When the American Revolution broke out, Jackson and his brothers leapt at the chance to fight the British. Jackson's mother had regaled her sons with stories of the battle for freedom in their native Ireland, including tales of how Jackson's grandfather had fought against the British in Ireland and participated in the siege of Carrickfergus. For Jackson's family, fighting the British was more of a personal affair than a political one. Jackson was only nine years old when the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. It was several years, however, before the war of independence would reach the Southern colonies. In 1780, the British launched an invasion of South Carolina and captured Charleston on May 12. Groups of soldiers and Tory sympathizers began to loot and pillage the countryside. Three hundred soldiers under the command of Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton leveled much of the Waxhaws
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