Aug 16, 1780 Battle of Camden, SC.
British General Cornwallis takes the offensive in the south and marches into South Carolina. Rebel General Horatio Gates, the victor at Saratoga, leads a force of mainly new recruits to meet this threat. The armies engage at Camden, SC. Cornwallis commanded somewhat over 2,000 veteran troops while Gates’ force numbered about 4,000 Continentals and militia.
The British soundly defeated the Rebels. The strategy and tactics of Cornwallis have been considered first class, while Gates has been accused of making every error possible. The annihilation of the Rebel army was so complete that no records of casualties exist and estimates vary widely.
It was said that 2,000 Rebels fled without firing a shot. General Gates, upon seeing the rout, rode 60 miles to Charlotte, NC – outdistancing his fleeing army.
Sources: Mark M. Boatner III, Encyclopedia of the American Revolution.
Harv Hilowitz, Revolutionary War Chronology & Almanac.