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Old 03-07-2004, 04:23 AM
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Default Revolutionary War Atrocities?

Seems like every war has it's share of "dark" behavior by troops.

Vietnam had My Lai, WW2 had Malmedy, and I guess it would have been Andersonville during the Civil War.

What about the Revolution? Anything like that happen on either side?
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Old 03-07-2004, 07:17 AM
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The British had some mastless prison ships in NY harbor during the war. American prisoners (enlisted men) were stuffed into the hold and not allowed to come up on deck for exercise or fresh air. They had to urinate and defecate over the side and, since the ship was anchored, the foul water was only washed away with the tides. They were given small cast iron pots (1 for every 10 men) to cook whatever rancid meat they were given and it had to be cooked in salt water since they weren't given any fresh water for cooking. And the only salt water they could get was the aforementioned water covered with feces. Occaisionally, locals would row out to the ships and donate or sell fresh food to the prisoners. Thousands died under those conditions.

In many parts of America, the Revolution took on aspects of a Civil War in that families and neighbors of seperate alligences fought against one another out of revenge, greed, spite, or whatever excuse they could find to get some land or possessions. There was a story of a woman down south who was found tied to a tree and her unborn infant had been cut out of her, hung upside down to the tree and a note attached to it saying, "This bastard will never grow up to be a rebel." The Hessians were noted for their lack of compassion to surrendering troops and there are several accounts of them bayoneting Americans asking for quarter. The most famous account was after the Battle of Camden when Banistre "Bloody Ban" Tarleton had his men slaughter surrendering American troops. The ironic thing about that was Tarleton's troops weren't British, but American loyalists who gladly slaughtered their own people.

And a young Andrew Jackson took a sword swipe across the head from a Brit officer when Andy refused to clean the man's boots.
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Old 03-08-2004, 08:40 AM
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Check out the story of the Cherry Valley Massacre when you are looking for Revolutionary War atrocities.
Cherry Valley was a town in west, central New York and attacked by Butler?s Rangers and 500 Iroquois and Onondaga Indians who the ?Tories? allied with. The Tories (British) had convinced the Indian tribes that the colonist would take the Indian homelands. The town?s people, colonist, of Cherry Valley were slaughtered and scalped. The slaughter included all residents including all of the women and children. Cherry Valley is where Indians got their reputation for scalping but scalping was a very rare occurrence in the ?old west.?
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Old 03-08-2004, 12:37 PM
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Stick,

Go to http://www.rootsweb.com/~nyherkim/re...erletters.html for the letters written by Butler concerning the attack on the fort at Cherry Valley.
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:29 PM
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The British had a guy who was known as "Bloody" Tarleton who was known for committing atrocities. He's been accused of locking all the women and children of a town into a church and then setting it on fire during one of his raids. I think he was finally killed at the Battle of Cowpens.
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Old 04-04-2004, 08:57 AM
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Default "Bloody" Ban

Banastre "Bloody Ban" Tarleton was a young British colonel who commaned a troop of cavalry made up of American Loyalists. He received the nickname "Bloody Ban" after the battle of Camden when he set his men upon a company of American troops who had surrendered and slaughtered them almost to a man. That incident gave rise to the term "Tarleton's Quarter", which meant no quarter at all.

He often described himself, with no small amount of pride,ashaving killedmore men and "ravaged" more women than any officer in the British army.

The church burning incident you mention took place in the movie "The Patriot" but in real life it never happened. While the Brits and Hessians burned several churches in the colonies, they were always empty. And Tarleton wasn't killed in the Revolution. He survived the war, returned to England, and became a Member of Parliament.
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Old 04-04-2004, 03:51 PM
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Default Schenectady, NY in the year 1690

Even earlier than the Revolutionary war there were autrocities:

1690
On the night of February 8, the settlement of Schenectady was attacked by a force of French and Indians from the north. The people were slaughtered and the village burned. The histories record it as "The Massacre of Schenectady." Sixty residents were killed and 27 made prisoners. Many others lost their lives from exposure incurred during their flight to Albany on foot in their night clothing.

I pulled this from: http://www.schist.org/schdates.html


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Old 08-17-2005, 05:33 PM
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To the above post,

Your mention of Schenectady is quite good. It leads me to ask you if you have read Howard Peckham's "The Colonial Wars"? If you haven't I definately recommend it.

As for the question of Revolutionary War atrocities, the examples already mentioned are good. I would add Arnold's burning of New London, CT late in the war. If you really examine the frontier theater of the war in depth you can probably find numerous atrocities on both sides (white vs. Indian).

I like the use of a quote by the great Ronald Reagan.
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Old 09-01-2006, 11:12 AM
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You might also want to check out the "Skirmishing Cruelty & Devastation" by Wolfe's forces during their siege of Quebec in 1759. Over 1400 farms were destroyed plus the unnumbered rapes, scalpings, lootings, etc. If there is a more loathsome character during the French & Indian War, I don't know who it would be.
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