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Banastre Tarleton
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Military Personnel
    (August 21, 1754-January 15, 1833)
    Born in Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
    British cavalry officer
    Led the British Legion (Tarleton's Raiders) during the American Revolution
    Member of Parliament for Liverpool (1790-1806,1807-12)
    He squandered a £5,000 inheritance from his father in a year on gambling and women.
    He purchased his commission in the cavalry.
    At the Battle of Waxhaw, he was accused of ignoring the white surrender flag and massacring the defenders, with his men stabbing the wounded where they lay.
    While serving in the Penninsular Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, he spent most of his time sniping about his commander, the Duke of Wellington.
    In Parliament, he was an ardent supporter of the slave trade and frequently mocked abolitionists.
    At the Battle of Waxhaw, just after the offer of surrender was made, his horse was struck by a musket bullet and fell, leading his men to conclude that the Americans had treacherously shot their commander under the cover of a white flag, prompting the massacre by the enraged troops.
    Despite his reputation for ruthlessness, Thomas Jefferson wrote about Tarleton's capture of his home at Monticello, 'I did not suffer by him. On the contrary he behaved very genteely with me.'
    A Revolutionary War historian wrote, 'As a leader of cavalry, he was unmatched on either side for alertness and rapidity of movement, dash, daring and vigor of attack.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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