A Student of History

April 29, 2006

Battle of Camden Preservation

Filed under: Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 2:21 am

 P. Patrick Whit

B. Patrick White’s “Battle of Camden”

I have been involved in a small way with the Battle of Camden preservation project for several years now. Camden, fought on August 16, 1780 in S.C. between the American army under Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates and the British under General Charles, Lord Cornwallis, was a major victory for the Crown forces.  It was one of the major battles in the South, along with Cowpens, Kings Mountain, Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk’s Hill, and Eutaw Springs (and the seige of Ninety Six, if one counts that as a battle.)  Yet for all its importance, it is not a state or national park. (Nor is Eutaw or Hobkirk’s Hill). Many folks have been leading a preservation effort to save the ground, which thankfully is for the most part pristine today and not engulfed with urban or suburban sprawl (as is Guilford Courthouse in a very busy section of Greensboro, NC.) 

The most active leader for saving Camden is George Fields of Palmetto Conservation Trust, which has lots more info about this effort here.  In short “More than $1 million in grants and several hundred thousand in individual and in-kind contributions have been raised for the project. The money will be used to buy 200 acres and restore the battlefield to 1780s conditions by planting longleaf pines and clearing off other types of trees and vegetation. Three walking trails with signage are planned to open this year, and kiosks with information on the battle will be installed,” per an article in The State of April 27, 2006.

Recently, good news came to the preservationists: A $200,000 grant last week from the S.C. Department of Transportation will help preserve the battlefield on Flat Rock Road where the Battle of Camden took place.  Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, earmarked for the Battle of Camden project, at 1314 Lincoln St., Suite 305, Columbia, SC 29201; or to Historic Camden Revolutionary War Park, 222 Broad St., Camden, SC 29020. Call (803) 771-0870 for more information.

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