Rebekah and I deliberately planned a slow road-tip to Virginia Beach because, A) We love road tripping, just the two of us in the car with some seriously loud rock-and-roll, and B) There’s always some compelling history on the way and we’d rather not blow by all the interesting sites.
Yesterday, then, was Cowpens Battlefield in the morning and then Alamance (The Regulators Battleground) in the afternoon.
COWPENS: We all know the story of Cowpens, where General Morgan finally defeated the less than honorable Banastre Tarlton. The site, which is being faithfully restored to its appearance in 1781, is a beautiful series of rolling meadows and light woodlands. Like any such engagement, the clash was an appalling and un-glamorous scene of bloody violence, where people shot and slashed at one-another until enough men were horribly wounded or dead that one side gave up and tried their best to run away.
ALAMANCE: The other story is less well-known. In 1771 a group of farmers, tired not only of increasing taxation but blatant corruption in the colonial government, assembled to demand reform. Governor Tryon assembled his militia and marched to Alamance with a simple response. “Go home or we’ll fire on you.”
Tryon bought along some cannon too, and opened fire with grape-shot before ordering the reluctant militia to fire on their neighbors. After the battle, the governor rubbed salt in the wounds by hanging several of the leaders.
The “Regulators” movement may have been quashed, but the idea of standing up for freedom would not go away.
WE TEND TO FORGET: However we feel about these terrible events, I believe it’s critically important that we know and understand these stories. We can’t ever forget. We dare not.
Always learning – it’s an important part of what it means to be alive – DEREK