The Patriot fires blazed hot by the banks of the Broad River on November 9, 1780. Colonel Thomas Taylor had convinced General Sumter of prudent measures against an impending attack.
British Major Wemyss and his band of loyalists charged into the light of the fires, intent on finally killing General Thomas Sumter and his warriors. What they found was an empty camp. Confused and suddenly stifled by the shift in realities, the Red-Coats began to feel about in search of their prey. Silhouetted against the firelight they were easy targets for the Patriot forces lying in the shadows and trees beyond the camp. A sudden and deadly fire quickly decimated the British forces. Major Wemyss went from hunter to hunted within moments.
Wemyss had a list of all of the homes and plantations that he had destroyed. Sumter is said to have burned that list for fear his men would seek immediate justice by killing the British commander. Sumter, as a result of the decisive action of Colonel Taylor, was able to claim victory over another of Cornwallis’ commanders.
Sumter’s men; having participated in the pivotal victory over British Major Patrick Ferguson at King’s Mountain the month before, now can claim their share of honors over a formidable leader of the eastern wing of Cornwallis’ army.
Next up, another rematch against “Bloody” Tarleton.(1)
(1) Parker’s Guide to the Revolutionary War in South Carolina, John C. Parker Jr.