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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Buford in Lancaster County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Battle of the Waxhaws: Massacre or Myth?

 
 
Battle of the Waxhaws: Massacre or Myth? Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, May 22, 2016
1. Battle of the Waxhaws: Massacre or Myth? Marker
Inscription. The Story of the Waxhaws
Immediately after the engagement, reports spread that many were stabbed and killed as they tried to surrender. Many were taken to a local Presbyterian church where local residents cared for them, including a young Andrew Jackson and his mother. Banastre Tarleton was denounced and over time became known as "Bloody Ban the Butcher" for his actions on the battlefield. In his report to the Virginia Assembly, Colonel Buford confirmed that "Our loss is very great many of which (were) killed after they had laid down their arms." For his part, Tarleton acknowledged an erroneous report that he had been slain "stimulated the soldiers to a vindictive asperity not easily restrained." While historians continue to debate the events that occurred at the Waxhaws, it is clear that Tarleton's actions, here and elsewhere, stirred and angered the backcountry settlers into action.

The Spark to Independence
After the surrender of Charleston in May 1780, all organized Patriot resistance in the South was nearly extinguished. However, the British followed their victory with heavy-handed treatment of the rural population. General Clinton proclaimed that those who did not take an oath to the King would be treated as "rebels and enemies to their country." None could remain neutral. Throughout the Carolinas, the
Battle of the Waxhaws: Massacre or Myth? Marker image. Click for full size.
By David Graff, May 22, 2016
2. Battle of the Waxhaws: Massacre or Myth? Marker
The stone "Buford Battleground" tablet (on the left) along with four interpretive markers are seen here. This marker is the third from the right.
conflict disintegrated into terrible civil war. Loyalists sought vengeance on their beaten Patriot neighbors. Patriot militia rallied and treated Loyalists in a like manner. As the British Legion burned and pillaged the countryside, stories were told and retold of the slaughter at the Waxhaws. Indeed, the phrase "Tarleton's Quarter" became synonymous with cruel treatment and the execution of prisoners.
 
Location. 34° 44.51′ N, 80° 37.566′ W. Marker is near Buford, South Carolina, in Lancaster County. Marker can be reached from Rocky River Road (South Carolina Route 522) 0.2 miles south of Pageland Highway (South Carolina Route 9), on the right when traveling south. Click for map. This marker is located at the Buford Battleground Monument Park (Buford Massacre Site). Marker is in this post office area: Lancaster SC 29720, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Buford's Massacre (here, next to this marker); Buford's Defeat (here, next to this marker); Buford Battleground (here, next to this marker); Disaster in South Carolina (a few steps from this marker); Buford Monument (a few steps from this marker); Memorials and Archaeology (within shouting distance of this marker); Buford's Bloody Battleground (approx. 0.2 miles away); Craig House (approx. 8.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Buford.
 
More about this marker. The marker is the third of four markers that interpret Buford's Massacre and preservation of the site.
 
Regarding Battle of the Waxhaws: Massacre or Myth?. At left is a "Sketch of the Battle." At bottom is a painting of "Tarleton." Both images are courtesy of Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, Brown University Library.
 
Categories. War, US Revolutionary
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page has been viewed 229 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by David Graff of Halifax, Nova Scotia. This page was last revised on July 1, 2016.
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