Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Road to the Revolution

Marker ID:  
Location: Battlefield Tour Rd, Gaffney, SC
County: Cherokee
Coordinates: N 35° 7.454    W 081° 48.467
  35.12423333    -81.80778333


Road to the Revolution
Cowpens National Battlefield

The Green River Road, which evolved from an Indian trail to a colonial trade route, played a fundamental role in the Revolutionary War battles that led to America's victory at Yorktown, Virginia.

On the evening of October 6, 1780, while on their way to fight British Major Patrick Ferguson, patriot militia from five colonies met along the Green River Road at the Cow Pens, a well-known pasturing ground. Three months later, 1100 British troops under Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton followed Brigadier General Daniel Morgan's Flying Army along the Green River Road from the banks of the Pacolet River north to the Cow Pens. Deployed in three defensive lines along this road, Morgan's patriots soundly defeated the British Army at daybreak on January 17, 1781.

Today, the National Park Service preserves a 2-mile remnant of this historic road that laid the foundation for America's independence.

The Green River Road or Mills Gap Road followed the high ground from below the Pacolet River in South Carolina to beyond the Green River and Mills Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

Rather than retreat across the Broad River, six miles to the north, Morgan set a trap for the British using the wetlands, canebrakes, and sloping terrain along the Green River Road to his advantage.

By 1972, when Congress established Cowpens National Battlefield, the Green River Road had become a route for local traffic.

Erected by National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.


Photos of this marker can be found on HMDB.org