Loyalist Regiments in the Revolutionary War

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Loyalist Regiments in the Revolutionary War
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LOYALIST REGIMENTS IN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR. The Canadian Almanac, an excellent publication which ought to have a wide circulation, contains an article written by Mr. E. A. Hart, of Montreal, which professes to give an account of the Loyalist regiments which fought during the war of the American Revolution. This article is so imperfect, to say nothing of its inaccuracy, that it would be doing the readers of the Canadian Almanac a great wrong to permit it to go forth unchallenged. The only Loyalist regiments of which Mr. Hart gives the names are: “The Loyal New York Regiment,” “The Royal New York Rangers," “The Prince of Wales Regiment,” The Loyal American Rangers” and “The King’s American Legion.” These regiments, according to Mr. Hart, were those most noted in the war and bore the brunt of the fighting. It will strike most people as rather strange that Mr. Hart was unable to ascertain the names of any of the other Loyalist corps, and was therefore under the necessity of referring his readers to the archives of the Horse Guards in London for their names. Before proceeding to write on this subject why did net Mr. Hart go the archives himself ? It is the business of a writer who processes to give instruction to others to consult the authorities on which he pretends to base his knowledge. Mr. Hart has been so unfortunate as to omit from his list the names of all the most distinguished Loyalist Regiments, and in respect to the others he has in more than one instance given them names which do not belong to them. The first Loyalist regiment he mentions is what he calls “The Royal New York Regiment,” which he says was commonly called “The King's Royal New Yorkers.” This regiment was raised by Sir John Johnson in 1776, and its proper and official name was “The King’s Royal Regiment, New York.” This was the regiment known as the “Royal Greens,” not Butler’s Rangers as wrongly stated by Mr. Hart. Mr. Hart says that the “King’s American Legion” was disbanded at Halifax, and that the men were settled along the Western shore at Annapolis, Digby and Windsor. This regiment settled in this province, mainly on the St. John River, and among the officers were the ancestors of several prominent New Brunswick families, among whom we may mention the names of Bull, Frink, Menzies and Phair. There were at least thirty-six Loyalist regiments, and several of them comprised three or more battalions. Among the more prominent, which Mr. Hart does not mention, were the Queen’s Rangers, the three De Lancey battalions, the New York Volunteers, the New Jersey Volunteers, King’s American Regiment, the King’s American Dragoons, the British Legion. The King’s Orange Rangers, the King’s Rangers, and the Loyal American Regiment. There is not one of the corps we have named that has not a record as good, if not better than those named by Mr. Hart, and it certainly was most unpardonable in him to omit their names in an article professing to deal with the military exploits of the Loyalists. He seems to have confined himself almost entirely to the corps which settled in Ontario, and even with regard to them his information is fragmentary and imperfect. It is very much to be regretted that no book has been published giving an account of the Loyalist regiments and their services in the Revolutionary war. We understand, however, that during the present year this want is likely to be supplied. A work is in course of preparation, in fact is almost completed, dealing with the war of the American revolution from a Loyalist standpoint and describing their military services. This book, when it appears, will doubtless receive a hearty welcome from the sons of the Loyalists.