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  1. #1
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    71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser's Highlanders) action in Savannah, Georgia

    I just spent a few days in Savannah on business, with very limited time to wander the city and see the sights. Lots of great history there, especially during the Revolutionary War. I was particularly interested in the First Battle of Savannah (a.k.a. the Capture of Savannah) in December 1778, as well as the Second Battle of Savannah (a.k.a. the Siege of Savannah) in October 1779.

    From what I've read about it, the 1778 Capture of Savannah was accomplished under Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell, leading the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 71st Regiment of Foot as well as a Hessian unit and some other provincial units. Campbell ended up going back home in July 1779 before the Siege of Savannah in October, though the 71st was still there and successfully defended their position against French/American forces.

    I was really hoping to see some detailed historical mentions or depictments of Fraser's Highlanders in the local monuments. But I didn't see anything other than a very minor blurb about Scottish people being involved in the battle. Perhaps there was more info somewhere in one of the museums, but as I said, I didn't get to see everything. It seems that local history is (understandably) focused on glamourising the American revolutionary side, with the British just seen as generic British soldiers.

    I was impressed enough with Savannah overall that I may consider coming back for a vacation with my wife and spending some quality time there. So I'm curious to hear from those who are more familiar with it: where is the best place in Savannah to find more detailed history on the Scottish units that fought in these battles? The museum apparently does some reenactments and such. Do they include kilted examples of the 71st Regiment of Foot?

    Side note: I did manage to find a lovely little Scottish pub called Molly MacPherson's. I strayed off my diet long enough to enjoy some Scotch eggs, bangers & mash, etc.
    Last edited by Tobus; 19th October 18 at 05:11 PM.

  2. The Following 4 Users say 'Aye' to Tobus For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
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    Thumbs up remember ASSAYE

    Nice to see a acknowledgement of the 71st of foot. As a past member of the RHF which was the amalgamation of the 71st + 74th (1881) to become the HLI with a further amalgamation with the RSF, to become the R.H.F. which has now become the 2nd Battalion of the RRS. If you are interested in our history you can find more specific info at our Regimental Museum, which you can access via the internet.
    Aye Yours.



    VINCERE-VEL-MORI

  4. The Following 2 Users say 'Aye' to Laird O'the Cowcaddens For This Useful Post:


  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laird O'the Cowcaddens View Post
    Nice to see a acknowledgement of the 71st of foot. As a past member of the RHF which was the amalgamation of the 71st + 74th (1881) to become the HLI with a further amalgamation with the RSF, to become the R.H.F. which has now become the 2nd Battalion of the RRS. If you are interested in our history you can find more specific info at our Regimental Museum, which you can access via the internet.
    I would like to, politely, request full "expansion " of abbreviations, for those of us not "in the know" (ex.: "RHF", "RSF", etc.)
    waulk softly and carry a big schtick

  6. #4
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    RHF - Royal Highland Fusiliers
    RSF - Royal Scots Fusiliers
    RSS - Royal Regiment of Scotland
    HLI - Highland Light Infantry

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  8. #5
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    RSF - Royal Scots Fusiliers
    RHF - Royal Highland Fusiliers
    HLI - Highland Light Infantry
    RSS - Royal Regiment of Scotland

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jhockin View Post
    I would like to, politely, request full "expansion " of abbreviations, for those of us not "in the know" (ex.: "RHF", "RSF", etc.)
    HLI: Highland Light Infantry
    RSF: Royal Scots Fusiliers
    RHF: Royal Highland Fusiliers
    RRS: Royal Regiment of Scotland

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  12. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laird O'the Cowcaddens View Post
    Nice to see a acknowledgement of the 71st of foot. As a past member of the RHF which was the amalgamation of the 71st + 74th (1881) to become the HLI with a further amalgamation with the RSF, to become the R.H.F. which has now become the 2nd Battalion of the RRS. If you are interested in our history you can find more specific info at our Regimental Museum, which you can access via the internet.
    It was not the 71st (Fraser's) Highlanders but the 71st (MacLeod's) Highlanders that were a predecessor regiment of the HLI - link.

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  14. #8
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    Lightbulb remember ASSAYE

    I ONLY referenced the 71st of Foot, and was NOT SPECIFICALLY claiming that Regiment was the forefather to the subsequent Amalgamations. I DID HOWEVER, directly reference ASSAYE which clearly identifies which 71st of Foot I was speaking of.
    Aye Yours.



