Miraculous Retreat from the Battle of Cowpens

The founding fathers and mothers were convinced that victory over the invincible British Empire was the result of Divine Providence. (See Blog Post: “The Divine Birth of the American Nation.) One of the miracles they cite is the successful retreat from the famous Battle of Cowpens.

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 On January 17, 1781, General Daniel Morgan and the Americans defeated a small British army at the Battle of Cowpens in South Carolina.

Shortly after the American victory, British reinforcements arrived under the command of General Cornwallis and Colonel Tarleton, “the Butcher.” The British had been humiliated. They made it their mission to capture General Morgan and his retreating army.

Cornwallis and Tarleton pushed their troops as fast as possible. Because many of the retreating Americans were wounded, and the British, who had left their wounded soldiers behind for treatment, kept gaining on the Americans.  

Just two hours after the Americans forded the Cotowba River, a sudden storm hit. The water rose, and the river swelled. The British had to wait half a day in order to cross.

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Again, the British army gained on the retreating Americans. The Americans next forded the Yankin River. Before the British army could cross, rain flooded this river and the British had to wait again.  

The British again closed in on the Americans. Finally, the retreating Americans forded the Dan River. Once again, after the Americans crossed, the British were stopped by rising flood waters. The retreating American troops finally reached safety.  

Colonel Tarleton wrote that he would have captured the Americans, but for the miraculous rising of the three rivers.

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British Commanding General Henry Clinton wrote: “Here the royal army was again stopped by the sudden rise of the waters, which had only just fallen (almost miraculously) to let the enemy over, who could not have otherwise eluded Lord Cornwallis’ grasp, so close was he upon their rear.”

Little wonder that the founding fathers and mothers firmly believed that the unbeatable British Empire was defeated, and this nation was founded, by Divine Providence.

(Sources: “Battle of Cowpens,” history.com; “Battle of Cowpens,” Wikipedia. “Miracle of the Three Rivers – Battle of Cowpens,” The Story of Liberty, YouTube; “The Battle of Cowpens, the Patriot Miracle,” Cornerstone Television, YouTube; “Delivered by the Power of God,” Jonathan Dibble, lds.org; American Ride series, BYUtv.)

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