SPARTANBURG, S.C. – Wofford College’s Hipp Center for National Security and Foreign Policy and the Department of History will host a special Cowpens Anniversary Commemoration event from 2 to 4 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18.
The program, to be held in the Jerome Johnson Richardson Theatre of the Rosalind Sallenger Richardson Center for the Arts at Wofford, commemorates the 238th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens of the American Revolution, which took place on Jan. 17, 1781.
The two-part event, which is free and open to the public, will feature a performance by Mark Schneider, actor and historical interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg, as Banastre Tarleton, the leader of the British Legion, which was defeated in the battle by Gen. Daniel Morgan and his militia. Schneider along with Dr. Kenneth J. Banks, associate professor of history at Wofford, and John Slaughter, superintendent for the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution Parks Group, will provide a panel discussion with an overview of the Southern Campaign of the Revolutionary War and the Battle of Cowpens, focusing on Morgan.
A reception will follow the event.
In addition to Tarleton, Schneider brings to life such characters as Marquis de Lafayette and Mann Page Jr. A graduate of Christopher Newport University, he is best known for his portrayal of Napoleon Bonaparte, whom he resembles in appearance. He has made numerous appearances as Napoleon around the country and the world since 2005, and portrayed him in a History Channel documentary, “Investigating History,” about Napoleon’s mass grave.
Banks, who has been at Wofford since 2009, earned his Ph.D. from Queens University, Canada. He has held several major international research fellowships on American Revolutionary history, including those at the renowned American Antiquarian Society in Massachusetts, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in New York and most recently at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. He recently completed the manuscript for his second book, which he wrote entirely while teaching at Wofford, on the smuggling economy during the American Revolutionary era. Banks also has spoken on a variety of Revolutionary War-era topics to local groups as diverse as the Spartanburg Kiwanis Club and the Colonial Dames of America and on the musical “Hamilton!” at the Hub City Bookshop.
John Slaughter has served for more than 20 years in the federal sector. For the past 17 years, he has served in various leadership capacities within the National Park Service. The group he now leads commemorates the significant role Southern states played in winning the American Revolution. The group consists of Cowpens National Battlefield, Kings Mountain National Military Park, Ninety Six National Historic Site and Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.
The Hipp Center for National Security and Foreign Policy offers students exceptional experiential learning opportunities through internships, study abroad and other educational experiences that focus on topics and events significant to the United States. The center was made possible by a gift from Van Hipp, a 1982 Wofford graduate and chairman of American Defense International Inc. (ADI), a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm specializing in government affairs, business development and public relations. Hipp also founded the Hipp Lecture Series on International Affairs and National Security in 2011, designed to create signature events at Wofford with the goal of capturing the attention of students and the public and drawing them into important conversations on applying American leadership and ideals to the challenges of international affairs past, present and future.