As the American army approached to South Carolina, our army, which then consisted of seventeen hundred infantry, and two hundred cavalry was concentrated at Camden.
On the night of the 15th we marched from Camden, intending to attack the Americans in their camp at Rugeley's Mills.
As soon as day light appeared, we saw at a few yards distance our enemy drawn up in very good order in three lines. Our little army was formed in the following plan:
Four companies of light infantry, Royal Welch Fuzileers, or 23d regiment, on the right wing, led by lieutenant colonel Webster.
Volunteers, Legion Infantry, two American loyal corps, on the left wing, led on by lord Rawdon.
Two six and two three pounders were placed in the centre, between the two wings.
71st, the Legion cavalry regiment, with two six pounders, formed the reserve.
It happened that the ground on which both armies stood, was narrowed by swamps on the right and left, so that the Americans could not avail themselves of their superior numbers in out flanking us. We immediately began the attack with great vigor, and in a few minutes the action became general along the whole line: there was a dead calm with a little haziness in the air, which prevented the smoke from rising: this occasioned such thick darkness, that it was difficult
to see the effect of the fire on either sides. Our army either kept up a constant fire, or made use of their bayonets as opportunity offered. After an obstinate resistance for some time the Americans were thrown into total confusion, and were forced to give way in all quarters. The continental troops behaved well, but some of the militia were soon broken. In justice to the North Carolina militia, it should be remarked, that part of the brigade commanded by general Gregory acquitted themselves well; they were formed immediately on the left of the Continentals, and kept the field while they had a cartridge to fire. Gregory himself was twice wounded by a bayonet in bringing off his men: several of his regiment, and many of his brigade who were made prisoners had no wound except from bayonets. About one thousand prisoners were taken, two-hundred and ninety of which being wounded were carried into Camden, and more than twice that number killed.
Baron de Kalb ... was mortally wounded, having exhibited great gallantry in the course of the action, and recieved eleven wounds: he was taken prisoner, and died on the next day [sic] of his wounds: we buried him in Camden with all the honors of war.
As in this engagement, I had the honor of carrying one standard of colours belonging to the 23d regiment, I was of course, near the centre of the right wing. I had an opportunity of beholding the behavior both of the officers and the privates: it was worthy the character of the British troops. The recollection still dwells deeply in my memory. Lord Cornwallis's judgement, in planning, his promptitude in executing, and his fortitude and coolness during the time of action, justly attracted universal applause and admiration. The earl of Moira, (then lord Rawden, who was only twenty-five years of age) bore a very conspicuous part in the contest. Colonel Webster also ought to be particularly mentioned. His conduct was completely consistant with his general character in the army. Cool, determined, vigilant, and active; he added to a reputation established by long service the universal esteem and respect of the whole army, as an officer, whose experience and observation were equal to his personal bravery, and the rigid discipline which he maintained among the troops. Captain (now general) Champaigne, who commanded the Royal Welch Fuzileers, also evinced the most perfect intrepidity and valor. Thus far I speak, not from the
report of others, but from my own immediate observation. On the present occasion, lord Rawdon was so well pleased with the conduct of his regiment (the volunteers of Ireland) that he ordered a silver medal to be struck off, and presented to several of his men who had signalized themselves in the action. [See merit medal]