The Fox of the Southern Swamp


“There was once a brave patriot working away in the swampy country of 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.’

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 hardships.”

From “American History Stories…You Never Read in School…but should have Volume I”, by Mara L. Pratt, M.D. Used with permission. This wonderful book is available for sale at

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