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thinking of the droll looks of some of my brother officers, if our government were to give them such a bill of fare as this."
“I suppose, then, it is not equal to your usual style of dining?"
“No, indeed. And I judge it must be a sort of Lenten repast with you. No doubt, you usually live much better.”
“Rather worse, usually,” said Marion, “ for often we do not get enough of these."
“But then you probably make up in pay what you lack in provisions."
Not a cent, sir; not a cent." “Good Heavens! You must be in a bad box, indeed. I don't see how you stand it.”
“Why, captain,” said Marion, smiling, “these things depend on feeling.'
When the captain returned to Georgetown he was in a thoughtful mood. To his superior officer he said:
Sir, I have seen an American general and his officers, serving without pay and almost without clothes, living on roots and drinking water: and all for liberty! How can we ever succeed against men like these?”
Of the exploits of Marion we can give but a few examples; they were too many to be told in detail. He was constantly darting about, striking detached parties, cutting off wanderers, breaking up convoys, always appearing where least expected, dealing sharp blows in such quick succession and at such widely separated points that it seemed impossible that a single band could give all this trouble. Not a detachment or a convoy could go abroad without danger of being cut off by the alert Swamp-Fox.
The annoyance grew so great that Colonel Wemyss, one of the best British cavalry leaders, was sent to try and take him by surprise during one of his distant raids. Wemyss got on his trail and hotly pursued him, but Marion led him such a dance, through grimy morasses and over deep streams, up into North Carolina and back again, always just beyond reach, that Wemyss at last gave up the chase in disgust, and sent out his men to harry the country. As soon as the pursuit ceased Marion, with only sixty men behind him, rode to the desolated district, where he found numbers of recruits among the incensed people. Quickly afterwards he fell on a large body of Tories near Georgetown and fairly cut them to pieces, while losing but a single man from his ranks.
The British, more angered than ever, now sent Tarleton, the hard-riding marauder, to run him down and crush him, but Tarleton found that he had taken the hardest task of his life. He could ruin the country, but he could not catch Marion, though he felt the sharp bite of the Swamp-Fox at a dozen points. At length he too gave it up, swearing hotly against this persistent fellow, who "would not fight like a gentleman.”
In 1781, another cavalry leader, Colonel Watson, took up the same task, with a force of five hundred men. Marion was now at Snow's Island, and as active
One of his movements brought him unexpectedly into contact with Watson and a fight ensued. Watson's field-pieces gave him the advantage and Marion was obliged to fall back. Reaching a bridge over Black River, he kept back the foe until he was able to burn the bridge and throw the stream between them. Then an odd sort of fight began. The two forces marched down the sides of the river firing across the water, for ten miles, until darkness ended the fight. For ten days Watson remained there, not able to get at Marion, and so annoyed by the constant attacks of his active foe, that to escape complete destruction, he was forced to make a midnight flight. Like Tarleton, he came to the decision that Marion “would not fight like a gentleman or a Christian.”
There is one other story of Marion's career, with which we must close. The mansion of Mrs. Rebecca Motte, a rich widow of South Carolina, had been taken possession of by the British and converted into a stronghold which they named Fort Motte. It was attacked in May, 1781, by Marion and Major Lee in conjunction. After some days of siege, word came that Lord Rawdon was approaching with a strong force. They must finish their work quickly or it would be too late.
Lee determined to try and burn the house, whose roof was then very dry from several days of hot sunshine. He suggested this to Mrs. Motte, not knowing how she would like it. But the patriotic woman took it cheerfully and even offered to provide for the purpose a fine bow and arrows of East Indian make, which she possessed.
Flaming arrows were shot at the roof and soon the shingles were in a blaze. The soldiers sent up to extinguish the flames were driven back by fire from a field-piece. There was no hope for the garrison but to surrender, and this they did. The firing ceased, the flames were extinguished and an hour afterwards the victorious and captive officers were seated together at an ample repast at Mrs. Motte's table, over which that lady presided with the utmost grace and urbanity. Since then Mrs. Motte has been classed among the distinguished heroines of the Revolution.
During the remainder of the war Marion was untiring in vigilance and activity. He rendered good service in the battle of Eutaw Springs, pursued the British in their retreat to Charleston, and took care that no detachments should be sent out from that city with impunity. He disbanded his brigade after the withdrawal of the British in 1782, taking a tender leave of his followers, who dearly loved their commander, and returned to his farm almost in a state of poverty. He was subsequently elected to the State Senate, and in 1790 was a member of the convention for framing a new State Constitution. He died in 1795, South Carolina's most famous warrior.
GEORGE ROGERS CLARK, THE WINNER
OF THE NORTHWEST
THERE were two brothers of the name of Clark, brave sons of Virginia, who won fame in the history of our country. One of these was Captain William Clark, who took part in the celebrated Lewis and Clark expedition, the first to cross the wide range of mountains and plains from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. The other was George Rogers Clark, an older brother of William. It is with his exploits that we are here concerned.
George Rogers Clark was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, November 19, 1752. Like Washington, he began his career as a land-surveyor, and like him also was soon engaged in military services, since he was captain of a company of militia in Governor Dunmore's war with the Indians in 1774. Before that time his love of adventure had led him to the wilderness of Kentucky, three years after Daniel Boone's first visit, and while it was still the "dark and bloody ground” of Indian warfare. He went there again in 1775. A few settlers had now made their homes there and for a short time Clark commanded a small body of them in their war with the Indians.
In 1776 he returned to Kentucky, now determined to make that thinly-settled wilderness his home and he soon called together at Harrodsburg a convention of the people, by whose votes he and Gabriel Jones were elected members of the Virginia assembly.