| American History Stories, Volume II|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Tales of Revolutionary times, including the causes of the American Revolution, the daring exploits of those defending liberty, the early battles, the struggles of the army, and the heroes who led the colonists to victory. Ages 8-12 |
GENERAL FRANCIS MARION
THE FOX OF THE SOUTHERN SWAMP
 There was one brave patriot working away in the swampy
country in South Carolina. This man was General
Marion; and so wise was he, and so brave, and
succeeded in stealing such marches upon the enemies in
this southern district,
 that he was called the "fox of
the southern swamp." I shall not try to tell you of
the successful raids he made, and the successful
battles he fought, because battles all sound pretty
much alike to little folks, and you might grow tired of
hearing of them. If I can tell you some of the stories
of those times which will help you to understand the
kind of men and women these patriots were, how brave
they were, and how much they were willing to suffer for
the cause which seemed to them right, I know your
teacher will be better satisfied than she would be to
hear you repeat like parrots the names and dates of all
the battles in our whole history.
This General Marion had a camp in a swamp, among the
forests and tangled grasses and mosses—a place so
hidden and so hard to enter, that no one cared to
attempt an attack upon him. From this place Marion and
his men used to march forth to battle. At one time a
British officer was brought into this camp to talk with
Marion about some prisoners. After they had arranged
matters, Marion invited the young officer to dine with
him. The officer accepted; but when he was taken to
the "mess-room," and saw only a pine log for a table,
on which were heaped nothing but baked potatoes, he
asked in astonishment,
"Is this all you have for dinner?" "This is all,"
answered General Marion, "and we thought ourselves
fortunate in having more potatoes than usual, when we
had a visitor to dine with us."
 "You must have good pay to make up for such living,"
said the officer.
"On the contrary," answered Marion, "I have never
received a dollar, nor has one of my men."
"What on earth are you fighting for?"
"For the love of liberty," answered the hero. The
story says that the young officer went back to
Charleston and resigned his position in the English
army, saying he would not fight against men who fought
from such motives, and were willing to endure such
Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics