12 November 2007

Buford's Massacre

Ok, next stop on the trip was at the site of Buford's Massacre, a now almost forgotten but very important chapter in our history. It was here on May 29, 1780, that Col Abraham Buford and his Virginia Cavalry met with Britain's feared Banastere Tarleton and his cavalry. Buford had been enroute to assist the besieged city of Charleston, when he learned it had already fallen and turned back to Virginia. Tarleton learned that Governor Rutledge was with Buford and made quick pursuit. When the two forces met, the Governor had already left, but the ensuing battle was a disaster. The Patriots lost 113 killed, 147 wounded, to the British 5 killed, 12 wounded. More importantly, survivors including Tarleton himself said that the British soldiers slaughtered the Patriots well after a flag of surrender (or quarter, as it was called in those days) had been put up. The effects of this battle can not be underetimated. It became to the Southern Patriots what the Alamo was to Texas and Pearl Harbor was to WW2. For the duration of the war, the cry of "Remember Tarleton's Quarter" became a rally that encouraged much needed Patriot support in the Carolinas and Georgia, and also prompted the Overmountain Men to arms, who later fought one of the most crucial victories of the war at King's Mountain (see previous post).

This is the small portion of the battleground that is preserved.
This marker marks the larger of two mass graves for the victims of the battle. The other grave has been lost to time.

No comments: