The Battle of Camden
Period 8

The Battle of Camden was a battle part of the Revolutionary War. It took place on August 16, 1780 in South Carolina. The battle was between the British and the Germans against the Americans. The generals were Major General Lord Cornwallis against Major General Horatio Gates.

Major General Clinton took over as British commander-in-chief in January 1780. As for the Americans, Major General Howe took an American force and led them from New York. They captured Charleston, which was the capital of South Carolina. As a result of storms, there were loss of guns and horses throughout the journey. General Clinton returned to New York and left Major General Cornwallis to capture the rest of South Carolina. On May 18th, General Cornwallis sent Colonel Banastre Tarletonin pursuit of the American army which was commanded by Colonel Burford. Tarleton undertook Burford at Camden and was able to defeat him. General Cornwallis arrived at Camden. Camden quickly became an important base of operations for the British forces. It also became a base for assembling supplies.

The British army had approximately 1,500 hundred regular soldiers and about 500 militia soldiers.
On the other hand, America had 1,500 Continental troops and they had 1,500 militia troops. Clearly, the American army out numbered the British.

Although the British were out numbered, they were still able to defeat and conquer the American forces.

The British forces wore red uniforms and the American forces wore blue uniforms.

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Below is a map of the direction of travel by the American and British forces.


In July, the American army marched from the North and was becoming a major threat towards Britain. Lord Rawdonmarched forwards so that he may meet the American army. Rawdon settled on a creek to the North-East of the town. In response to Gates, Rawdon moved back to Camden.

The film clip below is a clip from the movie “The Patriot” . This particular clip shows the Battle of Camden. It shows the harshness and the true intensity of the battle. People “drop like flies”, as they say, and it exemplifies what it takes to be in battle. It does not take an ordinary citizen, it does not take someone who is strong, however, it takes a true hero.

This short film clip simply describes the chorological events in which they occurred in the battle. As you may recall, the British set out on a night march to Camden, and coincidentally, as did the American forces. The British took advantage of battle maneuvers and were able to undertake the Americans.

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In May 1780, the British were able to overtake Charleston. In June 1780, General Gates arrived in the South. General Gates had plans of duplicating his army in the North. Gates marched for Camden (in South Carolina) right away and planned to overtake the outpost there. In Charleston, General Cornwallis heard of General Gates' march and marched straight towards Camden with his army.

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On August 15, the British and American forces ran into each other on their quest towards attacking the opposing side. The following morning, the forces met out on the battlefield. The experienced British army was capable of intimidating the American militia that made up two-thirds of General Gates' force. Many militia retreated before even firing a shot as result of the fear of death. Maj. General Baron de Kalb was killed in the battle and General Gates himself retreated forty miles on that same day.


1.) Who took over as the British commander-in-chief in January 1780?

2.) Name one advantage the Americans had over the British.

3.) What was the outcome of this particular battle?

4.) Explain why the Americans retreated.

5.) How did this battle influence the Revoltuionary war?