Puslapio vaizdai

way crossed by a plank bridge. It was nearly midnight when Marion's men reached this bridge; as they were crossing it they heard an alarm gun from the Tory camp. They galloped over, and reaching the main road most of them dismounted. Marion ordered a body of picked men down the road to attack a house where the Tories had been posted. Two companies were sent to the right, and a band of mounted riders, acting as cavalry, to the left; Marion brought up the reserve. The Tories had withdrawn from the house to an old field hard by, and as the two companies came up, they poured upon them an unexpected fire. The Americans were surprised, and for a moment repulsed, but the detachment in the rear of the Tories soon turned the scale in their favor. The enemy gave way, and fled to the swamps of the Black Mingo. Their force was twice as great as that of the Whigs. But for their having heard the tread of Marion's horses on the planks of the bridge they would doubtless have been surprised. It was a lesson by which Marion profited, for ever after, when he crossed a bridge at night in the neighborhood of an enemy, he used to cover it with the blankets of his men. He marched to Williamsburgh, where he obtained tidings of other Tory gatherings in and about Salem and the fork of Black River. Colonel Tynes, by whom the Tories were commanded, had, it was said, lately been to Charleston, from which place he had returned laden with the materials of war, elegant as well as substantial, such as new English muskets and bayonets, broad swords and pistols, bridles, powder and balls. The patriotic mouths of Marion's men watered for the spoil. Marion came upon the Tories at midnight. They had taken no precautions against him. Some were playing cards, others were feasting, others were asleep. He fell upon them like a thunderbolt. Colonel Tynes, with two of his officers and many of his men, were taken prisoners; some were slain with the cards in their hands. It mattered little what cards they held, the game was against them. The survivors fled to the swamps. Marion did not lose a man.

This was too much for Tarleton, who rose from a sick-bed in Charleston to attack Mr. Marion. He set forward with a troop of horse, instructing his legion, which was at Camden, to meet him on his way to

the Wateree.

Marion was advised of his route, and planned to surprise him before he could unite with his legion, but he arrived at the Santee, where the attempt was to have been made, too late. Tarleton had crossed two days before. Marion pursued him, not knowing that the juncture had been made, but as he was about encamping for the night in the woods, a great light in the distance awakened his anxieties, and led him to suspect that Tarleton was in that quarter. He soon found that he was right, and the number of the enemy forbidding an encounter, he fell back, and crossing a dense swamp, halted six miles further off. Tarleton, who had been advised of his approach by a deserter, marched to the swamp to surprise him, but he in his turn was late. He commenced the pursuit next day, but Marion had again changed his ground. He pushed on through bogs and swamps, until he reached Benlow's Ferry, where he rested, and prepared to defend himself. It was a strong position, which he and his men were perfectly familiar with. From some unexplained cause Tarleton gave up the chase, within three hours' march of the American force. "Come, my boys," he is said to have exclaimed to his soldiers, "let us go back. We can soon find the Game Cock, [meaning Sumpter,] but as for this-[here occurs a profane expletive,] Swamp Fox, the devil himself could not catch him!" Perhaps not, my Lord Tarleton, but you could have caught him yourself, had you marched a little further.

Marion's next move was in the direction of Georgetown, which he attempted to take from the British. The attempt was unsuccessful, although Colonel Harry took a number of prisoners. To compensate for this stroke of good luck Marion lost his nephew Gabriel, who, having his horse shot under him, fell into the hands of the Tories, by whom he was put to death. Marion now retired to Snow's Island, where he made his camp. This island lay at the confluence of Lynch's Creek and the Pedee. It was an admirable fortress, the water around it being nearly choked up by rafts of logs and old timber. It abounded in live stock and provision. Dense cane-brakes guarded the lower tracks; the higher ground was covered with thick woods. A three hours' march would bring him into an enemy's country, where rank Tories and good forage were

abundant. It was from this place that Marion sent his brave fellows on those nocturnal forays which have made his name so famous in our Revolutionary annals.

