Francis Marion was a man who became a hero. He rode from the swamps of South Carolina with his brigade to fight the British when all others had given up hope for the casue of liberty in South Carolina. Why when all others had gone into hiding or given up did he bring the fight to the British? What factos lead Marion and his brigade to fight in these dark times for liberty. This will be the main topic over the next severeal months. Below are some of the topics that we will be looking into.
When some look at Francis Marion as a soldier, some think of him as a man who learned the trade as he fought the British as a fanatic in the swamps of the Low Country of South Carolina. The reality was he was a highly trained military officer who had fought two wars against the Cherokee in the upper parts of South Carolina in the 1760s where he won accolades as a fearless soldier. He was by the time of his exile into the swamps a commissioned Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army by Congress and commandant of the Second South Carolina Line in the Continental Army.
Marion had fought in several major engagements as an officer of the 2nd South Carolina. Marion was at the Battle of Sullivan’s Island, fighting from inside the fort on Sullivan’s Island that defeated the British fleet in Charleston harbor and thus saved it from the first assault on Charleston by the British. He had taken part in the American assault to retake Savannah from the British; he had been given independent command of crack troops to protect key American positions in South Carolina, and was known by all as a highly efficient and fearless officer. So to say he was just a partisan soldier who fight the British with backwoodsman almost paints him as a man who lacked formal military skills to fight the British. That somehow he was a lucky man who hit the British and ran because that’s all he knew.
The truth of the matter was that Marion was the right man, at the right place, at the right time that had the skills and a strong belief in the Patriots cause. This strong belief came from the fact that his family was French Huguenots who had left France because their King had revoked the Treaty of Nance that gave them religious freedom as Protestants in Catholic France. Marion’s grandparents taught their children and grandchildren that to be true to your values for they are worth fighting for. Thus the King of France gave America one of her greatest generals through intolerance of religion.
Over the next few months we will be looking into how these parts came together to form the whole of Francis Marion.