AFRICAN ARROWS. Flaming arrows were used to set fire to a defended place when it was too strong to be taken by assault. The term "African arrows" became current probably because a Indian bow, presumably of African origin or design, was used against Fort Motte, South Carolina, on 12 May 1781. The technique was employed then with well-publicized success by Francis Marion and Harry Lee. Flaming arrows were sometimes fired from muskets, as at the siege of Ninety Six from 22 May to 19 June 1781.
revised by Harold E. Selesky