Leading Like the Swamp Fox

The Leadership Lessons of Francis Marion

Kevin Dougherty, Steven D. Smith

A study of Francis Marion's leadership in the South Carolina lowcountry campaigns.
Date Published :
June 2022
Publisher :
Illustration :
10–20 photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636241159
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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A riveting and applicable study of how Francis Marion delivered the leadership and strategy to defeat the British in the South Carolina lowcountry campaigns.

Francis Marion is certainly the stuff of which legends are made. His nickname “The Swamp Fox,” bestowed upon him by one of his fiercest enemies, captures his wily approach to battle. The embellishment of his exploits in Parson Weems’ early biography make separation of fact from fiction difficult, but certainly represents the awe, loyalty, and attraction he produced in those around him. His legacy is enshrined in the fact that more places in the United States have been named after him than any other soldier of the American Revolution, with the sole exception of George Washington. Even today’s U.S. Army Rangers include Marion as one of their formative heroes. Surely much about leadership can be learned from such an intriguing personality.

Leading like the Swamp Fox: The Leadership Lessons of Francis Marion unlocks those lessons. Divided into three parts, the book first presents the historical background and context necessary to appreciate Marion’s situation. The main body of the book then examines Marion’s leadership across eight categories, with a number of vignettes demonstrating Marion’s competency. The summary then captures some conclusions about how leadership impacted the American Revolution in the South Carolina Lowcountry. An appendix provides some information about how the reader might explore those physical reminders of Marion and his exploits that exist today. Readers interested in history or leadership, or both, will all find something for them in Leading like the Swamp Fox.

About The Author

Kevin Dougherty is the Assistant Commandant for Leadership Programs at The Citadel and the author of several books including The Campaigns for Vicksburg, 1862–1863 (Casemate 2011), which illustrates leadership principles through historical narrative.

Steven D. Smith is a Research Professor at the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina. His has published extensively on Francis Marion, the most recent being his book, Francis Marion and the Snow’s Island Community: Myth, History and Archaeology (United Writers Press, 2021). He is also the co-editor of Partisans, Guerillas, and Irregulars: The Historical Archaeology of Asymmetric Warfare (University of Alabama Press, 2019).



Part One: Understanding Francis Marion’s Revolutionary War

Part Two: Leadership Lessons and Vignettes
Francis Marion and a Leader’s Frame of Reference
Francis Marion and the Responsibility of Leadership
Francis Marion and the Interpersonal Component of Leadership
Francis Marion and Communicating as a Leader
Francis Marion and a Leader’s Need to Solve Problems

Part Three: Summary

Conclusions about Leadership During the Lowcountry Campaign
Some Reminders of the Lowcountry Campaign


“The assessment of Marion as a leader is well done, supported by judiciously chosen examples, and serves to further burnish (if possible) Marion’s reputation as a military commander. Most readers with an interest in the American Revolution and its leaders will find this an engaging and informative work…”

- Journal of the American Revolution

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