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Greensboro in Guilford County, North Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Battle Begins

Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

 
 
The Battle Begins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2006
1. The Battle Begins Marker
At this location, more than 1,000 militiamen from North Carolina set up position behind rail fences overlooking farm fields awaiting the British advance. These men made up the American First Line of defense.
Inscription. You are standing 200 yards behind the first American line, which stood looking across what was then an open field. A quarter-mile away the British arrived and formed well-ordered ranks on either side of New Garden Road. To the untrained North Carolina militia – citizen-soldiers – the approaching redcoats appeared confident and lethally professional.

The battle began with a terrifying exchange of canon fire, the roll of drums, and a clear view of British bayonets.

As the redcoats advanced, an American volley tore holes in their ranks, but the battle-hardened soldiers closed the gaps and at fifty yards fired a return volley into the patriot line.

The British then charged with bayonets lowered, and the center of the American line panicked and ran. From an American perspective, the battle got off to a disastrous start.
 
Erected by Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, National Park Service.
 
Location. 36° 7.891′ N, 79° 50.825′ W. Marker is in Greensboro, North Carolina, in Guilford County. Marker is on New Garden Road, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, on the Auto Tour at stop 1. Marker is in this post office area: Greensboro NC 27410, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
The Battle Begins Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2010
2. The Battle Begins Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Monument Row ( within shouting distance of this marker); Brig. Gen. Jethro Sumner ( within shouting distance of this marker); Guilford Courthouse National Military Park ( within shouting distance of this marker); A Heroine of ‘76 ( within shouting distance of this marker); Nathaniel Macon ( within shouting distance of this marker); Captain James Morehead ( within shouting distance of this marker); Gillies ( about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mrs. Martha McFarlane McGee-Bell ( about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greensboro.
 
More about this marker. The background of the marker features a picture of the American first line standing against the approaching British troops. It has the caption “You are standing in the trace of the historic Salisbury Road (now New Garden Road). Once Greene received intelligence that the British were on the move, he ensured a fight by placing troops across this road. Concerned about the front-line militia’s reliability, Greene planned a defense in depth, deploying a second line of militia and a third line of experienced Continental soldiers.”
 
Also see . . .
1. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. National Park Service. (Submitted on September 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Marker in Guilford Courthouse NMP image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2010
3. Marker in Guilford Courthouse NMP
The Battle Begins marker is located near the entrance to Guilford Courthouse National Military park, just north of the Visitor Center.
 

2. Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Detailed account of the battle from the Patriot Resource. (Submitted on September 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. The Battle of Guilford Courthouse 1781. An account of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse from a British perspective from BritishBattles.com. (Submitted on September 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PlacesWar, US Revolutionary
 
Marker on New Garden Road image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 1, 2010
4. Marker on New Garden Road
The Battle Begins Marker is seen here from the north side of New Garden Road.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 19, 2006
5. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park
The marker is the first stop on the auto tour in Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. The entrance seen in this photo is located near the marker.
The Battle Begins image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, March 15, 2015
6. The Battle Begins
The North Carolina Militia fire on the advancing British during the opening phase of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 909 times since then and 39 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on September 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   2, 3, 4. submitted on August 1, 2010, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   5. submitted on September 18, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.   6. submitted on March 17, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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