De Kalb: One of the Revolutionary War's Bravest Generals


People who saw Major General Johann de Kalb’s heroic actions at the battle of Camden, South Carolina on August 16, 1780, never forgot it. A soldier who fought there wrote fifty-three years later that de Kalb was “…perhaps the bravest man that ever lived.” Bleeding from eleven wounds, de Kalb died three days after the battle. British officers attended his funeral to respect an honored foe. American leaders spoke and wrote of their high regard. Congress authorized a memorial statue in Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, whose sons he had led in battle. This military biography chronicles the life and legacy of this fine military leader. He gave his all for us. We should remember him.

"This is a well-researched and welcome addition to Revolutionary War historiography. Johann de Kalb was a largely unknown, able, professional soldier with broad European experience. His extensive knowledge and leadership were valuable to the American cause while exemplifying the prosaic requirements of much military service. His steady, quiet and ultimately heroic contributions have been largely overlooked until John Beakes’ fine study." - Joseph W. A. Whitehorne, military historian and author of The Battle for Baltimore, 1814; The Inspectors General of the United States Army, 1903–1939; While Washington Burned: The Battle for Fort Erie, 1814; and other books on military history

John Beakes demonstrates a solid grasp of European warfare in the eighteenth century and how it shaped the perspectives of the young Johann de Kalb. His book is a valuable contribution to our understanding of how the European military experience impacted the development of the Continental Army and by extension the U.S. military. - Jim McIntyre, author of British Light Infantry Tactics and Johann Ewald, Partisan Commander

John Beakes is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy who served as an officer in nuclear submarines before embarking on a business career. His lifelong interest in military history led him to study officers of the Continental Army, resulting in books which he co-authored with Jim Piecuch on John Eager Howard and Light Horse Harry Lee, and then his first solo effort on Otho Holland Williams.

John Beakes

2019, 6x9, cloth, 488 pp.

ISBN: 9780788459009