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A Sketch of the life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion and a history of his brigade   By: (1764-1838)

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And A History of his Brigade,

From its Rise in June, 1780, until Disbanded in December, 1782;

With Descriptions of Characters and Scenes, not heretofore published.

Containing also, An Appendix, with Copies of Letters which passed between several of the Leading Characters of that Day; Principally From Gen. Greene to Gen. Marion.

By William Dobein James, A.M.

During that Period one of Marion's Militia.

At Present one of the Associate Judges in Equity, South Carolina.

Quae contentio, divina et humana cuncta perniscuit, eoque vecordiae processit uti civilibus studiis bellum finem faceret. Sall.

Transcriber's Note on text: Some obvious errors have been corrected. Some spellings are modernized. See notes at end of etext for additional explanations.

District of South Carolina.

L. S. BE IT REMEMBERED, that on the fifth day of April, Anno Domini, one thousand eight hundred and twenty one, and in the forty fifth year of the Independence of the United States of America, the Honourable WILLIAM DOBEIN JAMES, deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as author and proprietor, in the words following, TO WIT:

"A Sketch of the life of Brigadier General FRANCIS MARION, and a history of his Brigade from its rise in June, 1780, until disbanded in December, 1782; with descriptions of characters and scenes not heretofore published. Containing also an appendix, with copies of letters which passed between several of the leading characters of that day, principally from Gen. Greene to Gen. Marion. By William Dobein James, A.M. during that period one of Marion's militia at present one of the Associate Judges in Equity, South Carolina."

In conformity to the act of Congress of the United States, entitled, "An Act for the encouragement of learning by securing the copies of maps, charts and books to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned," and also an act entitled, "An Act supplementary to an act, entitled, 'An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching historical and other prints."

JAMES JERVEY, Clerk of the District of South Carolina.


During the siege of Charleston, in May, 1780, the grammar school at Salem, on Black river, where I had been placed by my father, Major JOHN JAMES, broke up; and I was compelled to abandon my school boy studies, and become a militia man, at the age of fifteen. At that time of life it was a great loss; but still I was so fortunate as to have General MARION as my commander, and my much honoured father, who was a sincere christian, as my adviser and protector. I do not intend to write a history of my own life; but it was thus, that I became in a great measure an eye witness of the scenes hereafter described; and what I did not see, I often heard from others in whom confidence could be placed.

I felt an early inclination to record these events; but Major WEMYSS burnt all my stock of paper, and my little classical library, in my father's house; and, for two years and a half afterwards, I had not the common implements of writing or of reading. This may appear strange at present; but it is a fact, that even our general, when sending out a patrole, would request the officer to try to get him a quire of paper. After the war, other active pursuits prevented me from indulging my inclination; and the public attention, being long fixed upon the bloody wars and great battles in Europe, had lost all relish for our revolutionary history, and its comparatively little conflicts. However, when Dr. RAMSAY announced that he was about to publish his history of South Carolina, I hastily sketched out from memory a short history of MARION'S brigade, for him; which he inserted in fifteen pages of his first volume... Continue reading book >>

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