tv Legends Lies The Patriots FOX News July 24, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm PDT
[ paul ] no. this is a stupid plan. hate drama? go to cars.com. research. price. find. only cars.com helps you get the right car without all the drama. >> previously on "legends and lies: the patriots"... >> "all men are created equal." >> king george has declared us rebels. >> general washington demands information. >> i'm ethan allen. they will follow no one else. >> general washington expects the entire british fleet within days! >> we must put a spy behind enemy lines.
>> you can fight if you wish, but my men will make quick work of you. tell general cornwallis that francis marion thanks him for the supplies. >> ♪ my country, 'tis of thee ♪ sweet land of liberty ♪ land where my fathers died ♪ land of the pilgrims' pride ♪ from every mountainside ♪ let freedom ring
>> pushed to their limits by an oppressive empire... >> treason against the crown of england! >> ...a determined group of rebels unites under the cause of liberty. their quest for freedom will unify a people, ignite a revolution, and forge a new system of government. in time, these brave men and women will come to be known as the american patriots. francis marion, a south carolina innovator who conceives a new way of fighting, leads civilians into battle and becomes the father of modern guerilla warfare. but behind every innovator stands a man, and behind every legend lies the truth. >> gabriel! >> uncle francis! i mean "colonel marion," sir. >> of all the great patriots in
the revolutionary war, one who's often wrongly overlooked is francis marion. those who know him call him the "swamp fox" because of the cagey, new approach he takes to war. once a traditional british soldier himself, marion no longer sees the wisdom of just marching into battle. instead, using his own homegrown style of guerilla fighting, marion plays a pivotal role in the defeat of the british southern strategy and, in turn, american victory in the war. >> we'll give those redcoats a proper welcome, won't we? >> we're lucky to have had peace as long as we've had. i wouldn't be so eager for war if i were you. >> five years into the revolutionary war, the back-and-forth in the northern states has turned in the americans' favor. in response, the british look to the south. with a heavily loyalist population, the brits have
built-in support in south carolina. >> because there was this large loyalist contingent in the south, the british would go to the south, and they would mobilize those loyalists on behalf of the british empire, and then they would work their way north against washington. [ indistinct conversations ] >> many of the officers on the american side don't take this british siege all that seriously, and there's one gentleman who decides he wants to have a great party one evening. >> a veteran of the french and indian war, marion has a bad feeling, as his superior officers throw a party... with the enemy on its way. [ laughter ] >> to the americans and to victory! >> hear!
>> too good to drink with us, marion? >> i do not drink to victories we have not yet won. >> no one leaves until we drink to everyone's he >> i take it the privy is this way? >> hurry back! >> well, marion is concerned because he knows the enemy is approaching, and so he decides he's got to get out and get away from this party. >> ohh! >> but he breaks his ankle very severely. >> injured and finished with high-ranking drunkards, marion leaves charlestown -- and possibly his military career.
[ gunshot, glass breaks ] within weeks of landing in south carolina, the british take charlestown, terrorizing resistors and torching homes. it's the biggest defeat of the war for the americans. 5,000 men are captured. if not for his ankle, francis marion would be one of them. >> once charleston had surrendered to the british, at first, the american south just seemed like a dead loss. but when it became clear that south carolinians themselves would resist british occupation, the british commanders quickly decide they're a problem. >> and now a british expeditionary force lands, with cornwallis at its head. he was determined to maintain absolute control. >> lord general charles cornwallis, commander of the british army in the south, here to recruit loyalist tories and crush the rebellion --
a relentless general, with plans to secure charlestown and work his way north, all the way to george washington's mount vernon. >> our next objective is north carolina, and then we move into virginia. >> your excellency, there are still scattered groups of rebels. >> they must be crushed. all the inhabitants of this province who have taken part in this revolt should be punished with the greatest rigor. they should be imprisoned and their whole property taken from them or destroyed. >> cornwallis's chief enforcer is banastre tarleton, commander of the british legion, who will deliver the message to the southern rebels himself. >> see to it. >> yes, sir. >> while little organized rebellion exists... it's still too much for cornwallis. he orders loyalist militias to scour the region, searching for the slightest disloyalty.
with a newfound power, rank, and red uniforms, local tories begin taking out their aggression on their neighbors. >> your king thanks you for the provisions, simms, and would thank you even more if you could tell us of any rebels hiding nearby. >> aaah! >> my wife! ugh! >> let's go. leave the cart. >> the war in the south -- that's where it really gets dark. that's where we see war crimes. there was a lot of people just killing neighbors, so it does become kind of civil war, brother against brother down there.
>> how long do you think this is gonna take to heal? >> probably a good two weeks. [ twig snaps ] >> who goes there?! show yourselves! >> recuperating and isolated, francis marion spends his days on the mend worrying about his nephew. but with tories going door to door, looking for rebels, one thing is certain -- the war is now at his doorstep. this is shaving. blades here, blades there. some more over there... whoa! that's not a blade. this is gillette shielding.
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nurse a broken ankle, the invasion is about to catch up with him. >> show yourselves! >> uncle francis? >> it's okay. >> had to be sure it was you. >> it's good to see you. >> with nowhere left to go, marion's nephew gabriel brings a desperate crew of rebels -- men with little to lose and one who's already lost everything. >> my wife -- the tories came and found her hiding in the hay cart. >> aaah! >> who can stop them? >> we will stop them.
they have taken charlestown. they have taken our state. they've taken our homes, and they've taken our families. and now they want to take our independence. they may have the numbers, but we have something to fight for. >> seeing the widespread destruction and fear caused by british and local tory forces in the south, patriot rebels take up arms. but had the british been less aggressive and the tories less belligerent, they would likely have had more success overtaking the south slowly. instead, an overzealous cornwallis leaves local rebels little choice but to form civilian militias and fight back. >> i will fight with you, uncle. >> i will fight, too.
>> i will fight. >> and i. >> i'll fight. >> the more force the british bring to bear, the more radical the situation gets in america. this is sort of the old revolutionary adage that, "the worse things get, the better they get." >> but this will be nothing like the war in the north. marion's small force will be outnumbered and outsupplied. they will have to battle in unconventional ways, using trickery and covert night operations. instead of outfighting the enemy, they must outsmart them, using techniques marion learned from the cherokee in the french and indian war. marion sets to work as george washington struggles with a northern war he's almost winning and a southern war he's losing.
[ knock on door ] >> come in. what is it, man? >> congress has given command of the southern department to gates. write to congress, sir. tell them. >> i will not interfere in congress's decisions. >> and if gates should fail? >> then it will be his last failure. >> like his boss, alexander hamilton knows the reputation of general horatio gates -- that of a credit-grabbing opportunist. but washington wants congress to make the call, knowing he wins either way. if gates succeeds, it's good for the war. but if he fails, a threat to washington's command is eliminated. >> the founding fathers didn't all agree that washington should be the leader. there was this group of founding fathers, gates included, that thought that gates should be
commander in chief, not washington, because if you have power, there's always those who covet your power. >> british-born gates runs a traditional army, so while he's heard of guerrilla tactics, he's skeptical. >> with 50 or 100 more men, we could give the redcoats proper hell, sir. >> i have no wish to enable another backwoods braggart like ethan allen. the man took ticonderoga and thought that made him the finest commander since hannibal. even congress gave him a hero's welcome. >> huzzah, you bloody rabble! >> but he was a drunkard, a liar, and a fool. >> so, i demanded the fort commander surrender. [ men cheer ] and he says, "by whose authority?"
so i thundered out, "in the name of great jehovah and the continental congress!" [ men cheer ] >> it is the unfortunate state of our world that the boasts of such men command more attention than the loyalty and hard work of dedicated officers. >> general horatio gates knows all too well the most famous guerilla fighter of the day, ethan allen. allen's rowdy reputation is no help to francis marion, who's a far more disciplined fighter. as the war drags on in the south, the continental army looks to unconventional methods of fighting. and while ethan allen is imprisoned in england, francis marion accomplishes far more for the country. this is why much of the recognition ethan allen receives as a guerilla fighter should more rightly go to francis marion. >> with all due respect, general, i am not ethan allen.
