AS SEEN IN:
'Walt Disney's Wonderful World Of Color'
("Walt Disney Presents: The Swamp Fox")
AS PLAYED BY:
Francis Marion (c. 1732 – February 26, 1795) was a military officer who served in the American Revolutionary War. Acting with Continental Army and South Carolina militia commissions, he was a persistent adversary of the British in their occupation of South Carolina in 1780 and 1781, even after the Continental Army was driven out of the state in the Battle of Camden.Due to his irregular methods of warfare, he is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare, and is credited in the lineage of the United States Army Rangers.
Marion was not captured when Charleston fell on May 12, 1780, because he had broken an ankle in an accident and had left the city to recuperate.
After the loss in Charleston, the defeats of General Isaac Huger at Moncks Corner and Lieutenant Colonel Abraham Buford at the Waxhaw massacre (near the North Carolina border, in what is now Lancaster County), Marion organized a small unit, which at first consisted of between 20 and 70 men and was the only force then opposing the British Army in the state. At this point, Marion was still nearly crippled from the slowly-healing ankle.
Marion joined Major General Horatio Gates just before the Battle of Camden, but Gates had no confidence in him and sent him (mostly to get rid of him) to take command of the Williamsburg Militia in the Pee Dee area. Gates asked him to undertake scouting missions and to impede the expected flight of the British after the battle. Marion thus missed the battle, but was able to intercept and recapture 150 Maryland prisoners, plus about 20 of their British guards, who had been en route from the battle to Charleston. The freed prisoners, thinking the war was already lost, refused to join Marion and deserted.
Marion showed himself to be a singularly able leader of irregular militiamen. Unlike the Continental troops, Marion's Men, as they were known, served without pay, supplied their own horses, arms and often their food. All of Marion's supplies which were not obtained locally were captured from the British or Loyalist ("Tory") forces.
Marion rarely committed his men to frontal warfare, but repeatedly surprised larger bodies of Loyalists or British regulars with quick surprise attacks and equally quick withdrawal from the field. After the surrender of Charleston, the British garrisoned South Carolina with help from local Tories, except for Williamsburg (the present Pee Dee), which they were never able to hold. The British made one attempt to garrison Williamsburg at Willtown, but were driven out by Marion at the Mingo Creek.
The British especially hated Marion and made repeated efforts to neutralize his force, but Marion's intelligence gathering was excellent and that of the British was poor, due to the overwhelming Patriot loyalty of the populace in the Williamsburg area.
Some of these events have been fictionalized in the first episode, "Birth Of The Swamp Fox", which will be featured on the blog today........