Fought on March 15, 1781 the battle at Guilford Courthouse was the largest, most hotly-contested action of the Revolutionary War's climactic Southern Campaign.
Major General Nathanael Greene, defending the ground at Guilford Courthouse with an army of almost 4,500 American militia and Continentals, was tactically defeated by a smaller British army of about 1,900 veteran regulars and German allies commanded by Lord Charles Cornwallis. Yet after more than two hours of intense and brutal fighting, Cornwallis' frail victory was won at the cost of over 25% of his army. Guilford Courthouse proved to be the highwater mark of British military operations in the Revolutionary War. Weakened in his campaign against Greene, Cornwallis abandoned the Carolinas hoping for success in Virginia. At Yorktown, seven months after his victory at Guilford Courthouse, Lord Cornwallis would surrender to the combined American and French forces under General George Washington.