August 16, 1780

Cornwallis Devastates Gates at the Battle of Camden

After Congress puts Gates in command of the Southern Army on June 13, Gates attacks the relatively small British encampment at Camden, South Carolina. Charles Cornwallis, however, the British commander in the southern theater after Sir Henry Clinton returns to New York, arrives with reinforcements to smash the Continental regulars and Virginia and Carolina militia. Only 700 of Gates' 3,500 men appear to have made it out of the fight. The victory emboldens Cornwallis to invade North Carolina.

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