Junior History Press

Annual Morgan's March Re-enactment

What - The annual Re-enactment of the march of General Daniel Morgan and his army from Grindal Shoals on the Pacolet River to the Cowpens Battle Ground. The original march took place on January 15th and 16th in 1781. Total distance is about 25 miles. It is sponsored by the Town of Pacolet, Cowpens National Battlefield, Cherokee Historical and Preservation Society, Wagstop Plantation - Jim and Barbara Brown, the Paul Patterson Family Farm and Dr. George Fields.

When - The march takes place on a Saturday and Sunday in January.  In 2017, it will be on January 14 and 15. The first leg of the march is about 15. The Sunday portion, ending at the Cowpens National Battlefield, is about  10 miles.

How - Registration is required. Marchers should register for the march with the Cherokee Historical & Preservation Society, Inc. online at www.cherokeecountyhistory.org, by mail at CHAPS, Inc. 301 College Drive, Gaffney, S.C. 29340 or in person at the Cherokee County History and Arts Museum also at 301 College Drive in Gaffney. Participants will be asked to sign a waiver of liability. There is no charge for marchers, but donations are appreciated. Further details about exactly where and when to meet will be given to you when you register.

Transportation - It is not necessary that you walk the entire distance. There will be horse drawn wagons and carriages for those that prefer not to walk. Marchers should wear warm clothes suitable for the weather and bring their own snacks.

For more information, see the following sites:
Town of Pacolet site - (http://www.townofpacolet.com/)
Cowpens National Battlefield site - (http://www.nps.gov/cowp/)
Cherokee Historical and Preservation Society site - (http://www.cherokeecountyhistory.org/)

The March Offers Teachers a Great Opportunity

Teachers can use the experience of the Morganís March Re-enactment and the book Spirit Up the People to make the Battle of Cowpens come alive to their students. The book tells the story of the four days leading up to the battle though the eyes of three Upcountry children. The book gives a detailed step by step account of what happened to both armies before and during the battle. After the teacher reads the book and participates in the March Re-enactment, they will be able to help the students understand what happened as never before. After taking part in the March, the teacher will never again think of the Battle as an abstract event that happened a long time ago. It will be a real thing that is rooted right in the roads, trails and fields of the Upcountry.

Mr. James B. Clary has used the March Re-enactment and the book Spirit Up the People to help teach  his grandchildren about their family history in the Revolution. He wrote the following review of the book for Amazon.com:



Background
Early in the morning of January 15, 1781, General Daniel Morgan ordered his army to leave their camp at Grindal Shoals on the Pacolet River. The army was small, less than 1000 men. They took up the march and fell into the Green River Road. The road was barely more than a wide, dirt path. Even General Morgan was not exactly sure where they would wind up at the end of the march because the army was running for its life. Morgan had just received word, the night before, that he and his men were being pursued by Colonel Banastre Tarleton and a large force of the British army.

At the end of the first day, the American army made camp at a place near the vicinity of where present day Highway 29 crosses Thicketty Creek. They had to leave that camp early the next morning and leave their breakfast still cooking on their campfires. Morgan had received word that Tarleton and his army had crossed the Pacolet River and was only a few miles away. After marching all day on January 16, they camped at a place called the Cowpens. The battle that took place the next morning at the Cowpens would help change American history.

Re-enact the March
Come experience the march yourself. Travel from Grindal Shoals to the Battlefield. You can walk or ride in one of the wagons or carriages. If you have  any interest in the Revolutionary War or the Battle of Cowpens, the march will be fascinating. It will also be a memorable educational experience for children that are old enough  to take part.

The Guide  for many of the marches in the past has been Dr. George Fields, Director of Military Heritage for the Palmetto Conservation Foundation. Dr. Fields assumed the persona and dress of General Daniel Morgan. He explained what happened and what you are seeing and make the march a once in a life time experience. To the march participants, Dr. Fields became General Morgan.  Dr. Fields is a retired Methodist minister, a former college president and also a real army general (retired). Dr. Fields is presently the  Director of Military Heritage for the Palmetto Conservation Foundation.





Dr. Fields, as General Daniel Morgan, at the January, 2007 March Re-enactment



Photos from the January, 2007 March Re-enactment



The marchers at the beginning, near Grindal Shoals





Crossing a small creek.





Wagstop Plantation in Cherokee County, SC, where the marchers met to begin their trip.



Some of the carriages used by those choosing not to walk. This is at the lunch stop at Knuckles Chapel.



Re-enactors lead the marchers onto the Battlefield




The final destination - the Battleground

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