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“C” is for Camden, Battle of (August 16, 1780)

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“C” is for Camden, Battle of (August 16, 1780). In early April elements of the Continental Army, under the command of General Horatio Gates marched south to attack British forces in South Carolina. Gates resolved to advance on the British outpost at Camden. He force-marched his army through territory where there were not any supplies. On the night of August 15, the weary and hungry Americans bumped into the British forces under Lord Cornwallis six miles north of Camden. The two sides withdrew to await daylight. When the British attacked, the Americans’ left wing collapsed and the battle turned into a rout. Approximately eight hundred Americans were killed or wounded and another thousand taken prisoner. The defeat at Camden was one of the worst losses suffered by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson 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.