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Marion thus missed the battle, which proved to be a decisive British victory. Marion showed himself to be a singularly able leader of irregular militiamen and ruthless in his terrorising of Loyalists. Unlike the Continental troops, Marion's Men, as they were known, served without pay, supplied their own horses, arms and often their food. Marion rarely committed his men to frontal warfare, but repeatedly bewildered larger bodies of Loyalists or British regulars with quick surprise attacks and equally sudden withdrawal from the field.

After the surrender of Charleston, the British garrisoned South Carolina with help from local Tories, except for Williamsburg, which they were never able to hold. The British made one attempt to garrison Williamsburg at the colonial village of Willtown, but were driven out by Marion at the Battle of Black Mingo.

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Cornwallis observed "Colonel Marion had so wrought the minds of the people, partly by the terror of his threats and cruelty of his punishments, and partly by the promise of plunder, that there was scarcely an inhabitant between the Santee and the Pee Dee that was not in arms against us".

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. Colonel Banastre Tarleton was sent to capture or kill Marion in November ; he despaired of finding the "old swamp fox", who eluded him by travelling along swamp paths.

It was Tarleton who gave Marion his nom de guerre when, after unsuccessfully pursuing Marion's troops for over 26 miles through a swamp, he gave up and swore "[a]s for this damned old fox, the Devil himself could not catch him. Marion was also tasked with combating groups of freed slaves working or fighting alongside the British. He received an order from the Governor of South Carolina to execute any blacks suspected of carrying provisions or gathering intelligence for the enemy "agreeable to the laws of this State".

In April they took Fort Watson and in May they captured Fort Motte , and succeeded in breaking communications between the British posts in the Carolinas. For this action he received the thanks of the Continental Congress. In January , he was elected to a new State Assembly at Jacksonborough and left his troops to take up his seat. In August he left his brigade and returned to his plantation. In , the British Parliament suspended offensive operations in America, and in December , the British withdrew their garrison from Charleston.

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The war was brought to an end by the Treaty of Paris. Marion returned to his plantation to find it had been burnt during the fighting.

His slaves had run away to fight for the British and had later been evacuated from Charleston. He borrowed money to purchase slaves for his plantation. After the war, Marion married his cousin, Mary Esther Videau. Marion served several terms in the South Carolina State Senate. The public memory of Francis Marion has been shaped in large part by the first biography about him, The Life of General Francis Marion [13] written by M. In the novel Horse-Shoe Robinson by John Pendleton Kennedy , a historical romance set against the background of the Southern campaigns in the American Revolution, Marion appears and interacts with the fictional characters.

In the book he is depicted as decisive, enterprising and valiant. It starred Leslie Nielsen as Marion, and Nielsen was also one of the singers of the theme song. The series depicted Mary Videau in this series having no familial relationship with Marion secretly acting as an informant for Marion on British movements and Marion's nephew Gabriel Marion being killed by Loyalists, causing Marion to seek revenge on those responsible. Francis Marion was one of the influences for the main character of Benjamin Martin in the movie The Patriot , which according to Crawford "exaggerated the Swamp Fox legend for a whole new generation".

Around the time of The Patriot ' s release, comments in the British press challenged the American notion of Francis Marion as a hero. In the Evening Standard , British author Neil Norman called Francis Marion "a thoroughly unpleasant dude who was, basically, a terrorist". Share This eBook:. Add to Wishlist. Instant Download. Description eBook Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! More eBooks in Biographies See All. Educating Alice. I'm Kidding. Heart Country. Ponting At the Close of Play. Bill : The Life of William Dobell.

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