Marion is considered to be the father of modern guerrilla warfare and maneuver warfare. According to Crawford, the biographies by the historians William Gilmore Simms ("The Life of Francis Marion") and Hugh Rankin can be regarded as accurate. John Blake White, William Ranney and Alonzo Chapel all painted various images of Revolutionary War events that included Oscar somewhere near his master, Gen. Francis Marion. After the war, Marion married his cousin, Mary Esther Videau. Oscar was a slave. [1] In the years that followed, Marion managed the family's plantation.[1]. Oscar fought in the siege of Savannah in 1779, the siege of Charleston in 1780, and the Battle of Eutaw Springs in 1781. His family received a special proclamation and certificate from President Bush and U.S. Rep. Albert Wynn, D-Md., on behalf of a grateful nation. The Patriot is not the first film to airbrush the biography of its true-life subject. Whereupon Marion’s men attacked, overwhelmed the British, and freed their fellow Americans. I have a personal interest in the life and legacy of Oscar Marion. The true-life pioneer behind the new Mel Gibson action film has been revealed to be not so much the stuff of legend as of law courts. Tina C. Jones, an author and teacher, is founder and president of the American Historical Interpretation Foundation. As I have researched his life, I have identified my ancestor in many other historical paintings located in fine museums around the country. There is also a provocative painting showing both Marion men sharing a white horse. Bush. As they write of Marion, “He taught us to sleep in the swamps, to feed on roots, to drink the turbid waters of the ditch, to prowl nightly round the encampments of the foe, like lions round the habitations of the shepherds who had slaughtered their cubs.”. The record of the division notes how the 155 slaves were divided among Marion's heirs. ", The British historian Hugh Bicheno compared Marion with British Officers Tarleton and Major James Wemyss. Rebels and Redcoats, Hugh Bicheno, Harper Collins, 2004, London p. 189. Francis Marion grew up to become the wily general known to his enemies as the "Swamp Fox." In the 1835 novel Horse-Shoe Robinson by John Pendleton Kennedy, a historical romance set against the background of the Southern campaigns in the American Revolution, Marion appears and interacts with the fictional characters. They were probably about the same age, or at least of the same generation. What was it that brought the British, last war, to Carolina, but her lack of knowledge? Marion commanded the right wing under General Greene at the Battle of Eutaw Springs. The summer action flick The Patriot takes its inspiration from the exploits of a certain Francis Marion, who took on the full might of the British army during the American War of Independence. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Indeed, according to one source, there are more place-names in America named after him than any other Revolutionary War figure, save George Washington. Colonel Banastre Tarleton was sent to capture or kill Marion in November 1780; he despaired of finding the "old swamp fox", who eluded him by travelling along swamp paths. His slaves had run away to fight for the British and had later been evacuated from Charleston. And while there are many biographies of Marion, it seems most fitting to rely on a work that was written close to Marion’s own time. It starred Leslie Nielsen as Marion, and Nielsen was also one of the singers of the theme song. He is also considered to be the father of the United States Army Rangers. During my research efforts, I identified Oscar in a famous oil painting by John Blake White that has been on exhibit at the U.S. Capitol building for more than a century; his identity had been unknown. Francis Marion Facts: Later Years. Some may recall that the 2000 Mel Gibson movie, , was loosely based on the military career of Marion—although the connection between real history and reel fantasy was loosened to the point of non-existence in a biting review in. [8] During his absence his brigade grew disheartened, particularly after a British sortie from Charleston, and there was reportedly a conspiracy to turn him over to the British. Hans Conreid portrayed Marion in an episode of the Cavalcade of America television series, "The Swamp Fox," which was broadcast on October 25, 1955. In another painting, he is seen as a soldier in full uniform, mounted on a horse and armed with a rifle. Indeed, he even supported higher taxes to achieve that goal. The Military Junior College Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama has an organization called Swamp Fox which is attributed to Francis Marion. This was a band of troopers led by General Francis Marion, a native of South Carolina, whose ancestors were French Huguenot refugees. It was Tarleton who gave