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The Patriot Film Fact or Fiction: Events

Colonel Tavington burns a militia leader's home and kills his son:
Skirmishing between British and Continental soldiers spills onto Benjamin Martin's farm. The next day he helps care for the wounded from both sides. When a British Lieutenant arrives leading a patrol, he thanks Benjamin for his efforts.

However, when Colonel William Tavington and his cavalry rides up, he orders the Continental wounded shot, Gabriel Martin arrested and taken to Camden to be hung as a spy and the Martin home burned. Thomas Martin then attempted to help Gabriel escape, but is killed by Tavington. After the British leave, Benjamin takes his sons Nathan and Samuel and rescues Gabriel by wiping out the British patrol escorting him.

1. Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarleton (inspiration for Colonel Tavington) never shot a militia leader's son in the back.
2. A Southern militia leader never carried out a daring raid with only his two sons on an entire British patrol of twenty men.

Lt. Colonel Tarleton did burn the home of Thomas Sumter (an inspiration for Benjamin Martin). Unlike Martin, Sumter had been fighting with the militia earlier in the war, but when fighting quieted down, Sumter resigned his commission and stayed out of the war. When area militia carried out raids on British and Loyalist interests, Sumter was suspected and Tarleton was sent to arrest him. Sumter was warned and he went into hiding. When Tarleton found Sumter had gotten away, he still burned Sumter's home, bringing a chair out and forcing Sumter's wife to watch. However, he did not harm Sumter's son. Because of the BRitish actions against his family, Sumter rejoined the war.

In May 1780, Andrew Pickens was captured at Charleston. He was paroled and released, but later on Tory (locals loyal to the British) raiders destroyed much of his property and frightened his family. Following the incident, Pickens informed the British that they had broken the terms of his parole to leave him and his family alone and he would take up arms against them again.

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