Francis Marion Trail
Discover History Francis Marion
General Francis Marion,
The Swamp Fox -
Rev. War History
Francis Marion's Revolutionary War History at
; linking site: Murals
Fox Trail, Clarendon County SC
Link to more Francis Marion data and Scott Aiken's timeline, Marion's engagements beside others in the Southern Department.
The American Revolution was deadlocked in the north, after the Battle at Monmouth Courthouse, NJ, June 28, 1778.
These Swamp Fox engagements were after Charleston fell and the British occupied it starting on May 12, 1780.
Marion had escaped capture and was the only senior Regimental or Continental Officer free to lead the local militia.
Here are the Revolutionary War
happenings around the Santee &
Black Rivers in chronological
of Mouzon's (August
7, 1780) Directions: I-95
Exit 132, Hwy 527, Black River Road, towards
Captain Wm. Henry Mouzon
Battle of Nelson's
Ferry or Great
24, 1780) *C-7 #2 Click for: Map
Directions: Southeast of Summerton, I-95 Exit 102, take Dingle Pond Road (SR 400) east about 4.5 miles. Unmarked site is on Santee Wildlife Refuge, Pine Island Unit, and requires walking.
The stage for this battle was set when the British Lord Cornwallis defeated General Gates in a battle near Camden. De Kalb was killed and about 150 Marylanders were taken prisoner by the British. General Marion was ordered by Gates 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 August 16, 1780. 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, most of whom elected not to join Marion's Militia. This is thought to be the first time Cornwallis heard of General Marion.
General Thomas Sumter's Plantation on the Santee #2 Click for: Map Directions: I-95 Exit 102,
take Dingle Pond Road (SR 400) east approximately
on Santee NW Refuge, Pine Island Unit
Ride to North Carolina
(Sept 8-24, 1780)
Sept. 28-29, 1780 Marion, back in SC, attacked Col. Ball at Black Mingo, Mouzon was wounded.
Francis Marion and his men needed horses for the way they fought and his guerrilla tactics throughout this Santee & Black River area
It was important for Marion to have a strong horse. Marion found exactly what he needed.
At Black Mingo Creek, in Williamsburg County, just east of Kingstree.
Sept 28-29, 1780 Marion militiamen attacked Col John Cummins Ball, a Tory, & his men at Black Mingo.
He captured Col. Ball's horse & rode him the rest of the war and long after and called him "Ball".
Directions: I-95, exit
132, South of Turbeville, take
Black River Road (SC 527) East to Historic
US 301. Go South on US 301, West
on N. Brewington Rd (SR 50). The battle
area is about .5 mile East of I-95
Tearcoat Mural at corner of Main St.
(US 301) and Park St., Turbeville,
(Tuesday, November 7, 1780)
108, from junction of Historic
US 301 and US 15 in Summerton
go west on Gov. Richardson Road (SR 26).
Site is on the Furse Branch just
west of Jack’s Creek.
Marion enticing British
Col. Tarleton into Ox Swamp Mural in Manning
Pursuit to Ox Swamp
8, 1780) *C-25
Exit 119 - go east on
SC 261. I-95
Exit 122 – go east on US 521. The
road crosses Ox Swamp just east of Manning.
Site *C-2 #54 Map
of Half Way Swamp
*C-1 #13 Map
Battle of Fort Watson
27, 1781) #37
Directions: South of Summerton,
I-95 Exit 102. Historic US 301
north, turn west onto Fort Watson Road
(S- 803). Marker at the Visitors Center and
the Indian Mound, site of Fort Watson, is at
the end of the road.
The next sequence
of events comprise the
Bridges Campaign or Watson Pursuit
Battle of Wyboo Swamp
March 6, 1781) #22 Map
Watson threw in
the Troy dragoons. Gavin
James, powerful of frame and fierce
of courage, turned back to dispute
Harrison’s passage. Mounted
on a gray horse and armed only with
musket and bayonet, he threw himself directly
in the path of the dragoons. Their
foremost man he dropped with buckshot.
