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Friday, 3 April 2015

Saratoga Campaign 1777: Loyalist Forces

The Loyalist forces which took part in the campaign consisted of Canadian Militia, Amerindians, The King's Royal Regiment of New York, and Rangers under John Butler who would be named Butler's Rangers in 1778.
Below are images and text from

A soldier of Butler's Rangers, 1778-1783
A soldier of Butler's Rangers, 1778-1783
Butler's Rangers were uniformed in green, with red facings. This man, dressed for campaigning, wears his lapels buttoned over. There is record of a leather cap worn by the unit, but reconstruction shows an unofficial substitute - a kerchief. There is also some information that Butler's men wore green smocks on some occasions. All in all, this famous (or infamous) regiment must have presented a very mixed appearence in the field. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Iroquois chief, 1760-1790
Iroquois chief, 1760-1790
This Iroquois leader wears the mixture of native and European items that was used by eastern woodland cultures during the 18th century. Note, for instance, the European linen shirt, worn as an overall smock. Around this man's neck hangs a gorget - a gilded crescent worn by European officers when on duty. Gorgets were considered one of the more desirable gifts an Amerindian chief could receive. Among the particularly North American items seen here are the leggings (known as 'mitasses'), the scalp hair lock decorated by feathers with other hair removed from the head, face paint and moccasins. The result is colourful and impressive. Reconstruction by G. A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Loyalist soldier, 1776-1783
Loyalist soldier, 1776-1783
Several corps of Loyalists connected with Canada wore this red uniform with green facings. Jessup's King's Loyal Americans, formed in 1776 to accompany General Burgoyne's expedition are noted in red faced green. The Loyal Nova Scotia Volunteers, raised by Nova Scotia Governor Francis Legge are recorded in these colours in 1783 by a German officer. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

After the withdrawal of the American troops, refugees were arriving in growing numbers in Canada, primarily from New York State. They were called "Loyalists," Americans who had not espoused the cause of the majority in favour of independence and who preferred to remain loyal to the British Crown. Those who wished to remain British subjects were being persecuted. Many had been able to reach the English lines and, armed by the British, formed Loyalist regiments. Several Loyalist military corps had also been established in Canada itself.

The first significant group of refugees, approximately 200 persons, arrived in Montreal in May 1776. The group was led by Sir John Johnson, to whom Carleton had granted permission to form a regiment of Loyalists "to furnish people so circumstanced with the means of defending themselves." [46] Called the King's Royal Regiment of New York, it served along the Canadian border. In early 1777 the Jessup brothers arrived from Albany with several refugees to form the King's Loyal Americans. The Queen's Loyal Rangers was established from a group of other refugees at around the same time. The first battalion of the Royal Highland Emigrants was also recruited from among the Loyalists. These new troops were mostly stationed in the Montreal area.

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