1779–1781 marked the southern phase of the Revolutionary War and, with the French now fighting for the Americans, the British commandeered British loyalists. The biggest loyalist concentration was in the South, where the British enlisted runaway slaves, promising them freedom if they fought on their side. This strategy alienated pro-slavery white southern loyalists, who joined the Patriots. The British captured Charles Town in South Carolina on 12 May 1780, followed by a British victory at Camden on 16 August 1780. General de Kalbe’s American unit put up fierce resistance to the British cavalry unit at Camden, but was forced to retreat. In the Battle of Guildford Court House, British Lt General Cornwallis defeated General Clay Greene’s continental forces, but lost catastrophic numbers of men. This outcome has been described as ‘ an American strategic victory’. 3,000 slaves, who fought with the British, were later sent to freedom in Nova Scotia.
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