Banastre Tarleton Symposium

April 26-28, 2002

Health Resource Center

124 Battleship Road, Camden. SC

(803) 424-0461

Hosted by

Kershaw County

Historical Society

Historic Camden

Revolutionary War Site

If warfare allows me, I shall give these disturbers of the peace no quarter.  If humanity obliges me to spare their lives, I shall convey them close prisoners to Camden. . . I must discriminate with severity. Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton to Lord Charles Cornwallis, British commander of the Southern Campaign, August 5, 1780.

South Carolinians knew that the brash young warrior would keep his word. That May, Tarleton and his British Legion had refused to show mercy to surrendering American forces in the Waxhaws. "No quarter" became synonymous with "Tarleton's Quarter." The name "Tarleton" rapidly became a symbol of plunder and punishment, a name to be feared and hated.

But is the baby-faced "Bloody Ban" really the villain portrayed in most history books and in Hollywood’s "The Patriot"? Or is he a scapegoat for the numerous atrocities conducted by Redcoats, Tories and Patriots alike in the brutal Southern Campaign?

At this symposium, noted scholars and historians will offer new insights into the life, times and legacy of this dynamic and fascinating figure of American History.

FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2002


9:00-1:00 pm Registration

1:00-1:15 pm Welcoming Remarks by Joanna Craig, Director/Historic Camden and Charles Baxley/President KC Historical Society.

1:15-1:45 pm The Myths of Bloody Tarleton, Dr. Anthony J. Scotti, Jr., History Series Editor, Manly, Inc., Cola, SC.

2:00-2:45 pm A New Look at the Waxhaws Massacre, James Piecuch, William and Mary PhD candidate.

3:00-3:45 pm Tarleton’s Campaign of 1780-1781and the Military-Literary World of 18th c. Britain, Dr. Mark Danley, historian at U.S. Cavalry Association, Leavenworth, KS.

4:00-4:45 pm Tarleton and the Waxhaws, Captain Thomas Rider, active Duty with US Army Military Police

4:45-5:00 pm Comments, John Maass, MA in History; degree candidate at UNC-Greensboro

7:00-9:00 pm Candlelight Reception, Kershaw-Cornwallis House,

Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site

Artifacts found at various local Revolutionary War sites will be on display throughout the weekend.



8:00-8:30 am Registration

8:45-9:00 am Welcoming Remarks

9:00-9:45 am Banastre Tarleton’s Liverpool Background and His Parliamentary Career, Christopher L. George, British freelance writer and author.

10:00-10:45 am ‘All Spirited Young Men.’ The Composition of the British Legion 1778-1783, Todd W. Braisted, historian; founder of

11:00-11:45 am Continentals in the British Legion, Dr. Lawrence E. Babits, George Washington Distinguished Professor of History and Maritime Studies at East Carolina University.

12:00-1:00 pm Lunch & Camden Battlefield Preservation Initiative Update

1:00-1:45 pm Spectre of Albion! Banastre Tarleton and the Strange Career of British Slavery, 1760-1810, Dr. Robert Olwell, University of Texas history professor.

2:00-2:45 pm Cornwallis and the Slaves of Virginia: A New Look at theYorktown Campaign, Dr. Gregory J. W. Urwin, Temple University history professor; noted author.

3:00-3:30 pm Uniforms, Equipment, Weapons, and Camp, British Legion Re-enactors (camp open all day)

3:45-4:30 pm Tarleton in Context: Cavalry in the 18th Century, Dr. John Moncure, retired Lt. Col. U.S. Army cavalry; educator.

4:30:5:00 pm Closing Comments

6:30-9:00 pm Dinner and dramatic presentation of ‘The Bubble Reputation’: An Encounter with General Sir Banastre Tarleton, Bart, KGCB, by acclaimed British thespian Howard Burnham.

Tour of Tarleton’s "Best"

Sunday, April 28, 2002

8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site

Guided bus tour of area battle sites, including stops at Battle of Camden, Buford’s Massacre, and Fishing Creek. Hanging Rock, Beckham’s Old Fields and Flat Rock sites will be roadside interpretation only. $30 per person; includes box lunch. Reserve a space today!