German soldier known as Baron de Kalb: born. Huttendorf, Germany, June 29, 1721; died Camden South Carolina, August 19,1780. A soldier of fortune, Kalb was one of several excellent European officers who served in the American Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He received his military training as an officer in the German regiment of the French Army, seeing action in the War of Austrian Succession and in the Seven Years War. In 1768 he visited the American colonies as a secret agent of the French government to test the feelings of the colonists for Great Britain, and in 1777, after volunteering to serve in the American Army and receiving a commission of major general from Silas Deane in Paris, he came to America with 11 other volunteer officers, among them the marquis de Lafayette. Congress ratified his commission on September 15, 1777 and Kalb hastened to join the main army in New Jersey under George Washington.
After leading an abortive attempt to invade Canada that stopped short of Albany, New York he was sent in 1779 to re-enforce Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, who was besieged at Charleston, South Carolina. He went as far as Petersburg, Virginia, where he learned that Charleston had fallen, and their Brig. General Horatio Gates, under whose command he was, joined him. The armies hastened on to Camden, South Carolina and after a disastrous delay, which allowed Lord Cornwallis to enter the city, attacked on August 16, 1780. General Kalb's right wing was the only flank that held during the first charge, but eventually, with Cornwallis concentrating his entire force upon them, they were forced to give way. Kalb, captured by the British after he had fallen with 11 wounds, died three days later in Camden. Source: University of South Carolina History Dept. 1936