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Francis Marion, Contents and Editors Note

Table of Contents



A view of the first settlement of the French Protestants on the Santee. Lawson’s account of them. The ancestors of General Marion emigrate among them.

Chapter I

Birth of Gen. Marion. His Ancestry. First Destination of Going to Sea. Voyage to the West Indies and Shipwreck. His settlement in St. John’s, Berkley. Expedition under Governor Lyttleton. A Sketch of the Attack on Fort Moultrie, 1776. And the Campaign of 1779.

Chapter II – Campaign of 1780

Sir Henry Clinton arrives with an army of 12,000 men in South Carolina. The General Assembly sitting in Charleston, break up. Gen. Lincoln shuts himself up in the town, and Clinton lays siege to it. Before the town is entirely hemmed in, Marion dislocates his ankle, and retires into the country. The town capitulates. Tarleton’s career of slaughter. Defeat of Gen. Huger at Monk’s Corner and of Buford at the Waxhaws. Rising of the people in Williamsburgh, and at Pedee. Gen. Marion sent to them as a commander. Gates, defeat. Marion retakes 150 American prisoners at Nelson’s Ferry. Maj. Wemyss sent against him; he retreats to the White Marsh, in North Carolina. Returns and defeats the tories at Black Mingo and the fork of Black river. Attempt on Georgetown frustrated. Marion takes post at Snow Island. Sumter’s career. Ferguson’s defeat. Spirit of the whigs begins to revive.

Chapter III – Campaign of 1781

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Chapter IV – Campaign of 1782


Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Editor’s Note

This etext was prepared from the original 1821 edition and the 1948 edition. In the case of any differences in the text, the 1821 edition was used, except where there was an obvious mistake. Although the 1948 edition maintained the original text as far as possible, a few errors crept in — only one which changed the meaning of the text, and only in a minor way. This etext was transcribed twice, and electronically compared using “diff”. This weeds out most errors, so that, with the correction of a number of errors in the original, this is very likely the cleanest copy to date.

As far as I can tell, the original text has only been published twice in unaltered form: in 1821 (Gould and Riley, Charleston, S. C.) and in 1948. That made it very difficult to find this text. I am indebted to the following for their help in procuring these:

The librarians in the Southern Literature section at the Public Library in Birmingham, Alabama, for helping me in the search for the 1821 edition.

Carolyn Lancaster, (lancaster_carolyn/ a Library Assistant at the Special Collections Department, Furman University Library, Greenville, South Carolina, for kindly aiding me to acquire a photocopy of the 1821 edition. (The Collection contains the South Carolina Baptist materials and Furman University Archives and older, non-circulating, “rare books”, such as this one.) Phone: (864) 294-2194. Fax: (864) 294-3004. Mail:

Special Collections,
Furman University Library,
3300 Poinsett Hwy.,
Greenville, SC 29613


Gary M. Johnson, at the Library of Congress (, for a great deal of help, including a copy of the 1948 edition. The online Library of Congress catalog is at:

This etext was prepared by Alan Robert Light (, who, as a former member of the South Carolina National Guard, has a special interest in the subject. Two related works are already online, available from Project Gutenberg and perhaps from other sources.

They are the biographies of Francis Marion by the Rev. Mason Locke Weems and by William Gilmore Simms. The Weems biography is full of errors, and is more useful as literature than as history. Weems is the same author who invented the anecdote about George Washington and the Cherry Tree. William Gilmore Simms was a prominent South Carolina author, who wrote many books of history, fiction, and poetry. His 1844 biography of Marion is the broadest in scope of the three, and probably the best for the casual reader. Of course, the interested reader should read all three biographies.

(The information on Web pages, etc. is correct as of 21 May 1997.)

[Alan R. Light]