KALB, JOHANN ("BARON DE KALB'') (1721-1780), Ger man soldier in the American Revolution, was born in Hiittendorf, near Bayreuth, on June 29, 1721. He was of peasant parentage, and left home when he was 16 to become a butler. In 1743 he was a lieutenant in a German regiment in the French service, calling himself at this time Jean de Kalb. He served with the French in the War of the Austrian Succession, becoming captain in 1747 and major in 1756; in the Seven Years' War he was in the corps of the comte de Broglie, rendering great assistance to the French after Rossbach (Nov. 1757) and showing great bravery at Bergen (April 1759). As secret agent, appointed by Choiseul, he visited America in 1768-69 to enquire into the feeling of the colonists toward Great Britain. Late in 1775 he received permission to volunteer in the army of the American colonies, in which the rank of major-general was promised to him by Silas Deane. After many delays he sailed with II other officers on the ship fitted out by Lafayette, and arrived at Philadelphia in July 1777. His commission from Deane was disallowed, but the Continental Con gress granted him the rank of major-general (dating from Sept. 15, 1777), and in October he joined the army, where his growing admiration for Washington soon led him to view with disfavour de Broglie's scheme for putting a European officer in chief com mand. Early in 1778, as second in command to Lafayette for the proposed expedition against Canada, he accompanied Lafayette to Albany before the expedition was abandoned. In April 1780 he
was sent from Morristown, N.J., to relieve Charleston, but on arriving at Petersburg, Va., he learned that Charleston had al ready fallen. In his camp at Buffalo Ford and Deep river, Gen. Horatio Gates joined him on July 25; and next day Gates led the army by the short and desolate road directly towards Camden, S.C. On Aug. 11-13, when Kalb advised an immediate attack on Lord Rawdon, Gates hesitated, and it was not until after Corn wallis had occupied Camden (on Aug. 14) that he decided upon action. In the battle, which took place near Camden early in the morning of Aug. 16, the American left and centre gave way in disorder and Gates fled from the field, but Kalb, unhorsed and fighting fiercely at the head of his right wing, was wounded II times before he was taken prisoner. He was sent to Camden, where he received the kindest attention, but died on Aug. 19, 1780. Here, in 1825, Lafayette laid the corner-stone of a monu ment to him. In 1887 a statue of him by Ephraim Keyser was dedicated in Annapolis, Md.
See Friedrich Kapp, Leben des amerikanischen Generals Johann Kalb (Stuttgart, 1862 ; English version, privately printed, New York, 1870), which is summarized in G. W. Greene's The German Element in the War of American Independence (New York, 1876) ; and "Letters of Maj.-gen. Johann Kalb," in American Historical Review, vol. xv., pp. 562-567 (Iwo).