Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"If King George Possessed Your Hearts"

I recently read the book "Marion And His Men" written by John De Morgan in 1802. It is the story of American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion, who was also known as "The Swamp Fox." Marion both made his mark on the Revolutionary War and earned his moniker by his fighting tactics. He and his band of men were too outnumbered to launch a full-scale attack on the British forces, so instead they dwelt in the swamps of the Carolinas and employed guerilla warfare tactics to buy more time for General Washington. The opening line of one of the last chapters tells the whole story in one line: "Day after day Marion and his men so thoroughly harassed the enemy that Lord Cornwallis was put to his wits' end to circumvent the Americans."

Near the end of the book there is an account of a conversation that took place between Marion and a British officer who had been brought blindfolded into their encampment to work out the details of a prisoner exchange. When the meeting was over and the British officer was preparing to leave, Marion insisted that he eat a meal with them. The man was famished (the British were on limited rations as well as the Americans) so he accepted the offer. He assumed, as did many, that the patriots were living off the fat of the land; thus he was disappointed to see that their entire dinner would consist of some roasted potatoes. The patriot's cook pulled a potato from the fire, blew off the ashes, and offered it to the British officer on a piece of bark for a plate. The man tried to eat the potato, but without butter or salt he found it to be tasteless and sat the bark plate down. The conversation that ensued gives us a glimpse into why the patriot's fought, but more importantly, it provides a standard by which we might measure our fervency as soldiers of the Lord.