Who departed this life, on the 27th of February, 1795, In the
Sixty-Third Year of his Age; Deeply regretted by all his fellow citizens.
HISTORY will record his worth, and rising generations embalm his
memory, as one of the most distinguished Patriots and Heroes of
the American Revolution; which elevated his native Country TO
HONOUR AND INDEPENDENCE, and secured to her the
blessings of LIBERTY AND PEACE.
This tribute of veneration and gratitude is erected in
commemoration of the noble and disinterested virtues of the
CITIZEN; and the gallant exploits of the SOLDIER; Who lived
without fear, and died without reproach.
Taken from the marble slab at Belle Isle, this 20th September,1821,
by Theodore Gourdin.
The stage for this battle was set when Lord Cornwallis, Rawdon and Tarleton defeated General Gates and Baron de Kalb with the Virginia and Maryland troops in a battle near Camden. De Kalb was killed and the patriots defeated. About 150 Marylanders were taken prisoner taken by the British.
General Marion was ordered to roam the Santee burning boats so as to isolate Camden from Charleston. He was successfully engaged in this task when he learned of the defeat at Camden. He withheld this information from his sixty troops and continued to burn boats. He learned from a deserter that a British Capt. Roberts with an escort of ninety troops was holding the 150 Maryland prisoners at General Sumter’s home, on the north savannah of the Santee River near Nelson’s Ferry.
He attacked after dark and killed or captured twenty-three of the escorts and released all the prisoners. This is thought to be the first time Cornwallis heard of General Marion. (Marion's genius was guerrilla warfare although he was barely five feet tall.)
In the course of August and September, 1780, Marion was engaged in two skirmishes of considerable dimensions, in one of which he defeated a strong force of Tories at the Black Mingo river; in the other he routed and dispersed a detachment of regulars under Colonel Tynes at Tarcote. The rest of his work consisted largely in cutting off the enemy's supplies, intercepting despatches, and breaking up recruiting parties. On one occasion he led Tarleton a long and fruitless chase, till that commander is said to have exclaimed,
" Come, boys, let us go back and find the game-cock [Sumter]; as for this damn swamp-fox, the devi1 himself could not catch him."
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TAGS: July 4, 2006, Francis Marion, Swamp Fox