The myths of Tarleton

The article The Tale of Tarleton (BAW, June 2023) was a bit of a departure – but I must admit it was a deeply fascinating one. Hollywood loves a British villain, and Banastre Tarleton proves there is little better than fact to draw on for inspiration.

I would argue that the character played by Jason Issacs in The Patriot is the best part of that (mediocre!) film, but I did not know this was based on Tarleton – in fairness, I had never paid it much attention! I’ve since read around the subject and found a 2016 article, Banastre Tarleton: Top 10 Myths, by John Knight (author of War at Saber Point: Banastre Tarleton and the British Legion) in the Journal of the American Revolution.

This spotlights perceived misconceptions that I’ll list in short-form. It really is worth reading in full, so I hope people track it down.

1: Although he was never an emancipator, Tarleton was the only son in his family to not be involved in slavery.

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