The Swamp Fox - Francis Marion's Campaign in the Carolinas by David R. Higgins

By David R. Higgins

Adversarial through "Bloody" Tarleton's Raiders, American Revolution patriots lower than Francis Marion fought a brutal guerrilla struggle all through South Carolina and North Carolina.

The American Revolution was once deadlocked within the north, and after the conflict at Monmouth Courthouse in 1778 the focal point of the clash shifted south. Following-up on his decisive may well 12, 1780 victory at Charleston, South Carolina, Cornwallis introduced a crusade during the Carolinas that was once designed to expel American Continental and armed forces forces from the southern theater. With a moment British victory at Camden in August, traditional American forces followed a coverage of heading off one other huge conflict in desire of smaller, extra constrained operations. As ordinary forces have been limited via conventional logistics and association, squaddies like Francis Marion have been in a position to inflict quite a few raids and skirmishes opposed to British and Loyalist forces, and then they'd dissolve to shape and struggle at a later time. Cornwallis hence directed contingents to safe the nation-state and seize such leaders, however the Patriot victory at King's Mountain (October), pressured him to withdraw into South Carolina in what used to be one of many turning issues within the innovative War.

To the southeast, Francis Marion persisted his hit-and-run operations within which his band rescued American prisoners at Nelson's Ferry, dispersed Loyalist forces at Blue Savannah (September), and defeated a British outpost at Black Mingo (September). whilst Marion defeated Loyalist military at Tearcoat Swamp in October, Cornwallis spoke back to this string of raids throughout northeastern South Carolina through assigning his competitive cavalry commander, Banastre Tarleton, to catch or kill the insurgent guerrilla commander. What was once an unsuccessful two-week pursuit of the elusive Marion, during which Tarleton practiced a scorched-earth coverage that finally upset Loyalist sympathizers and damage the British reason within the Carolinas.

Unlike a lot of the innovative conflict within the north, the struggling with within the Carolinas used to be commonly much less civilized and brutal, with Loyalists and Rebels in approximately equivalent numbers. with the exception of Cornwallis' British regulars and Greene's Continental military, militias and abnormal forces have been the norm. A Raid ebook overlaying the Marion/Tarleton (British) fight will be used to exhibit this form of frontier war, and the way its warring parties have been provided, equipped, and operated. even if now not a unmarried, outlined raid, the sequence of activities among August and November 1780 illustrate Marion's unconventional, but profitable, efforts to prevent their enemy's battle attempt within the south, and Tarleton's both abnormal efforts to counter it.

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Extra info for The Swamp Fox - Francis Marion's Campaign in the Carolinas 1780

Sample text

As Cornwallis idled at Rugeley’s Mill and awaited Tarleton’s return from scouring the American remnants from the battlefield, word arrived of Sumter’s capture of the British supply convoy from Ninety Six, some 90 miles to the west. Wanting to regain the wagons, and eliminate the possibility of the rebels’ dissolving into numerous guerrilla bands that would disperse his forces and hamper his communication and logistic routes with Charleston, he ordered Major Patrick Ferguson’s elements of the 71st Regiment of Foot and Lieutenant-Colonel George Turnbull’s Loyalists from their positions to the west and north respectively, to block Sumter’s route toward North Carolina.

Marion was now strong enough to deploy patrols ranging along the roads, which forced the Crown’s supply wagons from Charleston to Camden to detour along lengthier routes. The British were outraged by Marion’s ability to run roughshod in areas they felt were under their control, and Balfour sent 50 men to Moncks Corner to act as a buffer against the rebel commander crossing the Santee River and moving on Charleston. Cornwallis urged the Having been informed of a Loyalist force operating between the Black River and Wenee Creek, Marion moved north from Kingstree, where he found the enemy encampment near Tearcoat Swamp.

The region’s swamps and forests also provided potentially safe zones in which irregular forces could take refuge, rest, and reorganize, and bases from which to maintain or expand the struggle. As a guerrilla leader, Marion was tasked with organizing insurgent structures from among the local population and establishing the moral superiority of his cause as part of the larger rebellion. This provided a critical means of sustaining the struggle because – along with maintaining positive contact with the people for whom they were fighting – it blended cultural and social causes with a political end, and served to differentiate the rebel effort from that of their enemies; a necessary approach, albeit contrary to that to which an aggressive command was accustomed.

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