    VINCERE-VEL-MORI

  15. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    I just spent a few days in Savannah on business, with very limited time to wander the city and see the sights. Lots of great history there, especially during the Revolutionary War. I was particularly interested in the First Battle of Savannah (a.k.a. the Capture of Savannah) in December 1778, as well as the Second Battle of Savannah (a.k.a. the Siege of Savannah) in October 1779.

    From what I've read about it, the 1778 Capture of Savannah was accomplished under Lieutenant-Colonel Archibald Campbell, leading the 1st and 2nd battalions of the 71st Regiment of Foot as well as a Hessian unit and some other provincial units. Campbell ended up going back home in July 1779 before the Siege of Savannah in October, though the 71st was still there and successfully defended their position against French/American forces.

    I was really hoping to see some detailed historical mentions or depictments of Fraser's Highlanders in the local monuments. But I didn't see anything other than a very minor blurb about Scottish people being involved in the battle. Perhaps there was more info somewhere in one of the museums, but as I said, I didn't get to see everything. It seems that local history is (understandably) focused on glamourising the American revolutionary side, with the British just seen as generic British soldiers.

    I was impressed enough with Savannah overall that I may consider coming back for a vacation with my wife and spending some quality time there. So I'm curious to hear from those who are more familiar with it: where is the best place in Savannah to find more detailed history on the Scottish units that fought in these battles? The museum apparently does some reenactments and such. Do they include kilted examples of the 71st Regiment of Foot?

    Side note: I did manage to find a lovely little Scottish pub called Molly MacPherson's. I strayed off my diet long enough to enjoy some Scotch eggs, bangers & mash, etc.
    The 71st to which you refer was raised by Simon Fraser, who had also raised the 78th Regiment (disbanded 1763) for service in America during the French and Indian War, and who had been a colonel in the Jacobite Army of 1745-46 before he turned his coat just before Culloden. In 1775, Fraser raised three battalions of the 71st, who were uniformed, armed and immediately put on a convoy at Greenock for transport (with the 42nd RHR) to America. The 71st did not receive any training before embarking (evidently there was still government distrust of Highlanders who might be secret Jacobites), so they learned their manual exercise and simple foot drill onboard ship en route to America. A couple the convoy's ships sailed into Boston harbor, unaware that the British had departed, and were captured following a battle in the harbor. The Highlanders were so incensed by the surrender that they destroyed their arms (in contravention of the rules of war as understood then) and were harshly treated by the American rebel side. LtCol Archibald Campbell was one of the officers captured in that incident and he remained a year there before returning to British control. What became of the 71st ORs who were captured was not stated, although I presume they were farmed out for laborers or escaped.

    The 71st was originally a kilted unit, but as the war went on they converted their plaids to tartan trews or adopted gaitered breeches or trousers, retaining only their Highland bonnets for identity purposes. Likewise, the ORs gave up their baskethilt swords, which went into stores. The regiment fought in the 1776 Long Island/New York campaign. Later, some of them went south (to Savannah) and then fought in Lord Cornwallis's southern campaign during 1780-81, ending at Yorktown. One battalion of the 71st fought in the Battle of Cowpens (under Col Banastre Tarleton), where they were routed by the Americans. The members of the Regiment that surrendered at Yorktown went into captivity in a POW camp in the Winchester Virginia area. Eventually, they were re-patriated and following the peace treaty of 1783, the regiment was disbanded. Survivors returned to Scotland.

    If I remember correctly, the 71st and 74th regiments (which later formed the Highland Light Infantry) were raised at some point after 1783. I believe they were de-kilted in 1809.

    My oldest daughter attended college in Savannah so I've been there several times. It is truly a charming city and was, in the 18th c. a walled city, if I remember correctly. The walled city is now the area with all of the squares. This is surrounded by the "Victorian city". With regard to the 71st (Fraser's) Regiment, I believe there is now a book out detailing its history.

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  17. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orvis View Post
    The 71st was originally a kilted unit, but as the war went on they converted their plaids to tartan trews or adopted gaitered breeches or trousers, retaining only their Highland bonnets for identity purposes. Likewise, the ORs gave up their baskethilt swords, which went into stores.
    Orvis, thanks. That was a lot of good information. I'm curious about the part I quoted above. Do you happen to know when during the war they were de-kilted, as well as the reason for it? I wonder if it had to do with the brutally cold weather and/or other environmental conditions, or if it was just a matter of simplification for supply/logistics purposes. I'm also curious why the basket-hilt swords were given up.

    If indeed they had been de-kilted prior to their southern foray to Savannah, it would certainly explain why I didn't see any mention of it there.

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