South Carolina

Francis Marion Grave – Pineville, South Carolina


South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Berkeley County Photos  |  Francis Marion Grave

Pictured below is the grave of General Francis Marion, one of South Carolina’s most storied Revolutionary War heroes. The burial site is located on the grounds of Belle Isle Plantation in Berkeley County. Belle Isle belonged to General Marion’s brother, Gabriel. His own plantation, called Pond Bluff, was about fifteen miles away. Today Pond Bluff is submerged under Lake Marion, named for the general.

General Francis Marion Tomb

Gazie Nagle of Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

 

After the fall of Charleston in 1780, the Continental Army nearly ceased to operate in South Carolina. Marion distinguished himself as the leader of “irregular troops” – those who served without pay and supplied their own horses, arms, and food. He was an expert in guerrilla warfare and tormented British soldiers with stealth raids and attacks.

Francis Marion Grave

Tom Connor of Eutawville © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

 

Frustrated in his assignment to capture or kill Marion, British Colonel Banastre Tarleton spoke of his fear that he would never find “the old swamp fox.” The nickname stuck as Marion continued to elude the British at every turn by traveling without a trace through the swamps, hiding in thick forests, and acting on intelligence gathered from local Patriot sympathizers.

Francis Marion Tomb

Linda Brown of Kingstree, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

 

In 1893, nearly 100 years after Marion’s death on February 27, 1795, the South Carolina General Assembly replaced Marion’s crumbling tomb with this memorial, made of South Carolina blue granite. The inscription on his tomb reads as follows:

Sacred to the memory of Genl. Francis Marion, who departed this life on the 27th February 1795 in the sixty-third year of his age deeply regretted by all his fellow-citizens. History will record his worth and rising generations embalm his memory as one of the most distinguished patriots and heroes of the American Revolution which elevated his native country to honor and independence and secured to her the blessings of liberty and peace. This tribute of veneration and gratitude is erected in commemoration of the noble and gallant exploits of the soldier who lived without fear and died without reproach.

Francis Marion Grave Marker

Linda Brown of Kingstree, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

 

The cemetery is an historic site managed by South Carolina State Parks and open to the public. General Marion has many memorials throughout our state. There is a statue of General Marion in Johnsonville, as well as a Swamp Fox mural in Manning. In addition, numerous South Carolina places are named after him, including the City of Marion, the County of Marion, Francis Marion University in Florence, Marion Square in Charleston, Lake Marion, and the Francis Marion National Forest. The two latter sites extend throughout multiple counties.

Francis Marion Grave Sign

Darrell Parker of North Charleston, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

 

Belle Isle Plantation


The land where the General Marion’s tomb stands was once part of Belle Island Plantation. The following information comes from Part XI of The Georgian Period: A Collection of Papers Dealing With “Colonial” or 18th-century Architecture in the United States, Together with References to Earlier Provincial and True Colonial Work, 1848-1917, published in 1902 by William Rotch Ware:

Belle Isle, the plantation of that illustrious soldier Francis Marion, though in wretched repair, is still to be seen by the occasional visitor who makes a pilgrimage to it. The place is now owned by one of General Marion’s descendants and namesakes. The house is practically deserted and the plantation is not always under cultivation. Though unoccupied and fast falling into ruins, the house is full of quaint old family relics, such as mahogany furniture in excellent designs, old books and old crockery, all left to dust and decay.

Belle Isle Plantation

Photograph Taken by Audrey Keller Mann, 1927
Private Collection of Elizabeth F. Carroll of Eutawville © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Note that Ware’s work erroneously referrs to the plantation as Francis Marion’s home. His home was actually Pond Bluff. Belle Isle was home to his brother, Gabriel, as mentioned above. The following article in the Intelligencer, dated February 28, 1889, provdes the most comprehensive information to date:


Belle Isle is itself a place of rare and romantic beauty. The style of the farm house comports with the antebellum residences of the wealthy planters of that neighborhood. It stands at the end of an avenue about a mile in length which leads to it from the broad high road that passes by old St. Stephens Church, Pineville and Big Camp, and the many plantations that lie in upper St. John’s parish.

Belle Isle Plantation

Photograph by William Rotch Ware, 1908

The article continues:

When the writers knew the place the house was shaded by live oaks, sycamores and cedars, while red birds fluttered in the Cherokee rose bushes, and the whole scene filled one’s idea of a picturesque Southern home. The walks of an ancient garden at the rear lead off into the dense foliage of the Santee swamp.

Then the place was owned and occupied by Walter Peyre Deveaux, whose inheritance it was; but the writer is given to understand that Mr. Deveaux has since removed and no one lives there now. The old homestead stands a monument to the general desolation of a country where nature is lavish. Some of the direct descendants of Francis Marion, who still bear the family name, reside in the neighborhood.

Belle Isle Plantation

Photograph by William Rotch Ware, 1908

Photograph by William Rotch Ware, 1908

The article also mentions that the graveyard was located only about 100 yards from the front righthand corner of the home. The book by Ware contains perhaps the only known copy of a floor plan of the house at Belle Isle, as seen below.

Belle Isle Plantation Floorplan

Photograph by William Rotch Ware, 1908

Francis Marion Grave Info


Address: 1 General Frances Marion Avenue, Pineville, SC 29468
GPS Coordinates: 33.453852,-80.087231
Website: http://www.southcarolinaparks.com/historic-sites/burial-sites-cemeteries/default.aspx


Francis Marion Grave Map




Francis Marion Grave – Add Info and More Photos


The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Francis Marion Grave, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


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11 Comments about Francis Marion Grave

CathileeNo Gravatar says:
December 29th, 2016 at 7:07 am

Marion Fans, come to the annual Francis Marion Memorial Service held at Marion’s Tomb on the day he died, February 27th. The service is conducted at 11:00 a.m. by General Marion’s Brigade Chapter, NSDAR, and Colonel Hezekiah Maham Chapter, SCSSAR. February 27th is General Francis Marion Memorial Day as recognized by the state of South Carolina. This is a wreath ceremony, and there is a speaker. Dress for the weather and bring a chair.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
May 12th, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Thanks for sharing!

Mary DarbyNo Gravatar says:
May 12th, 2016 at 8:43 am

We use this site at our school and it is great. Also, I am kin to Francis Marion.

Gene McGrewNo Gravatar says:
April 13th, 2016 at 9:36 am

My great great great great great grandfather was Robert Thornley. He served with Francis Marion and knew him very well. He live on a plantation in Wassamassaw. He was also a senator for South Carolina for 3 years following the Revolution.

Joseph Wheeler McGowan says:
November 17th, 2014 at 3:52 pm

More information here…

Daniel Nixon Taylor says:
November 3rd, 2014 at 5:06 pm

My son, daughter-in-law and I were honored yesterday to visit the gravesite of one of my childhood heroes: Francis Marion – The Swamp Fox. We had a great time in Charleston, drove to Pineville, saw the site of this great American hero. My son said on the way home that he thought Marion's grave was the highlight of a great and eventful trip.

John McNemarNo Gravatar says:
July 27th, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I am descended from Francis’ brother, Job. Working backwards: Job Marion: Job St. Julien Marion: Theodore Samuel Marion: Edward Marion: Edward Bailey Marion: Franklin Delano Marion: Dorothy Louise Marion: John McNemar. I have a book, The Life of Gen Francis Marion, by Brig. Gen. Horry & Rev. Mason L. Weems no date, published by Frank F. Lovell & Co., NY. It was given to my grandfather Frank by his Papa, Christmas, 1889. It has a photo of Marion’s pistol taped to one of the pages.

Gerald AcordNo Gravatar says:
December 16th, 2012 at 11:35 am

My great great grandfater bears the name “Francis Marion Acord”. He died fighting for the Union against his Confederate brothers.

DARNo Gravatar says:
October 26th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I believe that The South Carolina Society of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was responsible for erecting the fence in the 1990’s when my mother was heavily involved.

ken coatesNo Gravatar says:
August 29th, 2012 at 1:57 pm

About 7 years ago my wife and me, by accident, found this grave site and we were appalled at its condition. It appears that since then, a new fence has been erected but it looks like it still needs to be repaired. Is that the case and if so, who needs to be contacted?

Pam ManningNo Gravatar says:
January 15th, 2012 at 1:04 am

I’m trying to find PROOF the Rev. Robert Wilkes Finley m. Rebecca Bradley (1780) served from time to time under Francis Marion.





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