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Message Forum Archives

Historical question

Posted by jharrington on November 20, 2000 at 19:14:48:

Is there any historical basis for the burning of the church by Tarleton



Posted by Scott on November 20, 2000 at 21:26:56:

In Reply to: Historical question posted by jharrington on November 20, 2000 at 19:14:48:

Based on my research so far, there is no recorded incident in the Revolutionary War of townspeople being locked in a church and burned.

The nearest reference to such an incident was perpetrated by the Nazis during World War II.

Since I have been asked this question several times now, I will soon research the specifics and add them to the site.



Posted by Andréa on November 21, 2000 at 19:49:54:

In Reply to: Historical question posted by jharrington on November 20, 2000 at 19:14:48:

Dean Devlin said in a chat that Banastre Tarleton would burn down houses with people inside and that once he did order a church to be burned, although it was empty by then. So they decided to combine both events in the movie.



Posted by Scott on November 21, 2000 at 20:22:00:

In Reply to: Re: Historical question posted by Andréa on November 21, 2000 at 19:49:54:

In the research I've done so far, other than such battlefield bravado as what happened at Waxhaws, Tarleton himself was more often to blame for not punishing his men for getting carried away.

There is a story of Tarleton forcing Thomas Sumter's wife to watch her empty home be burned, but I've yet to find where Tarleton directly ordered anyone burned alive. He did his share of shooting and hanging prisoners or surrendered soldiers.

Such events as Devlin mentioned took place often in the Revolutionary War, because some used the cover of war to settle old feuds or just be criminal, but I have yet to find such an instance where Tarleton was directly responsible. Devlin and Emmerich did their research, but I'm inclined to think he missed on this one.

If/when I find one, I will post it and correct myself.


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