Excerpt: ...aisle and chancel. Scattered around were the forms of those hardy warriors with whom our young officer was yet destined, most probably, to meet in conflict, - strange or savage in costume or attitude - lithe and sinewy of frame - keen-eyed and wakeful at the least alarm. Some slept, some joined in boyish sports; some with foot in ...Read MoreExcerpt: ...aisle and chancel. Scattered around were the forms of those hardy warriors with whom our young officer was yet destined, most probably, to meet in conflict, - strange or savage in costume or attitude - lithe and sinewy of frame - keen-eyed and wakeful at the least alarm. Some slept, some joined in boyish sports; some with foot in stirrup, stood ready for the signal to mount and march. The deadly rifle leaned against the tree, the sabre depended from its boughs. Steeds were browsing in the shade, with loosened bits, but saddled, ready at the first sound of the bugle to skirr through brake and thicket. Distant fires, dimly burning, sent up their faint white smokes, that, mingling with the thick forest tops, which they could not pierce, were scarce distinguishable from the long grey moss which made the old trees look like so many ancient patriarchs. But the most remarkable object in all this scene was Marion himself. Could it be that the person who stood before our visitor - "in stature of the smallest size, thin, as well as low" - was that of the redoubted chief, whose sleepless activity and patriotic zeal had carried terror to the gates of Charleston; had baffled the pursuit and defied the arms of the best British captains; had beaten the equal enemy, and laughed at the superior? Certainly, if he were, then never were the simple resources of intellect, as distinguishable from strength of limb, or powers of muscle, so wonderfully evident as in this particular instance. The physical powers of Marion were those simply of endurance. His frame had an iron hardihood, derived from severe discipline and subdued desires and appetites, but lacked the necessary muscle and capacities of the mere soldier. It was as the general, the commander, the counsellor, rather than as the simple leader of his men, that Marion takes rank, and is to be considered in the annals of war. He attempted no physical achievements, and seems to have placed very little reliance...Read Less
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