The Swamp Fox Rides Again: Francis Marion’s War in South Carolina
Thursday, October 27 (7 p.m.) to Sunday, October 30 (5 p.m.)
Led by Charles B. Baxley
HQ: Georgetown, SC
[Click here to register]
Many of us will remember the stirring adventures of the “Swamp Fox” portrayed by Leslie Neilson in Walt Disney’s episodic series in the late 1950’s. Again in 2000, Mel Gibson starred in a fictionalized version of a composite Swamp Fox character in the movie “The Patriot.” The real Swamp Fox story, however, is even more exciting than either of its modern day adaptations.
Our tour will focus on the military career and partisan exploits of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion, a true American hero who challenged the might of the British army in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War with a few loyal men, along with a hearty supply of guts and guile.
On Thursday evening we’ll have a “meet and greet” to distribute name badges and a map package. Your guide, Charles Baxley, will provide an introductory talk on South Carolina in the American Revolution.
On Friday we will take a tour to Marion sites in and around the historic district Georgetown, South Carolina. After lunch, we will take a boat trip with the tidal flow down the Pee Dee River to see the relics of the Southern rice culture and to retrace Gen. Marion’s and Lt. Col. “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s January 1781 raid on Georgetown.
On Saturday we will tour sites of Marion’s “Bridges Campaign”; see the “War of the Posts” site of Ft. Watson; tour the Eutaw Springs battlefield where Marion led his militia to do the impossible, to stand and fight like Continental soldiers in a linear battle; visit the site of Marion’s post-bellum home, Pond Bluff Plantation; and pay our respects at the General’s tomb.
On Sunday we will visit the Colleton’s Fair Lawn Barony near Moncks Corner, South Carolina with its extant Revolutionary War redoubt and the site of the Colleton mansion – a British hospital burned by Marion’s men; visit the Avenue of the Cedars battlefield; see where Marion was born and where he discharged his legendary militia regiment to return home after the British evacuated Charlestown; and follow Marion’s troops on the “Dog Days of Summer Campaign” from Biggin Church and Wadboo Bridge to fight at Quinby Bridge and Shubrick’s Plantation.
In addition, we will learn about Marion’s fight at Sampit River Bridge, his defeats at Wambaw Bridge and Tidyman’s Plantation, his successful Parker’s Ferry ambush, his several raids on Georgetown, his victories at Blue Savannah, Thomas Sumter’s home on Great Savannah, Tearcoat Swamp, Black Mingo Creek, and the composition of his partisan militia brigade.
We will discuss the controversies with the British over sniping sentries on the Bridges Campaign, the British detention of Capt. John Postell under a “flag” of truce; and his troops burning of the Colleton mansion hospital. We will cover Marion’s early life and military training in the French and Indian War, his career as a South Carolina State Troop and Continental Line commandant, and his post-war political career. We will discuss Marion the man, the myths, and the amazing realities of his service to his State and Country.
We will be joined by several other Marion scholars along the way and the fall weather in South Carolina is generally splendid for battlefield tramping. Charles Baxley’s expertise on Marion promises a thorough exploration of beautiful areas where America’s freedom was torn from the British by cunning and grit. It will be a collegial group guided by the Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution’s principals of fun, fellowship and scholarship.
This is an opportunity for Charles to share with you the last 15 years of his research on the American Revolution, Gen. Francis Marion and his partisan warfare against the British – where he and a hand full of men, dominated ¼ of South Carolina, with little support from any government. Marion kept the dream of Liberty alive despite the extreme oppressive measures the British employed. Charles is co-editing the (yet unpublished) Papers of Gen. Francis Marion with David Neilan and will also share insights he has have gleaned from that work.
Registration Fee: $495.00
- What’s included: motor coach transportation, a boat ride on the Pee Dee River, three lunches, beverage and snack breaks, a map and materials package, all admissions and gratuities, and the services of experienced tour leaders. The hotel will provide a complimentary breakfast each day. Tour participants are responsible for transportation to the headquarters hotel, and securing a room reservation, if necessary. Tour goes out rain or shine. Please see our policy page for information about cancellations.
- Hotel: We have arranged with the Hampton Inn by Hilton-Georgetown Marina, 420 Marina Drive, Georgetown, SC 29440 for a group rate of $99 (single or double occupancy. Please call the hotel at 845-545-5000 and ask for the America’s History group rate. This rate will be guaranteed until September 27, so please make your reservations soon.
- Our Tour Leader: Charles B. Baxley is the publisher of Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution, an on-line journal. His recent article on Gen. Nathanael Greene’s attack on Dorchester, his support of Cols. John Laurens’ and “Light Horse Harry” Lee’s attack on Johns Island, SC, and move to protect South Carolina’s General Assembly at Jacksonborough was published in the recent issue of Army History magazine. He has planned many symposia on the Revolution, is a member of the Southern Campaign Revolutionary War Roundtable, has conducted dozens of tours and staff rides, and is the co-editor of the Papers of Gen. Francis Marion.