The Loyalist Regiments Of The American Revolution

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IThe Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolutionary War1775-1783Stuart Salmon0020749PhD Dissertation, 2009.This dissertation is submitted in part fulfilment of therequirements for the degree of PhD in History at the Universityof Stirling.

IIAbstractThis dissertation is about the Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolution,1775-1783. These were the formal regiments formed by the British, consisting ofAmericans who stayed Loyal to the British crown during the American RevolutionaryWar. They fought in most of the main campaigns of this war and in 1783 left with theBritish Army for Canada, where many of them settled.The Loyalist regiments have been neglected by academic historians with onlyone major work on them as a group. The intention of this dissertation is to give themtheir proper place in the historiography of the American Revolutionary War and ofeighteenth century military history.The dissertation is laid out in the following way. Chapter one, will be anoverview of the history of Regiments, from their origins in Colonial days until 1783.It will assess how they were dealt with by the British and examine both organisationand combat. Chapter two is a thematic chapter looking principally at the organisationof the regiments as well as their motivation and composition. The next four chaptersare case studies of three Loyalist regiments. Chapters three and four are a case studyof the Queens Rangers. A database of all the soldiers who served in this regiment wascreated and is included with this dissertation. Chapter five is about the controversialregiment, the British Legion. Chapter 6 is a case study of the frontier regimentButler‘s Rangers.

IIITable of ContentsAbstract.Acknowledgments.List of Maps, Tables and Appendices, including instructions for the database onthe cd.Introduction, p. 1.Chapter 1: The Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolution 1775-1783, p. 19.Chapter 2: The Loyalist Regiments Organsisation, Themes and Issues, p. 77.Chapter 3: The Queens Rangers 1776-77, p. 126.Chapter 4: The Queens Rangers Under Simcoe, p. 186.Chapter 5: The British Legion, p. 240.Chapter 6: Butler’s Rangers, p. 302.Dissertation Conclusion, p. 369.Appendices.Bibliography

IVAcknowledgmentsThe greatest debt I owe in the writing of this dissertation is to Dr ColinNicolson, my supervisor. His good advice, patience, helpfulness and willingness todevote time to assist me aided me enormously and he was a constant source ofsupport. As this was a part-time, self funded thesis, his providing me with a job as hisresearch assistant was vital to my continuance as a student. In this regard I would alsolike to thank the Department of history at the University of Stirling, and in particularthe heads of department, Professors McKean and Peden, and Dr Jim Smyth, foremploying me as a teaching assistant. This not only gave me much neededemployment but benefited all aspects of experience as a PhD student. I also thank theuniversities of Edinburgh and Dundee for employing me as a tutor.I would like to thank all the members of staff in the History Department atStirling, for help and support but in particular, my second supervisor Dr EmmaMacleod who was of great help and was always willing to listen. Dr Ben Marsh wasalso a great support. Dr Phia Steyn, Professor Richard Oram, Dr Alistair Mann, DrMike Hopkinson, Dr Mike Rapport, Dr Michael Penman, Dr Helen Dingwall who allprovided much appreciated assistance over the years.Staff at other Universities provided much needed assistance with both mythesis and sustaining my studies. These include, Professor Tony Parker, Dr FrankCogliano, Dr Mathew Ward, Dr Mark Newman, Dr Alex Goodall, Dr Fabian Hilfrichand Dr Murray Frame.This thesis could not have been written without the kindness of the staff at thevarious archives and libraries I visited. They are too many to mention but in particularI owe a great debt to the staffs of the William Clements Library in Michigan, theLibrary and Archives Canada, the Detroit Public Library, the British Library, the

VNational Archives in Kew and the National Library of Scotland. I would also like tothank the staff of Stirling University Library, in particular those in the DocumentDelivery Department for not turning down all my unusual requests! I would also liketo thank the Carnegie Trust for Travel funds.To lapse into cliché, no PhD student is an island and I could not havecompleted my thesis without my friends, many of whom are or were Stirlingpostgraduates. In particular I would like to single out: Amanda Frazier, for being awonderful friend, fellow amateur drama enthusiast and constant source ofencouragement; Dave Kaufman for bring an equal source of encouragement and forproviding me with a laugh without fail when I needed one; Susie and Dave Burlinsonfor being great listeners and great friends. I would also like to mention, Mark Nixon,Sang Dong Lee, Neil Forsyth, Mark Lammey, James Cottam and Tim Lovering formaking the Post grad office a great place to study. I would also like to mention BlairKerr, my fellow post grad and flatmate. Out-with academia, my friends were alwaysprepared to listen, usually over an alcoholic beverage. I would like to thank my oldestfriends: Iain Walker, Bill Freeman, and Keith Main. Aileen Jones was one of mygreatest sources of encouragement and friendship, thanks for putting up with me! Iwould also like to thank all the members of the Orwell Players in Kinross forproviding me with a great source of escape. In particular: Jimmy, Roz, Bob, Ian, Zoe,Linda‘s F and P, Alan, Ann, Alan, Mary, Maggie and Gemma.I owe Laura Hughes an immense debt. She has made the last few months a joyand tolerated having to proof read my dissertation!Lastly, I would like to thank my family. My sisters Joanna and Ailsa and mybrother in law Julian have always been there whenever I needed. The birth of mynephew Thomas brightened up the last year beyond measure. I cannot possibly repay

