Royal American Regiment

views updated

Royal American Regiment

ROYAL AMERICAN REGIMENT. The Royal American Regiment entered the British Establishment on Christmas Day 1755 as the Sixty-second Regiment of Foot, an unusual four-battalion unit to be raised principally in Britain's North American colonies for service there. Renumbered the Sixtieth Regiment of Foot on 27 December 1757, Robert Rogers led two hundred men of the First Battalion west to receive the surrender of French posts in 1760.

Men of the Royal American Regiment were garrisoning the lonely western posts in 1763 when Pontiac's War broke out. They were part of the relief expedition under Colonel Henry Bouquet that defeated the Indians at Bushy Run on 5-6 August 1763 and joined Bouquet again for his expedition in 1764. The Third and Fourth Battalions then were disbanded, and the First and Second were sent to the West Indies.

When the American war started, the Third and Fourth Battalions were re-formed in Europe with Hanoverians and British soldiers and sent to Florida. Three companies from these battalions fought at Briar Creek, Georgia, on 3 March 1779, and they held one of the gun batteries and with the marines sallied forth from the Spring Hill Redoubt to clinch the British victory at Savannah on 9 October 1779. Thereafter, they helped to defend British possessions on the Gulf coast. Eight companies were surrendered with the garrison of Pensacola on 9 May 1781. The Third and Fourth Battalions were disbanded in 1783, and reconstituted in 1787.

The First and Second Battalions remained in the West Indies during the Revolution. At St. Vincent, the sickly garrison of four hundred Royal Americans surrendered to the comte d'Estaing on 16 June 1779. Men of the regiment were also stationed at Antigua and took part in the operations in Nicaragua in 1780.

Remnants of all four battalions were sent to St. Augustine, Florida, in November 1782, and from thence to New York, where the men were drafted into other regiments and the officers sent home to recruit new battalions for the Sixtieth

SEE ALSO Bouquet, Henry; Bouquet's Expedition of 1764; Briar Creek, Georgia; Bushy Run, Pennsylvania; Monckton, Robert; Nicaragua; Pensacola, Florida; Pontiac's War; Rogers, Robert; Savannah, Georgia (9 October 1779).


Butler, Lewis. The Annals of the King's Royal Rifle Corps. Vol. 1: The Royal Americans. London: John Murray, 1913.

                                 revised by Harold E. Selesky