union-jack                              Banastre Tarleton (1754-1833)

 banastretarletonThe son of a merchant engaged in the slave trade, Banastre Tarleton was born in Liverpool, where his father was also mayor. After two years at Oxford, he made a start at studying the law, but his father’s death and the squandering of a substantial inheritance led to other plans. The year 1776 found him a soldier in the British Army, taking part in the failed effort to seize Charleston, South Carolina. Later given command of a troop of loyalist cavalry in New York, he was responsible for the capture of General Charles Lee during a foray into New Jersey. In 1780 he returned to Charleston to take part in Sir Henry Clinton’s successful siege of the city. He would remain in the south under the command of Charles Cornwallis until the surrender at Yorktown, having earned an enduring reputation for ruthlessness and wanton destruction.

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