Battle of Camden
What become of Maj. General Horatio Gates himself? After the militia broke and fled, Gates soon followed. Some reported that he did attempt to rally the retreating militia, but to no avail. What can be said is that Gates was in Charlotte, North Carolina, sixty miles away by the evening of August 16 only hours after the battle. He was in Hillsborough, North Carolina, 180 miles away, by August 19.
General Gates' actions were almost immediately questioned. After Maj. General Nathanael Greene replaced him in December, he returned home to Virginia to await a inquiry into his conduct at Camden. He would not hold another command for the rest of the war. He did return to active duty before the end to official hostilities, serving in General Washington's command staff, as he had at the start of the war.
It was estimated that of the 3,000 men that made up the American force, 2,000 fled without firing a shot. Somewhere around 800 men were captured or killed and the army's munitions were also taken, while the British only sustained about 350 casualties. This loss left Patriot morale in the South at a low and the region firmly under British control until General Geene built the Continental forces back up in early 1781. Even with the care of Lt. General Charles Cornwallis' personal physician, Maj. General Baron de Kalb died at Camden three days after the battle.
2. Buchanan, John; The Road to Guilford Courthouse
Picture: Battle of Camden; Death of DeKaib. Engraving from painting by Alonzo Chappel.
Topic Last Updated: 6/2/2001
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