Sumter Returns to South Carolina
Sumter established his headquarters east of the Catawba River in the territory assigned to the nation of Indians of the same name. Here the whole of July was spent, but not in idleness. His men go out in quest of provisions, arms, and to rally their friends to take a stand under the standard of liberty. Provisions were obtained with great difficulty, for the want of current funds, so that their fare often consisted of barley meal without meat, salt or any other seasoning, and scarce at that. All the powder which could be obtained was collected. The good ladies in the region round about gave up their pewter vessels to be molded into bullets. Implements of husbandry were converted into swords. While engaged in these preparatory measures they were under the necessity of maintaining the strictest vigilance for the preservation of their lives. The Tories watched their movements, waylaid them and often fired upon them. An instance of this kind occurred to a small party led by Col. Brandon, near Bullock's Creek. A captain by the name of Reed fell behind the party for some purpose or other and was killed by two Tories. His mother, having found out who his murderers were, followed Brandon to North Carolina and implored him to avenge the death of her son. Some of his men volunteered to go with him, and he hunted the Tories and killed them.
Their friends in turn sought vengeance; pursued Brandon in considerable force, and he retired before them until he came within the Bethel congregation, where he recruited his force and turned to meet his pursuers. They had followed him to the head of Fishing Creek and turned down that stream. Brandon paused. A short time before he overtook their party Col. Love fell in with him. This Love had encountered the Tories single handed but a short time before, killed two of their number and made his escape by dodging in a briery old field. Brandon soon learned that the Tories had stopped at the house of a man named Sterling to get dinner. This Sterling had married the sister of Col. Love ‑‑ he was a Tory and his wife a Whig. Brandon divided his force into two parties, leading one himself and the other under the direction of Love. The house was surrounded and several rounds fired before the Tories surrendered. Mrs. Sterling was killed, and a son of William Kennedy was wounded in this battle. Several Tories were killed, one of them by Kennedy himself as soon as he saw his son shot. Brandon conducted his prisoners forthwith to Charlotte.