In March, 1781, the British fitted out an expedition, commanded by Colonel Watson, to pursue Marion, and destroy his stronghold on Snow's Island. Apprised of Watson's approach, Marion made a forced march and overtook him at Wiboo Swamp, between Nelson's and Murray's ferries. A conflict ensued, and Marion thought it prudent to retreat. Watson encamped that night on the battle-field. and Marion a few miles below. The next morning the pursuit commenced, and for several days a sort of running fight was kept up between them. A sharp fight took place at Black River Bridge. Watson's artillery opened on the passage which led to the ford, but Marion's men were too well protected to be harmed by it. They picked off the enemy with their rifles as soon as they came within gun-shot of them. Astounded at the sharp-shooting of the Americans, Watson sent a dispatch to Marion, in which he complained of his mode of warfare, and urged him to come out on the field and fight him like a gentleman and a Christian. The next day day Marion posted himself on a ridge below the ford of the river, and baffled every attempt of Watson to cross. He pushed his riflemen over the bridge, and annoyed him so much that he retired further up the river, and pitched his camp on a plantation in the most open fiel that he could find. Here he remained for ten days in a constant state of alarm; day or night there was no rest for him; Marion's cavalry beat up his quarters when he slept, while the riflemen picked off his men whenever they exposed themselves. His supplies were cut off, and his progress was arrested. To hide the number of men that he lost in the continual skirmishing, he is said to have sunk their bodies in the river. Seeing that it was madness to remain where he was, he made a forced march down the Georgetown road, harassed all the way by light parties of the Americans. He reached Ox Swamp, but finding Marion in his path he wheeled about and dashed through the open pine woods for the Santee road. When Marion overtook him his infantry were on a run. A final skirmish took place at Sampet Bridge, and but that the American ambush failed to do their

duty, Watson would have been killed or taken prisoner. As it was, his horse was slain under him. He reached Georgetown with the remnant of his regiment, totally discomfitted. In the meantime, however, a serious misfortune had befallen Marion. This was no less than the loss of his stronghold on Snow's Island. Intrusted to a small body of men, it was wrested from them by a superior force under the command of Colonel Doyle, and all Marion's stores were taken; his arms and ammunition, which were worth their weight in gold to him, were emptied into Lynch's Creek. As soon as he heard of his loss Marion turned the head of his column in pursuit of Doyle, and came up to him at Witherspoon's Ferry, on the north side of Lynch's Creek. A detachment of the British was on the opposite side, scuttling the ferry-boat. His rifles drew near, unperceived, and poured a deadly volley upon them. It was returned, but without effect. The Americans moved rapidly up the stream, and at the first favorable point, which was some five miles above Witherspoon's Ferry, swam over the creek, to find the valiant Doyle hurrying with all speed in the direction of Camden. He destroyed all his heavy baggage, and the road along which he marched was strewn with canteens and knapsacks. It was apparently a run for life.

Colonel Watson, whom we left defeated in Georgetown, had by this time recovered his courage, and having a force just double that of the Americans, and a fresh supply of provisions and military stores, he once more pushed for the Pedee. Marion was soon on his track, encamping at Warhees, within five miles of him. Having no powder, or at least not enough to justify an attack, (not two rounds to a man,) he had to content himself with a show of intimidation. The re-enforcement of a legion commanded by Colonel Lee would soon have brought matters to a crisis, but Watson again thought discretion the better part of valor, so he turned and fled, as Doyle had done before him, burning his baggage, and throwing his field-pieces into the river. He fled in the direction of Camden, but contrived to bring up at Georgetown. The instructions which Colonel Lee had brought from General Greene, who had now returned to South Carolina, required Marion to assist in a projected action against the British posts

