Sunday, March 12, 2006

SC has a chance to purchase flags captured by Tarleton durng America's first civil war

The state of South Carolina will have to bid in a Sotheby's auction this summer if it hopes to claim three regimental flags captured by British commander Banastre Tarleton during the American Revolution. Tarleton's troops took the flags in the Battle of the Waxhaws near Lancaster, locally known as Buford's Massacre. The British opened fire on unarmed Americans after Tarleton had his horse shot out from under him after the Patriot troops had approached under a flag of truce.

The Flag Day auction is expected to fetch between $3 and $6 million for Tarleton's heirs, who have kept the trio of regimental colors in the family since Banastre Tarleton brought them home after the war. Many in SC want the flags. They are strongly considering creating a deal that will allow the state to share the banners with Virginia, which wants them because the regiment was from the Old Dominion.

The story fascinates me because I've always considered the Revolution in the South as America's first civil war. This one did not pit north against south, but Carolina neighbor against Carolina neighbor. The action in the Waxhaws represents just a fraction of the hostility the war unleashed in these parts. It also helped me remember that the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse approaches this week. Tarleton was there and fought well.


Anonymous SoCal Pir8 said...

"Bloody Tarleton" was represented as a central British character in Mel Gibson's "The Patriot" but in the movie Mel gets his revenge. Some of the final battle scene about using the militia in front and wanting two shots before they ran was based on the events of Guilford Courthouse.


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