222 Broad St / PO Box 710, Camden, SC 29020



    AUGUST 16th, 1780

    The Battle of Camden battlefield is one of the most important Revolutionary War battlefields in the United States. It has been written off as a great patriot defeat, marred by the cowardice of the commanding General and an untested militia that broke and ran. When in fact it was just the opposite for the brave men of the Continental Army’s Maryland & Delaware Line who stood their ground, outnumbered roughly 3 to 1.

    On August 15th, 1780 at 2200 hrs unbeknownst to either Gen. Cornwallis or Gen. Gates both armies started marching towardOn August 15th, 1780 at 2200 hours unbeknownst to either Gen. Cornwallis or Gen. Gates both armies started marching toward each other on the great wagon road. The armies would collide into each other at about 200 hours am on the morning of August 16th, roughly 8 miles from Camden 


    The Patriot army had a force of roughly 3,700 soldiers (900 Continentals and 2,800 Militia) vs British which as about 2,200 soldiers.


    The battle was the worst battlefield defeat of the war. But didn’t defeat the resolve of the Patriot army and it brought Gen. Greene into the fight.


    For Gates it is to gain an advantageous position near Camden. So he is moving his entire army which includes a wagon train over 3-miles long.


    For Cornwallis it is to destroy Gates army by performing a surprise attack at dawn at Rugeley Mill. So he is moving fast without a wagon train.

    We are in the process of creating an entirely new trail system at the Camden Battlefield. The trail system connects four interpretive shaded Viewing Stations. That overlook critical areas of the battlefield that determined the outcome of the battle. The walking trails vary from 3/10th to 9/10th of a mile. 

    The Maryland Line

    At the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776 the first battle for the Marylanders and Delawareans, 400 men where called upon to perform the first bayonet charge, in the history of the American army.  And over the course of their close-quarter fighting, the 400 pulled back and recharged seven times to keep the escape route open and thereby saved the rest of Washington’s panicked and retreating army.

    The Maryland Line quickly became known for their bravery and their fierce fighting spirit. That is why at the Battle of Camden they didn’t run but stood their ground.

    The following is an excerpt from our Podcast of the Battle of Brooklyn and Maryland 400.

    View Station I: 1st Maryland Line

    The 1st Maryland Regiment totaling about 450 men, formed their battle line quickly when they saw before them close to 2,500 panicked patriot militiamen running for their lives toward them.  So the Marylanders open their line to let the militiamen run through. Then closed ranks and stood their ground against over 1,000 British soldiers.

    View Station II: The British Line

    On the west side of the Great Wagon road the British battle line was under the command of Lord Rowden. When the battle commenced, the 2nd Maryland Regiment which included the Delaware Line and totaling about 450 men slammed into the British battle line, capturing a cannon and possibly capturing Lord Rowden for a brief monment.

    View Station III: Gen. DeKalb Falls

    With the collapse of the patriot battle line on the east side of the Great Wagon road, the 2nd Maryland Regiment under the command of Gen. DeKalb is flanked by the 71st Highlanders. And then the British cavalry slams into the back of the 2nd Maryland and Gen. Dekalb falls and he is shot 3-times and bayoneted 8-times.

    View Station IV: The Retreat

    With the fall of Gen. Dekalb the British are in full command of the battle. The 1st and 2nd Maryland Regiment have join forces and are embroiled in a fighting retreat toward the northwest to avoid the chaos on the Great Wagon road which is jammed with over 200 freight wagons and patriot militiamen running for their lives.

    The Twelve

    We are in the process of building a Remembrance Garden at Historic Camden next to the Twelve Continental soldiers exhumed from the Camden battlefield in 2022. They were rendered full military honored and reinterred at the Old Presbyterian Cemetery by the Old Guard who guards the tome of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.