"D" is for DeKalb, Johann [1712-1780]

Jan 11, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

"D" is for DeKalb, Johann [1712-1780]. Soldier. Born in Bavaria, DeKalb rose to the rank of brigadier-general in the French Army and decided to seek his military fortune in America. He was contracted as a major-general in the Continental Army and, along with Lafayette, arrived off the coast South Carolina, near Georgetown, in 1777.

In the summer of 1780 he was a member of the re-constituted Continental Army in the South under the command of General Horatio Gates. At Camden, Gates’ pushed for a battle with the British and the result was a military disaster. Most of the Americans [including General Gates] fled the rield.  DeKalb and his continental troops stood their ground and were almost annihilated. Johann DeKalb fell with several wounds and died three days after the battle as a prisoner of war.