CMA Archaeological Society travels to the site of The Battle of Camden
On Friday afternoon, February 8, CMAAS Cadets William Cole, John Bowen, Alexander Whitmore and Carlton Black traveled to the site of The Battle of Camden about nine miles north of town. There they were met by James Legg, Public Archaeologist for the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology and Jason L. Smith, historian and manager of the historic Borough Plantation in Statesburg, SC.
Mr. Legg, the leading authority on the battle, took the cadets on a walking tour of the battlefield. He showed them the last surviving portion of the old 18thCentury road around which the fiercest fighting took place and explained to them the particulars of the battle. The cadets learned how a numerically superior force of Continentals were defeated by the regular soldiers of the British Army. They also learned about the differences between Napoleonic and modern warfare.
Following this, Jason Smith presented a lecture and an impression of a Continental militiaman. He showed the cadets tools, supplies, armaments and accoutrements carried by a 1780 militia. Mr. Smith tried to impart to the boys the tremendously arduous journey the Continentals had made, marching from Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland to South Carolina. He then showed them the process by which the weapons of the period were loaded, readied and fired.
Finally, Mr. Legg and Mr. Smith, respectively, demonstrated both the Continental weapon (the .69 caliber French Charleville) and the British musket (the .75 caliber Brown Bess), firing live rounds at water-filled targets. Then Cadet John Bowen was selected from the cadets to also try his hand at marksmanship with one of the antiquated assault weapons. His aim was steady, and he shot the water container dead-center, sending an explosion of water into the air.