South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Buford's Massacre Site, Lancaster County (S.C. Hwy. 522, Tradesville vicinity)
S1081772901901 S1081772901902 S1081772901903
Battlefield 1860 Monument 1955 Monument

(Buford’s Battleground) On May 28, 1780, Colonel Abraham Buford, in command of a regiment of 350 Virginians, was overtaken by Colonel Banastre Tarleton of the British Army who commanded 700 cavalry and infantrymen under Lieutenant General Charles Lord Cornwallis. In the ensuing action 115 Americans were killed, 151 were wounded, and 53 were taken prisoner. There is still considerable debate over whether Tarleton's men shot and bayoneted Patriots while they were in the act of surrendering or after they had surrendered, or whether they were falsely accused of such atrocities by the Americans in an effort to inflame resistance to the British in the backcountry. After the battle, nearby settlers aided survivors and buried American soldiers in a long trench. The dying and badly wounded were carried several miles where they were cared for by, among others, Mrs. Andrew Jackson and her two sons Andrew and Robert. Two monuments now mark the Buford Battleground. A white monument ten feet tall, erected on June 2, 1860, marked the American gravesite. This marker became so scarred from chippings of souvenir hunters that a new monument was erected on May 1, 1955, bearing the same inscription. Buford’s Massacre was one of the many vicious actions that characterized the Revolutionary War campaigns in the backcountry South. This particular battle became a symbol of British atrocities and Tarleton became known as “Bloody Tarleton.” Listed in the National Register February 15, 1990.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of Lancaster County, ca. 1745-ca. 1940 includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.

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