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With the renewed interest in the life of the man known as "The Swamp Fox," Blair is reissuing a biography first published in 1824. Peter Horry, who served in Marion's brigade that drove the British crazy with their guerrilla ...
With the renewed interest in the life of the man known as "The Swamp Fox," Blair is reissuing a biography first published in 1824. Peter Horry, who served in Marion's brigade that drove the British crazy with their guerrilla warfare, actually disassociated himself from his own biography. Horry delivered his work to Parson Mason Locke Weems, the inventor of the cherry tree anecdote in his Life of Washington. Weems proceeded to fictionalize the account into a romantic biography. William Gilmore Simms would later describe Weems's efforts in his own biography of Marion: "Weems had rather loose notions of the privileges of the biographer, though in reality, he has transgressed much less in his Life of Marion than is generally supposed. But the untamed, and sometimes extravagant exuberance of his style might well subject his narrative to suspicion."
Regardless of the historical accuracy, Weems and Horry put together a tale of the man whose real life was as exciting as any adventure story.
The Washington of the south, he [Marion] steadily pursued the warfare most safe for us, and most fatal to our enemies. He taught us to sleep in the swamps, to feed on roots, to drink the turbid waters of the ditch, to prowl nightly round the encampments of the foe, like lions round the habitations of the shepherds who had slaughtered their cubs. Sometimes he taught us to fall upon the enemy by surprise, distracting the midnight hour with the horrors of our battle: at other times, when our forces were increased, he led us on boldly to the charge, hewing the enemy to pieces, under the approving light of day . . . I see thee still. I see thee as thou wert wont to ride, most terrible in battle to the enemies of thy country. Thine eyes like balls of fire, flamed beneath thy lowering brows.