Camden | Aug 16, 1780
Against the advice of his subordinates, General Horatio Gates led his mixed force of Continentals and Colonial militia into South Carolina toward the crossroads at Camden in late July, 1780. Learning that Gates’s force was camped just north of Camden, British General Charles Lord Cornwallis marched his force of 2,100 British troops to meet the Continentals. In the ensuing fight on August 16, Cornwallis’s troops thoroughly routed Gates’s force, which was composed primarily of inexperienced troops. Attempting to rally the Americans, General Joseph de Kalb was shot 11 times, falling mortally wounded. For Gates—the “hero of Saratoga”—the rout was an embarrassment. Continentals lost roughly 1,900 killed, wounded, and captured; Cornwallis lost just 324.