Prince of Wales American Volunteers

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Prince of Wales American Volunteers

PRINCE OF WALES AMERICAN VOLUNTEERS. Montfort Browne, governor of the Island of New Providence in the Bahamas from 1774 to 1780, was captured in the raid on Nassau on 3-4 March 1776. He and Major Cortlandt Skinner were exchanged in September 1776 for rebel Major General William Alexander (Lord Stirling). Early in 1777 Browne began raising a Provincial regiment on Long Island, largely from among Loyalist refugees from Connecticut. Mustered on 21 April, three days later it joined Major General William Tryon's force in the raid on Danbury, Connecticut. In August 1777 it numbered 450 men and was stationed at Kings Bridge, New York. On 24 May 1778 it embarked for Newport, Rhode Island, landing on 11 June, and fought in the battle of Quaker Hill (Newport) on 28 August. After being evacuated from Rhode Island in October 1779, it served on Long Island until 25 March 1780, when it embarked with Lord Rawdon for the South. A detachment was virtually annihilated at Hanging Rock, South Carolina, on 6 August 1780; another detachment suffered heavy losses when attacked by Francis Marion at Great Savannah on 20 August. More losses were incurred when Major Andrew Maxwell surrendered Fort Granby to Henry Lee on 15 May 1781. The remainder of the regiment evacuated from Charleston in December 1782 and returned to New York. It was part of the Long Island garrison until 12 September 1783, when it embarked for New Brunswick, where it was disbanded on 10 October.

SEE ALSO Browne, Montfort; Fort Granby, South Carolina; Great Savannah; Hanging Rock, South Carolina; Nassau Raid of Rathbun; Newport, Rhode Island (29 July-31 August 1778); Skinner, Cortlandt.


Baurmeister, Carl Leopold. Revolution in America … Confidential Letters and Journals, 1776–1784. Edited by Bernhard A. Uhlendorf. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1957.

Cole, Nan, and Todd Braisted. "The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies." Available online at

Katcher, Philip R. N. Encyclopedia of British, Provincial, and German Army Units, 1775–1783. Harrisburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 1973.

Mills, T. F. "Land Forces of Britain, the Empire, and Commonwealth: The Prince of Wales's American Volunteers." Available online at

Smith, Paul H. "The American Loyalists: Notes on Their Organization and Numerical Strength" William and Mary Quarterly, third series, 25 (1968): 259-277.

                             revised by Harold E. Selesky

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Prince of Wales American Volunteers

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