Tory Informer

Tory Informer

Some one of the parties coming in arrested a Tory and brought him into camp. He was of the kind then denominated “a pet Tory.” He was examined and presently let go or made his escape. He went immediately to the troop of Tories commanded by the famous William Cunningham, better known as “Bloody Bill”. Cunningham immediately set out to surprise Brandon. He made a charge upon his camp soon after sunrise, killed a few of his men, took some prisoners and dispersed the remainder. Among the slain was a brother of Joseph McJunkin and a youth by the name of Young. This defeat occurred on the 8th or 10th of June, 1780. Intelligence of the intended movements of the Whigs had been conveyed to the Little River Tories a few days previous by Col. Fletcher, and Cunningham made immediate arrangements to meet them at that place.

Robert Lusk was taken prisoner on this occasion and compelled to disclose the place where the powder was concealed. But the work of hiding had been done so effectually that the Tories found very little of it. This powder was afterward carried off by stealth to the east side of Broad River and constituted the principal supply of Sumpter’s men at Huck’s Defeat, Rocky Mount and Hanging Rock. The Tories pursued some of the fugitives to the distance of fifteen miles. Among them was Samuel Clowney, who subsequently distinguished himself as one of the bravest of the brave.

Cols. Thomas and Lysle, hearing of Brandon’s disaster, provided for the safety of their men.

The men who had been engaged in hiding the powder, learning very soon what had occurred at Brandon’s camp, collected as many of their friends as possible and retreated over Broad River. Having appointed Bullock’s Creek Church as a place of rendezvous, as many were directed thither as possible. The Rev. Joseph Alexander was at the time pastor of that church, and had been for a number of years past. He had, however, labored extensively as a supply among the Presbyterian population on the west side of Broad River and had always taken a firm stand for liberty. So that now he had been compelled to escape for his life, as the Tories were determined on his destruction.