Revolutionary War Exhibit
Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox"
Cashing in on Francis Marion
Returning home and never again going to sea, Marion joined a colonial militia in 1756. In 1761, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Grant of the British Army, he participated in a campaign against the Cherokee. During the War of Independence, he joined the Continental Army as an officer.
In addition to being the David’s place of construction, Berkeley County also produced Revolutionary war hero Francis Marion, known as the Swamp Fox. Descended from French Huguenots and born in 1732, he was the youngest of six children. For his first twelve years he was, according to American National Biography, “a frail and puny lad.” After this “he grew stronger” and by the age of sixteen joined the crew of a schooner headed for the West Indies. Struck by a whale, she sunk, forcing the crew to retreat to a jolly boat. Here they remained for a week until a passing ship saved them. By then two of the crew had died.
"General Francis Marion, of South Carolina."
1876 print. Library of Congress.
In 1780 he suffered a serious injury—folklore says he jumped out of a window at John Stuart’s Charleston house to escape an insufferable party, breaking his leg—but by July 1780 he was back in action. Assigned to General Johann Kalb’s army in North Carolina, Marion was sent on a reconnaissance mission. When he returned to the main force, General Horatio Gates had taken charg. Soon enough Gates’ army was routed by British general Lord Charles Cornwallis. Fortunately for Marion, before that occurred, he’d been put in charge of a detachment sent south to severe British lines of communications with Charleston. Not long after Gates’ defeat, American general Thomas Sumpter was soundly thumped by the British at the Battle of Catawba Ford in South Carolina, eliminating any significant American military presence in the South.