Additional Continental Regiments

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Additional Continental Regiments

ADDITIONAL CONTINENTAL REGIMENTS. The congressional resolution of 27 December 1776 authorized the raising of sixteen regiments "at large." These were not numbered but, except for the "German" Regiment, were known by the names of their colonels. The following information is from Heitman's Historical Register (1914).

Colonel David Forman assumed command of his regiment on 12 January 1777. The unit was never fully recruited, and on 1 July 1778 it was disbanded, its personnel going mainly to the New Jersey Line.

Colonel Nathaniel Gist commanded his regiment from 11 January 1777 to 1 January 1781, absorbing Grayson's regiment and Thruston's on 22 April 1779. (See below.)

Colonel William Grayson's regiment existed 11 January 1777–22 April 1779. (See Gist's regiment, above.)

Colonel Thomas Hartley commanded his regiment 1 January 1777–16 December 1778, at which time it became the Eleventh Pennsylvania.

Colonel David Henley's regiment was formed 1 January 1777 and on 22 April 1779 was consolidated with Henry Jackson's regiment. (See below.)

Colonel Henry Jackson's regiment, 12 January 1777–23 July 1780, became the Sixteenth Massachusetts on the latter date.

Colonel William R. Lee's regiment, 1 January 1777–24 January 1778, was consolidated with Henry Jackson's regiment on the latter date.

Colonel William Malcolm's Regiment, 30 April 1777–22 April 1779, was consolidated with Spencer's regiment on 22 April 1779. (See below.)

Colonel John Patton's regiment, 11 January 1777–13 January 1779, was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Park after 3 February 1778 and (presumably) by Major Joseph Prowell to 13 January 1779. It then was broken up, part of its personnel going to the Eleventh Pennsylvania and the rest to the Delaware regiment.

Colonel Moses Rawlings' regiment was commanded by Rawlings from 12 January 1777 to 2 June 1779. Its lieutenant colonel has not been identified, if the regiment had one. Major Alexander Smith served with it from 11 September 1777 to 6 September 1780. No unit records have been found, and Heitman believes it never was fully organized. Originally raised in 1776 in Virginia and Maryland as Stephenson's Maryland and Virginia rifle regiment, it was reorganized in 1777 to become one of the "additional regiments."

Colonel Henry Sherburne's regiment was in existence 12 January 1777–1 January 1781.

Colonel Oliver Spencer's regiment was under his command during its existence, 15 January 1777–1 January 1781.

Colonel Charles M. Thruston's regiment appears not to have been fully organized. Thruston commanded it 15 January 1777–1 January 1778. Its other regimental officers are not known. On 22 April 1779 the unit was merged with Gist's regiment.

Colonel Seth Warner's regiment was organized under the 5 July 1776 resolve of Congress; not being attached to any state, it was regarded in 1777 as one of the sixteen "additional regiments." Warner commanded until 1 January 1781.

Colonel Samuel B. Webb commanded his regiment 1 January 1777–1 January 1781, on which date it was transferred to the Connecticut Line and designated the Third Connecticut.

The German Regiment or Battalion was organized under the congressional resolution of 25 May 1776. Raised in Maryland and Pennsylvania but having no state identity, it was considered one of the sixteen "additional regiments." It was commanded by Colonel Nicholas Haussegger from 17 July 1776 to 19 March 1777 and by Colonel (Baron) DeArendt from the latter date to 1 January 1781.

Unless otherwise noted, it has been assumed that the regiments ceased to exist on the date Heitman shows their colonel no longer in command. Only the German Battalion (or Regiment) was commanded by two colonels in succession.


Heitman, Francis B. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army. Revised edition. Washington, D.C.: Rare Book Shop Publishing. Co., 1914.