Around the North Carolina village of Guilford Courthouse in the late winter of 1781, two weary armies clashed on a cold, wet afternoon. American forces under Nathanael Greene engaged Lord Cornwallis's British army in a bitter two-hour battle of the Revolutionary War. The frightful contest at Guilford was a severe conflict in which troops made repeated use of their flintlock muskets, steel bayonets and dragoon swords in hand-to-hand fighting that killed and wounded about eight hundred men. Historian John R. Maass recounts the bloody battle and the grueling campaign in the South that led up to it, a crucial event on the road to American independence.
John R. Maass is from Rockbridge County, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley. He received a B.A. in history from Washington and Lee University, a M.A. in US history from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a Ph.D. in Early American history from the Ohio State University. He is an editor at The Journal of Backcountry Studies, and a historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History in Washington, D.C. He also served in the 80th Division of the U.S. Army Reserves.