were proud to be at the ceremony to represent the members of the regiment who fought and died at the battle. All the regiments of the British Army present at the battle, including German and Loyalist units are engraved on the monument to be remembered for their dedication, and bravery.