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Re: [Revlist] British regiments recruiting in America, and Americans in British regiments

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  • IVBNNJV@aol.com
    Hey Paul Yes indeed.? While that order was aimed at Provincials, it should be noted the three units alluded to by the last sentence were the Queen s Rangers,
    Message 1 of 40 , Nov 3, 2008
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      Hey Paul

      Yes indeed.? While that order was aimed at Provincials, it should be noted the three units alluded to by the last sentence were the Queen's Rangers, Volunteers of Ireland and British Legion.

      Some units stayed true to that regulation.? After the siege of Charlestown, the New York Volunteers themselves rejected additional companies from North Carolina joining their corps.? They felt it would dilute their unit of experience?and?the cohesion of all being from the same place.? It did not stop them the previous year however from accepting about two dozen men from the short-lived Royal Georgia Volunteers.? By the end of 1780, they were recruiting in the South the same as most other Provincial units, regulation or no regulation.? The number of recruits raised?by units like the New Jersey Volunteers, Prince of Wales American Volunteers and DeLancey's Brigade?in the South, particularly from 1780 on, was rather small.? Not surprisingly, the new recruits wished to serve in units under officers they knew and which were raised in their neighborhoods.? The Georgia Loyalists and King's (Carolina) Rangers both got in trouble for recruiting at Charlestown in 1780, but that was more because they were trying to enlist prisoners as much as anything else.

      BTW, the regulation regarding British and Irish emigrants was routinely ignored.? Simcoe huffed and puffed about it from time to time, but the impracticality of the rule made it nearly useless.

      Todd W. Braisted

      -----Original Message-----
      From: paullaurapace@...
      To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Mon, 3 Nov 2008 8:45 am
      Subject: Re: [Revlist] British regiments recruiting in America, and Americans in British regiments

      List - I found this order from the Charleston Campaign which restricts recruiting only to certain regiments.

      Paul Pace
      42d Lt Infy Coy

      Head Quarters James Island 11th Mar 1780...
      No Corps will be permitted to recruit in the province except the Royal North Carolina Volunteers, South Carolina Royalists and those Corps having Leave to Inlist British and Irish Emigrants.

      -------------- Original message from IVBNNJV@...: --------------

      Steve, Don & List

      There were at least four British regiments that actively recruited in America, as opposed to the more passive methods Don outlined.

      The Royal Artillery made an active effort to make up its constant shortage by recruiting men at New York City in 1777, as witness this advertisement:


      A Roll I found in War Office 10 lists about forty recruits specifically enlisted at New York in April 1777, and James Pattison later said that a total of about eighty were recruited.

      James Bain of the 1st Battalion, 60th Regiment, stationed on Jamaica, recruited for his corps at Charlestown, SC from November 1780 until some time in 1781 but was not very successful due to all the competition with the Provincial units.? I have likewise found Americans enlisting in the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the 60th during the course of the war.

      The 79th and 88th Regiments, also stationed on Jamaica, recruited actively in New York City in 1781, offering the riches of plunder on the Spanish Main.? Detachments of both corps remained at New York on that duty through 1782, raising a few men.? Advertisements for both units appeared in all the Nrew York City newspapers.

      Otherwise, it is very difficult to say by the rolls who enlisted where.? Sometimes batches of recruits from England are easy to identify, because it lists "joined" on a specific day (as opposed to enlisted) and there will be forty guys with that one date.? But looking over the rolls of the 40th Regiment for 1776, there are recruits joining almost every day, and some of the names I saw are teh same as large Loyalist families in the metro New York area.? But without more info, its impossible to say.? Personally, I believe a number of Loyalists did join British units at New York City in the summer and fall of 1776, before Provincial units kicked recruiting into high gear; and after that, very few joined them.? That's just an opinion.

      Todd Braisted

      -----Original Message-----
      From: Steve Rayner <steverayner@...>
      To: revlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 10:57 am
      Subject: RE: [Revlist] British regiments recruiting in America, and Americans in British regiments

      Hi Don;

      Thanks for sharing your extensive knowledge on the subject.

      I'll be surprised, if there was not a specific order in America at some point, for British regiments not to recruit Americans. I would expect the order to be slipped over now and then, of course. The British do seem to have placed a lot of emphasis on recruiting for the Provincial regiments - and they wouldn't benefit from competition.

