Author's talk: The Swamp Fox: How Francis Marion Saved the American Revolution
May 11, 2017 –
In honor of the 234th anniversary of the founding of the Society of the Cincinnati, historian John Oller discusses and signs copies of his biography of Francis Marion, an original Society member and famous leader of a band of South Carolina militiamen during the American Revolution.
In the darkest days of the American Revolution, Francis Marion and his band of militia freedom fighters kept hope alive for the patriot cause during the critical British "southern campaign." Employing insurgent guerrilla tactics that became commonplace in later centuries, Marion and his brigade inflicted enemy losses that were individually small but cumulatively a large drain on British resources and morale.
In this action-packed biography we meet many colorful characters from the Revolution: Banastre Tarleton, the British cavalry officer who relentlessly pursued Marion over twenty-six miles of swamp, only to call off the chase and declare (per legend) that "the Devil himself could not catch this damned old fox," giving Marion his famous nickname; Thomas Sumter, the bold but rash patriot militia leader whom Marion detested; Lord Cornwallis, the imperious British commander who ordered the hanging of rebels and the destruction of their plantations; "Light-Horse Harry" Lee, the urbane young Continental cavalryman who helped Marion topple critical British outposts in South Carolina; but most of all Francis Marion himself, "the Washington of the South," a man of ruthless determination yet humane character, motivated by what his peers called "the purest patriotism."
In The Swamp Fox, the first major biography of Marion in more than forty years, John Oller provides a fresh look both at Marion, the man, and how he helped save the American Revolution.
The talk will last approximately 45 minutes. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and a book signing will follow the lecture. Light refreshments will be served.