Buford's Massacre Site - Pay your respects to these fallen patriots here in Lancaster County, SC

Buford's Massacre

If you're looking for a significant place to pay your respects to fallen US service members this memorial day, you need look no further than your own back yard. There was a significant Revolutionary War battle that took place right here in Lancaster County.

The Battle of the Waxhaws took place on May 29th, 1780, just outside of modern day Lancaster. The battle was between roughly 400 patriots led by Colonel Abraham Buford, and a force of roughly 270 loyalists, 100 of them mounted, led by Colonel Banastre Tarleton. Colonel Buford and his forces were heading north towards Charlotte through the Waxhaws region when Tarleton's men caught up with them at their resting place. At the start of the battle, Tarleton sent forward a messenger to demand the Buford's surrender. Buford refused, sending back the message "I reject your proposals, and shall defend myself to the last extremity". Buford then formed his men into a defensive line, but his line was overcome by Tarleton's mounted infantry on their first charge. Seeing that the cause was lost, Buford attempted to surrender, but the loyalists continued attacking despite the white flag being visible. At the end of the battle, out of 400 patriots, 113 lay dead and 147 were wounded.

This battle was significant because of the energizing effect it had for patriot militias. Although the battle was lost, "Remember Buford" became a rallying cry for patriot fighters and new recruits flocked to join the cause. News of this massacre directly inspired the creation of new militias, including the ones that fought at Kings Mountain and turned the tide of the Revolutionary war. 

Today is memorial day, a day when we reflect on the sacrifices made by those who have fought and died for our country, and tomorrow is the 238th anniversary of Buford's Massacre. If you are looking for a meaningful place to pay your respects, we suggest visiting the memorial at the patriot grave site located at 262 Rocky River Rd, Lancaster, SC 29720. 


-Ian Grohs, Third Vice Chair, Lancaster County Democratic Party