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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. 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.