below Camden. He accordingly pursued his march through Williamsburgh, and the day after his junction with Colonel Lee was before Fort Watson. This fort, which stood near Scott's Lake, on the Santee River, was built on an Indian mound, forty feet high. It was garrisoned by eighty regular troops and forty Tories. Neither the besieged nor the besiegers had artillery. Its steep sides and strong palisades forbidding any attempt to storm it, the Americans attempted to reduce the garrison by cutting them off from Scott's Lake, where they procured water. The garrison foiled their attempt by sinking a well within the stockade. Not far from the fort grew a small wood, from which, at the suggestion of Colonel Maham, of Marion's brigade, the Americans transported trees on their shoulders to within a short distance of the mound. This done, all hands went to work one night and piled the trees into massive and alternate layers, crosswise, until they had reached a sufficient height. The next morning the garrison found themselves wakened by a shower of rifle bullets which the Americans poured into the fort from their gigantic wood pile. The fort being no longer tenable they capitulated.

Marion now proceeded to invest Fort Motte, on the River Congaree. This post was the principal depôt of the convoys from Charleston to Camden. It was not a fort, in common parlance, but a large new mansion-house, standing on a high hill, and belonging to Mrs. Motte, a glorious old Whig dame, whom the British had expelled, and exiled to an old farm-house hard by. It was surrounded by a deep trench, along the inner margin of which a strong parapet was raised. When Marion invested it the garrison numbered about two hundred men. For once the Americans had artillery; General Greene had sent Marion one six-pounder, which he mounted on a battery on the eastern declivity of the hill. The garrison was summoned to surrender, but being advised of the approach of Rawdon, with all his forces, they determined to hold out until he could join them. He was already so near that they could see his fires at night, blazing on the high grounds along his route. To batter the fort with his one six-pounder was now impracticable, so Marion hit upon an expedient to reduce it at once. This was have drawn what has already preceded, no less than to set fire to Mrs. Motte's a well-written "Life of Marion," by our

new house. The old lady gave her consent willingly, and brought forth an Indian bow and some arrows, by which the feat was accomplished. Balls of blazing rosin and brimstone were fastened to the arrows, three of which were discharged against the roof of the house. The shingles were soon in flames. The British commander ordered a party to the roof to put out the fire; but now the six-pounder came in play. The soldiers were driven down, and the fire spread. The white flag was soon hung out; the garrison surrendered.

After Fort Motte had yielded, Marion marched toward Monk's Corner, and hung on the skirts of Rawdon's army. He was joined by Sumter; and now the game cock and the swamp fox began to give the British commander trouble. They compelled him to establish a line of fortified posts, extending from Georgetown to Coosawhatchie, which so weakened the garrison of Georgetown that Marion resolved to make another attempt to capture that village. The enemy fled at his approach, taking to the water in their boats. As it was not in his power to man the fort properly, he demolished it, and removed the military stores up the Pedee. The taking of Georgetown, and the battle of Quirily which shortly followed it, left Marion at liberty to take charge of the country on the Santee. It was at this time that he defeated Major Fraser, the British commander, at Parker's Ferry, for which he received a vote of thanks from Congress. He also joined his forces with those of General Greene, and fought in the famous battle of Eutaw; a battle which the British gained, but which the Americans reaped the advantage of. It is too complicated to be described here. Suffice it to say that General Stewart retreated, after destroying his stores, and breaking up a thousand stand of arms, leaving his dead unburied. The Americans took five hundred prisoners. Marion went back to the Santee again, and resumed his predatory warfare. He was engaged in several hard-fought skirmishes, none of which are important enough to need a lengthened description. Indeed, if I should attempt to describe all the actions in which Marion and his men mingled before the close of the war, this sketch would expand into a volume. The volume from which I

distinguished Southern novelist, William Gilmore Simms, consists of some three hundred and fifty odd pages, and is by no means full or minute. The tendency of all battle-literature is to expand and amplify. To be concise, and yet corred is next to impossible. This must be my excuse for any lack of minuteness in these papers. To give a general idea of the achievements of my heroes, I am obliged to compress them.

