A great partisan war began in the backwoods of the South. Rebels formed guerrilla bands that came out of the swamps and attacked British patrols and supply lines, completely changing the dynamics of the war. By the end of August, Lt. Gen. Charles Cornwallis, the British commander in the South, concluded that South Carolina was in total rebellion. "In the aftermath, massacres and terror were practiced more by Americans than by the British," observes Ferling. "American patriots charged into battle against American loyalists shouting 'Tarleton's quarter!' rather like 'Remember Pearl Harbor!'"
During a 65-minute battle at Kings Mountain in South Carolina four months after Waxhaws, patriot militia annihilated a force of about 1,000 loyalists, killing or wounding over 300, many after they had surrendered. Only one British soldier, the commander, was killed; the rest of the dead, on both sides, were Americans.