Guided Missile Cruiser

CG 63  -  USS Cowpens



USS Cowpens CG 63 - patch crest insignia

USS Cowpens CG 63 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy

USS Cowpens (CG 63)

Type, Class:


Guided Missile Cruiser; Ticonderoga (Baseline 3) - class;

planned and built as CG 63;



Bath Iron Works, Bath, Maine, USA



Awarded: January 8, 1986

Laid down: December 23, 1987

Launched: March 11, 1989

Commissioned: March 9, 1991





Forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan



named after and in honor of the Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina, 1781

Ship’s Motto:


VICTORIA LIBERTATIS VINDEX   (Victory Vindicates Liberty)

Technical Data:

(Measures, Propulsion,

Armament, Aviation, etc.)


see: INFO >> Guided Missile Cruiser / Ticonderoga – Class



Official US Navy site


ship images


USS Cowpens CG 63, USS Fitzgerald DDG 62 and USS Mustin DDG 89 - Indonesian Fleet review 2009

USS Cowpens (CG 63), USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) and USS Mustin (DDG 89) underway during the Indonesian International Fleet Review – August 19, 2009



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - Pacific Ocean 2009

Pacific Ocean – May 29, 2009



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Pacific Ocean 2008

Pacific Ocean – September 17, 2008



USS Cowpens CG 63, JDS Makinami DD 112 and JDS Amagiri DD 154 - Philippine Sea 2007

USS Cowpens (CG 63), Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) ships JDS Makinami (DD 112) and JDS Amagiri (DD 154)

during a photo exercise – Philippine Sea – November 16, 2007



USS Cowpens CG 63 and USS John Paul Jones DDG 53 - Pacific Ocean 2007

USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) during a joint photo exercise (PHOTOEX) – Pacific Ocean – August 14, 2007



USS Cowpens CG 63 and USS Mustin DDG 89 - exercise Valiant Shield 2007

USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS Mustin (DDG 89) steam in formation during exercise Valiant Shield 2007 – Pacific Ocean – August 14, 2007



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Pacific Ocean 2007

USS Cowpens (CG 63) receives fuel from the Military Sealift Command (MSC) oiler USNS John Ericsson (T-AO 194) – Pacific Ocean – August 10, 2007



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Pacific Ocean 2005

Pacific Ocean – November 15, 2005



USS Cowpens CG 63 and USS John Paul Jones DDG 53 - Coral Sea 2005

USS Cowpens (CG 63) and USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) – Coral Sea – July 2, 2005



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Pacific Ocean 2005

Pacific Ocean – February 15, 2005



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Goa, India 2004

Goa, India – October 3, 2004



USS Cowpens CG 63 - drydock Yokosuka, Japan 2004

USS Cowpens (CG 63) at the completion of its Ship's Repair Force (SRF) dry dock period in Yokosuka, Japan - March 16, 2004



USS Cowpens CG 63 - drydock Yokosuka, Japan 2004

USS Cowpens (CG 63) at the completion of its Ship's Repair Force (SRF) dry dock period in Yokosuka, Japan - March 16, 2004



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy 2003

underway – October 15, 2003



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Arabian Gulf 2003

Arabian Gulf – February 17, 2003



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy 2003

underway – January 31, 2003



USS Cowpens CG 63 - underway 2003

underway – January 21, 2003



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Singapore 2001

Singapore – February 2, 2001



USS Cowpens CG 63 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy




USS Cowpens CG 63 - Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser - US Navy




USS Cowpens CG 63 - Combat Information Center CIC - 2004

Combat Information Center (CIC) – 2004



The Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina


Brigadier General Daniel Morgan

Brigadier General Daniel Morgan (1736 – 1802)



Sir Banastre Tarleton

Sir Banastre Tarleton (1754–1833)



The Battle of Cowpens - painting 1845

The Battle of Cowpens, painted by William Ranney in 1845.

The scene depicts an unnamed black soldier (left) firing his pistol and saving the life of Colonel William Washington (on white horse in center).



Namesake & History:

About the Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina – 1781:


The Battle of Cowpens (1781) was an overwhelming victory by American revolutionary forces under Brigadier General Daniel Morgan.


PreludeThe Battle of Cowpens was one of the many engagements between the Americans and the British during the Southern campaign during the American Revolution. The commanders specifically involved were American Brigadier General Daniel Morgan, commander of some 700 militia, including some Over Mountain Men and cavalry, and 300 Continentals, and Englishman Colonel Banastre Tarleton, who headed a legion of 1,100 dragoons, regulars, Tory loyalists, and Highlanders.


General Cornwallis instructed Tarleton and his legion, who had been successful at battles such as Camden and Waxhaws in the past, to destroy Morgan's command. Morgan called Americans to gather at the cow pens (a grazing area), which were a familiar landmark. Tarleton attacked without caution and regard for the fact Morgan had had much more time than himself to prepare, and was consequently caught in a double envelopment. Only about 160 British troops escaped, but the Americans suffered only 73 casualties (12 dead and 61 wounded).



