“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Johnsonville in Florence County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Marion at Portís Ferry / Asbury at Portís Ferry

Marion at Portís Ferry Face of Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, February 20, 2010
1. Marion at Portís Ferry Face of Marker
Inscription.  Marion at Portís Ferry. Portís Ferry, 3 miles NE on the Pee Dee, was owned and operated by Frances Port (c. 1725–1812), widow of Thomas Port, who was a member of the Provincial Congress from Prince Frederickís Parish. This was a strategic crossing for Francis Marion, who fortified it and used it frequently in his fall campaign of 1780 against British and Tories.

Asbury at Portís Ferry. During his journeys in S.C. from 1801 on, Methodist Bishop Francis Asbury often used the ferry and stayed at the homes of friends nearby. In 1811, the year before Frances Portís death, Asbury “found mother Port keeping house at eighty-seven.” His last crossing was in January 1816, a few weeks before his own death.
Erected 1980 by Three Rivers Historical Society. (Marker Number 21-4.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionWar, US Revolutionary. In addition, it is included in the Francis Asbury, Traveling Methodist Preacher series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1816.
Location. 33° 
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51.583′ N, 79° 26.817′ W. Marker is near Johnsonville, South Carolina, in Florence County. Marker is at the intersection of Kingsburg Highway (State Highway 51) and East Trinity Road (County Road 21-909), on the left when traveling south on Kingsburg Highway. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Johnsonville SC 29555, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. General Francis Marion (approx. 1Ĺ miles away); Witherspoonís Ferry: Francis Marion Takes Command (approx. 1Ĺ miles away); Francis Marion at Witherspoon's Ferry (approx. 1Ĺ miles away); Johnsonville (approx. 1.6 miles away); Witherspoonís Ferry / Johnsonville (approx. 1.6 miles away); Ebenezer United Methodist Church (approx. 6.1 miles away); Snowís Island: Den of the Swamp Fox (approx. 6.2 miles away); Britton's Neck / Britton's Ferry (approx. 6.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Johnsonville.
Also see . . .
1. The Battle of Blue Savannah aka Battle of Portís Ferry. “Capt. Jesse Barfield with 200 loyalists (and possibly included in this number a small detachment of the 63rd Regiment) attempted to attack Marion, but was himself ambushed in the attempt near Blue Savannah on Brittonís Neck where Marion had retreated after his attack on Ganey. Barfieldís men fled into Little Pee Dee Swamp. Marion lost four men wounded, two horses killed. The
Asbury at Portís Ferry Face of Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, February 20, 2010
2. Asbury at Portís Ferry Face of Marker
next day, the 5th, about 60 volunteers joined Marion, bringing his force strength up to about 110. On the 7th, he then proceeded to fortify Portís Ferry, on the eastern bank of the Pee Dee, having with him for that purpose two small field pieces. At the time, Wemyss was still in the neighborhood of Kingstree with roughly 270 men, and awaiting reinforcements from Camden. Marionís success broke the spirit of the local Tories east of the Peedee River. Marionís victory also encouraged 60 more local volunteers to join his outfit, thus doubling his total number of men.” (Submitted on February 24, 2010.) 

2. Journal of Rev. Francis Asbury, Biship of the Methodist Espicopal Church. (Published in 1852.) “Saturday [January 12, 1811]. reached Georgetown. I am always in fetters in this place; and were they to offer me twenty such towns as a bribe I would not visit it again; but I must do my duty without a bribe. Sabbath, 13. I preached for the people of Georgetown twice. Monday, S. Dunwody and Thomas Mason set out with us; crossing Black River we came to worthy Samuel Greenís—in pleasing manners and sincere friendship an evergreen. We visited his brother Francis and prayed in the family, exhorting the Africans. Tuesday, reached Portís ferry, and found mother Port keeping
Marion at Portís Ferry / Asbury at Portís Ferry Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, February 20, 2010
3. Marion at Portís Ferry / Asbury at Portís Ferry Marker
house at eighty-seven.
Rafts and boats in quantities passing down the Pee Dee. Wednesday, made thirty miles to Mr. Mesomeís, where we were kindly received and politely entertained. Thursday, came early in the day to Priestís, and tarried with him two hours, and then mounted and continued forward to the widow Rollandís. Friday, came to John Martinís, Lumberton, and here I was willing to stay awhile, for the rain and cold had chilled me to the heart. Saturday, I am very unwell. Sabbath, 20. I preached here, possibly for the last time; I spoke in great weakness of body; and having offered my service and sacrifice, I must change my course, and go to Wilmington. I have but a few days to make the one hundred and eighty miles in. I am happy—my heart is pure, and my eye is single—but I am sick, and weak, and in heaviness by reason of suffering and labour. Sometimes I am ready to cry out, Lord, take me home to rest! Courage, my soul” (Submitted on February 24, 2010.) 
Additional commentary.
1. LTC Francis Marion and Major Micajah Ganey at Ports Ferry 12 August 1780
August 12, 1780 Ė Ports Ferry - Commentary
LTC Francis Marionís fought his first skirmish as a Brigade Commander with Loyalist
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Dragoons under the leadership of Major Micajah Ganey at Ports Ferry on the Big PeeDee River. Micajah Ganey was a great champion of the Tories and stood high in their estimation as a partizan officer. Ganey and his band of Tories were encamped at a place called Britton s Neck. In secrecy, LTC Marion formed his plan, marched rapidly all night, and came upon the Tories at day-break. Marion paused not an instant, but rigorously attacked their camp, and the surprise and disaster was complete ; one of the Tory captains and several of their privates were slain. Of Marionís men not one was lost, and only two wounded.
*Compiled from the following sources.
With Permission © 2008 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566
ē Simms, William Gilmore. The Life of Francis Marion. Freeport, New York: Books for Libraries Press, 1844. (Simms, p.194).
ē Reed, Mary Beth and Christina Olson. Historic Resources Survey Marion County South Carolina. Stone Mountain, GA. New South Associates, 2009. (Reed, p. 9).
ē Moore, H. N. The life and times of Gen. Francis Marion : with an appendix containing biographical notices of Greene, Morgan, Pickens, Sumpter, Washington, Lee, Davie, and other distinguished officers of the Southern Campaign, during the American Revolution. Philadelphia, PN: Published by Leaey, Getz & Co., 1845. (Moore, p. 65).
Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted October 4, 2022, by Loyd R Ganey of Sierra Vista, Arizona.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 19, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 24, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,714 times since then and 125 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 24, 2010, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Jun. 3, 2023