In 1782 Marion was elected a member of the Assembly, from the Parish of St. John's, Berkley. He represented the same parish, the reader will remember, at the beginning of the war. The Assembly met at Jacksonborough, a little village on the Edesto, within striking distance of the British army and Charleston. This brought Marion back to the scenes of his first battles. He left his brigade in charge of Colonel Horry. It was not fortunate in his absence, being nearly cut to pieces by a strong party of the British. After the Assembly had transacted the business for which they convened, Marion rejoined his men. A series of skirmishes, differing in no essential particular from those already mentioned, succeeded, now in favor of the British, and now in favor of the Americans. Nowhere so much as in battle-fields does fortune display her impartial fickleness. But fortune is not the only power by which the destinies of a nation are molded. Beyond and above her blind dispensations rules the spirit and character of that people-the fiery souls of its men. Given the manly and independent character of the American colonists, no seer was needed to prophesy their ultimate success. In spite of their many defeats they continually conquered. While Marion was with his men at Watboo, the British evacuated Charleston, and the war, as far as the South was concerned, was virtually over. He called his beloved comrades around him, and bidding them a touching farewell, retired to his estate at St. John's. It was sadly out at elbows; for lying within a mile of the ordinary route of the British army, we may be sure they did not spare it. They took away one half of his negroes, and would have taken the rest, had they not followed his example, and fled to the swamps and forests. Ten workers came back to him when he returned; but all his plantation tools and household furniture, his stock,

He was

cattle, and horses, were gone.
penniless, and over fifty years old; but he
had a willing heart, and a cheerful spirit.
He had lived through too many dark days
to sit down and repine. So he went to
work in his simple but heroic way, and
began life anew. In 1784 he was ap-
pointed commandant of Fort Johnson, with
an annual salary of five hundred pounds.
This sum, beggarly as it was, was soon
reduced to five hundred dollars per annum.
Shortly after this truly republican reduc-
tion of his salary, he married, and was
placed in easier circumstances. We know
nothing of the lady of his love, except
that she was a Miss Mary Videau, and
came of the old Huguenot stock. She
seems to have fallen in love with Marion,
for the dangers he had passed through;
and being too much a woman to conceal
her sentiments, they became known to
some of his friends, who told him of his
good fortune. He proposed, and was ac-
cepted, and so the matter ends for us.
They had no children.
We hear nothing
further of the old hero, except that he was
in the habit of spending his summers
among the mountains, and taking with
him, on two mules, when he set out on
the journey, his old military furniture, his
marquee, camp bed, and cooking utensils.
What warlike dreams he must have had
on his old camp bed! He died at his
plantation in St. John's, on the 27th of
February, 1795. "I thank God," said he
in his last moments, "that I can lay my
hand on my heart, and say that since I
came to man's estate I have never in-
tentionally done wrong to any."


NE of those little rascals whose spright


ism or thoughtless gayety of the elder
musicians (mechanical votaries of Apollo)
who in such numbers wake the echoes of
London streets with their harmonies, is
here presented to us. Their beautiful
countenances form the most powerful of
appeals to the tender feelings of British
women, who, heedless of political economy,
delight themselves in giving liberal largess
the charming urchins.

The sheepskin capote he wears has
probably been brought out of some far re-
cess in the Abruzzi Mountains: for it is a
curious fact that almost all those children

[graphic][merged small]

who visit England without a regular call- | ing or stock-in-trade-as working a handorgan, or possessing a dozen of white mice -come, it is said, from the southern parts of Italy; their stock-in-trade is, in fact, the great gift of nature, beauty; one which serves them well as long as it endures. They seem to inherit this beauty as they inherit the sheepskin; and that often passes from one member of the family to another, we might almost say from generation to generation. The child's chubby little hands and espiègle face will interest the admirer of such natural charms. The broad-spread feather in his high-peaked and large

brimmed hat is part of the children's vanity of his age. The rest of his dress is in keeping with the rough and wholesome poverty in which he has been trained; a poverty so wholesome that one cannot but regret that children such as this should be brought to London, exposed to all the vices and risk of degradation which must inevitably befall them in such a capital. Scores of them lead lives there, the wretchedness of which can only be imagined; many die; and of the few who return home, the number that amass any trifle beyond what is barely sufficient to carry them to their own country, is extremely small.

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