South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Camden Battlefield, Kershaw County (S.C. Sec. Rd. 58, Camden vicinity)
S1081772800101 S1081772800102 S1081772800103
Battlefield looking
north from DeKalb
Battlefield looking
south from DeKalb
DeKalb Monument

The Battle of Camden, August 16, 1780, is the outstanding symbol of a series of disastrous setbacks suffered by the American side in the South during the Revolutionary War. These losses, the surrender of Charleston, the defeats at Waxhaws, and then Camden, represent the lowest point to which American fortunes sank in that struggle. With this brief skirmish in the Carolina upcountry, which should be called nothing other than a rout, we have the spectacle of the American Militiamen throwing away their arms virtually at the sound of the first British shot, and then fleeing wildly through the marshes and fields. Their commanding officer, General Horatio Gates, fleeing with the militia didn’t stop his horse until nightfall, when he reached Charlotte, North Carolina, sixty miles away. As the British sped through the broken lines in pursuit of the militiamen, the regulars (the Continentals) soon found themselves outnumbered and surrounded and had to surrender. Their valiant commander, General de Kalb, gave his life in the battle. The battlefield is largely an area of open country, some light timber, and marshland near two streams bounding the area on the east and west. Listed in the National Register October 15, 1966; Designated a National Historic Landmark January 20, 1961.

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