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The Battle of Cowpens Mini-Reenactment

This past January, museum staff decided it would be a fun and interactive homeschool class to do a mini-reenactment of the Battle of Cowpens. The decision to do the reenactment as a class was far more practical than actually taking the students to Cowpens. Kathy considered this, and decided that it would be fun to actually build it right here in the South Carolina State Museum! Kathy had experience from when she was a child and she built a town of paper mache for her brother for Christmas. Kathy and Hilary visited Cowpens to gain a better look and understanding of the battlefield for the class.

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Many hours over several days were put in building the Cowpens battle field, and the Revolutionary War soldiers used were purchased from the Cowpens gift shop during their visit. Brigadier General Daniel Morgan led the American forces, while Colonel Banastre Tarleton led the British forces. The homeschool students were divided into Team Tarleton and Team Morgan, and given strategies they had to work out during the class.

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It became very clear to the students that the terrain played a huge part as to why the Americans won this decisive battle. The Americans also had more soldiers, and were better rested and well-fed than the British. The boy chosen to play Tarleton really got into character with enthusiasm, and was even attempting to go through strategy at the end of the mini-reenactment to see if there had been other decisions that might have changed the tide of war. Team Morgan was led by a thirteen year old girl. All in all, the mini-reenactment was a hit with the students, and Kathy is already considering other battles for next year’s homeschool class!

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