>> even so. if you wish to run around the woods like heathens, i won't stop you. but i can't spare regular soldiers for your games. >> dismissing marion, gates sets his sights on what he thinks will be an easy victory. he's confident his regular army will overrun a british post in camden, south carolina, but gates is wrong. >> general gates puts unprepared forces up against a seasoned british army, with catastrophic results. when the brits charge with bayonets, the americans flee, led by their commander. deserting the battlefield on a swift horse, general gates doesn't stop until charlotte, north carolina, 60 miles from the battlefield.
>> with gates' regular army defeated, it's up to local militias, like francis marion's, to continue the fight in south carolina, which means the american prisoners captured at the camden fiasco have just one hope, and for that, francis marion has a plan. outnumbered, he creates fear and confusion in the darkness by surrounding the enemy and creating the illusion of a massive assault. >> send in the 1st infantry! >> the 4th artillery has arrived, sir! >> move directly to the south. >> 1st infantry is loaded and locked, sir! >> 3rd infantry, surround all escape routes to the west! >> [ shouting indistinctly ] >> marion's methods are risky and unproven against a fighting force that answers rebel trickery with military
squuuuack, let's feed him let's feto the sharks!sharks! yay! and take all of his gold! and take all of his gold! ya! and hide it from the crew! ya...? squuuuack, they're all morons anyway! i never said that. they all smell bad too. no! you all smell wonderful! i smell bad! if you're a parrot, you repeat things. it's what you do. if you want to save fifteen percent or more on car insurance, you switch to geico. it's what you do. squuuuack, it's what you do. >> general charles cornwallis' forces are holding continental soldiers captive. to rescue them, francis marion creates an illusion that the enemy is outnumbered and surrounded, saving the very army that rejected him. >> send in the 1st infantry! >> the 4th artillery has
arrived, sir! >> move directly to the south. >> directly aim. now! >> aaaaaaaaaah! aaaaaaaaaaaah! >> sound the alarm! >> retreat! we're surrounded! >> excellent work, colonel horry. they must have thought there were 100 of us. >> guerrilla warfare was very troubling to the british military, who had this european tradition of, "okay, we're gonna have a battle. you get over here, and you're wearing your colors. we'll get over here, wearing our colors." but marion, the swamp fox -- they'd hide in the woods, they'd disguise themselves, camouflage themselves, and the british military didn't have countertactics.
>> news of the daring rescue spreads fast, reaching all the way to george washington and his protégé, alexander hamilton. >> that's not possible. >> your excellency. >> as you are both aware, general gates' forces were nearly destroyed at the battle of camden. you will take command of the southern department of the army, which is, i'm afraid, in tatters. >> there is still some resistance, though. a local militia is causing a stir. it's, uh, led by, uh, francis marion. >> i shall have to make use of him. >> come. i want to go over my plan. >> general nathanael greene recognizes that men like francis marion are gifted militia leaders and recognizes the utility of guerrilla warfare or militia warfare.
>> marion sees their purpose is really to disrupt the british supply line. >> they use deception. and they have a lot of soul. general nathanael greene said that the soul of an army is its information, intelligence. francis marion is the most soulful. why? it's because he controls his information completely. >> they will hear us crossing that bridge. >> don't you think i still have a trick up my sleeve? >> operation after operation, marion gets his method known -- an army without supplies is no army at all. >> the destruction of all british stores is of the greatest consequence to us and only requires boldness and expedition. >> if they hear the horse hooves, we're dead.
>> everything secure? >> of course, sir. yes. [ gunfire ] >> they were doing something that was, uh, unprecedented. they were creating different ways to facilitate victory. >> with his supply lines compromised, cornwallis can't proceed with his northern advancement. his plan is brought to a crawl. >> no! please, no! no, please! >> across the south, as mixed loyalties pit neighbor against neighbor, the british legion and banastre tarleton are set loose with a directive -- unleash hell to find francis marion. >> get off! aaah! aaah! >> [ shouting indistinctly ] >> aaah! stop, will you?!
