Camden is the fourth oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and is also the county seat of Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,838 in the 2010 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area. According to the United States Census Bureau, Camden has a total area of 9.8 square miles (25km2), of which, 9.6 square miles (25km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26km2) of it (1.23%) is water. Camden is the oldest inland city and fourth oldest city in South Carolina. It is near the center of the Cofitachequi chiefdom that existed in the 1500s. In 1730, Camden became part of a township plan ordered by King George II. Kershaw Countys official web site states, Originally laid out in 1732 as the town of Fredericksburg in the Wateree Riverswamp (south of the present town) when King George II ordered eleven inland townships established along South Carolina's rivers, few of the area settlers chose to take lots surveyed in the town, choosing the higher ground to the north. The township soon disappeared. In 1758, Joseph Kershaw, from Yorkshire, England came into the township, established a store and renamed the town Pine Tree Hill. Camden became the main inland trade center in the colony. Kershaw suggested that the town be renamed Camden, in honor of Lord Camden, the champion of colonial rights. May 1780 brought the American Revolution (a true civil war) to Charleston, South Carolina, when it fell under the Crown's control. Lord Charles Cornwallis and 2,500 of his Loyalist and British troops marched to Camden and established there the main British supply post for the Southern campaign. The Battle of Camden, the worst American defeat of the Revolution, was fought on August 16, 1780 near Camden, and on April 25, 1781 the Battle of Hobkirk Hill was fought between about 1,400 troops led by General Nathanael Greene and 950 Loyalists and British soldiers led by Lord Francis Rawdon. The latter battle was a costly win for the British, and forced them to leave Camden and retreat to the coast. After the Revolution, Camden's prominence and wealth grew as a major interior trading town with direct ties to Charleston and the world. Regional products, augmented with goods from the interior of North Carolina and far lands to the west were transported from Camden to Charleston on flat-bottom riverboats that plied the adjacent Wateree river before the railroad arrived in 1842.
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