THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

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SOUTH CAROLINA AND SURRENDER | 2003-01-25

A professor of military history at West Point wrote a book about how America won the Revolution. He said America lost its cities the way the Confederacy did, but they just kept right on fighting. He said the South couldn't do this in the Civil War because we had slaves.

I wrote this high-level military history professor about the Revolutionary War in South Carolina after Charleston fell. South Carolina had one of history's classic guerrilla wars going under the Swamp Fox Francis Marion. At that time, I pointed out, South Carolina had more blacks than whites, especially in the Low Country where Marion fought.

The professor wrote me and thanked me. He pointed out, without the slightest trace of embarrassment, that he didn't know that.

In the real world, the facts about Francis Marion didn't matter, because the professor was getting paid to make a Politically Correct point about how slavery made the Confederacy lose. Professors don't get paid to recite facts.

If Francis Marion had been Robert E. Lee, we would have lost the Revolutionary War. Marion was a general too, just like Lee. At one point there were only eight men sitting out there in the swamp with him. If Marion had said he had to be a Great Commander or he wouldn't play, he would have handed in his sword many times.