Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Bring our Battle Flags home

For you fans of Mel Gibson's, The Patriot - remember "Bloody Tarleton?" Well it seems his family has kept four Revolutionary War American Batle Flags he captured and they are being put up for auction.
Four rare battle flags captured during the American War of Independence by a British officer have been returned after more than two centuries to be auctioned.

The regimental colours seized in 1779 and 1780 by Lt Col Banastre Tarleton, who remains one of the conflict's most controversial figures, have already aroused huge interest among American military historians. They are expected to fetch between £2.3 million and £5.8 million at Sotheby's in New York next year.
The ones captured by Tarleton are in excellent condition and their history is well documented. One is the flag of the 2nd Regiment of Continental Light Dragoons, raised in Connecticut by Col Elisha Sheldon, who were defeated by Tarleton in Westchester County, New York in July 1779. The other three flags were seized the following year in a still controversial battle in the southern United States.

Tarleton crushed a Virginian regiment under Col Abraham Buford at Waxsaws near the border of North and South Carolina. Accounts of what happened next differ. According to the Americans, Tarleton ordered his men to slaughter more than 100 revolutionary soldiers who had already surrendered. But the British officer maintained that his horse was shot after a truce was declared and pinned him to the ground.
These are priceless IMAO. Of all the money our government spends on bridges to nowhere, the NEA, and NEH - these need to be in the Smithsonian. No question. No price limit.

If the US government can't do it, hopefully a Connecticut or Virginia patriot will buy them and make sure they are taken care of. It would be an immeasurable shame if these wind up imperfectly protected in some pogue's living room in Napa.

Here are two of them.

BTW, for you ground warfare folks, this is an outstanding and timeless read on leadership. Heck, most of it applies to any leader - though for an Army or Marine pro, this stuff is good, just replace the "horse and cart" stuff with its modern counterpart. Primary source.

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