VIthe debt I owe to my parents, Ian and Eunice, in any sense of the word. All I can sayis thank you.

VIIList of MapsMap1: The Colonies on the Eve of Independence, p.18.Map 2: New York Campaign, Showing Mamaroneck 22 October 1776 p. 154.Map 3: Brandywine Creek, 11 September 1777, showing the movements of theQueens Rangers, p.177.Map 4: The War in South Carolina 1780, p.269.Map 5: The Battle of Cowpens 17 January 1781, p. 290.Map 6: The Battle of Oriskany 6 August 1778 between pp.309-310.Map 7: The New York Frontier 1778-9, p. 315.Map 8: The War on the Western Frontiers, p.362.List of TablesTable 1: State of Cloathing for Provincials in New York and Charleston April 1781, p.101.Table 2: Provincial Regiments Victualled at New York and Outposts on 25 September1780, p.103.Table 3: Daily Pay Scale for the Royal Highland Emigrants March 1779, p. 106.Table 4: Money Paid out to Regiments serving in America 25/12/1777-24/4/1778, pp.107-108.Table 5: Four companies of the Queens Rangers, 24 August 1776 to 24 December 1776,pp. 147-148.Table 6: Four companies of the Queens Rangers, 24 December 1776 to 30 March 1777,pp. 159-160.Table 7: Daily Wages for Two Companies of the Queens Rangers, p. 198.Table 8: Men recorded as enlisted in the Muster Rolls 1777-1783, pp. 200-201.Table 9: Soldiers Recorded For the First Time on the Muster Rolls, pp. 201.Table 10: Desertion rates November 1777-1783 compiled from the Muster rolls, p. 204.

VIIITable 11: Length of Service, Queens Rangers 1776-1783, pp. 209-210.Table 12: Average Strength of the Queens Rangers 1776-1783, pp. 211-212.Table 13:Absences from Duty 1776-1783, pp.232-235.Table 14: List of Company Commanders of the British Legion with nationality given, pp.252-254.Table 15: British Legion Regimental Totals 1780-1782, p. 255.Table 16: British Legion Rates of Pay 24 Dec. 1782 23 Feb. 1783, p. 257.Table 17: British Legion Rank and File Fit for Duty with Minutes of Muster JanuaryOctober 1781, pp. 292-293.Table 18: Number of officers serving in Butler‘s Rangers 1778-1781, p. 321.Table 19: Total Numbers serving in Butler‘s Rangers 1778-1784, p. 326.Table 20: Pay for Butler‘s Rangers for 212 days with Daily Rates, pp. 330-331.Table 21: Expenditure on Armed Loyalists Northern Dept 1778-1784, p.338.List of Appendices.Appendix 1: Brig. Gen. Timothy Ruggles Proposal for the Formation ofthe Boston Association November 1774.Appendix 2: Table of Provincial Regiments Raised 1776- 1783.Appendix 3: Instructions for Queens Rangers Database.Appendix 4: Company Commanders of the Queens Rangers 1776-1777Appendix 5: British Legion Minutes of Muster 1780-1782.Appendix 6: Butler‘s Rangers Officers.Appendix 7:Minutes of Muster for the Cavalry of the British Legion 25 August 178123 February 1782.Appendix 8: Expenditure for Northern Command showing total expenditure onButler‘s Rangers 1778-1784.Appendix 9:

IXSubsistence Wanting for Butler‘s Rangers 25 October 1778 -24 May 1779.Appendix 10: Muster Roll of Captain John MacKay‘s Company of the QueensRangers, 24 October 1778 to 23 February 1779.Appendix 11: Newspaper Report of Queens Rangers at Brandywine Creek, 11September 1777.Appendix 12: Newspaper Report of British Legion‘s Victory at Waxhaws 29 May1780.Appendix 13: Notice of the several Loyalist Regiments Embarkation to Nova Scotia17 August 1783.

