“The Blood Be Upon Your Head”: 
Tarleton and the Myth of Buford’s Massacre

The Battle of the Waxhaws

May 29, 1780

SCAR Press is pleased to announce that we have published Jim Piecuch’s “The Blood Be Upon Your Head”: Tarleton and the Myth of Buford’s Massacre.  The one-sided victory of British Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton’s British Legion over Col. Abraham Buford’s Virginia Continentals on May 29, 1780 solidified Tarleton’s reputation as “the butcher” and “bloody Ban” in Patriots’ minds and Tarleton as a war hero from the British point of view.  As a revisionist historian, Piecuch studies the source documents and challenges the 227-year-old assumptions of Tarleton’s intent, complicity and guilt in the slaughter of the surrendering Virginians that May afternoon in South Carolina.  He also looks at Continental Col. Abraham Buford’s tactical command decisions and their contributions to “Buford’s Defeat.”  Three battlefield maps demonstrate the unit positions on the battlefield, now located by archaeologists just east of the monuments in Lancaster County, SC.  The book also contains many of the eye-witness documents including excerpts of old soldiers’ pension records, period newspaper accounts, and unit histories and the commanders’ biographies.

If you were at SCAR‘s Battle of the Waxhaws conference in February 2010 you witnessed the clash of crossed swords between authors Jim Piecuch and Scott Miskimon debating the presentation of this book’s thesis.

Now back in print after the first printing sold out last year.  Special price of $20.00 from the Publisher, plus $5.00 shipping and handling.  To order your copy, contact SCAR Press, P.O. Box 10, Lugoff, SC 29078 or email the publisher at

Remember the Conference on Cavalry in the American Revolution presented by the South Carolina Historical Society, SCAR, Cowpens National Military Park, and Wofford College?  Here is the new book which features papers presented at or inspired by this conference.

Cavalry of the American Revolution

Jim Piecuch, Editor                                                                             $29.95 Hardback

From the bitterly contested no-man’s-land between American and British lines in New York and New Jersey to the scorching pine forests of the South, the cavalry of both armies fought valiantly throughout the American Revolution.  This volume explores several aspects of cavalry’s role in the war, which has often been overlooked in general histories. The topics covered include the development of the Continental Army’s cavalry arm, European influences on American cavalry training and tactics, accounts of several important cavalry raids and battles, and histories of mounted units such as the Continental Light Dragoons, American rangers in the South Carolina Backcountry, and the British army’s Queen’s Rangers and “Black Dragoons,” the latter force composed entirely of former slaves.  The essays also examine the roles of important commanders, including Brigadier General Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion, Lieutenant Colonel William Washington, and Colonel Anthony Walton White of the American army, and British cavalry leaders Banastre “Bloody Ban” Tarleton and John Graves Simcoe, as well as the American prisoners of war who switched sides and served in Tarleton’s “British Legion.”  The authors of the essays include acclaimed military historians Gregory J. W. Urwin and Lawrence E. Babits.  Readers with a general interest in military history, as well as those with more specific interests in the American Revolution or the history of the cavalry arm, and anyone who wishes to undertake further study of these subjects, will find the essays fresh, engaging, and informative.


Gregory J. W. Urwin: The Continental Light Dragoons, 1776-1783
Lee F. McGee: European Influences on Continental Cavalry
John M. Hutchins: Cavalry Action at Poundridge, New York
Donald J. Gara: Cavalry Battles in New York and New Jersey
Scott A. Miskimon: Anthony Walton White: A Revolutionary Dragoon
Michael C. Scoggins: South Carolina’s Backcountry Rangers
Lawrence E. Babits and Joshua B. Howard: Continentals in Tarleton’s British Legion
Charles F. Price: Cavalry Operations at Eutaw Springs
Jim Piecuch: The “Black Dragoons”

JIM PIECUCH is an associate professor of history at Kennesaw State University in Georgia and SCAR Fellow.  He received his doctorate in history from the College of William & Mary and is author of a number of books, including The Battle of Camden: A Documentary History; Three Peoples: One King; “The Blood be Upon Your Head”: Tarleton and the Myth of Buford’s Massacre; with co-author, John Beakes,  “Cool Deliberate Courage”: John Eager Howard in the American Revolution;and with co-editor Gregory D. Massey, General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South.

To order:

General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South

Edited by Gregory D. Massey and Jim Piecuch

This new publication features a collection of essays chronicling General Nathanael Greene’s strengths and weaknesses as a military and political leader.  These papers were first presented at or inspired by the Nathanael Greene Symposium, held in Lugoff, SC, and organized by Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, the Kershaw County Historical Society and SCAR.

