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Re: [WarOf1812] Militias in the UK

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  • mike dollinger
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    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 2, 2000
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      >From: "Roger Fuller" <fullerfamily@...>
      >Reply-To: WarOf1812@egroups.com
      >To: <WarOf1812@egroups.com>
      >Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] Militias in the UK
      >Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 12:42:28 -0500
      >
      >I RECOMMEND READING THE LETTERS OF PRIVARE WHEELER , EDITED BY CAPT. B. H.
      >LIDDELL HART.IT COVERS WHEELERS EXPLOITS FROM 1809 TO 1828 FROM MILITIA MAN
      >TO SERJEANT IN THE 51ST REGT. Mike dollinger your humble reader of diaries
      > >
      > >And this begs the question, would you find more literate men among the
      > >militia than the regular military?
      >
      >Absolutely, at least in Britain!
      >
      >The smart ones, who didn't want to die in a Spanish (or tropical, or
      >American) hellhole, or stay in the regular army until they died anyway,
      >enlisted in the militias and fencible units, whose purview extended only as
      >far as the water's edge of England, Scotland and Wales, and in the case of
      >some, Ireland. The Duke of Cumberland's Sharp-Shooters, the North York
      >Militia, and Percy's Tenantry Rifles were some of the sources of the 3rd
      >batt., 95th Foot's manpower. These groups had been established to defend
      >England against Napoleon's threatened invasion in the late 1790s/early
      >1800s. It was certainly seen in a Britain remote from the hardships of the
      >war in Spain (as well as in America) that the offshore war was not worth
      >fighting, at least as a popular war (using popular in its original sense),
      >until Wellington started winning and advancing big against the French- then
      >the British people found enthusiasm for fighting against "Boney". (I don't
      >think the American War ever caught on as a popular cause in Britain...)
      >
      >Of course, the addition of bigger bounties and short-time enlistments (as
      >well as rising disemployment by handworkers because of industrialisation)
      >didn't hurt the regular army's cause either....
      >
      >On both sides of the border? Not being
      > >the dregs of society/useless gutter louts/yadda yadda; would they have
      >had
      > >more opportunities to gain some measure of education?
      >
      >In the case of the Duke of Northumberland as well as the Duke of
      >Cumberland,
      >many of the members of their groups were literally their tenants and
      >gamekeepers, whom they wished to keep home, and producing. They were rural
      >in character, had seen some schooling, and often had skills outside of
      >being
      >laborers. Not coincidentally, quite a few gunsmiths, mechanics and
      >metalworkers joined them as part-time militiamen, and they then found their
      >way into the 95th. When the 95th had a big recruiting drive after Corunna,
      >they had so many people applying out of the militias, they had to form a
      >3rd
      >battalion to accomodate the numbers of recruits. Out of character for the
      >militia to do so, but the regt. had a good enough reputation that the
      >militiamen saw that the time to get in the 95th was now a good one,
      >apparently.
      >
      >Seems like a logical
      > >premise, but I await the collective wisdom of the list. ;-)
      >
      >"You talkin' ta me?"
      >-Robt DeNiro, as Travis Bickle, TAXI DRIVER :^)
      >
      >Roger
      >3/95th (Rifles)
      >http://www.novarltd.demon.co.uk/webpages/95th.htm
      >
      >
      >

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