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"Daniel Morgan Facts and Accomplishments" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP18 Sep 2021 8:18 p.m. PST

"Daniel Morgan was one of the great innovators of the American Revolutionary War. At a time when most commanders used the musket and bayonet, he preferred the rifle and when most commanders looked at colonial militia in disgust he looked at them with opportunity. His infamous victory at the Battle of Cowpens cemented him as an American legend.

His accomplishments at the Battle of Saratoga should not be discounted either. Daniel Morgan is a true American hero who epitomizes what an American can do with honest hard-work and intelligence…"
Full article here


John the OFM18 Sep 2021 9:47 p.m. PST

"Infamous victory at Cowpens", eh?
That one phrase is enough to convince me that I don't want to waste any time following up on the blink.
I'll have everyone know that was a damn fine victory, based both on a fine feel for his own army, and a keen sense of how his enemy would react.

I would sooner couple the word "infamous" to Tarleton's defeat than to Morgan's victory.

"… he preferred the rifle…"
That's nonsense also.

42flanker18 Sep 2021 10:23 p.m. PST

As indicative of their mastery of the English language as the 'Facts and Accomplishments' of Morgan's career


Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 1:50 a.m. PST

I agree with John. Using the term 'infamous' when describing the US victory at Cowpens is historically inaccurate.

And the idea that Morgan 'preferred the rifle' is also incorrect.

Regarding the militia, Morgan understood how to employ them and knew that they had a tendency to run and not fight. That's the reason he chose Cowpens-there was a river behind him.

doc mcb19 Sep 2021 4:23 a.m. PST

My brother and I played the Cowpens scenario last week from REGIMENTAL FIRE & FURY (on their website under "varients"). Tarlington kept his force under tight control and won a narrow victory. Morgan's third line is about 2/3 strength of T's whole force, so the militia need to whittle the Brits down a good bit before the Continentals meet them.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 4:42 a.m. PST


doc mcb19 Sep 2021 6:37 a.m. PST

It is always a challenge to game a battle where the historic loser was an idiot. However, I suspect had T been more cautious, the historic result might well have been the same as our game: Brits win a tactical victory, but take losses they cannot afford among their best troops, while the Americans lose mostly militia. Which are not "easily" replaceable, as the militia systems were struggling to keep men in the field, but were far more numerous.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 6:54 a.m. PST

Tarleton was no idiot, though it is fashionable to state so.

John the OFM19 Sep 2021 7:23 a.m. PST

Let's just say that Tarleton was a known factor, and that Morgan knew how to deal with him.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 7:30 a.m. PST

Yes-it's called 'know your enemy.'

Morgan was also a 'known' factor, but not completely.

Regarding Morgan, however, I believe that it was fortunate that he became ill after Cowpens and asked to be replaced. Otho Holland Williams from Maryland replaced him and he was an excellent officer and soldier. His handling of the rear guard in the 'Race to the Dan' was masterful. Morgan might have been able to do as well-or not.

doc mcb19 Sep 2021 7:52 a.m. PST

"Unreasonably impetuous" then. The point is that the player is not obliged to repeat the historic commander's blunder. Can I say "blunder"?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 2:36 p.m. PST



Bill N19 Sep 2021 4:13 p.m. PST

Morgan was tasked with far more than simply commanding the Continental light infantry in action. He also had to raise and maintain in the field a significant force of militia.

Morgan's army was growing up to the battle, and probably even during it. He was able to keep militia in the field whose term of service had expired. He also was able to evaluate militia well enough to know which units could be trusted to fight along side his Continentals. A third of Morgan's horse at Cowpens was other than Continentals, as was a portion of the third line infantry.

Without taking anything away from Williams, he only commanded the light corps in the last days of the Race to the Dan. Morgan commanded them until the Americans reached Guilford Courthouse and combined with Huger's command. Morgan also oversaw the shepherding of the Cowpens POWs to Virginia.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP19 Sep 2021 4:36 p.m. PST

The 'Race to the Dan' by the now-combined American army was from 10-14 February 1781. That was the critical phase of the retreat to the Dan in which Williams performed superbly, allowing Greene to get away and across the river to Virginia.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2021 1:49 a.m. PST

There is a recent book on the Race to the Dan. It is To the End of the World: Nathaniel Greene, Charles Cornwallis, and the Race to the Dan by Andrew Waters.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP20 Sep 2021 3:29 p.m. PST

Thanks Kevin.


Bill N20 Sep 2021 4:17 p.m. PST

Kevin, I am sure you have read enough books on the southern campaign to have seen that some authors refer to the Race to the Dan as encompassing Cornwallis's pursuit after Cowpens, while others use the term to refer to the final sprint. I take the broader view.

Focusing just on February 10-14 misses a number of superlatives on the American side: The successful evacuation of the Cowpens POWs into Virginia (on Feb. 14 they were near Lynchburg, well out of Cornwallis's reach), Greene's journey from Cheraw to join up with Morgan at Salisbury, Morgan covering 47 miles in 48 hours to reach Guilford Courthouse on February 6 while Cornwallis was stuck on the Yadkin, and Huger rendezvousing with Morgan/Greene at Guilford Courthouse on February 8.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2021 3:57 a.m. PST

My point is that the situation and mission changed after Greene's army reassembled at Guilford Courthouse. Williams clearly demonstrated great skill in performing a delaying and rear guard action from 10-14 February.

Morgan didn't do that. He extricated his command in order to rejoin Greene. Williams prevented Cornwallis from catching Greene before he could get across the Dan.

Different skill sets, Williams performing the more dangerous and skillful tasks. Greene's selection of Williams to command the rear guard was an excellent choice, and Williams performed admirably and saved the army.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 Sep 2021 5:02 a.m. PST

Williams performance as commander of the army's rear guard can only be categorized as masterful.

Virginia Tory21 Sep 2021 12:00 p.m. PST

"Twas an infamous victory." Dunno. It'll never be a poem.

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