November 22, 2005

How Cool Is This?


Battle Flags Captured By Bloody Ban Returned.

Four battle flags from the Continental Army, captured by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton in 1779 and 1780, are being returned to Sotheby's in New York by Tarleton's great, great, great, great, great nephew (who simply cannot afford the insurance anymore). The battle flags appear in a heap at the lower left of the painting of Tarleton above by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

One is the flag of the 2nd Regiment of Continental Light Dragoons, raised in Connecticut by Col. Elisha Sheldon and defeated by Col. Tarleton in Westchester County, New York, in July 1779. The other three flags were seized the following year in a still-controversial battle in the southern United States. Col. Tarleton crushed a Virginia regiment under Col. Abraham Buford at Waxsaws near the North and South Carolina line.

The controversy arising out of this battle concerned whether Tarleton slaughtered Continental troops who had surrendered. The Americans maintained he did. He claimed they violated a truce. As a result of this massacre, he became known as "Bloody Ban" amongst the Brits and "Bloody Tarleton" on this side of the pond.

In fact, Tarleton's reputation for savagery still lingers, even in these myopic times. People who like their history Hollywoodized will recognize him as the source for Jason Isaac's Col. Tavington in Mel Gibson's The Patriot. Gibson's own character, Benjamin Martin, is loosely based on Col. Francis Marion, whom Tarleton chased in the marshes of the Carolinas and to whom Tarleton gave the nickname "The Swamp Fox".)

Yips! to Hugh.

Posted by Robert at November 22, 2005 03:46 PM | TrackBack

At least he got his desserts at Cowpens.

Posted by: Brian B at November 22, 2005 05:17 PM

You have a closet full of frilly shirts don't you?

Posted by: LB buddy at November 23, 2005 10:32 AM

Interestingly, the word "closet" came to my mind too when reading this post.

Posted by: Brian B at November 23, 2005 01:54 PM

I've always heard him referred to as "The Butcher Tarleton" or "Bloody Ban", but never "Bloody Tarleton." But then, I'm a product of the public school system, so the history texts I studied are probably suspect.

Posted by: Hucbald at November 24, 2005 12:24 AM

Have found this piece as an engraving by J R Smith.........anyone know anything about it?

Posted by: Ed B at December 3, 2005 09:26 AM