A Patriot history almost forgot

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Recently, Oscar Marion became the first slave who fought in the Revolutionary War to receive military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Marion was the personal slave of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion, the legendary “Swamp Fox” from South Carolina who thwarted British Redcoats during the War of Independence.

An honor guard presented the colors. Soloists sang the National Anthem and the hymn Bright Morning Stars Are Rising. A wreath was laid. A bugler played taps. But it was more family reunion than funeral, and the women in the family wore festive red outfits for the occasion.

An oil painting hangs in a third-floor corridor of the Capitol’s Senate wing that depicts Francis Marion, in a military hat, talking to a red-coated British officer. Oscar Marion, kneeling behind a table and cooking sweet potatoes on a fire, is also there.

From a story by James Hohmann in the WashingtonPost.

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