*Includes accounts of Marion's life and career
*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading
"As for this damned old fox, the Devil himself could not catch him." - Colonel Banastre Tarleton
"Well, now, this is exactly my case. I am in love; and my sweetheart is Liberty. Be that heavenly nymph my companion, and these wilds and Woods shall have charms beyond London and Paris in slavery. To have no proud monarch driving over me with his gilt coaches; nor his host of excise-men and tax-gatherers insulting and robbing me; but to be my own master, my own prince and sovereign, gloriously preserving my national dignity, and pursuing my true happiness; planting my vineyards, and eating their luscious fruits; and sowing my fields, and reaping the golden grain: and seeing millions of brothers all around me, equally free and happy as myself. 'This, sir, is What I long for." - A quote attributed to Francis Marion
In 2000, The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson, captured the nation's attention with the highly dramatized story of an American patriot fighting the British in South Carolina during the American Revolution. As viewers learned that Gibson's character was loosely based on General Francis Marion, nicknamed the "Swamp Fox" by his enemies, people took a new interest in this often forgotten soldier.
Those who had seen the movie may have envisioned Marion as a family man, a widower with enlightened, 21st century views, but those who dug deeper would find a man that Hugh Rankin, one of Marion's biographers, described as "something like a sandwich-a highly spiced center between two slabs of rather dry bread." In fact, Marion was a bachelor most of his life, and he likely only married so that he might have someone to care for him in his old age. Amy Crawford, writing in Smithsonian Magazine, reminded her readers, "Most heroes of the Revolution were not the saints that biographers like Parson Weems would have them be, and Francis Marion was a man of his times: he owned slaves, and he fought in a brutal campaign against the Cherokee Indians. While not noble by today's standards, Marion's experience in the French and Indian War prepared him for more admirable service. The Cherokee used the landscape to their advantage, Marion found; they concealed themselves in the Carolina backwoods and mounted devastating ambushes. Two decades later, Marion would apply these tactics against the British."
After fighting the Cherokee, Marion, who had been a farmer beforehand, purchased his own plantation shortly before the Revolution, and in 1775, he was elected to the South Carolina Provincial Congress. But of course, Marion remains best known for his service during the war, even though he saw limited action in a theater that wasn't of particular importance until late in the war. Crawford emphasized, "After the Battles of Lexington and Concord on April 19, 1775, the Provincial Congress voted to raise three regiments, commissioning Marion a captain in the second. His first assignments involved guarding artillery and building Fort Sullivan, in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, South Carolina. When he saw combat during the Battle of Fort Sullivan in June 1776, Marion acted valiantly. But for much of the next three years, he remained at the fort, occupying the time by trying to discipline his troops, whom he found to be a disorderly, drunken bunch insistent on showing up to roll call barefoot. In 1779, they joined the Siege of Savannah, which the Americans lost."
As it turned out, Marion was only getting started, and in the years that followed, he continued to torment and harass British troops across the colony, fighting a guerrilla war against soldiers with no training in countering such measures. In doing so, he kept the most powerful nation in the world off balance, and he ultimately earned himself a lasting place in American history.
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- ISBN-13: 9781977908728
- ISBN-10: 1977908721
- Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- Publish Date: October 2017
- Dimensions: 11.02 x 8.5 x 0.15 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.43 pounds
- Page Count: 74