Tarleton, a British officer placed in command of these provincial Loyalist troops was indicative of the seeming reality that Loyalist troops generally performed better when led by an officer of the crown as opposed to that of the local, Loyalist variety. The problem for the British, was that they did not have enough British officers to lead the thousands of Loyalist troops and therefore had to rely on Loyalist officers to do so, which ultimately hurt the British war effort in the South due to their general ineptitude and on some occasions, misplaced zeal that worked against them.
The ‘militant Scotch-Irish loyalist’ Thomas Fletchall (1725-1789) is such an example. On the orders of the Lord William Campbell, governor of Charleston in 1775, Fletchall set about raising loyalist troops as well as getting those loyal to crown to sign various resolutions countering the claims of the patriots that King George had ‘acted inconsistent with the principles of the Constitution of the British Empire.’ Soon after, Colonel Fletchall and his loyalist troops had seized and taken control of a store of gunpowder at the Ninety-Six courthouse, which helped to draw more British-leaning people to his ranks. However, real authority and influence from Fletchall and those like him, especially in the backcountry where patriot emissaries were having an effect in swaying support to their side soon proved that Fletchall and others like him were not the leaders that the British were hoping for and needed.