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Guilford (GILL-ford) Courthouse National Military Park covers 226 acres in northwest Greensboro, off US 220. On Mar. 15, 1781, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse pitted Gen. Nathanael Greene's mixed Continental and militia army against Lord Cornwallis' smaller, veteran forces.
Cornwallis, eager to avenge the British defeat at Cowpens, S.C., won the battle but suffered heavy losses and failed to destroy the American force. Although defeated in battle, Greene won his objective and Cornwallis soon moved to Virginia, where he finally surrendered his army at Yorktown on Oct. 19, 1781.
There are wayside exhibits throughout the battlefield site and a visitor center with displays, films and brochures. A 2.5-mile driving tour leads to many of the monuments, including the graves of John Penn and William Hooper, signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Cavalry Monument honors all American cavalry, including Virginian Peter Francisco, known as “The Goliath of the Revolution.” At the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, Francisco—who weighed 260 pounds and stood 6 feet 6 inches tall—supposedly fought with a 5-foot sword given to him by George Washington.
On the grounds of the Colonial Heritage Center, a quarter mile west on US 220, are picnic areas, two log cabins and a former British military hospital built in 1778. Explore History Days events are held throughout the year. Note: The center is open Fri.-Sun. 8:30-5, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Phone ahead to confirm schedule; (336) 545-5315.
The Tour Road is open daily 8:30-5. The military park visitor center is open Tues.-Sun. 8:30-5. The Tour Road and visitor center are closed Jan. 1, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For further information contact the Superintendent, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, 2332 New Garden Rd., Greensboro, NC 27410-2355; phone (336) 288-1776.
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