Be Cool and Do Mischief: Francis Marion's Orderly Book
Francis Marion was one of the most versatile commanders in the Revolutionary War. His ability to adapt to whatever was thrown his way, while still exceeding what was required of him, makes him worthy of admiration and study. There are towns, counties, and parks named after Francis Marion in over 30 States. He has been the subject of many books, television series, and movies, from Disney's "Swamp Fox" to Mel Gibson's "The Patriot". His impact on the history of the United States will never be fully measured, but without his efforts and sacrifices, the fate of the nation would be in doubt. This labor of love began in 1999, when the author, Patrick O'Kelley began the task of transcribing Francis Marion's entire orderly book into a single publication and finding out what happened to all of the men mentioned within the reports. William Dobein James rode with Francis Marion's Partisans when he was 16 years old. Many years later, James would write a history of Marion.
His book is an excellent source since he witnessed firsthand much of what he wrote about. In his foreword, James writes, "On the monument erected by the Greeks at Thermopylae, the names of Leonidas and his three hundred men were not inscribed, because it was thought impossible to imagine they could ever be forgotten." James wrote that passage because he sought forgiveness from his former comrades in case he neglected to mention anything of importance in his book. Like James, O'Kelley too has painstakingly attempted to track down every soldier mentioned, but unfortunately, only a fraction of the men who served with Marion are mentioned, the rest are currently lost to history. Be Cool and Do Mischief is the second edition (hardback) of Francis Marion's orderly book. The primary difference between this book and the first edition (paperback), Unwarried Patience and Fortitude is the placement of the footnotes. Whereas the footnotes were originally located at the back of the book, the second edition has moved the footnotes to the same page to make it easier for the reader desiring source material.