British regular army and american colonial militia relationship

Battles of Lexington and Concord - HISTORY

british regular army and american colonial militia relationship

Colonial American military history is the military record of the Thirteen Colonies from their The British Army and Royal Navy handled international wars. The militia system was revived at the end of the colonial era, as the American most of the fighting was handled by the Continental Army, comprising regular soldiers. The colonists living in the British North American colonies who rebelled against . , formally dissolving the colonies' relationship with their mother country, and . whether serving in the regular army or with colonial militias, wore a virtual . Paul Revere and other riders sounded the alarm, and colonial militiamen began Furthermore, colonial Americans at that time still considered themselves British . North Bridge, which was being defended by a contingent of British soldiers.

When the smoke cleared, eight militiamen lay dead and nine were wounded, while only one Redcoat was injured. The British then continued into Concord to search for arms, not realizing that the vast majority had already been relocated.

british regular army and american colonial militia relationship

They decided to burn what little they found, and the fire got slightly out of control. Hundreds of militiamen occupying the high ground outside of Concord incorrectly thought the whole town would be torched. The British fired first but fell back when the colonists returned the volley. After searching Concord for about four hours, the British prepared to return to Boston, located 18 miles away. At first, the militiamen simply followed the British column.

Fighting started again soon after, however, with the militiamen firing at the British from behind trees, stone walls, houses and sheds. Before long, British troops were abandoning weapons, clothing and equipment in order to retreat faster. When the British column reached Lexington, it ran into an entire brigade of fresh Redcoats that had answered a call for reinforcements. But that did not stop the colonists from resuming their attack all the way through Menotomy now Arlington and Cambridge.

The British, for their part, tried to keep the colonists at bay with flanking parties and canon fire. In the evening a contingent of newly arrived minutemen from Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts, purportedly had a chance to cut off the Redcoats and perhaps finish them off.

Instead, their commander ordered them not to attack, and the British were able to reach the safety of Charlestown Neck, where they had naval support. Aftermath of Lexington and Concord The colonists did not show great marksmanship that day. As many as 3, militiamen firing constantly for 18 miles only killed or wounded roughly Redcoats, compared to about 90 killed and wounded on their side.

There was no standardised supply for uniforms, and it was generally left to the regimental colonel to contract for and obtain uniforms for his men, which allowed for some regimental variation.

british regular army and american colonial militia relationship

Regimental tartans were worn but they were all derived from the Black Watch tartan. White, yellow or red lines were added to distinguish between regiments. Trousers for the rank and file were generally of white cotton duck canvas for summer use, and grey woolen trousers were issued for winter wear, although considerable variation exists in the color of the woolen trousers.

Originally, the white trousers were cut as overalls, designed to be worn to protect the expensive breeches and gaiters worn by the rank and file, although on campaign, they were often worn by themselves; a practice which was later permitted except on parade.

Soldiers were also issued with grey greatcoats starting in Inthis was replaced by the false-fronted "Belgic" shako, although light infantry continued to wear the stovepipe version. Grenadiers and Foot Guards continued to be issued bearskins, but these were not worn while on campaign.

It was induring this period of uniform transition, that enlisted soldier rank insignia were first designated by chevrons. Their introduction allowed the rapid differentiation of sergeants and corporals from private soldiers. Colour sergeant and Lance corporal ranks soon evolved as well.

british regular army and american colonial militia relationship

Consequently, variable styles and decorations were present, according to the officer's private means. Close-fitting white pantaloons, tucked into tall Hessian or riding boots were worn, often covered with grey wool and leather overalls on campaign, in addition to a dark blue, later grey, double-breasted greatcoat.

Afterofficers were permitted to wear a short tailed coatee, grey pantaloons or trousers and low field boots on campaign. Officers generally wore silver or gold epaulettes depending on regimental colourswith regimental badge to designate rank.

An order stipulated that subalterns wore one epaulette, on the right shoulder, while captains wore one of a more ornate pattern on the right shoulder.

Lexington and Concord []

Field officers wore one on each shoulder, badged with a star for majorsa crown lieutenant colonels or star and crown colonels. Major generals wore their buttons in pairs, lieutenant generals in threes and full generals wore their buttons singly spaced. Until the issue of the Belgic shako incompany officers wore bicorne hats; afterwards, they usually wore the same headgear as their men while on campaign, their status as officers denoted with braided cords.

Generals, field officers and staff officers generally wore bicorne hats.

british regular army and american colonial militia relationship

Officers were generally armed with the poorly-regarded Pattern British Infantry Officer's Sword. In light infantry units and the flank companies of line units, they carried the Pattern sabre instead.

In highland regiments, a basket-hilted claymore was generally worn. The First had the Union Flag with the Regiment's number in the centre, surrounded by a wreath. Attending the colours in battle was dangerous, since they were a target for enemy artillery and assault.

Due to the symbolic significance of the colours, their loss was a grave issue, and extreme measures were often taken to prevent such dishonour occurring. For this reason, the newly raised 95th Rifles received no colours, but the converted line regiments retained their existing colours. Some light infantry regiments opted not to carry them in the Peninsula.