Marion his nom de guerre when, after unsuccessfully pursuing Marion's troops for over 26 miles through a swamp, he gave up and swore "[a]s for this damned old fox, the Devil himself could not catch him. A British expedition under Henry Clinton moved into South Carolina in the early spring of 1780 and laid siege to Charleston. In his analysis of William Cullen Bryant's poem "Song of Marion's Men," Rupert S. Holland provides the following context: "The British had succeeded in defeating most of the American troops in South Carolina by 1780, and had laid waste much of that state, confiscating plantations, burning houses, and hanging such as they termed traitors without giving them any form of trial. On June 21, 1775, Marion was commissioned Captain in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment under William Moultrie, with whom he served in June 1776 in the defense of Fort Sullivan in Charleston harbor. Heinrich Harrer, the Zen-like seeker played by Brad Pitt in Seven Years in Tibet, for instance, was subsequently revealed to have been a Nazi. Francis Marion never claimed to be noble, he instead was a product of the times he lived in. The program included a musical prelude by the 257th Army Band, and remarks from Senate Curator Diane K. Skvarla, NBC News correspondent Tracie Potts and Smithsonian Institute historian Margaret S. Vining, a consultant for "The Patriot." Unsurprisingly, The Patriot script elected to gloss over this aspect of its protagonist's life. For example, a September 1 headline on the op-ed page of the Charleston. The slave-turned-soldier waged successful guerrilla warfare against British troops, and unlike other slaves owned by Francis Marion's family, who left and served with the loyalists, Oscar deliberately chose the path of patriotism. The city of Marion, Iowa holds an annual Swamp Fox Festival. Tracing our line deeper into history, I found three relatives who served in South Carolina regiments during the Revolutionary War: my African forefather Quamno, his son Peter - both servants of John Marion (a close relative of Francis) - and Oscar Marion, who, as a child, played with the general and, as a man, fought alongside him. He had little education and remained semiliterate to the end of his life. But in June of that year, he put down a Loyalist uprising on the banks of the Pee Dee River. In 1860, slave owners, white or black, owned around one to five slaves on average. And so of course, as a prominent legal theorist as well as an active politician, he was at the forefront of the great debates of his day, in which slavery was always at least a subtext. The series depicted Mary Videau (who in the series no familial relationship with Marion) secretly acting as an informant for Marion on British movements and Marion's nephew Gabriel Marion being killed by Loyalists, causing Marion to seek revenge on those responsible. Marion began his military career shortly before his 25th birthday. Francis Marion, colonial American soldier in the American Revolution (1775–83), nicknamed the “Swamp Fox” by the British for his elusive tactics. The fake opinion columnists primarily targeted right-of-center outlets receptive to a hawkish line against Iran, CHARLESTON, S.C.—The Southern memorial controversy is here, too, in South Carolina. The park is bounded by 4th & 6th Streets and at the intersection of E Street and South Carolina Avenue in southeast Washington, D.C.[21] The Francis Marion Hotel is a historic hotel in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. A meme shared June 17 on Facebook claims that Biden’s great-grandfather, named Joseph J. Biden in the post, was a slave owner and fought for the Confederate States of America. At that point, some of Marion’s patriots temporarily gave in to despair: “Where is the use of fighting now, when all is lost?”. 1732. Marion’s name is, in fact, splashed all over his home state; in Florence, for instance, there’s Francis Marion University. Yet Marion was much more than a knife-between-the-teeth warrior; in the course of the book, the reader meets a man who had obviously thought deeply about the local political economy. Acting with the Continental Army and South Carolina militia commissions, he was a persistent adversary of the British in their occupation of South Carolina and Charleston in 1780 and 1781, even after the Continental Army was driven out of the state in the Battle of Camden. In addition, the program included excerpts from "The Patriot" featuring the character Occam, played by actor Jay Arlen Jones. Marion thus missed the battle, which proved to be a decisive British victory. [25] Some local residents opposed a monument to a slaveowner.[26]. Marion rarely committed his men to frontal warfare, but repeatedly bewildered larger bodies of Loyalists or British regulars with quick surprise attacks and equally sudden withdrawal from the field.