Tactical Deployment


Daniel Morgan knew that he should use the unique landscape of Cowpens and the time available before Tarleton's arrival to his advantage. Furthermore, he knew his men and his opponent, knew how they would react in certain situations, and used this knowledge to his advantage. To begin with, the location of his forces were contrary to any existing military doctrine, for he placed his army between the Broad and Pacolet River, thus making escape impossible if the army were routed. His reason for cutting off escape was obvious; to ensure that the untrained militiamen would not, as they had been accustomed to do, turn in flight at the first hint of battle and abandon the regulars. Selecting a hill as the center of his position, he placed his Continental infantry on it, deliberately leaving his flanks exposed to his opponent. Morgan reasoned that Tarleton would attack him head on and he made his tactical preparations accordingly. He set up three lines of soldiers: one of skirmishers (sharpshooters), one of militia, and a main one. The 150 select skirmishers were from North Carolina (Major McDowell) and Georgia (Major Cunningham). Behind these men were 300 militiamen under the command of Andrew Pickens.


Realizing that poorly trained milita were unreliable in battle, especially when they were under attack from cavalry, Morgan decided to ask the militia to fire two shots and then retreat, so he could have them reform under cover of the reserve (cavalry commanded by William Washington and James McCall) behind the third, more experienced line of militia and continentals. The movement of the militia in the second line would unmask the third line to the British. The third line, composed of the remainder of the forces (about 550 men) was composed of Continentals from Delaware and Maryland, and militiamen from Georgia and Virginia. Colonel John Eager Howard commanded the Continentals and Colonels Tate and Triplett the militia. The goal of this strategy was to weaken and disorganize Tarleton's forces (which would be attacking the third line uphill), before in turn attacking and defeating them. Howard’s men would not be unnerved by the militia’s expected move, and unlike the militia they would be able to stand and hold, especially since the first and second lines, Morgan felt, would have inflicted both physical and psychological attrition on the advancing British before the third line came into action.


Furthermore, by placing his men downhill from the advancing British lines, Morgan exploited the British tendency to fire too high in battle. Furthermore, the downhill position of his forces allowed the British forces to be silhouetted against the morning sunlight, providing easy targets for Patriot troops. With a ravine on their right flank and a creek on their left flank, Morgan's forces were protected against British flanking maneuvers at the beginning of the battle. Morgan insisted, "the whole idea is to lead Benny (Tarleton) into a trap so we can beat his cavalry and infantry as they come up those slopes. When they've been cut down to size by our fire, we'll attack them." In developing his tactics at Cowpens, as historian John Buchanan wrote, Morgan may have been "the only general in the American Revolution, on either side, to produce a significant original tactical thought.”




At 5:00 AM on January 17, 1781, Tarleton roused his troops and continued his forcemarch to the cow pens. His Tory scouts had told him of the countryside Morgan was fighting on, and he was certain of victory because Morgan's soldiers, mostly militiamen, seemed to be caught between mostly experienced British troops and a flooding river. As soon as he reached the spot, he formed a battle line, which consisted of dragoons on his flanks, with his two grasshopper cannon in between the British regulars and American loyalists. More cavalry and the 71st Highlanders composed his reserve. Sure of an easy victory, he sent his unrested men into battle. Tarleton’s plan was simple and direct. Most of his infantry (including that of the Legion) would be assembled in linear formation and move directly upon Morgan. The right and left flanks of this line would be protected by dragoon units. In reserve he would hold his 250-man battalion of Scottish Highlanders (71st Regiment of Foot), commanded by Major Arthur MacArthur, a professional soldier of long experience who had served in the Dutch Scotch Brigade. They would be used, if needed, to provide the "coup de grace." Finally, Tarleton kept the 250-man cavalry contingent of his Legion ready to be unleashed when the Americans broke and ran.


Morgan's strategy worked perfectly. After killing fifteen dragoons, the skirmishers retreated. The British pulled back temporarily, but attacked again, this time reaching the militiamen, who (as ordered) poured two volleys into the British, who, with 40% of their casualties officers, were astonished and confused. They reformed and continued to advance. Pickens's militia broke and apparently fled to the rear and were eventually reorganized. Tarleton responded by ordering one of his officers, Ogilvie, to charge with some dragoons into the "defeated" Americans. His men moved forward in regular formation, were momentarily checked by the militia rifles, but, continued to advance sensing victory. The British drove in successive lines, anticipating victory only to encounter another, stronger line after exerting themselves and suffering casualties. The depth of the American lines gradually soaked up the shock of the British advance. Taking the withdrawal of the first two lines as a full blown retreat, and sensing victory, they broke ranks, rushing headlong into the awaiting final line of disciplined regulars. Taking the withdrawal of the first two lines as a full blown retreat, and sensing victory, the British advanced headlong into the awaiting final line of disciplined regulars which firmly held on the hill.


