Kershaw County was named for Joseph Kershaw (1727-1791), an early settler. Originally part of Camden District, Kershaw County was formed in 1791 from parts of Claremont, Lancaster, Fairfield, and Richland counties. The county seat is Camden, which is the oldest inland city in South Carolina. This site was settled around 1732 by English traders and farmers who moved inland from Charleston. During the Revolutionary War the British occupied Camden from June 1780 to May 1781.Fourteen battles took place in the area, including the battle of Camden (August 16, 1780) and the battle of Hobkirk Hill (April 25, 1781). Kershaw County later produced six Confederate generals: Joseph Brevard Kershaw (1822-1894), James Chesnut (1815-1885), James Cantey (1818-1873), Zack Cantey Deas (1819-1882), John Bordenave Villepigue (1830-1862), and John Doby Kennedy (1840-1896). Union troops under General Sherman burned parts of Camden in February 1865. Mary Boykin Chesnut (1823-1886), who chronicled the Civil War in her diaries, was a resident of Kershaw County. Statesman and financier Bernard M. Baruch (1870-1965), labor leader Lane Kirkland (1922-1999), and baseball player Larry Doby (1923-2003) were also born there.
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