A major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolution, Nathanael Greene has received historical attention as a commander who successfully coordinated the actions of seemingly disparate kinds of soldiers—regular Continental troops, militiamen, and partisan guerrillas. He has often been acclaimed as the second most important military figure of the Revolution, behind George Washington. General Nathanael Greene and the American Revolution in the South offers new perspectives on Greene’s leadership of Continental troops, his use of the mounted troops of South Carolina partisan leaders Gens. Thomas Sumter and Francis Marion, his integration of local militia into his fighting force, and his proposal that slaves be armed and freed in return for their military service.

During the first five years of the War of Independence, Greene served in the North as General George Washington’s most trusted subordinate. Through successes, failures, and hard-earned experience, Greene learned that mobility, logistical support, and effective civil-military relations were crucial components of eighteenth-century warfare, and especially of a successful revolution. He applied these lessons as commander in the Southern Department, where he led one of the most startling turnabouts in American military history, reversing a rigid British occupation and saving American liberty in the South. This collection of essays provides an assessment of the most important period of Greene’s military career. Editors Gregory D. Massey and Jim Piecuch have compiled essays from distinguished scholars and written a joint introduction demonstrating how Greene’s actions shaped the war in the South and deepening our understanding of Greene’s role in winning American independence.

Contributors are Robert “Greg” Brooking, John “Jack” Buchanan, Robert M. Calhoon, Dennis R. Conrad, John R. Maass, Gregory D. Massey, James R. McIntyre, Curtis F. Morgan, Jr., John M. Moseley, Jim Piecuch, and David K. Wilson.

Gregory D. Massey is a professor of history at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee.  He is the author of John Laurens and the American Revolution.

USC PRESS       280 pages             ISBN 978-1-61117-069-6            hardcover, $39.95

To order:

SCAR Press

announces the publication of


James Williams (1740-1780) with source documents

By William T. Graves

with an Introduction by noted historian and professor

Dr. Bobby Gilmer Moss

This cover art includes “Patriots”, a painting by Historical Artist Dan Nance, which captures perfectly what Col. James Williams and one of his fellow militia may have looked like on their way to do battle at Musgrove Mill or Kings Mountain.

To purchase your copy – $22.95 softcover + s&h – please order from … on introductory sale now for $17.21.

Reviewers comments:

“James Williams – miller, storekeeper, planter, military man – and his family forged what they hoped would be a new life in America’s southern backcountry frontier. They found themselves totally embroiled in their nation’s struggle for independence, which would extract an unimaginable price from Williams’ family. Williams and his two oldest sons would lose their lives; his wife and her younger children would be dispossessed at least three separate times by the King’s Loyalists as the war waxed and waned through the South where they lived. An enthralling story, Backcountry Revolutionary tells the well-researched and documented tale of one family’s abiding contribution to the founding of the United States, in a way that should appeal to all.”

David Paul Reuwer, American Revolution Association president and editor of American Revolution magazine.

“In this beautifully researched and refreshing analysis, the author convincingly challenges previous interpretations of the fighting at Musgrove Mill and Kings Mountain in addition to restoring James Williams to his rightful place among those brave South Carolinians who sacrificed all for American independence.”

Joshua B. Howard, co-author of Long, Obstinate, and Bloody: The Battle of Guilford Courthouse.

“At a time when American fortunes in the War for Independence appeared to be at their lowest ebb, James Williams was among a handful of determined patriots who refused to submit to British rule. Instead, Williams continued the struggle, and his leadership in the American victories at Musgrove Mill and Kings Mountain proved crucial in changing the course of the war. Despite his crucial contributions to the revolutionary cause, Williams remains virtually unknown. William T. Graves rescues Williams from this undeserved obscurity with this volume, which is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Revolutionary War in the southern backcountry.”

Jim Piecuch, PhD, Assoc. Prof. Hist. at Kennesaw State University and author of several books on the American Revolution including Three Peoples: One King: Loyalists, Indians, and Slaves in the Revolutionary South, 1775-1782.

“Some of history’s most interesting characters are those who left few footprints in the sands of time. James Williams is one of those characters. Williams played a very significant role in the bloody civil war that was the American Revolution as fought in the Carolina backcountry. His leadership in the engagements at Musgrove Mill and Kings Mountain helped secure America’s freedom from Great Britain. It is through the lives and activities of men such as Williams that some of history’s most memorable events are best told and understood. Graves has told Williams’ story for all to enjoy and it is a story all who are interested in the founding of the United States should know.”

Bobby Gilmer Moss, PhD, History Professor Emeritus and author of numerous books on the Revolution.

Parker’s Guide to the Revolutionary War in South Carolina, Second Edition

With Chronological Order of Actions Battles, Skirmishes  & Murders

$48.95 includes shipping. Order from the author at