Guilford Court House , a locality about 5 m. from Greensborough, Guilford co., N. C, memorable for a battle fought, March 15,1781, between the Americans under Gen. Greene and the British under Lord Cornwallis. The American force numbered 4,243 foot and 161 horse, about 1,500 being regular troops, and the rest mainly raw militia. The British were about 2,400 strong, and consisted chiefly of veteran soldiers. Greene had chosen a strong position on the declivity of a hill, and drew up his army in three lines. The battle began shortly after 1 o'clock with a brisk cannonade on both sides, during which the British advanced upon the North Carolina militia, posted across the road, who after a discharge of musketry threw away their arms and accoutrements and fled through the woods. The Virginians of the second line, however, who were in a wood 300 yards in their rear, poured a galling fire upon the advancing troops; but their right finally retreated before the bayonet and fell back to the court house, and the left soon followed their example. The whole British infantry was now engaged, while the flower of the American army was still in reserve. The British pressed forward to the third line, composed of regulars under Huger and Williams, posted near the court house.
The first regiment of Maryland continentals received them with a well directed fire, and before they recovered from the shock routed them with the bayonet. The second regiment of Marylanders, however, fled at the first onset, leaving two field pieces in the hands of the enemy; but the pursuers were repulsed by the victorious first regiment, and driven back in confusion by Lieut. Cols. Howard and Washington. To check the pursuit, Cornwallis ordered his artillery to play upon the Americans. The expedient was successful, but he was forced to fire full in the face of his retreating guards, and only half the battalion was extricated. The British line was now formed anew, and Greene, convinced by the flight of his militiamen and the Maryland continentals that a fresh conflict would result in the annihilation of his army, ordered a retreat. The British lost more than 600 in killed and wounded; the Americans lost about 400 killed and wounded and 850 missing. Notwithstanding his victory, Cornwallis was so much crippled that ho retreated on the 18th with the Americans in full pursuit.