Growing up in Massachusetts, what I learned in school about the Revolutionary War largely centered around events in my home state. When looking for a historical site to visit on Fourth of July an few years ago, I learned that the site of the largest battle fought in the south during the Revolutionary War is located in Greensboro, NC, an hour and a half drive from my new home in Charlotte, NC.
Fought on March 15, 1781, the battle of Guilford Courthouse was the most contested of the southern campaign. Major Nathanael Greene was defending Guilford with 4,500 men made up of continental soldiers and American militia. General Cornwallis advanced with only 1,900 men, but they were experienced and determined veterans.
General Cornwallis managed to force Major Nathanael Greene’s forces to withdraw from the ground he was defending at Guilford Courthouse after over two hours of fighting and earn a tactical victory, it came at a large cost. General Cornwallis lost over 25% of his army, and his victory would prove to be the high water mark for the British. Ultimately, Cornwallis would surrender 7 months later to George Washington at the battle of Yorktown.
Today the battle site is a serene park dotted with monuments marking significant points of the battle along winding walking trails. There is a small museum on site that gives a timeline of the battle and several exhibits that give visitors insight to the tools and weapons used during the time period.