Before he could reload, a dragoon
rushed him with his saber. James slew
him with his bayonet, and a second with the
same bayonet. In falling he seized
the barrel of James’ gun and for 50 yards in
his retreat Gavin James dragged the dying Tory.
As the dragoons crossed the causeway,
Marion’s militia charged, driving
the Tories back across Wyboo.
Watson ordered his Guards to clear the passage.
Marion knew his men could not
stop the veterans and called them to mount and
retreat. Marion withdrew to a position near
the John Cantey Plantation
(near the family cemetery).
Mount Hope Harassment
10-28, 1781) *C-29 #24
of Fort Watson
(Monday to Monday,
April 16-23, 1781)
Re-enactment at Santee Indian Mound, Victory at Fort Watson Encampment October, 2003
Find this Indian Mound: 33° 32' 21" N 80° 26' 15" W
Ricky Roberts' model of Fort Watson
and Maham tower
now at the
May 8, 1781 Marion and Lee arrived at Fort Motte.
The Rebecca Motte home was located on the south side of the Congaree River
just west of the Congaree & Wateree joining to form the Santee River.
Marion's militia along with Lee's Legion, laid siege to Fort Motte May 8th, 1781.
They dug trenches to get closer to the home the British had fortified. On May 12 the Patriots asked
& Mrs. Motte agreed, they would set fire to the house. A bow & arrows or pitch balls were used
to set the wood shingles on the roof on fire. As the roof started to burn the British surrendered &
both groups worked to put it out. That evening Mrs. Motte had dinner cooked for the officers from both sides.
While eating, Gen. Marion was told some of Lee's men were hanging the British prisoners.
Marion immediately stopped this action & protected the prisoners.
May 12, 1781 Patriots, led by Francis Marion and Henry Lee,
captured the British post known as Fort Motte (at Rebecca Motte’s Mount Joseph plantation).
The British had used Fort Motte ( http://www.carolana.com/ ) as another of the outposts to guard Charles Town.
General Francis Marion in
St. Mark's Parish, now Clarendon County,
is in the Continental uniform
These Swamp Fox engagements were after Charleston fell and the British occupied it starting on May 12, 1780. Marion had escaped capture and was the only senior Regimental or Continental Officer free to lead the local militia. Find this statue: 33° 41' 42" N 80° 12' 44" W
British held Fort Johnson, built on James Island in 1747 to protect Charlestown, was attacked by
South Carolina patriots in 1775. Lt Col Motte’s unit finally reached Fort Johnson the morning of 14 Sept 1775, but found it abandoned. The Patriots quickly prepared to defend the fort. Col Moultrie asked the Council of Safety what flag should be flown over the fort. The Council said to make one. Col Moultrie wrote that, “I was desired by the council of safety to have one made, upon which, as the state troops were clothed in blue, and the fort was garrisoned by the 1st and 2nd regiments, who wore a silver crescent on the front of their caps, I had a large blue flag made with a crescent to be in uniform with the troops.”
Fort Sullivan, “Palmetto Fort”, June 28, 1776
To increase the security of the Charlestown harbor, in February 1776, the Council of Safety of South Carolina directed Colonel Moultrie to build a for on Sullivan’s Island. On the morning of June 28th the British fleet was positioned to attack the fort that was only about half finished. The fort was being built using palmetto trees and sand. Many people thought the palmetto logs were not suitable to withstand an attack. At about 11:00 o’clock in the morning Commodore Parker signaled the British ships to start firing their cannons at the fort. Some of the shells were 13 inches in diameter. The ships came as close as 400 yards (4 football field lengths) from the fort as they attacked. The palmetto logs stopped the British cannon balls. The British sailed away after they lost several ships and many sailors were killed and wounded.
General Richardson, Richardson Cemetery
and St Mark's Parish Church
*C-2 #54 Map
Richard Richardson had come from
Virginia as a land surveyor in the
1750’s; he was granted 1,000 acres
in Craven County in St. Mark's
Parish on the north side of the
Santee River & acquired many more.
