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

South Carolina From A to Z
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"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.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.