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00000177-2120-db48-a97f-fb22304a0000South Carolina has a rich military history, beginning in the Colonial Era. Today, the state has a significant military presence. SC Public Radio and SCETV offers news coverage of South Carolina's active bases, military personnel and veterans, and the economic and cultural impact they have on communities throughout the state and across the nation, as well as stories and profiles exploring our state's military history.

To the End of the World: Nathanael Greene, Charles Cornwallis, and the Race to the Dan

Nathaniel Greene and his troops crossing the Dan River.
Florida Center for Instructional Technology (https://etc.usf.edu/clipart/
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Nathaniel Greene and his troops crossing the Dan River.

“In the most barren inhospitable unhealthy part of North America, opposed by the most savage, inveterate perfidious cruel Enemy, with zeal and with Bayonets only, it was resolv’d to follow Green’s Army, to the end of the World.” So wrote British general Charles O’Hara about the epic confrontation between Nathanael Greene and Charles Cornwallis during the winter of 1780-81. Only Greene’s starving, threadbare Continentals stood between Cornwallis and control of the South—and a possible end to the American rebellion.

Daniel Morgan’s stunning victory at Cowpens over a superior British force set in motion the “Race to the Dan,” Greene’s month-long strategic retreat across the Carolinas. In constant rain and occasional snow, Greene’s soldiers—tracking the ground with their bloody feet—bound toward a secret stash of boats on the Dan River. Just before Cornwallis could close his trap, the Continentals crossed into Virginia and safety.

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