He was a colonel of militia in1757 &
he was in the Cherokee War of
1760-1761 and the Snow Campaign, the
winter 1775-1776. He was taken
prisoner when Charlestown was
Richardson cemetery: 33° 38'
14" N 80° 29' 28" W
Francis Marion and the Sweet Potato Story
Francis Marion was in his camp near Snow Island on the Pee Dee River with his Militiamen. A British officer visited with Marion under a flag of truce to negotiate an exchange of prisoners. Marion offered him a meal consisting of sweet potatoes cooked in the ashes of the campfire and water to drink. The British officer returned to Charlestown and refused to fight against an enemy ( the Patriots) as dedicated as Francis Marion, "who ate roots cooked in a fire and drank nothing but water from the swamp."
There are about 12 different paintings that depict this event. All these paintings or etchings were done after General Marion died.
Eutaw Springs Battle was Saturday, September 8, 1781. #44 Map
Directions: I-95 Exit 98 east on SC 6 to Eutaw Springs.
The Battle of Eutaw Springs was the last large battle fought in the campaign to end British occupation of the Carolinas and Georgia. On September 8, 1781, Major General Nathanael Greene's Continental Army accompanied by militia (Marion and his Militia led the 4 militia front line) attacked the British Army under the command of Lt. Col. Alexander Stewart at Eutaw Springs. Over 4000 men fought for more than 4 hours in the stifling heat. It was the bloodiest battle of the Revolutionary War and soldiers reported wading through puddles of blood on the field and men were standing, dead, impaled on each other's bayonets. When the carnage was over, the British evacuated the area and moved to Chaleston Neck. Five weeks later, when the British surrendered at Yorktown, they had no claim to the Carolinas and Georgia. The Battle of Eutaw Springs ( http://www.carolana.com/ ) had ended British control. (from Christine Swager: "The Valiant Died")
Find this battlefield: 33° 24' 26" N 80° 17' 55" W
Francis Marion's Tomb is a SC State Site near Pineville: 33° 27' 14" N 80° 05' 14" W
Directions: South of Manning, I-95 Exit 119 east on SC 261, south on SC 260, east on Kenwood Road (S-323). Large brick and metal gate on the right, south side, of the road mark Plantation.
John Cantey’s home was about halfway between Nelson’s Ferry and Murray’s Ferry. Gen. Marion was staying here when he learned that General Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown on October 19, 1781. Joseph Cantey, John’s father, purchased the Mount Hope Plantation about 1739. It was located east of John’s near the present Cantey Cemetery.
Nov. 10, 1781, Saturday, Celebration party at John Cantey’s: “a fine party for the ladies of Santee”
Historic Marker for Marion born on Goatfield Plantation
Marion Grave and Family Cemetery, Pineville, Berkeley County, SC: Historic Marker
Revolutionary War Locations in Clarendon County Area
Swamp Fox Map
Choke points on the Santee River & Black River where Marion cut the British supply lines.
Battle of Nelson's Ferry or Battle of Great Savannah (August 20, 1780) *C-7 SF
Battle of Tearcoat (October 25, 1780) *C-27 SF
Confrontation at Richbourg's Mill (November 7, 1780) *C-6 SF
Chase to Ox Swamp (November 8, 1780) *C-25 SF
Battle of Half Way Swamp (December 17, 1780) *C-1 SF
Battle of Wyboo Swamp (March 6, 1781) *C-28 SF
Mount Hope Harassment (March 10-28, 1781) *C-29 SF
Siege of Fort Watson (April 16, 1781) *C-3 SF
Richardson Home Site & Cemetery (November 8, 1780) *C-2 SF
General Thomas Sumter's Plantation (November, 1780) *C-7 SF
John Cantey Plantation Site ( 1781) SF
Note: *C #s are Historical Tour Guide Map Signs (Maps available at Clarendon County Archives)
For more info or questions, contact: G Summers: 803-478-2645 or email email@example.com
Celebrate 'General Francis Marion Memorial Day'
Hosts: Swamp Fox Murals
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