Guilford Courthouse

Research by Will Lee, Katlyn Smith, and Mitchell Foust

  1. Moving the Continental Army to Guildford Court House

The Philadelphia newspaper published this article describing the movements of General Greene’s troops on their way to Guildford Court House. The article explains how the Continental Army has been progressing. In the beginning of the year 1781, General Green led a victory over the British Army while continuing to ransack and burn their supply lines in an effort to gain a led in the war. This primary source provides the prologue of the Battle at Guilford Courthouse and what turn of events drove the Continental Army to the Courthouse.

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To read the whole account, click here.

2. Letters from General Cornwallis, London Gazette, June 4, 1782

This primary source is from the London Gazette on June 4, 1781. The paper is a publication of two letters from General Charles Cornwallis to the King. In the first letter he explains his latest wins and losses leading to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. He also tells the King of his upcoming plans in an effort to win this war. Entering his second letter, Cornwallis seems more alive in his writing in contrast to the first letter. In the letter he encloses the number of lives lost and describes an undertone of defeat.

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To view the complete document, click here.

3. Broadside, April 7, 1781

This source comes from the Greensboro Library documents on The Battle of Guilford Courthouse. The source is a Reproduction of a Philadelphia broadside, explaining Greene’s activities in the South, dated from April 7, 1781. The letter explains General Greene’s actions that took place at Guilford Courthouse. He explained that he and his troops were obliged to give up the ground against the British. He admits that the enemy was too strong for them and that they came to them at an advantage. He explains that his soldiers are in good spirits and that they will again advance towards the enemy at Cross-Creek in South Carolina.

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To view the complete document, click here.

4. Report from General Greene to George Washington on casualties of Guilford Court House, March 17, 1781

This primary source is a report from General Greene to George Washington documenting the dead, wounded, and missing Continental troops after “the action of March 15, 1781” at Guilford Courthouse. The report documents the casualties by rank and by region of origin.

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To view the full report, click here.

5. Henry Lee, Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States

Lt. Col. Henry ‘Light Horse Harry’ Lee fought in the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, commanding the unit Lee’s Legion. His Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States recalls his experiences during the Revolutionary War. The focus of the memoirs is on the southern theater with special focus around the life of Major General Nathanael Greene and the British occupation of Charleston. The document serves as an important resource for understanding the perspective of American cavalry officers who served in the American Revolutionary War.

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To view the complete document click here.