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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobus View Post
    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.
    In the American theatre in both the French & Indian + the war of independence swords were put aside in favour of tommohawks which were more useful by all infantry regiments. That said there was mention of the 42nd using broadswords at Ticonderoga and later in one of the Indian rebellions using broadswords at Bushy run, so it may depend on the circumstance as to what was worn...

  2. #12
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    Tobus - I'm not sure when Fraser's 71st de-kilted, but it may have been early in the war, since I've seen reports that some of their plaids went to the Royal Highland Emigrants (later 84th Foot). I'm also not sure if the three battalions of the 71st were all de-kilted at the same time, or did so incrementally. I believe the reason for the de-kilting was simplicity of logistics - they were at the end of a long supply chain - and for practicality (Highland regiments in America discovered that belted plaids were not the most practical garment to wear when campaigning in America). One source I saw indicated that the 71st's plaids may have been converted to trews by the regimental tailors. I'd have to hit the books (many of them to round up all the information. I suspect that the new book giving the history of the 71st might contain all of that information.

  3. #13
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    Have you seen this interesting primary source? It was written by an officer of the 71st in response to the history written by Banastre Tarleton.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=nX...kenzie&f=false

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  5. #14
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    I hadn't seen that before. Thanks for the pointer! I've downloaded it as a PDF for further reading. It's going to take some time to go through. They sure had a way of using a lot of words without any real substance.

  6. #15
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    It might be relevant at this juncture to note that at the time of his arrival, most in this colony were loyalists. Quite lukewarm, in many cases,
    but standing with the king. People were very aware Georgia had been founded on a population of quite limited resources, and they depended
    on continued financial support from the Isles. They may have dreamed of independence, but most knew where their bread was buttered. Some,
    of course, bolder and more headstrong, hoped claiming Savannah for independence would sway others; this led to the southern expedition. The 71st
    performed well and took military control of both Savannah and Augusta quickly. While Campbell was in polite society and history books commended
    on his forbearance in victory at Savannah and Augusta, his time in the state was not entirely successful. Following Augusta, he made a recruiting
    swing through the area north and west of Augusta, and certain partisans were specifically targeted. Locals did not respond well to pressure, and
    were lukewarm in enlisting and promising supplies. This led to the burning out of many who preferred to stay out of the whole thing, and they
    instead enlisted in the Continental Line and with local militias. Campbell was recalled.

    This version is from local sources, most not widely published. Known to me through extensive combing through militia rolls, tax records, court records,
    and the like in genealogical research on my family and those of friends in Wilkes County before and during the Revolution. Writings of the times
    and comments in later court cases paint a picture of the 71st as an effective unit, but point at Campbell having been more successful recruiting for
    Washington than for the King. Which may have influenced his recall.

    Please don't ask for citations of sources, this was years past and my focus was family, not Campbell.

  7. #16
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    Just came upon this thread. My 5th great-grandfather, James Logan, was a member of the 71st. He was wounded, and along with many Highlanders of different regiments was sent to the Royal Garrison Battalion to garrison Bermuda. After the war, he and many of the Battalion, took land grants, and founded my home town of Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia. I have quite a few copies of the discharge papers, along with copies of correspondence by him and his wife.

    Frank
    Drink to the fame of it -- The Tartan!
    Murdoch Maclean

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highland Logan View Post
    Just came upon this thread. My 5th great-grandfather, James Logan, was a member of the 71st. He was wounded, and along with many Highlanders of different regiments was sent to the Royal Garrison Battalion to garrison Bermuda. After the war, he and many of the Battalion, took land grants, and founded my home town of Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia. I have quite a few copies of the discharge papers, along with copies of correspondence by him and his wife.

    Frank
    The documents you mentioned represent quite a cache not only of ancestral family history, but of material potentially of interest to historians. Congratulations on possessing this material. In my research into the RevWar British Army in North America, I generally found that Scottish soldiers were more likely to be literate than English ones, as proved by the letters you possess. Treasure them.

    My ex-wife was from eastern Ontario (Cornwall), which was settled as a royal township by Loyalists of the King's Royal Regiment of New York under Sir John Johnson. Other towns along the St. Lawrence River were settled by veterans of the 84th Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). There are cemeteries from the Cornwall area to Morrisburg (including some that were moved from the submerged towns west of the Cornwall power dam) that contain graves of Loyalists who were forced to evacuate their homes in the USA and start over in the wilderness. Upper Canada Village (near Morrisburg) gives an excellent depiction of what these new settlers must have gone through before they became comfortable farmers in the 19th century. This site is also near the War of 1812 battlefield of Crysler's Farm, where British regulars and Canadian militia (including the Glengarry Militia, a light infantry regiment) defeated American forces.

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  10. #18
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    26th September 05
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Thomson View Post
    In the American theatre in both the French & Indian + the war of independence swords were put aside in favour of tommohawks which were more useful by all infantry regiments. That said there was mention of the 42nd using broadswords at Ticonderoga and later in one of the Indian rebellions using broadswords at Bushy run, so it may depend on the circumstance as to what was worn...
    Ive yet to see an actual issue document for Tomahawks to any of the 3 regiments/4 battalions that were over here. Camp axes yes, on a ratio of 1 ax to every tent. But there is a mention in the Orderly book that the Light Infantry had them, but that's 2 companies in 20 in the 42nd.