      Prior to the war, the British did discuss creating recruiting districts in America, evidence of a major drive in the works. The plan seems to have been scrapped though. The reduction of British regiments and the voluntary discharge of men in America probably left a lot of men hanging around in seedy taverns wondering what to do with the rest of their lives, or, finding themselves trapped in the same drudge work that made enlisting in the army an attractive proposition in the first place.

      That's an interesting note on re-enlistment, Don. The Soldier we know as "Jonas" of the 68th Regiment took a discharge, but then re-enlisted in the same regiment - apparently things didn't work out for him in the civilian sector. Some British Soldiers were Roger Lambs, others were John Robert Shaws, and many shades in between. Even the notorious "John the Painter" was a recruit - for a brief time. An army of 50,000 men has 50,000 different stories to tell, each of them fascinating study.

      Thanks Again for sharing the results of your studies.


      Steve Rayner

      To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
      From: dhagist@...
      Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2008 14:00:02 +0000
      Subject: [Revlist] British regiments recruiting in America, and Americans in British regiments

      Both of the posts below are correct, but are coming at the subject

      from different angles.

      British regiments seldom, if ever 'recruited' in America after the war

      began. But, here and there a few Americans did enlist in British

      regiments after the war began. Because of the way that British muster

      rolls are annotated, it is often difficult to distinguish enlistees in

      America from recruits who came from Great Britain. My own extensive

      work on this subject (demographics of British regiments) strongly

      suggests that a British regiment of around 500 men was unlikely to

      have more than 5 or 10 American-born men in it. In fact, for most

      regiments, I'd be surprised to find more than 5.

      The past service of the regiment could be a big factor. Regiments like

      the 47th and 52nd had been in America for several years before the war

      began, and were likely to have more Americans in them than regiments

      like the 22nd and 55th which arrived in 1775. A regiment like the 23rd

      that arrived shortly before the war began might have a few (in fact,

      certainly did have a few, but I don't know how many - probably under 10).

      Where the regiment served during the war could also be a factor. Most

      of my research has involved regiments serving on the New York

      establishment. Regiments in Canada (such as the 53rd, cited below)

      might have had more American enlistments during the war. I don't know

      either way. Obviously the 53rd had one, but that does not mean it was


      Yet another factor: Many men who enlisted in Great Britain were

      veterans of the F&I (Seven Years) war who had been discharged when the

      army was reduced in 1763. A man who had enlisted at 18 and been

      discharged at 20 might enlist again in 1775 at the still-young age of

      32. It is entirely possible that army veterans residing in America

      were among those who enlisted in British regiments in America - they

      were a slightly different ilk than an American with no prior military


      Regardless of all of this, the numbers of Americans serving in British

      regiments was certainly quite small, and those who did enlist during

      the war were (almost certainly) not obtain by the recruiting

      techniques used in Great Britain.

      Don N. Hagist

      22d Regt. F.

      --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Manning"

      <michael.manning@...> wrote:


      > --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "raynersteve" <steverayner@> wrote:

      > > Another potential re-enactorism is that the British regiments seldom

      > > if ever recruited in America during the American Revolution. Loyalist

      > > regiments did of course recruit, and the Continental units sent out

      > > recruiting parties, so recruiting Sergeants, parties and such are

      > > perhaps appropriate for them. This understanding came about through

      > > the same means as the above.


      > Perhaps I'm misreading your statement but some Americans certainly

      > enlisted in regular regiments. According to "Skulking For The King" by

      > J. Fraser, his ancestor John Fraser of Ballstown, NY, son of veteran

      > Daniel Fraser, joined the 53rd Foot (p.88).


      Store, manage and share up to 5GB with Windows Live SkyDrive.

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    • Patrick O'Kelley
      Howdy, ... is very ... a GREAT ... Unfortunately Jerusalem Mill killed this event. I have attempted to get those in charge to move the date, but they cannot.
      Message 40 of 40 , Dec 16, 2008
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        > What is the latest on this event? Has a date been set yet? Our unit
        is very
        > interested in attending and is awaiting any info, as it sounds like
        a GREAT
        > event!

        Unfortunately Jerusalem Mill killed this event. I have attempted
        to get those in charge to move the date, but they cannot. So this
        same event may happen next year.


        I have another iron in the fire. This one is an even bigger
        immersion event. It is pretty much set up like WWI reenacting, where
        you do total immersion from sunup to sundown, and a little longer,
        then go home on Sunday.

        We have to figure out how to do the logistics, but if this event goes
        down it will be towards the middle of North Carolina, and in late

        More information will follow, sometime in January.

        Patrick O'Kelley
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