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Carleton, Christopher

Carleton, Christopher

CARLETON, CHRISTOPHER. (c. 1743–1787). British officer. Nephew and brother-in-law of Sir Guy Carleton and the latter's aide-de-camp, Christopher Carleton became a lieutenant in the Thirty-first Foot on 29 July 1763. In 1771 he married Anne, daughter of the earl of Effingham, and sister of Sir Guy's wife.

Carleton was promoted to captain on 25 May 1772. After leading the initial movement of General John Burgoyne's offensive up Lake Champlain, Carleton was promoted to major of the Twenty-nineth Foot on 14 September 1777. The next year he was operating as a spy in the Mohawk Valley and led "Carleton's Raid," as it is known, down Lake Champlain. The raid was accounted a success for its destruction of some 100 structures. In addition, his men carried out the burning of crops and the slaughter of livestock that could have been used to support an American invasion of Canada. Carleton accomplished these ends in just three weeks.

Carleton led a raid that captured Fort George on 11 October 1780, then went on to attack Ballston, 12 miles north of Albany. These latter actions were carried out as a part of the so-called "border warfare" then being carried out. On 19 February 1783 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. He died at Quebec in 1787.

SEE ALSO Border Warfare in New York; Burgoyne's Offensive; Carleton, Guy.

                           revised by Michael Bellesiles

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