    Now the 77th, the members of that unit had no clue how to use swords, or pistols, and put them in stores after the first year here in America.


    LTC Montgomery to Gen Forbes, , April 1758.
    I intend to leave our swords at Philadelphia, our men are young and the less they are loaded the better.



    So here are some actual quotes, not "Osprey documentation" but real.

    42nd:

    Cpt Stewart's Orderly Book mentions:

    New York 16 th April 1759
    The three Companys here of the 2 nd Ba ttn to have their swords numbr d and lettred as soon as
    possible beginning with the letter L the 1 st B n having ended with the letter K.

    Albany Camp 17 th My 1759.
    The 4 th B n of the Royal Americans to receive 41 swords from the Royal Highland Reg t . The
    Commanding Officer will give a receipt and return the same or make them good at the end of the
    campaign.

    Montreal 19 th April 1761. R.O.
    The swords of the supernumerary Grenadiers drafted into the battalion to be lodges in the
    Regim tl store and as the men are obliged to keep the scabbards in repair none to be received into
    the store but such as are sufficient the supernumerary Tomihawks , powder horns and shot bags
    belonging to the Light Infantry company, also to be delivered to the store.

    Camp at Staten Island 28 th July 1761
    The Commanding Officers of Companys will compleat their men immediately the best and
    lightest swords, and as they are numbered observing as near as possible to deliver them to the
    men whose firelocks are numbered with the same mark; they are also to be compleated with the
    most sufficient slings, shoulder belts and cartridge boxes. The companys to give in separate
    returns this evening, of the firelocks only, distinguishing between the sufficient and unsufficient,
    those cut or not cut.



    78th:

    The poor fellows would cry out lustily when they were in an uneasy position, but we could not understand a word of what they said. One of them had one of his cheeks lying flat down upon his shoulder, which he got by attempting to run away, though he had a Highlander at his heels. When the French gave themselves up quietly they had no harm done them, but faith! if they tried to outrun a Heelandman they stood but a bad chance, for whash went the broadsword!" - (Related in August, 1828, as stated in the Diary of Volunteer Sergt. Jas. Thompson.)

    Ewan Cameron at Quebec Slew 9 Frenchmen before his sword Arm was hit by a cannonball. He continued to fight again with a musket before being killed.

    Volunteer Malcolm MacPherson of Phoness, the subject of the Pinch of Snuff painting killed so many Frenchmen at the Plains of Abraham that he was selected to be part of the Honor guard for Wolfe's body on its return to England.

    I just hate for people to think that Highland Soldiers were running around the woods over here half like Indians being some form of Super Soldier Natty Bumpoe.

    Forbes once said in a letter that if a Highlander got 3 steps off a trail in the woods he was lost. Also there was not a lot of woods fighting, and a whole lot of conventional warfare, 2 and 3 rank firing that the regiments practiced and used in battle.

  11. #19
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    I agree with Luke about the 77th (Montgomery's) Highlanders in the French and Indian War. Unlike the 78th Regt (Fraser's Highlanders), they were a mixed bag of Highlanders and Lowlanders, and many of the Highlanders had received no sword training from their elders since the failure of the '45 Rising (11 years prior to the regiment being raised). So the swords of the 77th were more like a parade or dress appendage, and unlikely to be used in combat. The officers and the serjeants were probably the only ones with swords on Forbes' 1758 campaign. As to the 78th, they were recruited entirely in the Highlands with many older Jacobites amongst them, and they retained their swords because they knew how to use them. As to the 42nd RHR in the F&I War, I don't know when they put their swords in stores, but it was probably earlier rather than later in their time in America. By the time of the RevWar, swords were even more of a dress item, since it had been 30 years since the '45 and few of the men knew how to use them, and the OR swords were put into stores immediately upon arrival in America.

    Good quotes, Luke. Some I had seen, others I had not.

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  13. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orvis View Post
    The documents you mentioned represent quite a cache not only of ancestral family history, but of material potentially of interest to historians. Congratulations on possessing this material. In my research into the RevWar British Army in North America, I generally found that Scottish soldiers were more likely to be literate than English ones, as proved by the letters you possess. Treasure them.

    My ex-wife was from eastern Ontario (Cornwall), which was settled as a royal township by Loyalists of the King's Royal Regiment of New York under Sir John Johnson. Other towns along the St. Lawrence River were settled by veterans of the 84th Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). There are cemeteries from the Cornwall area to Morrisburg (including some that were moved from the submerged towns west of the Cornwall power dam) that contain graves of Loyalists who were forced to evacuate their homes in the USA and start over in the wilderness. Upper Canada Village (near Morrisburg) gives an excellent depiction of what these new settlers must have gone through before they became comfortable farmers in the 19th century. This site is also near the War of 1812 battlefield of Crysler's Farm, where British regulars and Canadian militia (including the Glengarry Militia, a light infantry regiment) defeated American forces.
    Not to stray too far from the topic, but a great book for anyone looking into the Loyalists is; This Unfriendly Soil: The Loyalist Experience in Nova Scotia, 1783-1791 by Neil MacKinnon. Another book dealing more on the war would be; Scottish Highlanders and the American Revolution by G. Murray Logan (no known relation).

    Frank
    Last edited by Highland Logan; 18th April 19 at 02:01 AM.
    Drink to the fame of it -- The Tartan!
    Murdoch Maclean

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