Category Archive 'Banastre Tarleton'

17 Jan 2009

“A Devil of a Licking”

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William Ranney, Battle of Cowpens, 1845, oil, South Carolina State House

Colonel William Washington’s servant, “a waiter, too small to wield a sword,” saved his master’s life by wounding a British officer about to cut him down.

On this day in history, my neighbor, Brigadier-General Daniel Morgan with 800 men gave Colonel Banstre Tarleton’s Legion, 1100 men, what Morgan described in a post-battle letter as “a devil of a licking” at Cowpens, South Carolina, January 17, 1781.

They have a statue of Morgan over in Winchester, whose base bears the motto: “Fought everywhere, defeated nowhere.”

22 Dec 2007

Banastre Tarleton’s Captured Flags

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The regimental flag of the Continental Army 2nd Light Dragoons, also known as Sheldon’s Horse, captured at the Battle of Pound Ridge, July 2, 1779.

One of the brighter flames in Hell undoubtedly surrounds the spirit of the late Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833), brave but merciless commander of the Loyalist British Legion during the American Revolution.

Tarleton’s spirit is doubtless also feeling a trifle vexed these days, knowing that the depredations of numerous Labour Governments caused his descendant last year to sell his war trophies at Sotheby’s.

The battle flag of Connecticut cavalry regiment Colonel Elisha Sheldon’s Continental Light Dragoons (pictured above), captured by Tarleton at the Battle of Pound Ridge, July 2, 1779, estimated to change hands for $1.5 to $3.5 million dollars, sold for $12.36 million dollars.

The three regimental and divisional flags of the Third Virginia Detachment, commanded by Abraham Buford, captured May 29, 1780 at the Waxhaw Massacre, in which Tarleton’s Legion slaughtered Americans after they had surrendered, estimated at $2.5 to $6.5 million dollars, possibly had their price depressed by the circumstances surrounding their capture, and sold below the high estimate at $5.056 million dollars.

Tarleton’s trophies, recaptured by the American dollars of an anonymous purchaser, will be displayed at Williamsburg, Virginia’s Dewitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, at an exhibition titled Captured Colors: Four Battleflags of the American Revolution starting today through January 9, 2009.

Rare Revolutionary War battle flags returning to U.S.

Flags of our forefathers with 2:21 video

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