>> among southern patriots, tarleton gains a reputation for brutal intimidation -- even for forcing people to talk by unearthing the remains of their loved ones. >> francis marion. tell me where i can find him. >> [ crying ] i don't know that name. >> he's rebel scum, just like your husband. shall i ask him? >> no, please! no, please! no, please! >> where is marion? >> [ crying ] >> take whatever -- or whomever -- you want. burn the rest. >> [ crying ] no! >> mother! mother! >> no, stop! stop! >> the patriots decide that tarleton is the foremost war
criminal of revolutionary south carolina, and he comes to be the rallying cry for the patriots. "we must oppose this kind of inhumane conduct." >> he would go in, and he would attack properties. well, marion would then find out about these kinds of thing, and then he would go and attack, and, uh, he'd settle the score. ♪ >> between sabotaging posts and stealing supplies, marion has success capturing tory troops, forcing his men to confront their enemies face to face. >> my wife! >> aaah! >> you will not execute my prisoner. unnecessary bloodshed now will only cause more bloodshed later. >> because his reputation comes from the bloody backwoods of the revolutionary war, francis marion is often wrongly painted as a savage.
but marion is actually a gifted tactician with great foresight. he knows that one day, the vicious war in the south will end and that tories and patriots will need to live together peacefully once again. >> news of marion's victories makes him a hero to patriots in the north and the south. but it's an honor that brings with it unwanted attention. >> colonel! >> retreat! retreat! [ men shouting indistinctly ] gabriel! hah! hah! >> it's marion we want! >> for 26 miles, the pursuit struggles through the swamps of south carolina.
>> look around! >> and finally, after seven hours, tarleton is outfoxed. >> aaaah! as for this damned old fox, the devil himself could not catch him. >> marion adds to his reputation as a wily fighter by evading the most feared british commander in the south, banastre tarleton. marion's tactics confound the young british officer, who, after much frustration, coins the nickname "swamp fox" for his adversary. the escape is a victory for marion, even as luck is running out for his nephew gabriel. >> [ groans ] [ groans ] [ grunts ] [ grunts ] >> what's your name, rebel?
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the youth was virtuous and had fallen in the cause of his country. >> marion, we found the man who pulled the trigger. >> keep him tied up. he shall have his day in court. >> marion had tremendous affection for this nephew, but he didn't strike back. marion maintains, "we must always be in control. we must always be mentally sharp. if we go emotional, we've got a real problem." >> here's your day in court! [ gunshot ] tories show us no mercy. and we should give them no mercy. >> as heroic as marion's efforts
are, for his men, he can be a difficult leader to follow. as militia fighters, they are not only unpaid, they must bring their own weapons, horses, and food to battle. when marion's demands become too much, some of his men simply pick up and leave. >> colonel marion... we will fight, sir, with you... until the enemy is expelled... or we are no more. >> marion's militia will get the boost it needs, as general washington's southern strategy finally takes hold -- a strategy that will ultimately turn the war in the americans' favor. washington's appointed commander, general nathanael greene, sees the value in marion's unconventional tactics. for the first time in the south, guerrilla fighters work alongside the continental army.
>> the southern department of the continental army finally decided that they could come out openly and support the nonconventional, guerrilla-type activity. >> proof of greene's commitment to the militia is henry lee, a continental officer assigned to work with marion. one of their first targets -- a crucial british supply post, the heavily manned fort watson. >> damn thing looks impenetrable. there's no way through those walls. >> going through a wall isn't always the best way to the other side. >> with his newfound legitimacy, marion now has the manpower for bigger ideas, bigger plans, and bigger ways to win. >> ah! >> the only option now is to declare our independence. >> america is at war, dr. franklin. >> welcome home. >> for more revealing stories on these and other patriots
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that proves key to the battle of fort watson. >> the fort lies on a rising ground. in order to make our approach, we therefore resolved immediately to erect a work as high as the fort. >> fort watson is one of the last and most crucial british outposts in the south. >> they built this contraption. early one morning, suddenly, they are at the top of this tower that they put together. >> alarm! sound the alarm! >> if you're the british and you're fighting a war of posts and you've got your troops dispersed through forts in the up-country and the low country,
you have these isolated posts that are dependent on supply lines, and you have somebody like francis marion and his irregulars... attacking between these posts and cutting these posts off. >> with the british soon out of ammunition, fort watson is taken. the tactical benefit of marion's elevated firing tower is a success. with vital posts like fort watson now out of commission, cornwallis's army is becoming isolated as it moves north toward yorktown. without supplies or reinforcements, general greene's plan is to make sure cornwallis can't retreat to the south. the region must be taken back. >> the american army starts cutting the british off, from point to point, and cornwallis is driven to yorktown.
