Gen. Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox," was a Revolutionary War hero who gives his name to the beautiful city of Marion. Francis Marion was a member of the South Carolina Provincial Congress and voted in favor of the Revolutionary War against the British.
The title "Swamp Fox" was given to Francis Marion for his tactics of hiding with his men in the swamps that he became familiar with, then ambushing the British when they least expected it. After the troops attacked the British, Francis Marion would order them to retreat, often into the swamps, before the British knew what hit them. Often using clever, cat-and-mouse play, he became creditied with being the father of guerilla warfare.
Gen. Francis Marion led volunteer armies in numerous battles and skirmishes during the Revolutionary War and when General Horatio Gates and General Thomas Sumter were defeated, Francis Marion's troops were the only troops left fighting in South Carolina. The number of men left fighting was down to so few that Francis Marion organized his men into guerilla units. They provided their own food, horses and supplies. Blacksmiths took old saw blades and created swords for the men, their ammunition was created out of pewter plates.
Francis Marion and his troops took on local loyalist troops, forcing them to surrender in a truce in present day Marion County. He and his band of partisans camped along the Great Pee Dee River at what is now Dunham's Bluff, across from his famous hideout on Snow's Island. His men raided the British supply units and rescued captured soldiers. Although the British tried, they could never catch the clever Swamp Fox. Francis Marion is remembered not only in the South, but throughout America as an incredible war hero. Originally named Gilesborough around 1800, in honor of the Revolutionary War Col. Hugh Giles from the Catfish Creek area of present day Marion County who fought with Gen. Marion, the city was renamed.
Here, in South Carolina, his legacy burns the brightest for the streets traveled today cover the dirt trails he traveled years ago. The City of Marion is proud of this strong, historical figure. In an effort to better remember the contributions of the men who served with Gen. Francis Marion, and to educate today's generations about life in the area from 1779-1781, HMRA has partnered with a group of local reenactors as their sponsoring agency.
The members of the Britton's Neck Regiment of Militia, a company of reenactors, work to depict the life and times during the American Revolution. To learn more about the reenactors, call Denley Caughman at 843-423-5220.
Marion, the county seat, has thrived as a judicial center for the area since the early 1800s. A crossroads town that expanded with time and new industries, among them farming, transportation, soft drink bottling, banking and manufacturing, Marion has become "by-passed" in recent years. The Historic Marion Revitalization Association exists to help move Marion into the future while building on its unique and wonderful history, heritage and humility.
theswampfox.com Historic Marion Revitalization Association ◊
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