I worked at Guilford Courthouse National Military park in the Youth Conservation Corps program for two summers (2000 and 2001), doing park maintenence and improvement.

GCNMP is located in Greensboro, NC, squeezed between New Battleground Road, Old Battleground Road, and Lawndale Drive. I can't emphasize the small size of the park enough. No part of it is more than a 10 minute walk from any other.

The purpose of the park is to preserve and explain the history of The Battle of Guilford Courthouse. It does this through research, maintaining a library, displaying the history to the public, and seeking to acquire more land to add to the park, since it does not actually cover the entire area of the battle.

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse is considered by most to be the major turning point in the Southern campaign of the Revolutionary War. British General Earl Cornwallis suffered a pyhrric victory against General Nathanael Greene on March 15, 1781(1). Cornwallis seized the battleground, but his losses were considerably greater than those suffered by the American forces(1).

The focus of the park is the tour road, a 2.4 mile loop which visitors can follow to see the many monuments the park contains. The park also has informational displays set up at each stop on the tour road, explaining the progress of the battle and the significance of each particular area. Following the tour road will give a decent overview of how the battle progressed and the important figures present. More signage can be found along the footpaths that wander through the middle of the loop. Yet more information can be found in the visitor's center, which has two films that play thoughtout the day, one which uses computer graphics to show the progress of the battle through the day, and one which is live action, in which recreationists share different viewpoints, such as those of a former slave fighting for the British, or a colonial militiaman,on the battle and the war during a reenactment of the battle.

GCNMP is home of many monuments, most importantly a larger-than-life bronze statue of General Greene, the namesake of Greensboro. These monuments are dedicated to the heroes of the battle, the soldiers who fought, and the major landmarks. Most are stone, there are a few bronze statues.

From my experience, the park is mostly used as a quiet place for people to walk, jog, or bike. The staff is supposed to discourage overly-recreational activities, like picnics, frisbee, or soccer, because the park is also a graveyard for the hundreds of soldiers who died there. The mood is supposed to remain somber and reflective.

Guilford Courthouse National Military Park: A postage stamp of history on the edge of the sprawl.

source: 1. http://www.ls.net/~newriver/nc/guilf1.htm

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