The Patriot Film Fact or Fiction: Events
Benjamin Martin comes up with a strategy of using militia as a decoy:
General Nathanael Greene acknowledges that a large part of his force is militia, but he does not trust the militia to stand its ground. Militia has a long history of running as the battle begins from the British Occupation of New York in 1776 to the Battle of Camden. In response to General Greene's comments, Benjamin Martin suggested that they use that tendancy against the British.
1. Nathanael Greene was not present at a battle using the strategy of a militia decoy.
2. Charles Cornwallis was not present at a battle where a militia decoy successfully draws him in.
The strategy of using militia as a decoy was used during this time. Brigadier General Daniel Morgan after speaking with his experienced officers and militia commanders conceived of using the strategy against the inexperienced and impulsive Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton who was in pursuit of Morgan.
General Morgan asked two shots of his militia before they retreated. At the Battle of Cowpens on January 17, 1781, Morgan used the strategy. When Lt. Colonel Tarleton saw the retreating militia, he believed another British rout was on. Ignoring the advice of his experienced officers and not even waiting until his entire force had marched onto the field, he ordered a charge which left his force double-flanked and then virtually destroyed.
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