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American Revolution
The Old Swamp Fox: General Francis Marion



The Old Swamp Fox: General Francis Marion
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.67

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    brigadier-general, recapture, brigadier, greatly, palmetto, uprising, elude, suffering, warfare, starvation, military, lieutenant, unofficial, guerilla, seldom, newly
     content words:    Brigadier General Francis Marion, American Revolution, Saint James Parish, South Carolina, Esther Marion, West Indies, Indian War, South Carolina Provincial Congress, In April, Revolutionary War


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The Old Swamp Fox: General Francis Marion
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     Brigadier General Francis Marion was an American patriot. He was one of the heroes of the American Revolution. Francis was born in 1732 in Saint James Parish, South Carolina. He was the youngest of six children born to Gabriel and Esther Marion. He was quite small at birth. He was in frail health as a child. His family came from France. He learned to speak French fluently.
 
2     At age fifteen, Francis decided to become a sailor. He asked his parents' permission and they agreed. They felt that time at sea might improve his health. His ship sailed to the West Indies. On the return trip, a whale rammed the schooner. The schooner sank. The crew escaped in a small boat. All the food was lost. The crew nearly died from starvation. After six days, two men died, but the others finally reached shore. Even though the trip greatly improved his health, Francis decided the sea was not for him.
 
3     Francis began his military career on his twenty-fifth birthday. He and his brother were recruited for the French and Indian War to fight the Cherokees in 1759. He continued to serve his colony as a member of the South Carolina Provincial Congress in early 1775. In April of that year, the Revolutionary War began.
 
4     On June 21, 1775, Francis Marion was commissioned as a captain to defend Fort Sullivan and Fort Moultrie on Sullivan's Island in Charleston Harbor. The British attacked the island on June 28, 1776. The fort, built from Charleston's palmetto logs, provided the soldiers with good protection. It has been said "there were reports of cannon balls actually bouncing off the walls of the structure." Charleston was saved from capture.

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