1The Loyalist Regiments of the American RevolutionIntroductionOn 25 November 1783, the last British soldiers remaining in America at the endof the Revolutionary War left New York City for Canada. With them went severalregiments of troops that the British Army officially designated as Provincial Regimentsand historians remember as Loyalist Regiments. Their counterparts in the British lineregiments were returning home, but for the Provincials going home was little more than adream; after American independence home was now a foreign country to the Loyalists ofthe Provincial units and few were ever able to return to America. 1 The term ―Loyalist‖refers to anyone who in some way supported the British during the American Revolution.This support could manifest itself in several ways, from pre-Revolutionary politicalactivity to leaving the colony or serving in a Loyalist regiment. Service in a Loyalistregiment is one of the best ways to determine if a resident of the American colonies was aLoyalist, although there has been some controversy over this mode of definition. Some ofthe soldiers were not exactly volunteers, and many were recent immigrants. Alternativelya claim for compensation for loss of property to the British Government is another way ofworking out if a person was a Loyalist. In Canada, the Loyalists are known as the ―UnitedEmpire Loyalists,‖ and in the United States are commonly referred to as ―Tories.‖ Thisterm derived from a contemporary derogation unrelated to the British political party ofthat name. A ―Patriot‖ is anyone who rebelled against the British Government. TheBritish and the Loyalists referred to them as ―Rebels‖.The Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolutionary War consisted largely ofAmericans and British-born immigrants who fought for the British Crown in America in1The term home means where the Loyalist soldiers had grown up and lived. Many of their families stillremained in the new United States.

2the American Revolutionary war of 1775-1783.2 This dissertation provides the first indepth study of the Loyalist Regiments within the dual historiographical context of theAmerican Revolution and British military history in the eighteenth century. While theLoyalists as a political group have been dealt with by historians extensively in the lasthundred years, the militant Loyalists have been largely neglected, partly because they areless well-documented and partly because of a decline in the serious study of militaryhistory.Until the twentieth century, the Loyalists were popularly reviled and generallyignored by scholars in the United States and no serious attempt was made to understandwhy they opposed the Revolution. In the past hundred years historians have attempted todo this but there is still work to be done, as this thesis, hopes to show. Most histories ofthe American Loyalists cover the political, social, intellectual and economic facets ofLoyalism or concentrate on Loyalism within a single colony and state.3 William H.Nelson's, The American Tory was not the first major American work on the Loyalists,but its sympathetic portrayal of the Loyalists‘ predicaments as ―conscious minorities‖significantly changed the historical interpretations of the opponents of the Revolutionin a way that no previous work had done before. Nelson‘s superb study rousedsignificant historical interest in the Loyalists and in essence paved the way forhistorians to write more widely on the Loyalists. Wallace Brown‗s 1964 study of the2This thesis will define Loyalist regiment as a multi company formal regiment administered by theBritish army‘s Provincial department. There were numerous other Loyalist units who did not fit thisexact definition, these include, Militia, Associators or Refugees. Many of these units did becomeProvincial regiments. These units will be discussed in the sections on the origins of the Regiments asthey were the first gatherings of armed Loyalists.3William H. Nelson, The American Tory (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1961);Bernard Bailyn, TheIdeological Origins of The American Revolution (Cambridge MA: Belknapp Press, 1967, 1992edition): Bailyn, The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, (Cambridge MA: Belknapp Press, 1974).

3Loyalist claimants similarly evaluated the nature of what it meant to be a Loyalist.4Bernard Bailyn once stated that he could not understand why anyone would havewanted to be a Loyalist, although he would later write more sympathetically about theLoyalists in his biography of Thomas Hutchinson. The decision to oppose friends andcolleagues was not an easy one and did not always come down to political ideology.Philip Ranlet in his 1986 work on the New York Loyalists posited that other factorssuch as the presence of the British army was often a factor. 5 More recently GaryNash‘s work ―The Unknown American Revolution,‖ while not wholly about Loyalistsbrought a sympathetic view towards the Loyalists and suggested that their localsituation was often a key factor in their choices.6 Land rivalries and landlord tenantrelations were also vital. There were cases of Loyalists settling scores with old rivalsover these issues and of tenants settling scores with their patriot landlords. Recenthistorians such as Alan Taylor, Leslie Hall and Thomas Humphrey have focused onthese issues and argued that the circumstances that created Loyalists were often lessabout ideology and more about material issues. 7The body of work covering militant Loyalism is far less extensive and for manyyears was the preserve of amateur historians and genealogists, many of whom producedsome excellent work. The first historian to call for an urgent reassessment of the Loyalists4Wallace Brown, The King’s Friends: The Composition and Motives of the American LoyalistClaimants (Providence: Brown Univ. Press, 1965).5Phillip Ranlet, The New York Loyalists, ( Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 1986).6Gary Nash, The Unknown American Revolution, (London 2005).7Leslie Hall, Land and Allegiance in Revolutionary Georgia, (Athens, GA, 2001,); Alan Taylor, TheDivided Ground: Indians, Settlers and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution, (NewYork NY, 2006); Terry Bouton, Independence on the Land: Small Farmers and the AmericanRevolution, in American Revolution, People and Perspectives, Andrew Frank, ed. (Santa Barbara, CA,2008) ; Thomas J Humphrey, Land and Liberty: Hudson Valley Riots in the Age of Revolution,(DeKalb, IL, 2004).

