January 8, 2018
General George Washington was once again staring defeat in the face. The Redcoats, led by General Charles Cornwallis in the South, were delivering defeat after defeat to the Continental Army. Washington needed a strong leader if the Patriot militia had any chance of standing against the British army and the Loyalist colonists supporting them. The Patriots did not have an abundance of experienced forces. However, what they did have was the will and determination of backcountry Americans.
Washington selected Nathaniel Greene on October 14, 1780, to command the small band of just 2,300 men, of which less than 1,000 were regular army. Greene realized the limitations of his men and made an unprecedented decision. He split up his army. Calling Daniel Morgan out of retirement, Greene promoted him to Brigadier General, and sent him west with a detachment of 600 Patriots. Morgan started his military career in the French and Indian War, where he earned the nickname, “The Old Wagoner.” He accompanied General Andrew Lewis to confront Lord Dunmore following the Battle of Point Pleasant, the unofficial first battle of the Revolutionary War. In addition to participating in several major battles, he spent the entire year of 1776 as a prisoner of war following the Battle of Quebec. An experienced and hardy soldier, Morgan’s skill proved to be monumental.
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