ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
May 29, 1780
The Battle of Waxhaws Occurs during the American Revolution
On this day in 1780, the Battle of Waxhaws takes place near Lancaster, South Carolina between the Continental
Army, led by Col. Abraham Buford, and British forces led by Col. Banastre Tarleton.
Exactly what happened during that battle is a matter of debate. Colonial's side of the story is that Tarleton
"offered the Colonials quarter", and after they dropped their weapons, Tarleton ordered an attack. Tarleton's
supporters claimed that Buford refused to surrender or that he agreed to surrender and then opened fire. What is
not in debate is that the Colonials lost 113 killed, 150 wounded (many of whom died soon after) and 53 taken
prisoner while the British lost 5 killed and 14 wounded.
After the battle, many of the wounded Colonials were taken to the Waxhaw Presbyterian Church for care. One of the
nurses there at the church was Elizabeth Jackson along with her son Andrew Jackson.
Although Tarleton was praised by his superiors for the decisive victory, it was largely viewed as a massacre by the
Colonials. The incident became known as "Tarleton's Quarter" or the "Waxhaws Massacre" and helped turn public
opinion against the British.