Colonial American military history

The Army Gold Medal "Peninsular Medal"in round and cross varieties, was issue to battalion commanders and higher ranks for battle service in the Peninsular War. The cross also saw the first use of Medal bars. Following the battle a Waterloo Medal was issued to all soldiers who participated in that engagement. Decades later the Military General Service Medal was awarded to all ranks for service in campaigns during the period.

Horses in the Napoleonic Wars British Household Cavalry charging At the start of the French Revolutionary Wars, the "heavy" cavalry were equivalent to dragoons or "medium" cavalry in the French and other armies.

They consisted of three regiments of Household Cavalryseven regiments of Dragoon Guards and six regiments of Dragoons. The Dragoon Guards had been regiments of heavy cavalry in the eighteenth century, but had been converted to dragoons to save money. The heavy cavalry wore red uniforms and bicorne hats. Fromthey were armed with the straight Heavy Cavalry Sworda heavy hacking sword which was reckoned to be useless for thrusting, and also carried a long carbine.

The Scots Greys wore a bearskin headdress and had a more curved sword. The light cavalry units consisted of fourteen regiments of Light Dragoons, which had been formed during the eighteenth century to carry out the roles of scouting and patrolling. In many cases, the regiments were originally troops attached to heavy regiments, before being separated from them and expanded.

Battles of Lexington and Concord

Some regiments were raised specifically to serve overseas; the 19th and 25th later the 22nd Light Dragoons to serve in India, and the 20th to serve in Jamaica. The light dragoons wore short blue braided jackets and the leather Tarleton helmet which had a thick woollen comb. They were armed with the Pattern light cavalry sabrewhich was very sharply curved and generally used for cutting only.

Infour light dragoon regiments the 7th, 10th, 15th and 18th were converted into regiments of Hussarswith no change in their role, but a great increase in the expense of their uniforms. Fromthe uniforms of most of the remaining British cavalry changed, following French styles. The heavy cavalry excepting the Household Cavalry who adopted a helmet with a prominent woolen comb and the Scots Greys, who retained their bearskins adopted a helmet with a horsetail crest like those of French dragoons or cuirassierswhile the light dragoons adopted a jacket and shako similar to those of French chasseurs a cheval.

The Duke of Wellington objected to these changes, as it became difficult to distinguish French and British cavalry at night or at a distance, but without success. For most of the wars, British cavalry formed a lower proportion of armies in the field than most other European armies, mainly because it was more difficult to transport horses by ship than foot soldiers, and the horses usually required several weeks to recuperate on landing. British cavalry were also more useful within Britain and Ireland for patrolling the country as a deterrent to unrest.

Some exceptions were Wellington's Vitoria campaign inwhen he required large numbers of cavalry to ensure a decisive result to the campaign, and the Waterloo campaign, where the cavalry needed to be transported only across the English Channel. The British cavalry was usually organised into brigades, but no higher formations.

british regular army and american colonial militia relationship

The cavalry division referred to all cavalry units of an army. Brigades were attached to infantry divisions or columns, or sometimes acted directly under the command of the cavalry commander of an army.

British cavalry were excellently mounted and were reckoned superior to French cavalry if squadrons clashed, but because brigades and even regiments were rarely exercised in battlefield manoeuvres and tactics, they were inferior in larger numbers. I considered our British cavalry so inferior to the French from the want of order, that although I considered one squadron a match for two French, I didn't like to see four British opposed to four French: The oldest of these was the 60th Regiment, which had originally been raised in for service in America, and which had long been composed primarily of Germans.

During the Napoleonic Wars, most of the seven battalions of this regiment served as garrison troops in territories such as the West Indies, but the 5th battalion was raised in from two other emigre units Hompesch's Mounted Riflemen and Lowenstein's Chasseurs as a specialised corps of skirmishers armed with the Baker Rifle, and the 7th battalion was specifically formed to serve in North America during the War of In total, it formed two dragoon regiments which later became light dragoonsthree hussar regiments, eight line and two light infantry battalions, and five artillery batteries.

Although it never fought as an independent force, its units were often brigaded together. The units of the Legion were regarded as the equal of the best regular British units. After being disbanded during the Peace of Amiens, the regiment was reformed in from Corsicans and Italians Italian was the main language spoken among Corsicans.

It served in the Mediterranean, and was not disbanded until The King's Dutch Brigade was formed from former personnel of the Dutch States Army defunct sincewho had emigrated to Germany and Britain after the Dutch Republic was overthrown by the Batavian Republic ; from deserters from the Batavian army; and mutineers of the Batavian naval squadron that had surrendered to the Royal Navy in the Vlieter Incidentall during the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland in The brigade was commissioned on 21 October on the Isle of Wightafter it had been organised by the Hereditary Prince of Orange who had been an allied commander during the Flanders Campaign of — The troops swore allegiance, both to the British Crown, and to the defunct States-General of the Netherlandsthe former sovereign power in the Dutch Republic.

The troops received both the King's Colours and regimental colours after Dutch model.