Swamp Fox by Gene Ligotti

Book Review : Swamp Fox

By Gene Ligotti

  • Publication Date: 2000-04-24
  • Genre: Historical

Book Review

Swamp Fox is the story of a southern revolutionary hero. Francis Marion was a lawyer and a successful plantation owner in South Carolina. He was no longer a young man in 1776. Marion had already served with distinction in the South Carolina militia during the Indian uprisings years before. And yet when his country needed him he answered the call and took up his old position as a major in the militia. The British were sending a fleet of warships against Charles Town and he had volunteered to defend the city. The story, Swamp Fox, begins as Francis constructs a fortress using the only materials available. Even his superiors believe any attempt at defense is futile, but Francis perseveres. The defense of the city is successful, Marion is elevated to the rank of Colonel, and for a period of time the war doesnt seem to impact the south. The story touches upon the elegant life of the wealthy southerners as Marion and Mary are guests at a ball giving in honor of the Marquis de La Fayette upon his arrival in America. Francis begins to get on with his life and proposes marriage to the beautiful Mary Videau. Unfortunately he chooses the very day that Savannah is attacked and falls to the British. The British again turn their attention on Charles Town. On the evening of the attack, all officers meet to finalize their plans and in a freak accident, Francis breaks his ankle and is ordered to go home. Protesting the situation Francis is taken home by Oscar, his plantation overseer and friend since childhood. Oscar, and all the blacks who work on Marions plantation, are freed men and women since Marion is very much against slavery. Charles Town falls to the British and all the American officers are either killed or captured. The British know of Colonel Francis Marion and are searching for him as he is the only remaining American officer in the south. To hide from the British, Francis takes to the swamp with a handful of close friends. From the safety of the swamp, Francis Marion plans to rally others to the American cause of Liberty and Freedom and strike at the British. Other southerners hear that Colonel Marion is in the swamp calling for recruits and slowly a small band of men come together. They begin to harass the British who are still searching for him. Just when they seem to have captured him he slips away like a ghost into the swamp. It is the frustrated British who dub him The Swamp Fox. Throughout the tale, Francis fights discrimination and prejudice against blacks. He staunchly defends his beliefs even voicing them to his superiors. In one instance, he and is men offer their services to General Gates who laughs at them and mocking promotes Marion to the rank of general. The title sticks as Francis shrugs off the insult and continues fighting on his own. On occasion, and then only at night, Marion is able to go to the Videau plantation to see Mary. He dare not go to his beloved plantation, Pond Bluff, as the British watch it constantly. Marions band grows in size and he is able to attack the British on a larger scale, but he always is depressed as he doesnt have any contact with the American forces. Working alone, without orders, he claims that he wouldnt know if the war was over or who won. He just continues to fight and har

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