Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review of A Devil of a Whipping by Lawrence E. Babits

Author:  Lawrence E. Babits.
Title:  A Devil of a Whipping:  The Battle of Cowpens.
Publisher:  Chapel Hill.
Copyright:  1998.
Pages:  231.
Price:  $19.95.

Overview and Impressions:

I forgot that the American Revolution was this nation's first Civil War against English rule.  The Battle of Cowpens played an important part in that war.  It helped set the stage for Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown later that year.

Babits lays out the case for Cowpens.  He makes use of old pension records and battlefield archeology.  General Morgan comes over as an underrated military commander.  White Colonel Tarleton's reputation for butchery explains why the Americans refused to given quarter to the British Legion after it was defeated.

Morgan's use of progressively stronger infantry lines and the ability of the militia to hide behind the Continental battle line also helped explain why Morgan won against the exhausted British.  Afterward, the British Legion was crushed by its losses.


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