Col. Scott D. Aiken, USMC, author of THE SWAMP FOX (NIP, 2012), is the recipient of the Sons of the American Revolution ’s “2013 Minnesota Society Stephen Taylor Award” – for “the compatriot who by research and writings has made a significant contribution to the preservation of the history of the American Revolution era, and its patriots.” The winner is determined by the National Society Historian General.
Known as “The Swamp Fox,” Francis Marion employed a violent brand of guerrilla tactics against the British in the lowlands of South Carolina, where he and his irregular force are credited with preventing the colony from completely succumbing to the Crown after the capture of Charleston in May 1780. Scott Aiken contends that Marion’s call to action both militarily and politically stopped the momentum needed by the British to conquer the South. Aiken describes Marion’s partisan actions as the forerunners of tactics common to today’s global security environment. His book provides readers not only with a better understanding of tactics and strategies used during the American Revolution, but also with an understanding of how they apply to 21st century conflicts.
Col. Scott D. Aiken, USMC, is a career infantry officer and veteran of irregular warfare. He has deployed four times in support of the War on Terrorism.
~ Praise for The Swamp Fox ~
"The chapters provide detailed narrative, assessment and explication of the relevant concepts of military affairs while exploring the contours and content of Marion's campaign and his leadership and direction thereof, and could stand alone as independent case studies for classroom or research. Overall, it is well and interestingly written, relying on comprehensive sources and citations by way of endnotes."
"The Swamp Fox is a unique book that’s of value to historians and soldiers alike."
— The Journal of America's Military Past
“While Aiken’s enthusiasm and knowledge of Marion’s campaigns are evident in his descriptions, his prose is succinct and The Swamp Fox is structured along logical lines and tightly argued. … Despite his favourable disposition toward Marion, he scrupulously examines historical accounts, and notes where these appear to be either factually wrong or leading towards the hagiographic, which is particularly relevant when many accounts of the campaign were written by Marion’s subordinates. … What Aiken provides is a systematic evaluation of these campaigns within a modern framework, complete with contemporaneous references. While some of Aiken’s comparisons are a little simplistic or unnecessary, there is much within the book that would prove useful for currently serving military members and those interested in military history and tactics. … The Swamp Fox is a sound analytical inquiry, an engaging read and a solid contribution to informed debate.”
— Australian Defence Force Journal
“Aiken's scholarly analysis of the partisan tactics is a bonus. The author's military background makes him uniquely qualified to address this important aspect of Marion's soldiering…Each well-constructed sentence is chock full of information and thought provoking analysis. If you have any interest in the colonial period in the south you will want to read this book.”
— The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, SC
"Aiken presents a thorough analysis of Marion's successful operations of unconventional warfare, a 'strategy of erosion,' and always fighting outnumbered and outgunned coupled with superiority in mobility, reconnaissance, intelligence, logistics, tactical planning, and execution. Aiken also compares Marion's means to irregular warfare in the 21st century."
— Military Officer Magazine
“Aiken’s analysis is sharp, benefitting from his own experience in the US Marine Corps…This is a highly unusual analysis, viewing irregular warfare from the perspective of the underdog. It contains many lessons useful to students and practitioners on both sides.”
— Warships International Fleet Review
“The United States has a long history of participation in irregular wars. In The Swamp Fox, Col. Scott Aiken examines the success of Francis Marion's insurgency against British forces in South Carolina during the Revolutionary War, finding a number of lessons that will be useful to students and practitioners of today's counterinsurgency campaigns. Highly recommended for all military historians and counterinsurgents.”
—John A. Nagl, Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security and author of Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife: Counterinsurgency Lessons from Malaya and Vietnam
“The Swamp Fox shows the actions of guerilla warfare in the South during the American Revolution. Join Colonel Aiken and follow the ‘Swamp Fox’ through eastern South Carolina during the war. Compare the strategy and tactics used by the Patriot forces during the revolution and the wars being fought in the Middle East today.”
—John O. Thornhill, past president, North Carolina Society, Sons of the American Revolution
“Scott Aiken’s work on Francis Marion is a brilliantly researched study in character, competence, and military leadership. Aiken combines a historian’s attention to detail with a professional military appreciation for the complexities and ambiguity of irregular warfare to chronicle the battlefield exploits of one of America’s greatest soldiers. Aiken’s insights are timeless and his book deserves the attention of every serving soldier and Marine.”
—Col. Douglas Macgregor, USA (Ret.), author of Warrior’s Rage: The Great Tank Battle of 73 Easting
“Colonel Aiken shines his considerable experience with irregular warfare on the campaigns of Francis Marion. Using modern Marine Corps and Department of Defense doctrine, he compares Marion’s partisan tactics to operations in Afghanistan and Iraq today. The result will be of interest to both military historians and Francis Marion enthusiasts.”
—Steven D. Smith, author of Archaeological Perspectives on Partisan Communities: Francis Marion at Snow’s Island in History, Landscape, and Memory