Col. Taylor Saves the Day
But one officer in the camp was oppressed by anxious solicitude. That man was Col. Thomas Taylor of Congaree. He had been out with his command during a part of the previous day toward the Tyger River. In his excursions he had heard of the approach of the party under Wemyss, and from his intelligence of their movements he conjectured their purpose. He went to Sumpter and remonstrated in regard to the state of things in his camp. Sumpter gave him to understand that he feared no danger, and felt prepared for any probable result. Taylor’s apprehensions were not allayed by the security of his commander. He determined to take measures to guard against surprise, and to this Sumpter gave his hearty assent. Taylor conjectured that if the enemy came that night his approach would be along the road leading from the mouth of the Tyger and hence must cross the creek at the ford to reach Sumpter’s position.
He placed himself at the head of his own men, marched them across the creek, built up large fires of durable material, sent out a patrol party in the direction of the enemy, examined a way for a safe retreat for his party down the creek, and took all other precautions deemed proper in the circumstances. He withdrew his men from the fires some distance in the direction of the main army and directed them what to do in case of alarm.