The Swamp Fox

“[a]s for this damned old fox, the Devil himself could not catch him.”

British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton after fruitlessly pursuing Marion twenty-five miles through swamps.



Something for the weekend.  The Swamp Fox theme song from the Disney television series, 1959-1961. very loosely based on the exploits of Francis Marion in the American Revolution.  The most successful partisan in American history, Francis Marion and his colleagues Thomas Sumter and Andrew Pickens, led bands of irregulars in South Carolina after the British took Charleston in 1780.  The diminutive Marion kept his men under tight control, and launched constant raids on the British. When regular Continental forces re-appeared in South Carolina, Marion gave invaluable assistance in the liberation of his home state.   Marion and General Nathaniel Greene, commander of the Continental troops in South Carolina frequently clashed as two strong willed men have a tendency to do, but he paid Marion this handsome tribute in a letter on April 24, 1781:


When I consider how much you have done and suffered, and under what disadvantage you have maintained your ground, I am at a loss which to admire most, your courage and fortitude, or your address and management…History affords no instance wherein an officer has kept possession of a Country under so many disadvantages as you have; surrounded on every side with a superior force…To fight the enemy bravely with a prospect of victory is nothing; but to fight with intrepidty under the constant impression of a defeat, and inspire irregular troops to do it, is a talent peculiar to yourself.


More to explorer


  1. Swamp Fox, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, the Gray Ghost ( John Singleton Mosby) – just a few of the historical based Disney series for kids in the 1950 – 60s. Entertaining and wholesome family fare.
    Zorro and the Cisco Kid series were set in Colonial California, but the characters were fiction. Very disappointing to learn as a child. However there was some authenticity to the Cisco Kid in that Leo Carrillo, who portrayed Poncho the Kid’s sidekick, was of Castilian Spanish descent. His great-great grandfather José Raimundo Carrillo (1749–1809), was a soldier in the Spanish Portolá expedition colonization of Las Californias, arriving in San Diego on July 1, 1769. Franciscan Friar St. Junípero Serra performed the marriage ceremony for Don Jose Raimundo and Tomasa Ignacia Lugo in 1781. His great-grandfather Carlos Antonio Carrillo (1783–1852) was Governor of Alta California (1837–38).

  2. Ordinary Catholic, Yes! Thanks for the reminder. Another excellent period series from Disney starring Patrick McGoohan as Rev. Dr. Syn aka the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh.
    Also who can forget squinty eyed Robert Newton as Long John Silver? To my mind better than Jack Sparrow.

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