4military operations, Albert T. Klyberg, was quickly answered.8 Paul Smith‘s Loyalistsand Redcoats (1964) was a groundbreaking study of the Loyalists‘ role in British militarystrategy that changed the way in which historians viewed the militant Loyalists by finallyestablishing the centrality of the Loyalist Regiments in British military operations.9Smith‘s findings may be summarised as follows. The central thesis of Loyalistsand Redcoats is that Loyalists were important to the British military planners at variousstages of the war but that the British never had a coherent plan about how to use them.The Loyalists generally were not well-regarded or well-used by senior British officers inthe field, and the British made crucial errors in their handling of the Loyalists. Early inthe war, especially in 1775 and 1776, the British commanders assumed that mostAmericans had Loyalist sympathies and needed only a little encouragement to rally toBritish flag. This overly optimistic view grew out of the opinion that the rebellion was atroublesome insurrection and not anything like the continental conflict it would become.Organizational ineptitude can also explain the British failure to deploy the Loyalistsproperly. ―The early failure to utilize Loyalists, however, resulted not from a want ofLoyalist enthusiasm but primarily from unpreparedness and the inability of theadministration to co-ordinate them with other plans emanating with Whitehall.‖10 Hisconclusion is that the British did not do enough about the Loyalists until it was too late,because although after 1777 they did take them seriously, the French had allied with the8―By failing to regard or record the military role played by the Loyalists, the intellectual school hasfailed to grasp or portray one of the most important characteristics of the Revolution, its civil warquality. The role of the armed Loyalist is perhaps one of the most important and least discussed aspectsof the Revolution.‖ Although Klyberg gives justification for writing about the armed Loyalists, he washarsh on Nelson. See, Albert T. Klyberg, “The Armed Loyalists as seen by American Historians,‖ theProceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society 82 (1964): 101-108 at pp. 105-106.9Paul H. Smith, Loyalists and Redcoats: Study in British Revolutionary Policy (Chapel Hill: Univ. ofNorth Carolina press, 1964).10Ibid. pp.10-11.

5Patriots by this time and the whole character of the war was altered. 11 Thus, Smithproposed that had the British been more effective in utilising the Loyalists the outcome ofthe war might have been different. Such a view runs counter to the dominant militarynarratives which supposed that after the British defeat at Saratoga in October 1777, andon the eve of the French intervention, British victory was extremely unlikely. 12Despite Smith‘s study, the military aspects of Loyalism have still not been as wellcovered as other aspects. Several issues and problems remain unresolved, as thisintroductory chapter will now demonstrate.First, the military history of the Loyalists has suffered largely because militaryhistory is not a popular an area of study amongst professional academic historians.Despite the rise of the New Military History since the 1970s, exemplified by the work ofJames McPherson, John Keegan and Stephen Ambrose, little progress had been made inLoyalist military studies. By contrast, Sylvia Frey produced valuable work on Britishsoldiers, and Don Higginbotham and Charles Neimeyer on the Patriots: their conclusionsregarding composition and social attitudes are particularly relevant when asking similarquestions of the Loyalists.13 Questions and answers provided by New Military historiansof the wars concerning motivation, socialisation and militancy shed light on theexperiences of the Loyalists. The Loyalists, while having much in common with their11Although the Southern expedition of 1776 was partially mounted to recruit Loyalists, its failurechanged the opinion of many British officers towards Loyalists. Smith states that when the British diddecide to treat the Loyalists more seriously, in 1777, it was in many cases, too late. He contends thatthe British treatment of civilians during the New York and southern campaigns deterred potential

This dissertation is about the Loyalist Regiments of the American Revolution, 1775-1783. These were the formal regiments formed by the British, consisting of Americans who stayed Loyal to the British crown during the American Revolutionary War. They fought in most of the main campaigns of this war and in 1783 left with the British Army for Canada, where many of them settled. The Loyalist .

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