Despite this, Tarleton sensed he could still win with only one line of Americans left and sent his infantry in for a frontal attack. In addition to this, the Highlanders were ordered to flank the Americans. Under the direction of Howard, the Americans retreated. Flushed with victory and now disorganized, the British ran after them. Abruptly, Howard pulled an about-face, fired an extremely devestating volley into his enemy, and then charged. Triplett's riflemen attacked, however, severely damaging the British, and the cavalry of Washington and McCall charged. Completely routed, the dragoons fled to their own rear. Having dismantled Ogilvie's forces, Washington then also charged into the British. When the British advanced was finally halted by the Continentals, the American cavalry struck them on the right flank and rear, while the militia, having re-formed, charged out from behind the hill to hit the British left.


The shock of the sudden charge, coupled with the reappearance of the American militiamen on the flanks where Tarleton's exhausted men expected to see their own cavalry, proved too much for the British. Caught in a clever double envelopment, the British surrendered after suffering heavy losses. With Tarleton's right flank and center line collapsed, there remained only the 71st Highlanders still fighting part of Howard's line. Tarleton, realizing the desperate seriousness of what was occurring, rode back to his one remaining unit, the Legion cavalry. Desperate to save something, Tarleton assembled a group of cavalry and tried to save the two cannon he had brought with him, but they had been taken, and so Tarleton decided to save himself. Tarleton with a few remaining horsemen rode back into the fight, but after clashing with Washington’s men, he too retreated from the field. He was temporarily stopped by Colonel Washington, whose horse Tarleton shot out from under him and thus made his escape.Aftermath


Coming on the aftermath of the American debacle at Camden, Cowpens, in its part in the Revolution, was a surprising victory and a turning point that changed the psychology of the entire war "spiriting up the people", not just those of the backcountry Carolinas, but those in all the Southern colonies. As it was, the Americans were encouraged to fight further and the loyalists and British were demoralized. Its results - the destruction of an important part of the British army in the south - were incalculable toward ending the war. Along with the British defeat at Battle of King's Mountain, Cowpens was a decisive blow to Cornwallis, who would have defeated much of the remaining American resistance had Tarleton won Cowpens. As a result, the battle set in motion a series of events leading to the pyrrhic victory at Guilford Court House and the eventual Patriot victory at Yorktown. In the opinion of John Marshall, "Seldom has a battle, in which greater numbers were not engaged, been so important in its consequences as that of Cowpens." It gave General Nathanael Greene his chance to conduct a campaign of "dazzling shiftiness" that led Cornwallis by "an unbroken chain of consequences to the catastrophe at Yorktown which finally separated America from the British crown.". If the Battle of Cowpens had turned out differently, Cornwallis probably would not have begun the Yorktown campaign, and the war may have ended differently.


Crest Motto: "Victoria Libertatis Vindex", Latin for "Victory Vindicates Liberty". The phrase was originally inscribed on a medal awarded to General Morgan by the French government for his brilliant tactics and leadership at the Battle of Cowpens.


USS Cowpens (CG 63):


USS COWPENS deployed in 1996 for a six-month period to the Arabian Gulf as part of the KITTY HAWK Task Group.

USS COWPENS, took part, along with the USS VALLEY FORGE (CG 50) and USS JARRETT (FFG 33), in a live standard-missile firing exercise in the Southern California operating areas in the fall of 1997. The exercise was a "Proof Of Concept" demonstration to see if the Navy could safely conduct live surface-to-air missile firings off the coast of San Diego, and possibly reduce the costs of conducting training.

USS COWPENS deloyed in 1998 for six months to the Western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Arabian Gulf.

USS COWPENS underwent a regular overhaul that was completed in December 1999. Southwest Marine, Inc., San Diego, CA, was awarded an $8,719,494 firm-fixed-price with performance fee contract for the overhaul; work for which was performed in San Diego, CA.

USS COWPENS joined the Forward Deployed Naval Forces of Seventh Fleet, replacing the USS MOBILE BAY (CG 53), in July 2000.

The ship completed internationally successful diplomatic visits to Vladivostok, Russia. The COWPENS, after a deployment to the Indian Ocean, and visiting along the way Guam, Singapore, Thailand and India, paid a visit to Mumbai, India as the US Navy representative to the 2001 International Fleet Review. She was one of 97 ships representing more than 30 countries. USS COWPENS played an active role in the relief effort following January earthquakes in northwestern India, delivering medical and humanitarian supplies.

COWPENS also participated in several bi-lateral and multilateral exercises with the navies of Japan and Korea. This included Annual Exercise 2001 - a bilateral training drill between the Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force, in November, in which the Aegis-Guided missile cruiser was the Navy’s centerpiece for the exercise while the USS KITTY HAWK deployed to the Indian Ocean for Operation Enduring Freedom. Operationally, COWPENS also supported highly sensitive escort missions and Operation NOBLE EAGLE. USS COWPENS also operated in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM conducting Strait of Malacca escort operations.




USS Cowpens CG 63 - patch crest insignia


USS Cowpens CG 63 - patch crest insignia

USS Cowpens CG 63 - patch crest insignia


USS Cowpens CG 63 - patch crest insignia



USS Cowpens CG 63 - cruise patch


USS Cowpens CG 63 - cruise patch

USS Cowpens CG 63 - damage control training team patch


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