At the start of the American Revolution, Robert Kirkwood served as a lieutenant in Hazlet's Delaware Regiment and in 1777 was promoted to captain and company commander in the 1st Delaware Continental Regiment. In the Battle of Camden (Aug. 16, 1780), his company won fame for its determined stand against the British. During the battle the Delaware Regiment suffered heavy losses, including 50 killed, and the survivors were consolidated into a single company under Kirkwood's command. The unit continued to serve with distinction at the battles of Cowpens, Guilford Courthouse, Hobkirk's Hill, and Eutaw Springs. After the Revolution Kirkwood re-enlisted as a captain in Arthur St. Clair's military expedition against a coalition of Indian tribes in the Northwest Territory. He was killed in battle in November 1791 near present-day Fort Recovery, Ohio. Camden's Kirkwood Hotel, Kirkwood neighborhood, and Kirkwood Common Park were named in his honor.