> In the Order Book of Samuel Elbert (Georgia) is a General Order
> 5 Nov. 1777: "...all the officers of the foot regiments, except
> rifle, grenadier, or Light Infantry companies, are ordered to
> espontoons." As far as I remember these orders were all for the
> Georgia Continental Brigade, which would indicate there was at
> one rifle company among them.
I don't know if he was talking to the Georgia Continentals, or
the whole ad hoc organization that was in Georgia at the time. This
would include some North and South Carolina units, which had rifles
and grenadiers. This may also include militia as well as
Continental units. I'd have to see exactly who was under the
command of attached to Elbert at the time.
>In the same book is a letter from Col.
> Elbert (2nd Ga.) to Gen. McIntosh, 18 July 1777: "Could you by any
> means furnish me with good Muskets and Bayonets for my men... the
> Sorry trash I have at present being such a medley of Rifles, old
> muskets & fowling pieces, with a few French Traders, that I have
> faith in them...." So the 2nd Georgia had some rifles, though
> not good ones.
No argument there. Just about every regiment in the South, prior
to the influx of French arms, carried just about anything that
fired. The North Carolina units even had a smattering of rifles in
the line when they went into Brandywine and Germantown. I wouldn't
consider these rifle units though.
Now, since I wrote the original post I went back and looked
around. In the Georgia Line of 1777 and on there are no specific
rifle units that I can find. However if you go back to the early
origins of the Continentals, when they were merely called
the "Georgia Regiment" there are some companies that had rifles and
called themselves such. This would be in the 1775-1776 time frame.
An example of this would be in March 1776 when the Georgia
Regiment had a company known as the St John's Rifles. There was
also a second one known as the St. John's Rangers, who most likely
were mounted and set up like the 3rd South Carolina Rangers.