there was no place to go except into the sea. >> the continental army plans to drive the remaining british out, starting with the battle of eutaw springs. needing all the manpower he can get, greene enlists marion, knowing volunteers and militia will fall in to be led by the great swamp fox himself. >> marion's days in the british army instill a hatred for the traditional tactic of marching men to their deaths in tight formation. this aversion is the key to his evasive way of fighting. but the battle of eutaw springs is neither covert nor under marion's command. so he and his men must step out of the shadows and onto the field of battle to push the british back. >> ready the line!
>> this had a almost kind of fanatical anxiety to it, because they knew the ultimate battle was about to happen. >> fire! charge! [ men shouting ] >> while hundreds will surely die at the battle of eutaw springs, the operation is the first step toward forcing the british to yorktown and to the sea. if successful, it will finally leave george washington in position to win the war.
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>> after years of unconventional fighting, francis marion earns a reputation as a vital military strategist... and the father of guerrilla warfare. now marion rides off into a decisive clash in a long chain of revolutionary battles... all of them leading to this pivotal event -- the battle of eutaw springs. by many standards, it is the encounter that ends the war -- ensnaring cornwallis in yorktown without supplies, a means of retreat, or options.
>> you've done it, marion. our friend cornwallis has decamped to yorktown, in virginia... which i believe he will find less hospitable than he expects. >> this last great battle at eutaw springs will mark a point in which the british, more or less, begin to accept defeat in the south. they see that their plan has failed them, and, within a year, they'll be pulling out. >> to fight the enemy bravely with the prospect of victory is nothing, but to fight with intrepidity under the constant impression of defeat is a talent peculiar to marion. >> eutaw springs is a return to the traditional tactics marion deplored during his days in the french and indian war. they are the reason he develops the guerilla style of fighting still used today by united states army rangers. their charter is what marion
embodies -- intelligence, mental toughness, personal courage, discipline, and motivation -- all reasons the rangers refer to francis marion as their founding father. >> we can't beat great britain without help. we need the french. with francis marion and his irregulars, the french, and with washington's army -- that will win the war for us. >> the french infantry will advance towards number 9, with our column seizing number 10. seems we owe a debt of gratitude to that fellow marion. he bought us the time we needed to strike back. >> now the rabbit is in the snare. we have but to cinch it tight. >> soon the british are trapped on the peninsula at yorktown. >> washington had been begging the french to send their navy. lo and behold, they had finally
shown up. [ men shouting indistinctly ] >> because he's cut off from his resupply by the sea and he's surrounded by land, cornwallis has no choice but to surrender. >> where is lord cornwallis? >> he is... under the weather, sir. >> when lord cornwallis claims that he's feeling too ill to actually go out and conduct the surrender, it was not just a personal slight against washington, it was a mark of disrespect to all americans. the british still refused to admit that the americans had beaten them and beaten them soundly. >> general lincoln here will accept the sword. you may tell cornwallis i'm not feeling well myself.
>> the human cost of bringing freedom to america nearly devastates general washington. but he and his fellow patriots must now look ahead. the task before them is to create a new form of government that prevents tyranny, upholds liberty, and maintains its hard-won independence. it is a challenge that will force the newly sovereign nation to define what it means to be american and, in the end, set itself apart from the rest of the world.
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