Saturday, September 4, 2010

Guilford Courthouse National Military Park

Visitor's Center
The Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is located in Greensboro, off of New Garden Road, close to the intersection of Battleground Avenue.  After touring the Park, there's no doubt how Battleground Avenue got it's name.  Or Greensboro, for that matter.  This park lies on a bicycle path and adjoins Greensboro Country Park, also making it a popular place for Greensboro residents to jog and cycle. 

The Superintendent's Message about the Park is informative.  "...this battlefield park, created in 1917, is actually the first revolutionary war battlefield in the United States protected by the Federal government.
Maj. Joseph Winston
Our mission is: To study, interpret and commemorate the battle; preserve and protect the battlefield and its landscape, monuments and graves that memorialize people and events associated with this battle and the United State’s struggle for independence."

Our first stop was the Visitor's Center, with an exhibit center and films to pique your interest.  There is a 32-minute live-action theater film, a 10-minute Battle Map program, and a museum with original artifacts and weaponry, and a book store. 

The Park can be explored by foot, bicycle, or automobile.  We chose to take  the 2 ¼  mile driving road.  There are eight tour stops,  with foot trails at the stops leading to many features you would otherwise miss. 

Maj.Joseph Winston
This monument to Major Joseph Winston honors Surry County riflemen who fought under "Light-horse Harry" Lee and William Campbell on the American left.  They fought the Hessians and Tarleton's Cavalry near this spot after the Continental line had retreated from the field of battle on March 15, 1781.  Winston and a fellow soldier, Jesse Franklin, who later became governor of North Carolina, are buried nearby.

From this monument, The Girls and I explored a trail leading into the woods.  I'm glad we did!  We came upon Country Park, which adjoins Guilford Courthouse. 

We spent several hours at Country Park.  There is a lake that offers fishing and pedal boats, and there were quite a lot of people taking advantage of both!  Country Park has shelters, two playgrounds, lots of picnic tables, and a huge porch swing facing the water. 
Big enough to fit the family... I could have stayed here all day!

As you're looking at the panoramic photo, the path to the left leads to the pedal boats, fishing, playgrounds, shelters, and picnic tables.  The path to the right leads back up to Guilford Courthouse National Park, and features the Guilford County Veterans Memorial. 
Guilford County Veterans Memorial

We picked this weekend (Sept. 4) to visit the Park because it is Living History Weekend and we wanted to experience the 1781 camp with the Guilford Militia, an organization of dedicated Revolutionary War history enthusiasts.  This was at Stop 6 of the tour and the men and women were presenting interpretive programs clad in replica Revolutionary War clothing.

Not my idea of comfort

The last stop for us was the Greene Monument, an impressive statue of Nathanael Greene, who was a strategist of the Southern Campaign.  The monument was surrounded by a large lawn area, and is also the resting place for William Hooper and John Penn, two of the North Carolina delegates to have signed the Declaration of Independence.

Resting place of William Hooper and John Penn
Our first hints of Autumn coming

Just down the road from the Guilford Courthouse National Military Park is Tannenbaum Historic Park, part of Joseph Hoskins farmstead.  This is where Cornwallis's troops formed for battle.  It includes the house, a separate kitchen building, a barn, and Hoskins' blacksmith workshop.  There is also a garden, and a very interesting tree.  It was dropping fruits I have never seen before, and I asked about it at the visitor's center.  It is an Osage Orange tree, and it is over 200 years old.  It is thought that this tree was planted from seeds brought to North Carolina from the Midwest during the Lewis and Clark expeditions. 

Osage Orange

Hoskins Homestead at Tannenbaum  Historic Park

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog