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British Light Infantryman

of the Seven Years' War

North America 175 7-63

LIEUTENANT COLONEL IAN M McCULLOCH is a military historian and former Deputy Director of History & Heritage

for the Canadian Forces, currently serving at NATO Allied Command HQ i n Norfolk, Virginia. He has been published in numerous international journals and magazines and Is finishing

a book entitled "Sons of the

Mountains» chronicling the service of the three Highland regiments that fought In North America during the Seven Years' War.

TIM J TODISH Is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a graduate of Michigan State University. A retired

police officer with over 27 years service, he now works as a historical writer and

consultant. His published works Include America's FIRST First World War. The French and Indian War, The Annotated and Illustrated Journals of Major Robert Rogers, and Alamo Sourcebook 1836:


Comprehensive Guide


the Alamo and the Texas


STEVE NOON wa s born In Kent, UK, and attended art college In Cornwall. He has had a lifelong passion for

illustration, and since t 98!5 has worked as a professional artist. Steve has provided award-winning illustrations for renowned publishers Dortlng Kindersley, where his Interest

In historical illustration began,

and he has Illustrated several

books for Osprey.

Warrior . 88



British Light Infantryman

of the Seven Years' War

North America 1757-63

of the Seven Years' War North America 1757-63 lan M McCulloch & Tim J Todish ·

lan M McCulloch &Tim J Todish · Illustrated by Steve Noon

F ~rst p u b lis h ed In G r eat Bn t aln rn 2004 by Osp r ey Pub l rohrng, Elms Court,

Chapel Way, Belley, O xford OX2 9LP, Unrted Krngdom

Ema I. rn fo@ospreypubhShrng com


2004 O.prey Publ sh ng Ltd


ng11ts teS<lfVed Apart from any far dearrng fcx the pUrpose o' pnvate study.

research. cnt.crsm Ot "'II ~w. a• """"'tied undar the Copynght. Oesrgns and

Patems Alct

ret r811al

e ectncn

1988. no pan of thrs pUbhcaton may be reproduced. stcxed 1n a

system. or trat>Sm~tteo 1n any lorm or oy any means. etectronrc,

chemocal. mechanocal. opt en•. ptlotocoP)'1119 recor<:llng or otnetw1se.

wrthout !"e p<rOf v.•rtten perm1ssoon of the coPyr gnt owner EnQu nes Should be

adore"<><! to the 1'\;blishefs

A CtP cata ogue recOtd fO< thrs book IS a variable from the Bntrsh Lrbrary

ISBN 1 84 176 733 6

tan M cCurloch and T m TO<Jrsh have as

Designs and Patents Ac t. 1988. to be ldentlfred dS the Authors o f thrs Work


thM nght und er the Copynght,

Edrtor Srm on Rrchert

Oes rgn : Ke n Va rl O rophl c Desi gn . Cnm b n d ge. Index by Alan Thatcher




by J o hn Rr chards

Ong rnat ed by Th e [ lectronrc

Page Comp any.

C w mb ra n. U K

Pnnt ed rn C hrna t hro u g h Wo rl d Prr nt Lt d




07 08












The Market ng Ma118ge<. Osprey Dorect UK. PO Bo• 140,

Wellrngborough, NQf1hants. NN8 2FA. Umtad K rngdom

Emar ~nlo0osp<&ydrrect co u k

The Marketrng Manager. ()$prey Dwect USA

c/o IIIBI Publishrng PO Bo• 1 729 ProsPP.Ct Ave

Osceola WI 54020 USA

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Buy onlne at

Artist's note

Readers may care to note that the ong1nal pa1ntings from which t he colour plates 1n this book were prepared are available for private sale. All reproduction copyright whatsoever ts retained by the Publishers. All enquines should be addressed to

Steve Noon, 50 Colchester Avenue, Penylan, Cardiff. South Wales UK CF23 9BP

Steve would ltke to thank Allan and Rosemary Jones from the Corps of Light Infantry. whose website can be found at www.espintdecorps.usmchq. com

The Publishers regret that they can enter into no correspondence upon this matter.

Author 's Acknowledgements

The author wishes to thank. f1rst and foremost. his esteemed colleagues: Timothy J . Todish who prov1ded his vast knowledge on weapons and un1forms of the period as

well as conduct1ng the detailed research on the colour plates; and, Steve Noon, our artist, who brought it all to life.

Thanks also go out to the man y people and 1nst1tuti ons 1n

Canada, the US and UK that ass1sted in the preparat1on of this book. In no particular order. they are: Bnan Leigh Dunnigan. Curator o f Maps at the Will iam L. Clements Library, M1ch1gan; Nicholas Westbrook. Executtve D1rector and Chnstopher Fox, Antony D. Pell Curator of CollectiOns. Fort Ticonderoga Museum. New York; J .R. Maguire; Bob

Andrews; George Bray Ill: Jerry Seymour: Gary Zaboly; Robert Gnffing; John Buxton: the Nat1onal Arch ives of Canada, Ottawa: L1eutenant Colonel Dan McKay, Deputy Director, Directorate of H1story & Hentage. Department of National Defense. Ottawa; Jo Wooley, Public Relations, Nattonal Army Museum, London, UK; the Ohio State Historical Society; Fort Ligonier Museum, Pennsylvania; Peter Rind1sbacher: Dr Stephen Brumwell; Colleen Todish; and my wife, Susan Johnson McCulloch. The author wou ld also like to thank his editors William Shepherd, Rebecca Cullen and Simon Richert, who, in the words of Lord Selkirk, are to be commended for their 'guid guiding'.

Cover IllustratiOn : MaJor George Scott, 40th Foot , 1758-59. Reproduced for the ftrst t1me here 1n color, this portratt by John S1ngleton Copley gives us a very valuable look at some of the umform and equ1pment mod1f1cat1ons made by Light Infantry soldiers in North America. (Private collection)
















Everyday Tasks



Diet and Disease

Drink and Discipline • Flogging and Hanging • Women • Songs and Music




Weather • Wildlife

• Terrain

Scalping and Torture


Medical Services























'A S e rvice Truly Crit ical'

he Se\t'll Year~· \\'at (l755-171i3) \\<l!-1 the \\odd's first global W<ll, a conllict ~panning the continenb of l'\onh America, Europe and Asia. Fought principallv between Britain, France and their

rc~pectiw a lli es. it i~ known sintplv <L'\ 1 he French and Indi an wa1 in 111o;,t Anwlican hi:-otot) hooks and is generally acknowledged to have started at

a n:n1ote ~pol on the Pc11m)•lvanian frontier in 1754. i\nglo-Frt·nch

ri,·alries in the tce1nin).{ f(>rcMs and 1ich river plains of the disputed Ohio

River va ll <'\' led to an cxchan).{t' of shots between Virginian Provincial" kcl

Washington and a force of French result was a diplomatic incident that

r~calatcd in10 a <Ti,is between Bt;tain and France. Both coutllrit·-.

dispatched c'\pedillonan lorn·-. of Rt·gular troops to :- anticipation of hostilities.

Before Ce1H: t .tl

and .\nwt;can Prm in<

a woockn I' rcnch Iott on 1he fork~ of the

Ohio Riwt and '>itt• of the pn·o;cnt-d<l\ citY of Piu~burgh in \\t'\LCIII Penm\h.llli.t. One of three Briti'>h <'XJWditiom agaim.t French frontier posts,

Bntclclork'.-, lot ct· \\'<t'> '>twprbcd ~even miles short of


French colonia l soldin!'>. ,\ s Braddock\ men tried

to stand and lig ht Europe<llt-~tvlc against an elusiYe foe using Indian tactics or enwlopment and

co n cea lmen t, the)' were slaughtered and their

general kilkd. l'ltio.; ~hocki n!-\ defeat sent a clear

message LO th e D11kc of Cumberland.

(~cneral o f Britain·~ army. as wdl as other senior

ofliccr., olt h t· clav. Tltc North

war dclllandcd a sp<·cial t~ pc of soldier. On European battll'fielch, the e~sential ta<;ks of !'>Couting. !>U cening .tnd skinnbhing for an army on campaign \\Tre ll'>llalh a!'!signed to the cavalry. In the \\ildcttH''>'\ howl'\ cr. troops were re<>tricted to l.tkc' .tnd \\,tl<'l\\cl\~ .l.'> no highways exi'>ted and the tt'tt<tin, much of it mountainous, """ roH'red with .t 11111-grm,th ps·ime\al forest. \\'ith the lattcl'>cape totalh un~uitahle lot cavaln.

Attll't;can theater of

Mastering the terrain. Light Infantry training in the rugged Adirondack Mountains under the tutelage of Lord Howe (left foreground). Note the cropped hair, trimmed hats, Indian-style backpacks, leggings and moccasins. Ltght Infantrymen (LI) had to be able to travel light in all seasons and weather, over all types of terrain, skills unfamiliar to most European style heavy Infantry of the day. (Courtesy of Gary Zaboly)

bv a \Ot111g ollitT1 nanH'd ( .eorgc ~oldier~ anclthcit Indian .tlli<'s. fhe


AnH'1i< ,, 1n

17:):1, ~l.1j01

the wat

'''" nen offirialh declared in April

~d\\,11d Bt .tel dO< k had ad, <mced ,,;th 2,200 Bt;ti~h R<'gular-.

.tgainst F01 t,

R<'gular-. .tgainst F01 t, ol~jenin· b} a V<t'>t lv inlet ior ron e ol

ol~jenin· b} a V<t'>t lv inlet

ior ron e ol lndian~ and

the Captain-

the British heaw infantn ('>nled on the Prussian

morlcl of the eighteenth centur:) would have to adapt and deve lop its own

morlcl of the eighteenth centur:) would have to adapt and

deve lop its own \H· II a~ scouting


'foot <'avalry' capable of traversing all kiuds of terrain as

and ~kirmi~hing with an opponent alreadv well-versed

Cockpit of war. The southern end of Lake George In upstate New York as it would have looked to Robert Kirkwood and other Light Infantrymen In Amherst's 1759 expedition to take Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Batteaux and floating batteries can be seen m arshalled at the water's edge. (Courtesy of the David M. Stewart Museum, Montreal)

the art~ of forest fi~hti ng. \journal of the d.t\ neatlY summccl up the problem an·a ,:

I n an Amet·ican campaign e\en thing i~ Let rible ; the f.t( e of the

country, the climatt· , tlw enem>··

h ealthy, nor relief' fw the sick. A va~t inhmpitable ck~etl. unsafe

and trcacherou~. ~urrounds them, where victorie~ at c not

There i~ no refrc~hllll'ttt for the

the least


ctttical, in '' hich all the firm IlL''>' of the bodv and mmd I' put to the severest u ml; and all the cxertiom of courage and .tddres~are called out.

ded!>ive. but defeat~ are ruinou': and ~imple death i

, them. I hi-. form'> .t \CtYin· trui:


\\hirh tan happen to

'\ot th Americ.t rame as a shock to most British veteram a<.Cll!>ttomed

with level road' ,IJld small

10\\ m and \illagco; itllt't"-tper'ied alon~ thl· wa\ to prm tdt· H'ad' billets.

Ont· old · Flanderl i n ' \dlO suniwd

ll\ the 'Tree:-, ~m.unps anrl

Thickets' and observed that 'the \'l't) htn· of the Count!\' i~ l'nough to strike a D<~mp in the tnmt re~olttt<' Mind.' 11<: despondentlv concluded,




in Flandet•,' open counlt\


Braddot J.,.'l! ill-fated npedition




Fon Duquesne in 17:>:> wa~ di

' I ran

not conceivt: how \\'at can be tll <tck in such a coutHn ·. '


Of lourse New \\'oriel warfare .md ih .ntendant problt·m

had been

with tht: Bt-itish tolont~h from tlw o\11\l'l of theit an i\,tl and the

('•;tabli-.hmem of Jamt:~to\\11 , tht:

with the coastal lndiano., forth<' first ~>0 \l'ats of the ~t·ttk-t~' precarium existence were Jo llowcd b} a protracted 70 year strugglt: lot 1'\orth Amnica \\~th New Fratl('l'. located to titt' north and W('St. Stalling in 1o89. That )attn petiod comistt'(l. in fact. of fout ~eparate wars. 1 he fit st three:

thl' \\'at of the Leagut· of I lapsburg (li!H9-97). the \\'ar of the Spanish


Succt''>'>ion (I 70~ -1 :3) and

wne fought b) the roloni<,ts of both mother counu il·.~ ustn~ lolonial methods and militat) tnources to hand. rhe French utili;cd their Indian a ll ies from th e outset and armed tltt·m with muskets. I ht· American frontier militias Wl'l't' thus forced to assimilate the be!>t r('attlll'S of Indian



Btlli'h sculement, 111 )()07. \\ 'ar'

the \\ 'at of tlw -\u~uian Sucre'>'> ion ( 1/






tanic~ i n 01 dcr lO dkctiH:h rolullet their ene m y: )>mall- unit opcratiom. looM· f(>rmation~. infonnal <ircss, swift mm·emetll, li rc cti~ciplinc. ambw h and surprise auack. Aided b, ,1 gt e<llt't population ba)>e and t.heir mm fndian allic~. mam .\nwrican lmntitT~men became adept at

marksman~hip. a ~kill \dtH h inut·a~cd <l.' more acnarate

\\t:apon\ \\l't c· dl'\<'l<>pt'd .

.\r the Ollt\t' t of tht• Snt'll Year-i \\'ar howe,·er. the

frontier had mat< hcd \H

<omnHtll itie~ ol the L'hirtt·en Colonie~ and thei t

inhabitant~ lud lo\t tlw ~hooting and ranical <>kill1'>

dt·\e)opcd thmugh ll ial and cnot to

ot thc.:it Iudian and Facnc It adwr

three war


pointed ou t th e poo1 <)tta lit v and limited!

111ost colonial militias (with the l'Xcqnion of selecred Ranger units guarding the Iron tiers). Ile wrote:

selecred Ranger units guarding the Iron tiers). Ile wrote: The enemy. Eestern woodland Indians such as

The enemy. Eestern woodland Indians such as these lroquoian warriors pictured here were the cunning opponents of the Light Infantry soldier. Many Items of Indian dress were adopted by the latter such as moccasins, leggings, powderhoms and tomahawks. Indians friendly to the British cause Instructed Light Infantrymen In bush tactics as well as the use of snowshoes and canoes, while others taught the skills to captives like Robert Kirkwood. (Source: Directorate of History & Heritage, Department of National Defense, Canada)



t.he coa~tal

counte r the tactic~

in t.he prc,;ous


In I7.i.i. Cc·orge \\'a~hington himself

t-.lilitia. you will lind 11 <.'\ 't' t answer yo ur cxpect.a tion s, no dependence is to be placed on them; rhev a re

obstinate .tud pel\t'l:

ollic crs. who lead tht•tn to arL~ of disobedience, and when thn arc ordet nl to certain po~tsfor t.he secuaity ol ~lotes, 01 the pt otettion ol t.he inhahilan~. ,~;11, on a sudden, 1c~ohe to lean· them. and the unitC'rl ,;gilance of their officers ran not pte\ cnt it.



are egged o n

b~· lhe

\lon g campaign to di~tant field., that also iiWOI\'t·d defending agaan~t

tactic' ol

~H·;alth and

ambmcade wa.!> one for ''hich



\\ hne to lind men to meet t.he challcngc. I k


milit.i,t~ \H'Il' cmitH.' Illh un-,uitcd and. moreove r, one in \\hich the\ were utl\\illing to )><II ticip.tH'. l .ieutenant Cmemor Robert Dim,;ddic ol

\ 'irginia. hmH'H't, J

James .\ht'tetombv in England in 1755: ' I am still ol

Opinion willt<Hll lmcc from I lome. we shall hardly be ab le to driw the


\\role to hi!

French Irom the ( >hio; \H' wantl\lil itat)

~len, and part.icularl)


Were· ' I\Iili ta t v 1\kn' , th t' British regulars, equal to the

task? Were

t.hey capahk of waging protracted campaigns in a virtua l wilclernes.~

again!it clu~ivc aclvcr~aric.\, cxpnts in all a~pects of irregular warf~trc?

Some perhaps were not prepa red fur the rut.hless savagery of scalping and

can niba lism cnrm tntned, but many soldiers an d t h eir officers were we ll-


Scotland or on the battlefield~ of Europe.

War in '\onh .\nwrica lot armies was essent.ially a pmblem of ma not' II\ 1c·, rommun ira tiom and rcsupph. And while the principal ta~J of generalship wa' sian ph mm ing a force of moderate site into contact ''ith the enetm, the fare ol battle was, for the British Reguhu who had to


inured to it regttlat wa rl a t l' and skirmi!i


eit.h er from expct ienCC!

httndred~ of

mik~ int.o trackless and unsett.lcd <·ountn. a

daunting one. \_,pit ing rommandct ~ thu'

e'pett\: ltght uoop~. Rangn' and £i·iendJr Indian!> for ~couting <lltd ~kiami-.hing; baueau' lllt'll to mon• the armies along the '''aten, ·a,~

lO lm

which 'len eel a' the onh highwav<.,; and artillenn1en and engineer

nC'edect a mall, highlv-t.rained arnw ol


snTc n ing a n d ~kinn ishing I or Spearhead. Light Infantry and Rangers

snTc n ing a n d ~kinnishing I or

Spearhead. Light Infantry and

Rangers lead the way on Lake George, 1758. All soldiers had to be proficient In the use

of boats, suc h as the whale boat

pictured here, and the larger

batteaux, as they were the principal means of transport through the North American wilderness. (Courtesy of Gary Zaboly)

siege to the French forts once the

a rmy

I ong lines of communication also

necessitated the building of well- garrisoned. defen:.ible fo1 t11 and

rlq>ots along the WU)'·


h ad closed with its objectives.

T he




commande• s introduce lor the first timt•, an expe•imental. temporary t:OJ p:. that -;ten•med from the nature

of the terrain as well as the tactic:, of

a n e lusive and savage foe. T h ese

warrior's were (ailed 'light troops' or

' L ight lnfallln · lU distinguish them

lrom their comrades 'ening as lwa\'} infan tr\ in the marching regiments. Si111ilar to the widc~pread practice ol IHth ccntu n armies g• en.1clicr com panic\ I rom thci1 re\pecth·e battalion:, to fo1111

'>pecial ':,hoc~ ll oop· battalion:,. Ml the l>hmtt·•. agile men and mark-.-men ol the other flank compnny of a reginH.'Ill became pa•t ol an elite act hoc

corp:, specia l it.i ng i 11 S(O lll i n g, patro ll i n g,

the am1). B\' the end of' the Seven Years' \.Var in ~onh America, thc:.e 'Choc;cn l\kn' had become the most '\t'a:.oned and utilita11.m n·tt·•-an<> of Britain's 'Ame1 kan Anm ·-the Light InfantrY. During tht.• period ] 7:>7-176-l. tlw '.\mc:rican t\rnl\'· underwent a dynamic period of transrormation. a process in wh irh the l.ight lnf~mtryman with his special "kill sets lwcame an integral part ol am· cxpeditionan force. New ell t'~s. new Wl'<tpons. new tactic\, and most of

,til a new etho' aroc;e to lllO\(' the pron·~,along to ill> log1( al condu,ton:

adapt or die. The emlution ol the Light Infantry soldie1 in tandem ,,ith

t h e phys i ca l as we ll

sec: the<>e warrior<> gain pride. prominc iHT. and respt·ct throughotll B1 itain\ ·.\lllt::l iran .\rnw' a11cl a:. c;uch, \Ill pa.,., the grenadit:r as the elitl'

'olditT of cl10in·.


a~ psycho l ogica l c h al l t·llgt·s con f ronting him, would


July 1755 Defeat of Braddock s Column on exped1t1on to Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh) by Western Indians. December 1756 Creation of the Royal American Regiment authorised.


authorised. Loudoun recalled and replaced by Major General Abercromby as Commander-in-Chief. April 1758 Kirkwood's regiment sent to Pennsylvania for Fort Duquesne expedition.

January 1757 77th Montgomery's Highlanders ra1sed. Robert Kirkwood enlists. July 1757 Kirkwood and 77th Foot sail for Charleston. SC.


J une 1758 Ten Light Infantrymen per regiment designated marksmen and 1ssued niles for Abercromby's T1conderoga exped•tton.

August 1757 Loudoun's exped1hon from Halifax to Louisbourg cancell ed .


June 1758 L1ght Infantry land and lead the way at the Louisbourg land1ngs.


September 1757 Kirkwood and 77th Foot land in Charleston, SC and go into garrison.


July 1758 Light Infantry land and lead the way at north shore of Lake George near Ticonderoga. Lord Howe


September 1757 Robert Rogers commences

killed at the head of Gage's Light Infantry.

seven-week Ranging school for volunteer gentlemen destined for Light Infantry or Ranger commiSSIOns.


July 1758 Light Infantry fight at Battle of Ticonderoga. Lead assault and cover withdrawal.

December 1757 Creation of Gage's Light Infantry


July 1758 Abercromby retreats.



Robert Kirkwood could rightly claim on his return from ten years service In the French &

Indian War that "few Men have traveled more than ho has, In the back parts of North America". Kirkwood soldiered from the heat of the Carolinas to the storm- blown crags of St. John's, Newfoundland, westwards to look upon Niagara Falls and navigate the Great Lakes as far as Detroit, and, In 1765· 6, travelled down the Ohio and

Mississippi Rivers to the Gulf of Mexico, stopping brlety In Florida before returning to Philadelphia.

~ ~ ~ ,_,\" / I I .• II I I ./ \ \ '\
I .• II
I, I I
\ 'I
•• • ••••• •
~ ~~tl
I .'~ttl
-- •
l' to
(t/ 1 ~ll f) '
0 1
(77 "' rcxn
42'" 1oo 11
I' A \1 1 RICA
1757. 1767

26 July 1758 LoUtsbourg capitulates.

August 1758 K1rkwood and the 77th Foot reach Fort

Bedford in western Pennsylvania Kirkwood s f1rst scout. September 1758 Ktrkwood captured by Shawnee Indians during Major Grant's fatled attack on Duquesne.


May 1759 Kirkwood escapes from a Shawnee war party.


June 1759 Kirkwood arnves at Fort Cumberland. Returns to 77th Foot.

July 1759 77th Foot part1c1pate in Amherst 's capture of Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Po.nt.

13 September 1759 Ktrkwood departs Crown Point as a

volunteer on Rogers' Infamous St Francis Raid. Wolfe's Light Infantry land and lead w ay onto Plains of Abraham the same day.

7 November 1759 Kirkwood arnves at

other ra1d surv1vors.

Fort No. 4. wit h


April1760 Light Infantry dec1mated with Murray's army at Battle of Stllery (Ste Foy), Quebec .


May 1760 S1ege of Quebec by Lev1s' Franco-Canadian

army raised. June 1760 Kirkwood 's regtment marches to Oswego for

Amherst's 1nvas1on of Canada by way of Lake Ontario and down the St Lawrence R1ver.


September 1760 Amherst s. Murray s and Haviland's arm1es converge at Montreal.


September 1760 Montreal capitulates

13 September 1760 K1rkwood detached for duty with Robert Rogers to take possesston of the French western forts.

November 1760 Rogers takes possess1on of Detro1t.

May 1761

77th Foot dtspatched to Carolinas to fight

Cherokees Without Kirkwood

1 July 1761 Kirkwood amves at Albany and g1ven R & R.

August 1761 K1rkwood deserts.

November 1761 at Fort Ontano.

1 December 1761

Kirkwood apprehended and 1mpnsoned

77th Foot dispatched for serv1ce .n the

Canbbean Without K.rkwood.



January 1762 Light Infantry storm Mt Tarnenson

in Martinique.

January 1762 Light Infantry capture Morna Grenier, Martinique.


February 1762 Martin ique surren ders.


June 1762 British land for siege of Havana.


June 1762 French capture St. John's Newfoundland.




Havana s urrenders.


August 1762 Kirkwood pardoned by General Amherst for desertion. Sent on Wil ham Amherst's expedition to retake St. John's, Newfoundland.


September 1762 Kirkwood participates in the successful climb and capture of Stgnal Hill, St. John's.


February 1763 Treaty of Paris ends Seven Years' War.

May 1763 Western lnd•ans under Pontiac attack Bntish forts.


July 1763 Kirkwood 's light company of 77th jo•ns Bouquet's relief exped1t1on to Fort Pitt.


July 1763 Captatn Dalyell s force of 80th Light Infantry, 60th Foot and Rangers ambushed at Bloody Run outstde Fort Detrott

5-6 August 1763 Kirkwood and 77th hght company ftght as part of Bouquet s force at the Battle of Bushy Run.


August 1763 Fort Pitt relieved.


December 1765 Kirkwood's company relieved by the


September 1763 309 Seneca warriors ambush and

34th Foot from New Orleans.

massacre two companies of 80th Light Infantry on Niagara portage tra1l.


December 1765 Kirkwood's company departs for New Orleans


October 1763 Kirkwood transferred to 42nd Royal


J an u ary 1766 Kirkwood's company amves 1n New Or1eans.

Highlanders (Black Watch).


February 1766 Kirkwood's company departs by sh1p


July 1764 Colonel Bouquet's Muskingkum expedition

for Pensacola, Florida.

against the Cherokee departs Fort Pitt. Kirkwood and 42nd Foot participate.


March 1766 Kirkwood's company arnves in

Pensacola, Florida.


November 1764 Bouquet's force including Kirkwood's company returns to Fort P1tt.

1 5 J un e 1766 Kirkwood's company arnves 1n New York and marches to barracks 1n Philadelphia. In gamson for


August 1765 K1rkwood departs Fort Pitt down the Ohio

next twelve months.

as part of Captain Thomas Stirling's company to take possession of the Illinois French forts.

June 1767 Kirkwood and 42nd Highlanders relieved by 18th Foot. Sail home from New York.

9 Oct ober 1765 Kirkwood's company arrives at Fort Chartres and takes possession next day.

28 July 1767 Kirkwood and remnants of Black Watch arnve Cork, Ireland.


1 Going fo r a Soldie r '

( )ne of our hc't accounL' of life as a B1 iti'h Light lnf .mtn llll'll in N01th





Year~~· War b



"flu• Almuw.1


Adventure~ oj Rolmt Kil/(,· ! .aft• of the Rt~ya/1/i~hlrmr/ RP~illlt'llf, published in

Limerick, Ireland. 1775, ju~t

bd(m~ the Anwrica11 Revolution . I lis ~torv

a rc:markahl<' <hronide ll\ ,1

plivate 1>oldie1 of !-tome of the most \iciou' wood!> tighung and cruek't ~kirmishing C\Ct' cncoumered b)' tJ1e Btiti'h at mv up untilthi!> tinw. With an eye to book ~ales, howcvn, Kirkwood wa.'l not adver~e to embellishing

~ome of IIi~ adventure~ in ~o1th America wi1h a few h1rid campfire talc' or. in <;om<· caw.;, plagiati1ing from otJ1e1 ~oldiers' account!\, mo~t nolahly ,1 17111 centun French ofli< er. the Baron de l.ahoman . Kirkwood ,tbo neglected LO tell reader~ that he \V<L~ confined for cle,cnion in li61. pardonccl by Major Genera l Amherst in 176~ and ~em on the: expedition to recaplltre ~t.John's Ncwloundland from the French. Rv the time Robe1t Kirkwood n·lluned from 'a 't·nice truh n itical' in :--.Jonh .\mt·Jica in 1767, our rogui'h hero \\'<IS an accomplished mat htlllll't. ,md trad c·t.

the ultimate

Light Infanuyman of the sell-strled 'Amc·• ican Al111)''· 'I was born in the town of Air, in 1he West pan~ o! the Nonh of B1 itain of hone-;t, old, rr<'ditahle parenh.' Kirkwood \\'IOl<' on his rt'llllll in hi\ book. 'and the~ gmc· me what Ill<\\ be l·alled a common crlucauon. because tlwi1 circumstance.-, could not <t!lord beuc·r; but tht'\ \H'Il' ra1 dulto b 1ing me up in the knowlcdg<' ami fear of Cod.· And it was to Corl that Kirkwood swore an oath: that lw was a Pm1estant willing to

honorabh 'c1 H' hi~ King mer~eas. But onh aftcr the 1eu uiting sergeant had dctennined his prmpeC!i,·e renuit wa' 'able Rodicd. Sound in l.imhs, free from R uptun.·.-,, Scald hc·Mb, ulcerom .-,orcs 01 any remarkable ddormity.' A barrel-maker by trade, Kirkwood also quitklv ~atis!ied the sergeant's reuui1ing orders that warned him against taking 'Stroler~. Vagabonds. Tinkt' Js. Chimne\ 'weepers. ( :ollit'l'> or SayJm '· · Finalh·, he made -;urc that Kirk,,ood \\as one 'hotn in the Neigh bow hood of'the plan· they are inli.,tcrl in· and a man of whom he could ·get a good Account.'

pru!icien1 in the use of canoe-;, ~nowshn<'.' and tumplinc:-

«mstitutc' a wn rare ,·oirc I rom the ran b.



10 Recruiting. A detail of See John the Soldier, Jack the Tar by William Hogarth, depleting

Recruiting. A detail of See John the Soldier, Jack the Tar by William Hogarth, depleting a recruiting sergeant measuring a prospective candidate. All recruits had to be 'able-bodied, sound of limb, free of ruptures, scald head, ulcerous sores or any remarkable deformity'. (Courtesy of the William L. Clements Library)

'I enlisted in his J\l~~je~tv\ 77th Rt•gt. Of Foot, com1nanded by Colonel Archibald ~1ont~omcr\' in the la1lt:1 end of the )Car 1756,' noted Kirk11ood, 'from which tinw I """' emplovcd in recruiting <llld Disciplining 1he rcgimt·nl, 1d11ch 11a., mmth compmed or

impre!>!> ' d men JJ Olll the r lighland~

a-. the British redcoat or the Sc\(· n \'c:u .,· \\'at wa~ technicallY a \'olunteer. as wa.<> Kirkwood , h111 m.u11 lllt' ll had no thoiu:.

I hi, ~tatt'llH .'llt i~ interC'sting

Kirkwood ' s


( initiall1 <.tiled the Fir'>l ll i~hland

in l':o1th


B.utalion. later numbered fi2nd . then !<'-numbered the 77th Foot)

typical marching regiment , !wing one of two Highland

.h such ,

officer., were the cream of Campbell and (;rant gentry

and not afraid to use <;ome gc·mle <ot•rcion and political influence in 'beaLing up' a :.uitabk lllllllbcr of ~t·nuit~. Lud01ic Cram, the cousin or ~l~jor.James Cran 1 under whom Kirkwood would ~ern:

and be taken prisoner, wa'> a pr01nincn1 Whig landowner. He told his tenantry that it wa1. a maHer of dan honour that his kinsman's company be amon~ 1he flrq to he compkted. lie per~onall)' instructed them to 'manage malLei-; so as that all llw young fellows upon !<:steaL who incline the ann; got• inlo his Companie preferable to an) other.' While the Iale of thmc who did not

comph· when

the recruiting partie~ came 'i~iting wa~ not clearly

~tated, hi!> clo~ing remarks," hilst polite, clict no1 ka\'c much to the imagination. Ile told them bluntly: 'If IOU hme the le<hl 1·eguard

all of you upon this occa~ion

1ou ' II gin: me reason

humble scn1:. · B\ the Spring of 1757,

l-1 aser'~Highlander!>, the 7Rth Foot. '>llllJU">'>ed tlwir recruiting

was not a battalions



spccialh raised lo1 't'l 1i«:

I hopt.· b1 \OUI ron dun at this Lime

afTenionatC' t.·iend and

to <.onti n uc 'ow



1e~imcnt. the 77th Foot. and

recruiL~ or

quota' o f 1000 men. each banal ion hoa.,ting 500 '>til ph1

· ,upernumcran



Compared to other battalion.'> of IIH' da\, thi~ i


men' of whom 200 1\otlld .tuo111pam them to . onh

, a Ji,e month recruitin~ drin•. e-.twcialh when nne 1akn into account that Kirkwood's regiment turned 472 1en uit.' away. Famine and chronic unempltnment in the recruiling 1cgions WCH' th<' principal reasons for successful recruitmC'nl in 1757. As tlw war progn·.,scd. another se1en regiments wen: raised in the llighlamb with cli~appointing and d imin i!>lting results. As r<'cruiting of a t)1)ical Briti~h redcoat i1. already adcqut~tely discu-;scd in \Varrior 19: Briti~h Hnlmal 17-10- CJJ. which .giv<'~ complete details on 18th century terms of enlislmcnl anct the pay wstcm, we ct~n 1110\'(' on to how Light lnf~11llnmcn were ~<'krted and recruited internallv from within thei1 0\\ll battalion~. Fi1 and intelligent \'Olllt~ oflitels and ~enior non-commi~~ioncd officer-. (J\'CO~) were selected bv their lieutenant-colonel who, in turn, kept a 'ha1 p el't• out J01 potential talent cxi~ting within th<: <:igh t otlH.'I I u,i I it'l 01 ·hat' com pan ie~ of the b.tttalion. The tYpe of man requi1ed f01 'The I ight lnf~tntn ~cnict·· had to be a cut abow the ordinan ,oJdicr and no1 tontt·nt 1dth ju:.t firing elbow-to-elbow platoon \'olle\!> with hi-. lOillladt:' inM·t-piece battles. A direUi\'e issued in :-\onh .\nwrica prim to the ">icge of Louisbourg 175R gin •<; us a good idea of the kind of 1 <'< 111it 1 t·quil ed. ' I h<: battalions

impres<;iYc for

just arri,ed from Europe we1 e 'to prm·icl<: a<.ti\e marchers and men that

.uc expert at firing hall.' Those that hac! hc<.·n in Nonh \nwrica fm a couple of years ~dread} Wt:'re to provide 'thmc men most an ustomed to

th e 'vVoods' and 'good marksmen'. In t'l>Sence, they had to be phy~icall)

lit, expert shoL~. and willing to be detached on independent ~crvice. A~

-;old it-t~. able to

endure fatigue'. Invadabh, the men recruited for the light <.ompanies lookt·d upon them.,t·hcs in the same light a'> one officer n·rordcd in hi., journal, a1. 'Chosen ~l<.·n·.

~lajor General jelr<: 1,. Amher!>l put it: 'alert, Spirited


'S ee th e droll fig ure

w e

a ll M a ke'

In February 1758, \hum George Stott. 40th Foot. comm.tnder of tlw Light lnlamry and Rangers for the I.ouishourg expedition, \Hote to Lord Loudoun. the Commandn-in-Chief in North America. rc<·ommending dres~ and kit for 'th e bus h fight', with a functional

explanation lor each article of kit and its practicalir,. Thi~ information wa., undoubtedh passed to Colonel rluuna-. (;age, then ac tiYdY raising .mel equipping the li1st ollicialh recognised regiment of Light lnfantn 1egular-. in the B1itish \mw. The HOth Font were quickh nicknamed 'T he I.eathercap~· bl'cau.,e of their adopted headgear. Although Rob('rt Kirkwood negil'< ted to tell us nwth about his

c l othi n g or kit, Major (;eorge Scott '~ letter contains a good

the geneiic kit requi1cd. 'The Lt·athel Cap,' he argued, 'if propcrh

~ummary of

jack't and ma(lc of good Leather i~ int<"nded to fend off th<.· blm\ of

~c<tlping-Ax 01 !on dock. h i'i also better adapted to the l lood of a Cloke than ,\ ll,ttt ,md "ill ket·p ll.~ form.' The coat lw proposed wa:- the <;anw as the reguhu issue, but with ~horter skirts and imide breas t pocket:-., the laprb t'XI<'nding to tht· waist to pro\'ide <·xtra warmth in winter. A Light lnlanrqman \\Ould abo han: wom ~hott t1 ou!>crs !01 e.t.,<' of mm·eme111, and hu~kin'i, kt·eping his unifo1111 light and p1.1< ti< .tl and 1<·during the amount he would be <'xpccted to

Uti I y,


Kirkwood spent M> l llt'




p1 i:-oner of

the Shawnee. and it is therefore birl\' safe to a~:-.unw that he w.ts one of manv Light InfantrYmen to adopt Indian motct~im. Knox

cl<·~nihe~ the~e in '>Oill<' detail:

These slipper~ a1 <' gt·ncrally mack of the skin of a beavc·r, e lk, calf, sheep, or oth<'r pliant

leather. hall~lr<"ssed: each mo~ma11 is of one



thn ha\e no additional sole or

Major George Scott, 40th Foot, by Co pley, c.175 8-59. Scott was the commanding officer of the Provisional Light Infantry Battalion who distinguished himself at the 1758 Loulsbourg landings. He proposed many ref orms to Britis h unif orms, kit and weapons for the Light Infant ry service. Here he wears

a cut-down uniform of his

ow n design and holds a leather cap In his right hand. Other

Items, shown f ar left, Include

a musket w ith a short knife

bayonet Instead of the common triangular style.

(Private Collection)

Instead of the common triangular style. (Private Collection) intire piece heel-piece and mmt he used with

intire piece

heel-piece and mmt he used with three or tour

II iLe :-ocki

tlte foot; they an· exn'l'dingly \\aim. and much litte1 lor the winter<; of this country than our European shoe, as a pcrso 11 ma~· walk ove 1 sheets of icc without the

ka<;t danger ol falling.

fold~ of thick flannl'l \\Tapt round



Standard wcaponrv for a Light lnlanll\111an abo ,·aried from regula• i~~llt'. ,\ carbine

rather than a fir<·lock wa' gencr-alh p• dt·•• t•cl bec·;ntM' the ~honer (thu-. lighwt) bat rei ,,a., con<;ickrcd ca.'>icr to .tim and.

imp• owd a


~uitabh blac l


~<'" Yotl

Light lnf,uun \H'Il' i'>'>llcd with firelod.s that 'were cut shonet and the

stock!. dn.'~'>ed lO mal

by their bc~1 marl'itllt'll on the 17:JH Ticonderoga campaign. The Light lnbnuyman wa:. a(.,o t:quipped with a tomahawk that could be u~ed from

a disl~mn· m in close cng-.tgcmcnt!> with the enemy, and a short knife med for dressing game or eating- nteals. Kirkwood's regiment, the 77th Fool,

or eating- nteals. Kirkwood's regiment, the 77th Fool, This rare example of a powderhorn used by

This rare example of a powderhorn used by

a Regular British soldier is

Inscribed "William Davison in lnnlskllllng 1758 or XXVII Regt." George Scott argued that all Light Infantryman should carry

a powderhorn containing "Pistol

powder" with a finer, more combustible grain. The horn was usually slung off the left

shoulder under the right armpit,

a quicker and more convenient

way of priming one's musket in

the midst of a flreflght. (Courtesy

of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)




theater of war, (.age·~


them lighter' a.~well as ten 'tiffiecl carbines' for u~e

requested as

ear ly a:; J757 to lighten their !>oldiers' load by leaving their


in Philaddphia

b d(Jrc campaigning in the wilderness. I lis

commanding ollicer argued: 'Our rncn arc yo un g a nd the less they arc

loaded the better, il you Gill give u1> a little help

March like so many Cn·v-ll01tnds.' A :~5th Fool Light ln lantnman's experience scning in \Noll(:\ at Ill\' at Quebec in 17.'19 illusu ates how the tomahawk was an important backup to the mmkct in dme-quaner fighting. hut only if one was well skilled in it:. use. ~<·rgcant.John.John'ion recorded that in:

in this ma1te1, they'!

an Engagement h<'tW<'<'n our ()couring Parries and the Indians,


le\ellcd hi~ Piece and fit'd at the Indian and mi1>1>'d him likcwi-.c:

upon "hich the Indian immediatelv threw his Tommahawk ,u

him and

, W<'lll to scalp him; hut~ other Indians came behind him, and one stuck a 'lomnwhawk in his Back; but did not wound him so much as 10 pn·,cnt hi:- E~tapt: from them.


till ew it at the Indian and levell'd him, and then

him: wht·reupon the ~oldier catching up the

[Ill\ f1 iendJ .,,1\\ ,\11 Indian who lir'd at him, but missed him;





m ore




' Indian



'mitasscs', whi c h .J o hn Knox of the ·13rd Foot described as:

Leggcrs. leggins or Indian spallerdashes are usually made of Irite

or o ther coarse woolen doth

thcn double it

fitting this long nm nm

bag to the shapl' of the kg

abO\c the ankle with garters of tlw same colour; bv which the legs are preM'l H'cl ft om manv Iatal accidents, that may happen b\

briars. swmps

a close, woodv co1m1n ·.

of 11 ee'>. 01 underwood, etc. in marching through

length; each leggin about three: quarters wide

and M.'\\ it tog-ethet lmm end to end

lied round under the knee and

at least three quarters of a yard in

The catuidge bo' propmed b' Scott was to be covered \\ith tin which would ·guard the ammunition from the least weu or damp'. 1\luch

it would also carry 'elc,en mutHI'>

lighter than a kathet Gil touche bo>

more·. The powder horn that he n.·<.omrm·nded was lm <. ;u n in~ ·Pistol powdn'

more·. The powder horn that he n.·<.omrm·nded was lm <. ;u n in~ ·Pistol powdn' with its finer a nd more co mhlt ~tible ~ra in . Ea!>.il)· ready to hand and )> lun ~ ofT the left s h ou ld c.>r under th e right armpit, the horn was a quicker and more com·enient wa\ of priming one\ nut.,ket, Scott


ptl'n:·nted the mo't t ommon ·fault whit h len are -,ubjen to Ill time of


'ometimes more in primin~ a n d shutting

tH'rvou!>ncs!> or sloppinc:!>s o n the part ol a soldi er in a firdight meant th at the musket ball would not be 'sent w ith half the f'orcc it i~ intended or arwthing near the di,tance it an~ht to go'. Ceorge Scou\ \en,ible recomnwndation<; were ba~ed on watching liw '\ova Scotia Ranger'- assigned to hi-. command 1\,lgmg conMant

irr c~ular warfare againM t\ l icmac warrior~ and their FrcrH:h aJlies. He

<oncluded that if hi:. proposab we r t' .lCtcpted, they would reduce

Ma nd a rd weight of a Briti s h regu l a r b) I :~ pounds , 'a difkn·nce which I

conceive wi ll be a great advantage'. ()f course, durin~ winter, a Light lnfantn111a11, like hi\ hat companY <<>lleague<>, had to wear adrlilional clothing and use t•quipment

in order to !>unin: the hrtter weather. cro" icc and ~now' te11.1in. then elm<· with and his enem). 1 ht· dr t'!l'> for all troop-. •n the :'-Jonh American \\>inter wa11unonhodox, adapted fmm Indian warriors' clothing a nd usually a que:-. ti on of' survival vtTS\11'1 neatness and uniformity. Robert Kir kwood made sewral trips dlll'in~ wirll<'t, but with his Indian trainin~ and pri\-ate's outlook neglected to give u~ much deLail. I !owner, John\. of the -1:~1d Font. described in hi~ detailed journ.ll the \\inter apparel or General June\ ~lurray·~ <11111\ gaiTisoning the raptured citY of

Quebec in 1760. 'tating: 'our guard~

in their dillcrcnt dtt'~M·~. 'Our im·cntions to guard us aga inst the

tlirnatl'.' he contillltt·d, 'arc beyond imagination: the unifonnitY. a-; we ll

and "'"' not ·,ubjt·ct to bum primin~ or mi'' firl''. It also

\ 'it

that of ~pillingone hall of their Caru idgt· of powder and

their Pans'. The 1 t·-.ult of such


mak[c) a grote'>CJlll' <lppearance


1 igour of this

ABOVE MAIN A wllderness modification. A cut-down musket slmllar to those used by some Light Infantry soldiers ln North America during the Seven Years' War. The shortened barrel• rendered them less cumbersome for the close-in bushfightlng characteristic of the wlldemess. Although some features suggest that this particular musket may have been shortened slightly after the war, It almost certainly

saw service in North America. (Campus Martlus Museum, Ohio Historical Society)

ABOVE INSET Highland dirk, c.1758. Used by Volunteer Peter Grant at the Battle of Ticonderoga, 1758, the dirk w as the preferred hand-to-hand combat weapon of the Highland Light Infantry soldier because of Its familiarity. The 78th Fraser Light Infantry used them with deadly effect against French grenadiers using hand-held bayonets In the bloody battle for Dumont's Mill at the Battle of Slllery (Ste Foy) near Quebec, Aprll 1760. (Courtesy of the National Army Museum, Chelsea)


a~ nicet). ol the c lean m<·thodical ~olditT, is buried in the rough lur-\\'lought garb

a~ nicet). ol the c lean m<·thodical ~olditT, is buried in the rough lur-\\'lought garb of the frozen Laplande1: and we 1aLIH'I re~t:'mhk a masquerade '

Kno' added 1hat


and ollicet'> han: '>ttflcH·cl h' the intemene.,., of the

cold, lwing frmt-hit~t·n m then l,tcc hand'>, feet

and othe1 /Nil/\ le,\'>t to he ,u-

than a bodr of regular 11 oop-

all ou1 p1 t't.nltiom•. M :'\ lT,tl men


'\\'atchn>ab' 01 gn'<llr<>.tt- \H'IT common item<;

to one in e\·crY dght men and '>hared b\ tho!>e

going out on opc1 ational mi-.sion:-. 01 :-.tanding '>elll!].

pa1 t\ ol the •l:~rd Foot on it:-. wm·

from Fort Edward in l\m;\ ~entia to llalif<LX in l\larch I7f>H with oflitel., cl~t·:-,t•d in bmwn cloaks and the

R, lkcemher of the same

year, the men had their clothing is~ue augmeutcd with llannel undt·Hvai.,tcoaL'> and kggers, or ' indian stockiugs', \\hilt· M<~jOI Ccnera i.Jdkry Amher:-t had issued similar instm cliom regarding flannd lor warm socks a~ well as lcggi Il l-{~ and wai~tcoaL'i. The Bli tish

conquemr~ of ~lonllt';d in 171i0 were CJIIick to adopt the ~dntereire•" ol thci1 f01n1et Joes- the 'capote' or blanket coat ol the Ft t'IH h Canadians, u~ualh·white with blue bar-. at the hood. culls and 'ihi1 t.



Knox memion' a

men in bnm11 'watrhcoat., ·.

,, I ight lnfantnman to patrol.

'"< <e.,,(ulh in the winter he

needed the .,,uue mobilit\ on·• 'now that hi!»

enemies po"c">ccl.

forage ,md ,J











A Nova Scotia Ranger, c. 1755.

These frontier soldiers were the model for Major George Scott's proposed dress reforms for British Light Infantry. Familiar with Gorham's Rangers, Scott had seen the utility of their dress and equipment first hand after several years In garrison

in Nova Scotia. It appears most

recommendations were adopted

by Colonel Thomas Gage when

raising the first regular Light Infantry unit of the war, the 80th 'Regiment of Lightly Arm'd Foot'. Recreation by artist Gerry Embleton. (Courtesy of the Directorate of History & Heritage, Department of National Defense, Canada)

snm,'>hm·"· a <;kill taught to the:>m IJ, thei1 Rangt'l 01 Indian auxiliaries.

kno' de!>uibe~ ho'' Light lnlantnnwn at Quebec became \en pmlicient on snow'\hoes, o;urpri~ing tlwi1 F1 <'II< hand lndi,m e1wmie~ 011 \t'\t'l <1l orcao;ion,. The ~nm,·shoe~ the\ u~ccl we1c:

hoop' of hickory, or other tough \mod, belldcd to ,, particular lorm, round l>efo1T; and the otht.•r two t'Xltl'lnitit'~ ol the hoop

te:>rminate in a point behind. :-.ec11rcd tog<'ther with strong twine; the inward space is worked lik e clmc netting. with catgut ot the

dricd entraib of other

lllo~gosans, a:. well for the sake of the wearer·., l'ect, to keep then• \\·arm and preserve them from the ~nO\\.

l'hey must be used under

Jlard-sole shoes. Knox added, cou ld be liS<·d at a pinch but 'the,· will nol bind on ~o well' and would wear out the ~IH)\\~hoc SOOIH:'I.

In .Januarv 1760, the ''eathe1 at Que be< was so 'cold and win<h·, \\ith thift:-. of~nm\·to which were added 'lrcqll<'l1! \how('!'- ol hail, liquid and

i~ ont' intiH· ~heel of ice'. of tht' \\.llled rin. the '>oldiers

h,td to tie metaJ ice-creeper" ro thei1 foot\H'<ll, though "no' record' getung down ao; an easier propmit!Oit. 'Bt·•n~ to mount guard in the


In orde1 to get up and down the '>lt't'Jl hilt

rain,' \\Tote Knox , 'that th<' tO\\ II

to g<·t dm\ll \\ith •mien an d

\\t' \\ete therefore obliged to '>it down on tht' .'>ummil and slide to the

the nwn·~ arms being

lm\t't town .' he \\rote, ·1 found it impo.,


bottom, one- after another

to p1 t'H'Ill ,tu idt'lll:-

Enemy 'Light Infantry'. Indigenous warriors such as the Indian hunter pictured here w ere adept

Enemy 'Light Infantry'. Indigenous warriors such as the Indian hunter pictured

here w ere adept In the use

of snowshoes and were expert marksmen. This warrior Is dressed In French woollen tucque, •capote' or blanket coat and moccasins. His mittens lie on the ground as he reloads. (National Archives of Canada, NAC C· 122387)

loadeel.' ln··<Tl'l'J>C'I''\ were also used on patrol b' Light lnfantn and Rangers to eros<; fro;en lake~ or climb ic\', rod.v ten·ain. Tht' di'>pt>ro,cd rt.~ture of the Yarious annie' in North .\mer ica meam that Light lnfarrtnmcn Ill each theater took on difkrerrt ·IJ>)>l'<ll<llltt''> depending


their commander~' prefer encc'>. B\

compar·ing the clirccti\'e\ of the \<triom campaign~. hmH'\l'l, a fairly accurate picturT of what tlw generic LigiH lniantrYman lpokecl like and how his

appeara11cc cvul\'cd can he drawn.

The earlic~t dc~niption of British

Light Infantry cll t•ss appeared in arr

anonpnou'> soldier's account of' the 1758 Louishourg calllpaign which stated: 'The

Light ln bnu·y

draughtt'd Olll or tlrc• lt~gimCIII' ami doarhcd M>lllething like th e fndiam. LO )>COlli the wood~.' \\'(' an· also informed that Light lr rfanu 'lilt' II \\l'rt' clre'>'>Cd 'some in blue. \onw in green Jacket.<. ami Dr<l\\t'l\, lor the t'a\iel hlu,hing through

the \\'nod\: with Rufl, of black Rear\ 'kin round their '-ccb. the heard of their upper Lips. sonw gro,,n into

\\ hi,ker

round Hat.<. likt> \l'H'I <II of ou1 ~camen·. Thi~ temporarY moH' awa\ from wearing scarlet jad.cb wa' <Ill allt'lllpt at <,1mouflage; a pr M tical rc~pomc to the necrl for not being seen in the wood:- hy one\ ~harp-sightcd enemies. Fm \Ottng Rolwrt Kirkwood on hi~ fiN campaign in the Penmyl\'anian \\OOds in Ii!JH. this requirement was co1nmon 'cn~c for 'the trees and the Indian~ \\TIT of the ~amc colour. and thi~ cirnrmMan cc, trifling as it may appeal, aught a lways to lw co u!>.iclcr'd bv f'on-c~ who m ea n to operate with sucn·s~. a:. against them . at that ~ea~on they han· a ~llrt' \'iew of you, but von can't

have the kast idea of them '. A Li g ht lnhtntnrn<tn was also encouraged to break up thc whitent''>S of hi.'> bcc befurt' go in g on ope1atiom bv growing a beard or 'snmtting' it

wi th charcoa l. Ccorgc Scott\ practical recommendations included the suggc~tion that Light Infantn1l1<'11 's o;hortjacket<; should he 'the colour of tht' b;u k or II('('~·. a<hin: adopted b\ Gage's Light In fantrY of l75H. who wore brm' n jacket.' with black button~ and no facings. brown 'hor t

arc a hoclv of men

other' not

o. hut all \\ell <;muttcd on that pan. ''ith little

troU\t'l\ ami brown lcggiug

~\\itcllt'd w a .,hm t ~t<llkt tuuic, !.teed

During thl' 17:1H campaign againM Fort Ticonderoga, .1 Lrght

Infanu> nMn '<'n ing in .Janw' \hercromh' \ ann\' undem·ent 'ignificant drt>Si> changt''> that pr omptcd mam ob.,en,t tions from diflerent '>pcctatm- ; on his appear-ance. The change~ occurred under tllt' w·.nchful t'\l' of

Brigadier George . \ugmtus

H oM', Coloncl of' tht' 5:ilh l•oot. L01 d I lowe had alreadv t'xpt'rinwnterl hv

Aberuom b\ \ dmamic ~l'<ond-irH·ommand.

In 176:\. thi'> ·regiment of light-arm'd foot'

orange. \\ith black button\.



16 Detail of 'Leathercap' of Gage's Light Infantry at Lake George, by Thomas Davies, c.175g, One

Detail of 'Leathercap' of Gage's Light Infantry at Lake George, by Thomas Davies, c.175g, One of only two known contemporary depletions of a British regular Light Infantry soldier In America during the Seven Years• War.

This Leathercap climbs the military road from Fort George and fortified encampments clustered at the southern end of Lake George In upstate New York. (Courtesy of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum)

hming hi~ entire ballalion aclopt Light Infantry dress and institutt>d hi~> rdunn~ throughout Abercrombv\ atmy. Regular:. and Prm;ncials alike. 'You would laugh to ~t·c· the droll figure we all 11l<tkc,' \\101(.' ,1 \!,~saC:hli!>Ct~ o{Iicer tO a Boston papc1. · Rq.,ruhu a.-. ''ell ~L'> prmincials have cut then coah -.o a., '>«u-ct•h· to reach their


more than one blanket ot l~ar-;kin

follm, 0111 r.unp to w;Lsh the linen. Lord I lowe

ha!-. alt each !-.hown the ex.unple bv going to the

brool-. and wa

The bcar'ikin \\'ils lllltlti-pmpost'. !>ening a!> a tnallrcs!>, blanket ot <L'> a backpac:l-. in which to roll one's hawt 'iark ron tai n ing rations and personal itt'lllS of kit; ea ting and cooking utcn~il:-, and spare clothing. !lowe had more order:, dravm up instructing 'the v\1wle· Army to have their hat~> rut ctown that thev mav know


No ollict.•t 01 pth<ltt.' i!> all<)\\ed to can;


hi1> 0\\11.'

0;o women



th~: Enemy·,



Richard Tluck, an army surgc·on, to comment \\TVI\' that 'we ar<:' now litcrall't an Arm\ of Round he.tcb' wtth the 1)1ims of the hats wom 'slouched about two lnche~ and a half" broact·. F111-the1 orders ~tared that 'the ollifn., do not t<ll n theit sashes, but wear the it gorge~ on dut\ ·. !I owe \\antt>d none ol his men !{t-'lling entangled 111 the \\Oo<b. or <L'> Dr Ti uck put it, 'Ftl'nch sticl-.1111-{ in our Skins'. Commanding officer<; " ·ere kit 10 dwo-,t· '' h.ll colm legging!> their


'The harrells of the Firelocks olthe Light lnfantn mmt all he made blue or brown. to take off the glillct in!-{; and the nMt-. of the Light lnhmu:

mm be quite plain, or with the la<.ings ol the Regt. ;L, the Commanding Officer\ like best. rhe less thev arc <,('('II in the Wood~ the better.' I'he (j nal de\'Ctopmen 1 and standa 1di~ation ol Light Inf alltf) dress .md .tppearance took place in the i!pring of 175!) when General Amherst,

the Commander-in-Chief in Ame t ira, i.\SII<'cl a dnw; po liq. We: !cam from

a directive issued in \Volfe's at Ill\' that a ll thl· Light lnl antrymeu of the arm\ scning in North America were, hcncd(>rth, to be uniform in

appearance. The

soldier<, \\!Jttld \\t'<ll .111d \\l'll' diH·ned to ensure that

following instt uctio11s arc worth CJllOting in fu ll :

!'he following order for the dress of tlw Light I 11 r;Ultry, as approved of by hi-; excellency General i\tnh('rst: ~1~jor-Ccnc·ralWolfe desires 1he same ma\' be exactlv con formed to h\ 1ht> light troops under hi~

are put on the waistcoat

and, instead of coat-slee\e~. he ha~ rwo wings like the grenadiers, but fuller: and a round :.lope teaching .tbout haliwm clown his arm; which makes hi!> coat of no encumbrance to him, but can be slipt off "ith pleasure; he h<L<; no lace, but the lap(•b n.·main: be~ide~ the

comm;md: the sleC\ es o1 the [ t cell coat

u'ual pockets, he ha<> two, not guitt· -.o high as hi'> b1 ea.,t, made of leather. for balb and flitw.; .mel a flap of rt'ct doth on the inside,

which secure<> the ball from rolling 011t, if

1-.napsack is carried ,·en high betwt·en hi-. shoulders. and b f'a!>tened

he !-thoulcl fall. II i'

with a s trap of web o \' er hi s s h ou lcle

with a s trap of web o \' er hi s s h ou lcle t , as Lh e Indian~ ('<U lhei r pack. I l is cartout h-1)()' hangs undct hi~ ann on the left 'irlc. slung

\\ ith Ieathem su .tp; ,md his horn undt•t the other <II m on tlw tight;

hanging b,· a nan ow<.' t weh than that med for his\,ICI

ca n tee n clmm

h e h as a ro ug h

in a le a th e rn slin g cl ow n

wai:-.t-coat. I'\o ba\Otte l; h is leggins have leather n ~trap under his

~hot'S like spancrda:-.hc~; hb hat i!. m.1de into a cap, with ,\flap and

a button. a n rl \\ith "'much blackcoth added as "ill come: un<ll'l his chin and keep him \\,tnn when he lie' dmm: it h ook., in the front, and is m ade like th e old \'elve t cap., in l:. ng land.

hi s sid e lik e a h a n gn , betwee n hi s coat a nd

his tomah ()( k, with a buu o n ; and it hangs

h i.'> bac k, u n d er his kn:lp'>ack a n rl covered with clolh;



c:<IS<.' lo r


Loo kin g lik t: a Li g h t lnl'a nuy m a n . or co u rse, was n o t ctwugh i n the woods to guaranHT \liCCt'SS. On lv good train ing and arlual combat cxpctience in the wilcl t·t ncs~ could pwduce a good Light lnfanlnman. <t\ George To'' mhc.·nd . •1 subordin.uc of \\'olfc's. \\Tote to Cenenll

, \ mhnst some 'eat' l atn: ' It i~ not a Shott Coat

ln fa ntrv Man, but as you know. Sir,

Stralag<' m in a pe rw na l conilict whi c h i~ de rived fro m Expt'rientc.'

that makt'' a Light in hi~ Aim & that

a Confidence


'Fit for t ha t Service'

Infan t ry 'training' from ca pt ors. · nlkt·n priso n e t

o n Maj or J a m es G ra nt 's bo tc hed ra id or Fort Duquesne in Septe mber

h o

~o rth Am e rica's ex p e rt~- hi s Slt aw tH 't'

ni ca ll v, Robe rt Kirkwood recei Ycd h is L ig h t

ln d i an

Death of Lord Howe, 6 July 1758 at the head of Gage's Light Infantry. Lord George Augustus Howe was one of the British Army's leading advocates of light dress and tactics. His death was not only a blow to reformists but also contributed significantly to the serious defeat suffered by his army two days later on the Heights of Carillon near Fort Ticonderoga. Recreation by Patrice Courcelle. (From Campaign 76: T1conderoga 1758 by Rene Chartrand.)



1758, ~pared from the ~calping knife and adopted as a 'brother' into the tribe, Kirk11ood wa~ trained in the wav of the woods. lle learned w track, hunt and ~ki1111i~h a~ wdl a~ becoming proficient in the u~e of canoes

and \now~hoe~. !J i~ ~ix-month tutelage culminated in him being deemecll1\' hi., Shawtw<· 'hroth<'r,· a~ ready 'm take up the hatchet' a~ .t

fellow 11' <t 11 i01.

Ki1 k1wod I<'WI(kd in hi.,joumalthat in the spring of 1759, hi., tribe

'began w form t1 larg<·

compmed of thl' ll be.,t 1\cliTior'> and was

Kirkwood wa

dre'>secl in '>calplock he took up hi'> rif1e, powderhorn, tomah.m k and

~talping knift·. and n<>~>'>ed the Ohio Ri\er heading ~uuth. '\\'e had a 11a1

of the dc-;uuction and

immediate cl<'ath IH' nwant to gil'c our <'ncmics.'

dance, hal'ing ou1 face~ black'd in to!

scout against




pat t'l

in numbe1 about fmt1 '.

cln·s.,<·d in btet'ch clout .md Indian leggings: 11ith hi., hai1


Al'te1 ·,.,el'eral skit tn ishes

with the Cherokees', Kirkwood and anotht•t

white capti\'l' tlllned India n warrior ">lipped away and mack their e1>cape

back to cil'i li '\at ion. rh e first white man they encounte r ed 'ran 11i th a ll pns~ible speed. being Mlrt' Wt' Wt'rt' Indians. v\'c: h a llut'd to him , but to no purpose, he adckd ~peed to his flight in such a manner, that had not my comrade who was very ni1nblc, run him cl<m11, we could nel'er ha\'(' [had]

com·crsation with him.' The white hunter 'expec ted on being-

m · crtakcn to hal'(' the to111ahawk ~u uck in his scull, but was agrccahl} dereil'ed, when he founci by our di~cout'ic that we were J.,.nglishnwn'. On Kid,1,ood\ lt'tllln w hi~ 1eg-iment se\'era.l 1\eeb latel, 'gteat w;" thcirjo\' and su1 pri~c "h<'n the\ ~aw me as one risen from the dead. fm thev suppm.ed I hac! been killed amon).\'"t the Indians'. Kirk11ood ptoudh of by 111\' officen,', .111d 11ith his

new -,kills and ('\.JWiti\<' becanw .1 1-:.tluabk instructor for other nwmhcr-.

of hi' 1egimt·nt- the onh one who had been u-ained b\ the l'IH'I11\.

Lo UH:'ater. ~o did the '>t.utdard,

qualit\ and amount of training. No two l.iglu Infantrv corp'> were trained

the same "'"

F01 cxa111pl<:. the men at ll alifa, lom1ed into light companie!> fo1 the 1757 Loui<;bourg <'ll.pcdition under Lord Loudo1tn, found .t \'en ~ln'IHHHIS training- rcg-imc awaiting them. Muck fonificatiom and work were buil t. and a Li g- ht Inf antry soldier would ha1 ·c: spent each dav

ahcrna tel y attacking ancl defending them. This practice ma) haw scc nH•cl

a li g-h t-lw a rtcd cxerci~e to most British Regu lars b ut as Ca ptain

Lieutl'lla lll l lc nry Pring le, ~7th Foot, explains: 'a ltho' ol'ten time~ several cirClllltstance~ would happen which made us laugh (as there were no balls flying about) 8.: th cH' were many jukes concerning this mock Fort, yet it ccttainl) wa:o. info1ming to those who were absolute strangers in thi~ lT'>J){'Ct, of whom the large~I portion of the army was compmecl'. But Loudoun had to abort the 1757 Loui!.bourg expedition due to loL<~I F1 ench na,·al '>liPl'l iu1 it\ ,md tet dble weather and tlm:o. n•tutned

hc«Hl'>C no "1 iuen doctrine exiMed. Evervthing wa-. ne11.

the lea~t

renHded he 11,1., 'p.tttirul.u II t.1!

j u~t a


ell e~>' dtf ft•t eel It 0111 theater

his rq.,rimcnh to win tel quarter., in Halifax, '\ew York and Pcnnwl\'ania. T he -,,une H',ll, l .onl I oudoun had not been keen to rai~e additional Range1 com panic:'> to au a~ light tmops because of their in01 dinatt' cxpcn'i<'. their poor di,ripline. and , as theY expanclcd, climini~hing qualit' "' <'li.J)('I ic1H t•d " were killed off and replat eel "ith 1""'> .lnd ell unk<·n I ilf-1alT. But he reluctant!) did M) to bm time

'till I can make 'onw of our own people fit for that Senice'.

make 'onw of our own people fit for that Senice'. Marksman. Ten men in every Light

Marksman. Ten men in every Light Infantry company were Issued rifles such as this marl<sman from the 55th Foot (Howe's). They were probably all of European manufacture In the German Jager style. This soldier has a backpack fastened with an Indian tumpline which could also be slung across the forehead for especially heavy loads. (Courtesy of Gary Zaboly)

OPPOSITE Training. Cherokee warriors led by war chieftain 'Little Carpenter' trained Light Infantry such as Robert Kirkwood of the 77th Foot (Montgomery's Highlanders) during General Forbes' 1758 expedition against Fort Duquesne. Kirkwood praised 'the firm and Intrepid conduct of the Little Carpenter and his Indians'. In this detail from the painting Warriors by Robert Griffing, a Highlander of the 77th Foot teams the finer points of tracking, a skill not uncommon In many men of the Highlands who came to America with

deerstalklng and shepherding skills. (Courtesy of Robert Griffing and Paramount Press)

L_ I ' I L I ' ABOVE A 1757 diagram for a proposed five-company
L_ I ' I L I ' ABOVE A 1757 diagram for a proposed five-company








L_ I ' I L I ' ABOVE A 1757 diagram for a proposed five-company Light
L_ I ' I L I ' ABOVE A 1757 diagram for a proposed five-company Light

ABOVE A 1757 diagram for a proposed five-company Light Infantry regiment that became the finst of Its kind In the Britlsh Army - Gage's L.lght Infantry. Dotted lines show the evolutions required to shake out companies from column Into tine and facing the enemy after passing through a defile. (Courtesy of the William L. Clements Library)

a defile. (Courtesy of the William L. Clements Library) ing on the boat:>. Eight\' men ,ttng
a defile. (Courtesy of the William L. Clements Library) ing on the boat:>. Eight\' men ,ttng


on the boat:>. Eight\' men


rear sights at given

In an exchange of' letters bctween Loudoun and th<• Duke ol Cumb<.·t land on 'the Bu~hlight in ''hi< h the [French] haw 110 great

an ad,·antage '"

Canadiam and Indiam', the

latter ad\i~c·d hi-. friend 'to teach \out u·oop~ to go out on Scouting Partie": f(>J 'till

regular Officer

they can uu~t. !eat n to beat the wood~. and an as Irregu lar!>, rou wi II never gain an>· certain h nelligt•nce of the Enemy, nor screen a nd pro tect a tn arrhing

column '.

The di"tinction of being





the Britil>h Arnn went to the previous!\· IIH'lltioncd !:lOth Foot, or Cage\ I ight

InfantrY. rai-.ecl in Dt.·c- ember l i5i. It ron'>i'>ted of experienced officers and nwn

fmm the

regimental light companic,, ~onw of whom had u-ained or '>el\('d ,,, voluntee1::. "ith Rogt•t •,' R.tngn'>. ~ome reuuiting wa.<, done in the colonie' a-. well, tlw pn•fened recruiL-. being wood:>men. hut mu-.t men inclined to join hac! ah each done -.o and prefened the t-anger com paniC'> that ullered moll' IM' and le-.~ cli-.ripline. Gage's Light Infantnnwn thus underwent cxtcmi\ '{' lt~tining under expetienced oflicers .md ~CO- onc of them recmding- in .June 175H that their soldiers were cmplo) cd

'in Exercising a tH.:'W t\kthocl of fighting, forming and marchtng in


Li ght

l nf;ulln


the Woods'.

wi th good shooting skills prior to

the Ti< onderoga expedition or 1758 lintncl (hcmscl\'l'S issued with a new weapon before the campaign. Eighty

'ril1led barrel pieces' of btropcan origin were gi\'en to the ten be~l ~hots in each regiment of M~or General .James Alwrrrombv'!> large ann). Before the expedition wa-. launched, eadt t illeman was 'ordered to fire three

Lig-ht Infantrymen

rounds each' bdott· em bat J

firing three rounds apiece docs not sound like a vel') long

or com pre hemin· Largt't pt an ice. nor was it imended to

be. It "•'"· in fact. the men ;eming in

each piece wa~ handcrafted anci each weapon had to be

adju~ted to it-. tt'>l't. B, aclju

t-ange- the rinen1.1n <ould dett't mine his line of sight and

whether hi-. pcr-.onal tin'lork aimed high or low. .\lusketrv and t.ttgt·t ptacti-.e, commonly referred to a<> 'firing at i\l a1 1 (h<·mc marbnwn) became a top training pt-iorit\ lot all l .ight InfantrY soldiers as well as

their ne" rifle~. a.<>



20 Scouting ahead. A soldier of the 80th Foot or Gage's Light Infantry scouts forward of

Scouting ahead. A soldier of the 80th Foot or Gage's Light Infantry scouts forward of the army with friendly Indians on campaign. (Courtesy of Gary Zaboly)

Robert Rogers at Detroit, 1760. While Rogers did not Invent the Ranger concept, he was lnstl'\lmental in writing the first woodsflghtlng manual and acting as chief lnstl'\lctor for many British Light Infantry officers. In the fall of 1760, Rogers and a combined force were dispatched to accept the surn~nder of Detroit and the other French posts after the fall of Montreal. (Courtesy of Gary Zaboty)

posts after the fall of Montreal. (Courtesy of Gary Zaboty) By the spring of 176 1,


the spring of 176 1, when t h e batta li ons of t h e 'Amnic.ut Attm' wet c preparing for !>enice in the Cat ibbean, Amht'l st could obser\'e with

'alii he mt·n arc ~o good


<>onw ~ati~LI< tion that

their companions in tlw h at compan ies.


that it 1cquirt·:. o n ly a little


the it handl> in·.

prani~t· to l

\\'ith the rerogmuon that his Light

uit ed p l\\:.ic all\' fit and

,,·ood'' i'>c oflin.•r.,, in Septem ber 1757 Lord Loudoun mclct ed Captain Robert Rogers, the fantou~ Rangct, to imtrun :)5 ha ndpicked

l nlant1 \lilt' II 1eq

·gemlcmcn \ Oittlll<'t-rs' ~ening in the ran k:. ' in

iplim·. m etho d s or marc h ing, li l t).{, t' t( . th at t h ey mig ht b e

amb u -;h i n g . fi g h

th e n t nJ.,ri ll g disc

beuer ((Ualilied iix any future se rvices aga in:-.t th (' e n e my'. lf' ju dgc d

Roger<; as ((Ua li ~i e cl cade t s a f't e t th e

)'Oung so l d i ers we r e t o be C<> llltlli

light compan i es, or l11c Ra n ge r s. as \~ICan cic·s ocn u-re ct .


int c· n s i\' C ~eve n -week c our se, th es e

ss i o n e d as t' tt ~ ig n s in llwir o wn r eg im e n ta l

Se\el<l l othe r ofiicers in difk tT ttt t heatcrl> of' wa r were si mul ta neo usly pulling pen to paper a nd a r ticu lati ng wha t wa.\ n eeded in training Bri tish 1egulars to cope \\ill t 'the bmhfight ·. Brigadicr-Ccneral J o h n Forbes,

Fo t t Duque;.nc, wrote to h is

'L'coud-in-<ommand, Bouquet, that it wa.'> pat <tmount to 'compl" anct team

who haw ~cen the

Countn· and the \\'an carried on it'. Bouquet, ,, Swi~!i ollicn who had

expeticnced inegulm '"uL11eon Eut op('<lll ;.en ite. quitkh concuned and

\lancd to mm m1d accomrc hi\ Roval \ nwricam lil

obtained rifles for hi<> marksmen - I(} in numbet - ''' well as in\'cnting his O\\ n u-.tining cxcrci;.e lO pt epa1 e hi' men lot \\Oo<b ligh ting. sending th em into the thick forc<;t in small column~> \\ith nm men abre<L~t, 'whi ch

dcplo\'ect into line in two minu tt•;, wi t h the lig-ht troops en l'duufli [ litera ll y "scarfed", meaning in a '>etn·n w the front!'. An r\ melican Pnwincin l ob-;cn ing BOll ((llt't's t ra in in g regimen wro tf': 'E\'f' r v a ft e tn oo n h t· t'Xt'rciscs h i;, me n in th e

the .\n of \\'an from Ennf'm\ l nrliam or pcopk

entrusted with the 175H expedi tion to ta l



the lndiml-;. fie. too.

woods a nd bush es in the

,~; ll be of g r ea t ~erv in• in

ma nn t•r

a n eng a ge m e nt w i t h lncti a n s . '

of' h b own inw ntio n , which

Bouqu et wo11ld late r identify gt'n t' ra lm axims that a pplied in

al l India n wa rfare statin g th a t th e r e wasn ' t ' a nything new or

b ee n th e ir

enemy'. he wrote. 'T he seco nd , t h a t th ('y alwav~ fi g ht sca u crcd. and never in a compac t ho d v. T h e thi rd t h a t th ev n ever stan d their ground when auackcd, bu t immcdiateh g ive way to the charge.' For a Light lnf~tnmman, it f(>llowed then:

ext r aordin arv in thi s wav o l' li g htin g- whi c h 'lt'<' m s to h ave commo n to mos t Ba rb a 1·ia n ;,'. Fi rM, they a lways 's urro und

bt T hat the troop-. cle,tincd to t: n gage l n cl iam mu:.l be ligh tly cloathed. armed and <l<TOllll ed. 2nd That hming no n·.,islance to encounter in the attack and the defense. the\ .uc noL to be dr;l\\n up in close ord er. which onl\' ,,;11 expose thcm without ncccs~ity w a g reater loss.

And lasth, that all their eYolutions must be pertmmcd \\ith great rapidity; and the men enabled by exercist' to pm!-!ue the enemy close ly, whe n put to flight, and not gi,ing lhcm time to rally.

A view of Fort Duquesne. A detail from the Robert Griffing painting Triumphant Return to Fort Duquesne, showing the French fortress captured by British troops under General John Forbes In 1758, and the scene of Robert Kirkwood's capture by Shawnee Indians. (Courtesy of Robert Griffing and Paramount Press)

Bouquet's mtining program gave '>pedfic attention to items such as

clothing. arms, training techniques, comtruction of tamp!> and :.l'llkmems. logiMit'> and tactical mano<•unes to meet most contmgencie Under his supervision, the compam replaced the battalion as the unit of mano<'U\TC, ancl troop~> were taught to sm1p::.hoot, whet'l on the run ovet broken ten-ain, swi m rivers and march on snowshoes. Robert Kirkwood and hi~ fellow Highlanders. no doubt, partook of lhis training. as Ensign Thoma~ Cist of tlw Virginia PrO\incials recorded thatjames Crant. ~l<tior of the 77th FoQt, tried to imtil 'lhe an of bmhfighting' in hi" men before lt'ading them on his ill-hued assault on ~Oil Duquesne. Kirkwood musr ha\ <' excelled for he \\,L'i one of twelll\ h.111dpicked ntt'll ordered to conduct a reconnctissann·-in-force against Fot t Duquesne in August 1758. Accompanied by C herokee waniors led by the wdl-knmm war chieftain, Little Carpenter. they destrovcd a French and Shawnee war patt\' but failed to reach their ohjecti\'e. On their return to Fort Bedford. tiW\' were pursued 1)\ 'French and Shannie Indians dra\\ n to).{t·thcr for that purpo~e and the\ wen· often ne;u u" that we could pl.tinh cfi.,tinguish thcit haJloo'. l wo '>tat 1- realities clrivetl home to Kirkwood on hi~ first Bti lish Army scout wen·: if one wa'> too wounded to walk, <lllt' wa~ left lwhind to the mercies of the enemy: and, one had to be phvsiralh a.s well as nwntallv fit for ~uch t'xpedition~. Thb being the fir~t scout lt·ver went upon,' he \\TOte, \ou r.m imagine how fatigued 1 was, hut ,umcht the'>c hilld,hips. I had the comfort of a relief from the finn .111<1 inuepid n)llcluct of Little Cat pt'tllel and hi-. lncltam. · The 550 light troop~> preparing lot the 1758 Loui:.bomg- campaign under the watchful eye ol M~jor Scott wnt ' t old that onn· the} 'had b~

practise &

they ha\'e spirit & .\cti\'itv. the howling Barbariam' would 'flee bdote them'. \ccordingl\', a Light Infant I\ man was taught 'to attack

& defend

Flank and equally watchful

he wal> to 'be instructed to chusc good

po~t~ a nd lay

ad\'antage. to be akn, ~ilent, vigilant and obedient, read\' at all time~ ro 111rn


confu.,ion ·.

experie n ce, a('quircd a~ much Caution &

Circum~penion as

judi(.iou.,h alwavs cndea\ outtng 10 get upon the 1.- nenn \

to prevent ll·ncirclementl' 1-utth<-'1 more,

in ambuscade to










noi-;e troop' were or Je,,.,t al'>o to '' ithout Light Infantn 'alway., march in Single

'' ithout



'alway., march in Single life:~. & gent•t alh

fight in a single rank; pushing at tlt c Ent·mv when they 'i<'<' him in confusion, and that lhe Ground r;I\'OLII'S tlleit Eflot ts:

11('\er pursue \\ith too much eagenw~

a n'l"\' great


,·. \\'itlt t11e empha-.i'>

on spreading ou t and u~ing cover tltcy

wen· instru cted

together, & running into a Lump; in sta h

to 'avoid huddling

inequalil) of number

to give ''"d\, cxc ept


2 1


22 ABOVE LEFT Two Light Infantrymen, c.1759. A detail of two Light Infantry soldiers, one of

ABOVE LEFT Two Light Infantrymen, c.1759. A detail of two Light Infantry soldiers, one of the 46th Foot (lett) and one of the Royal Americans (60th Foot), from Benjamin West's Genera/ Johnson Saving a Wounded French Officer from the Tomahawk of a North American Indian, painted c.1764. This is one of only two known contemporary paintings of British regular Light Infantry In North America. (Courtesy of the Derby Museum)

ABOVE RIGHT Lead and land first. A painting by Peter Rfndfsbacher depleting Wolfe's Light Infantry landing at the cove below tho Heights of Abraham, Quebec In September 1759. They silently scaled the heights and took possession of them so the rest of the army could march up. (Courtesy of Peter Rlndllsbacher)

the army could march up. (Courtesy of Peter Rlndllsbacher) & not able to emplm· then A.1

& not able to emplm·

then A.1 m~ to purpose'. Thc~c itTcgulat t.Kti<" 01 ·-.u at.tgem:.' highlight the additional ~kill1>that the common Briti'>h redcoat had to fulh m<L'>ter before bnoming a Light Infantt""\111an.

C\o amount of training hO\\t'H't could teplacc cxpnience. Only repeated expo~ure to wilderne1>s lighting could build up the confidence ami expertise of a Light l nfantnman expcCI('d LO counter the 'paim and

howl' ol his advcrsarie11. \htim Pau id• .\latkellat, Wolle':. chid engineer

at Quebec in 1759, and a sun ivor of Braddock'~ defeat on the

Monongahela, gaw credence to 1lw old tn axitn 'fami li arit:v breeds

contempt', when he

good effect of using our men to 1hc wood~. and l~uniliat~ising them ·with

the Canadians and Indians, whom they soon began to despise'.

Ott the whole, by 1761, Briti1>h Light lnf ant t \' aml tlwir regimemal brethren were sutllcicntly trained to ignore th<' Ind ian ·ha ll oo' or 'howl' ancl act with 'Spirit and Coolness' in mo),t :-.ituatiom. In fact, manv of them adopted the Indian hmd a~ tiH'il ohn,.Jana·s Grant noting how hi:. Highland Light Infantl)1nen on Martinique in 1762 hacl bolstered the rcsoln· of another regiment as the) moved up to -.uppotl 1hem during

battle. Gram remembered 'a huge boch of h t'n< h immediate!~ opposite

m [\\·ere] d1iving in the 60th [Roval .\m<•J-icam] who were slowly

retinn~ before them to ou1 right down th<' hill. \\e in,tanth gave the

Indian Halloo, pan of our Backwood" .H quit enwnll>; the bra\e fellow~of

the 60th instantly stood, a-. if t·i,cted to the -.pot and a<h·anccd \\ith us.'

But c\·en the moM expericmT<I Light Infantn man on campaign

:.uflcrcd bloody defeat or mauling at the h.utd\ of the encnl\ from time

a -.ituation the,· arc a fair object for their achn-,aric-

obset \'ed that the cuntinuou:. skirmi~hing had ' the


to time, the cau~e of which wa:, usuall} attributable to a J,H k of alenness or failure to follm' the basic dictates of his training.


'Put noth ing to

Lodging s

A Li ght Infantryman being 'the most active and rcsolutt· 11oldicr' of hi!> regiment thought nothing of sleeping out 11nder the stnrs while on long scouting or raiding missions. He and hi~ comrades would cut branches and boughs of pine: f01ming a mattress to keep thcmscl\·(·s oflthe damp or hard ground. If the \\eather was cold, thev constructed rude lean-to -.IH'hcrs from the same materials in the Jndian !>t)IC. !.mel Loudoun

de~n ibcd them a-. 'bush tents of pine boughs; two opposite each other a !-.pace between thelll in which they make great lire!'!, ancl the men in each of the tenLs lie with their feet to tlw !ires in which situation they arc tolerably comfUJtahk'. On his return to h<L'>l' camp fo1 prm isions, rest and resupplY, Kirkwood .111d his colleague<; ''ould draw thei1 tenLs from regimental storage. The tCIIL'> \\el c usualh mack of light '"Her-proofed sailcloth and -.kpt tour to eight men. In more t''>tablbhed camp'>, mde huts would h<' ronstructed,


tuined houses and bui ldings. Many ~oldicrs spt·nt weeks or month., aboard transpcHt ship~. either on thc:i• way to Amt'l ica, or taking p:ut a'> the landing lloop:, on Llw numewus amphibJUu-. operation., concllH ted in the \meri< a' dtuing Lilt.' ScH'n Years' '\'a1. Operations again'>l Luui,bourg. ~lm tiJllque , Dominica. Cuba and the Grenada'\ meant that 1cgimenL~ were pa< kt·d into ship~ under condition!> that rivalled those ol the slave track. Pri\'ate Jame!> Miller. on first comi ng to America in 1757, rememlwred that 'the accommodatiom of soldiers on board ship arc not \'ery <.OIHiuci'e to case o1 lwaiLI1. all between ded being scpmated b\ boards. into births fsic], and the,· creep into thc'e holes, in the hc:-.t manne1· the\ c;tn. one third of which. are generallv k~:pton deck whilt' nl anchor'. Miller co nfc:-.secl that he \l'ldom went below, for there proceed\ \llch a disagreeabk -.tench. of putrid breath\, when \'CHI arc going down the hatrhwa\, that no being accu~tomed to fH·1>h ;ur can bt'<ll. but mote

cha nce'

in captured t0\\11S or cities such as Qu<'hcc, soldier~ were billeted in


particularly, when clwcsc, or grog,

w< ·re

of' Villainous Smelb, enough to

\llffi>eate a llottcntot'.

serving, there i1>!'!ltrh a compound

Everyday Ta sk s

Roht•1·1 Kirk·wood gi'e' u-; a good idea of


















How the barracks of Fort Ligonier would have looked to Kll'kwood and his comrades stationed there in 1758, and 1763-1765. The Light Infantry became familiar w ith the roads between Forts Pitt, Ligonier and Bedford as one of their most Important and dangerous tasks was convoy escort duty.

(Photo by Tim Todish)

Ligonier and Bedford as one of their most Important and dangerous tasks was convoy escort duty.



24 First glimpse of America. The harbour of Charles Town, South Carolina as It would have

First glimpse of America. The harbour of Charles Town, South Carolina as It would have looked to Private Robert Kirkwood and his fellow Highlanders of Montgomery's 77th Foot on arrlvalln September 1757. They garrisoned the colony's capital from September 1757 to April 1758. (Courtesy of the William L. Clements Library)

)Jerform. Aflcr fightin g the ir way th rough to th c besieged f(>rt in th e early wimcr of 1763 / 64 duri n g Po nt iac's I n clia n upris in g, Ki rkwood and h is comracks,

staid there but a short time, ha\ing LO escort the inhabitanL\ dmm the country and to come hack ''ith more pto\'isions. \\'e continued emplo~ed in thi-. manrH·r 'till tlw first of Januan ( 176-l], the SilO\\ falling \0 deep, W(' were obliged to <ihO\ el it away e,·en· night LO make our beds .mel fires; eH·n man being prO\ided "llh a hatchet to cut wood. and a 'hoH·I for the\\, we were obliged also to go in panic'>, all(( rrample 11 hdore the hor~es, in orrler to pre,ent their being mired 111 it.

h.irkwood c:.timated that in corwm protenion dutic'> 'we marched

Later that

spt ing. · Pr0\i:.io11:. at laM bctomi ng ~rant', we made :.e\'era1 incursions inlO the fields around Fon Pi t [sic] ' 'here we found In d ian corn in g reat

plent\- ol wh i ch we bro u gh t considerah l <· (jllan li t i el> to the ga rTison and

1500 mile!>' before 'the

Forr' I,,·en·l \lOt ed wtth prmi:.ions'.


it ior bro th.'

Su c h exru rs io n s were no t wi th o u t u·agedy fo r


wro te : ' we

were fi·cCJIICn tl y in grea t da n ger lor lir e Indi a n s gave

th ese ex pe d iti ons I lo~t 111)' co mra d e who was

taken, Kalped and d ied th e !>arne day.' J'h c fo llowing winte r at Fo rt Pill, Kirkwood found h imself 'emplo)ccl in bringi ng coals into the garrison on:r the icc, in bags made o l cowhide~. ' Jht· pit from wh ich they are


in \\inteJ necc\~it:Hecl woodcutting expeclitions on an e ' en foiL or outpmt. I hm protection parties were

uccdccl to guard them and the~c \\ crt• u~uall\' drmm fi om the Light Inhmu·y or Rangers who were proficient in the ll\C or ~now~hoe'\. •\lso c~\cntial was the La.Sk of clearing heaw \110\\\ ,m,n from the fortification:. to pre\'ent an~ enem) " -ailing mer dit<.he, and ramparts in

l':li.U<tCtcd is on the other !>ide of the l'i\·et :-

The need for fuel <tlmost dail\' basis at

u:-. many a chace. On o ne o f


y (:-


Henn Pringle, writing from Fort Ectward, ">cw \'otl in 1757 rt·corded: '\\'e h<ne had prodigious Snow<, \\hich il<L' t•mplmt•d .til the GatTi:.on in

dearing the work!. & when the firM i~ r clllO\ ' t•d, a '>econd. two feet comes in


- murdered, but fill· [ ourJ 'I lost my comrade'. A soldier Is scalped by a

murdered, but fill· [ ourJ

'I lost my comrade'. A soldier Is scalped by a French Amerindian warrior. Light Infantry soldiers and Rangers took to scalping enemy Indians in retaliation, as well as for the five-pound bounties that were offered for suc h grisly war trophies. (Library of Congress)

Building a Cabin. In fortified camps of a more pennanent nature, Provincial and Regular soldiers were called upon to construct their own cabins or storage sheds. Many soldiers with a trade could earn extra pay for such work. (Dover Pictorial Archives)

the night. Our intercourse with the

Frenc h is stop'd by it, as we h ave not

have we se nt

another Scout th ere yet.' Kn ox, servi ng at Quebec three vcar1> later, desc1ibed the ~ame type of fatigue in which 'the

had a d ese rte r s in ce, no r

biucmess of tl1e M.' <L,oll [ w~~] not to be concei\'ed; se\'eral of the men who were


1in g th e s n ow that was lo clgccl


er th e sc<u·p o f' th e LOWtHva ll wen:

frm1h inen,

an d




with the excessive cold' . Other ot.Upost duties included deliH'l;ng ,;tal di!>patches through hostile counu;. a task that Kirkwood performed o n ce at great p eril. ' J being alw-ays forward ,' he \Hotc,

' und e rtoo k to carry a p acket to Fo rt Ligo ni e r ' as ' the lnd ia1111

had cu i

o il" all communications between t h e Forts, so th at it was impo!-~~ibk to send an\' Intelligence from one place to anothct.· ~ctlingofT ,,;th anotlwr Light lnhmtryrnan an d th<·ir clog. Kirkwood 1eco1 dcd tl1at the\' t t·,tdll'd l.i~onie1 '\,ithout an> interccptiou' but o n the retumjoume\ ' the Iucl1am had got

seem of us a n d lay in ''",lit'. Ki rkwood a n d hi11 companion rc-.olwd 10 tran·l in darkness o nl y a n d la id up th e fo ll owing day, bo tl1 fa ll in g a~kep.

th rew O lll');clws into the

'By t h is i m prudt' IKl'.' Ki r kwoo d n ote d . 'we grca t('1>t danger. and would ha,·e certain tv been


which was alarmed b\' the noi~e and the howling tht' lndi<m!> made;

thn tracked u' to the ,·en· <>pot, .111d had waited until tht'\ had gathcr'd their ink1nal crew. to make a !'laetifice of m .' kn kwood and his romrade took to their heels, avoidi ng the road and t.ak1ng .tliicuitou<; by p ath 'unde r te ni bk appre h e n sio n s, f(>r all 1hc way we ht'ard the J ndia n ha ll oo'. T h ey and th t' i r u· us l )' dog reac h ed ' th e Fort i 11 saletY but our t'X[>t'dilion W£L'\ lllllliCkY ror tWO Of t h e SOldierS be longing 10 the gatTiSoll

\\ ho had been out to look for hor;e' kll in with our pttt).Ut.'l'\ who scalpt them both and left them dPad on the !>pOl'. Evc 1;·d ay t<L<;ks Mlll H' ti mes includ - ed a soldier's formcr trad e and <)(cupation. I n Ki t k \\ood's ca~l'.


emplm·ecl to mend out water e<L<;k.<;' .

Fo1 any sizeabk campaign in tl1e


l a b o u r c r s,

wh ether regular sold iers. provin cial.,

se ll ~s ulli c ie nt in s k i li e d

iers. provin cial., se ll ~s ulli c ie nt in s k i li e






anll} '





wi lderucss,

or hired ci,iliam. Bouquet was empha tic that troop' 'hould be

'taught to tl1ro'' up entrenchment,,

mak(' f<L-;cines and gabions. as well a!>





p la nks,

consm tct

can oes, cans, pl u u g h !-1, b arrows, roo fs,

C<L'\ks. batteau x and

bridges. an d to



build ovens and loghousc~·. The\' would abo nc:ed lo 'become tolerablv good carpenters, ma.-.on)>, t.ailors, butcher~. ~hocmakcr~. etc.·


The ,,·eekh ration Robert Kirkwood and hi., comrades could expect while b<t'>ed in a semi-pennanent camp or a fort g;mi~on was ·~e,·cn pound<; of bed, or, in lieu thereol, lour pound'> ol pork, which ~ thought to be

equivalent; seven pounds o f bi!>cuit bread I hat dtack] 01 the same weight of

flour: -.ix ounces of butter, three pint., ot pca

, t<t tions would have been pooled \dth mc~'>matc1>, and eithet a designated cook or the company women would prepare the daih meak An orderly book tells us how the ptm i-.io1111 \\et e prepared on arrival in camp for distribution, the regimental quanennaMers rcl:>ponsible 'to attend in person to sec the flower [sic] weighed deducting the weight of the cask; the pork unpack'd the :-.alt bt·at off of it and weighed. The bmter uupack'd and weigh d. Pease to be rereivecl by mesurc, rice b)' weight.' In order to balance the men's dier, garrison anrl ramp garden~ were established so that men and olliccrs could grow l'resh vegetables such as cabbage, peas, carrots, asparagw, squash, corn and melons. Some rcgimenL'i kept milking cows, while other~ kept live sheep, pigs ami cattle which would be slaughtered l'rom tillH' to time to prO\·ide the men with

fre1-.h meat. Sutlers and camp follo\\crs al'o attended each army and prmidcd baking and cooking ser\'iccs, the law: r usuallv for oflicer ~utlcr~ also provided luxurY items '>llch a!> egg1>, salt, pipe tobacco, sugar, mola.o,se1-. and a \\ide range of liquor:- Being an accomplished huntet, Robct t Kirkwood would undoubtedh haYc been sent out on hunting JMI tie'> to 'upplement the salted meat

ration. btinging back such fresh gam<.· a' <ker, moo1-.e, ell

, turkevo;, bulfalo and a various <l\\01 tnH·nt ol cluck.' and partridge. E'e!J·

trip "''a' from the safet) of camp wa!> 1ill' '''ith danget ~l'>Indian scalping

parties lurked in the woods waiting for ju

part\ \entllling out of Crmm Point in .\l,trrh 17()0 to hunt deer as 'they thought the Ice of the Lake l>O bad the Indians could not approach,' recorded Hen I')' Ptin glc, were 'all made Pt isonns before our eyes & \~ithin cannon-shot of the Fort'. Pringk, who had been captured after


half a pound of rice; and


is called se,·en ration1>'. \\'ith l(>tll to 'i" nH:n pet tent 01 hut, these

bear. wild


thi' t\'J)<' of excursion. One

Rogers' battle on snowshoes in l\·larc lt 17!">8 thought the alfait l'rivulous:

'To be made prisoner where the Service doc:. not call is inexcusable They risk their life, their liberty & int<'lligenn· to the Enemy against a Pertridge or a Deer.' He conchtdcd, '\Ve should al present be olrl Soldiers in the American War & pu1 nothing 10 a chance li1r such a trifle.' The game that Kirkwood and his lellow marksmen brought in for their compan) wall a1> varied as tiH' tt'tt ain tlte ~oldien, had to pa1>s through. While on the Ohio River. Kirkwood observed. 'Here the

black cattle in Emope, the Deer as

Buffalo arc as plenty as our

nunH:.·rou)> as our Sheep, and wild Tut f .1~ much abundance as our

poulti).' \\l1en tasked \\ith his rom pam· ol Black \\'atch (ha,ing been tran!>ferrcd on disbandment ol the 77th at the Pea< e) to take po!>scssion

o{ Ft cnch forL<; in Tllinois countn in 1765, Kit kwood "rotc: '"e had a

good pastime in killing th e Bullaloe'>, ''hie h ,n•n· th<.>n in their ptime


ha\'e a large hump on theit hack'>, wlten laid open, appears to be

:-.olid fat. much like that of the bt east ol a CO\\. and it is really most


delirious eating-. In sh01t, the whole carcase for tlw purpose of soup-making, is in my opinion, preferable LO any of our bed.'

Other mo~t· exotic fare tried by British soldiers included rattlestt<.tl e.

~lurrav of the Bla< k \\'atch wTote

that 'rattle~naJ make the 1ichest and be-.tsoup that can be, which I cat of and like much. The meat i.s but insipid.' Knox on gatt ison in . ova Scotia confe~~t.·d to having tried racoon: 'the nesh of it white and tender, not unlike kid meat; but it was strong and or a disagreeable fi!>h\' flanl\tr'. Fishing wa., another meam of supplementing the '>tand,ud anm l,u t.' and Kirkwood\ favourite catch of the da} was catfish. \\'hilst in Ohio country he wrote: 'You may catch large fish which thev call Catts, some weighing 100 pounds, itmnkes exce ll em sauce, and cats wry dcliciou~ly. broiled on the coals.' Man\ soldiers canied lines, weight~ and hooks in tht'ir pacb - for the 175H L ouisbourg expedition. th e~e item-. wnc !>pt'cially i!-.!-.ucd and the men encouraged to fish. Knox noted that tht'\

chieOy mackerel and

pollock'. Whiil' ill garrison at ll alifax, the soldiers wt·rt~ able to buy 'most

porcupine and racoon. Captain James


'took great C]Uantities ofthh over the l.hips' sides

kinds or fi),h and panicularlv lobsters in great plcnrv'. In 1762. a Light Tnfantn oflicer at the '>iege of Ilav<lll.t recorded that

hi~ men caught 'a <>on of land-shellfi~h which carrie-. iL'> ~hell about (a.,

'like a Crawfio;h or pr,\\\11. They run \l'l'Y

ni m b ly along. but when touc hed, ha lt a n d retire as guickly into their mm·able hou<>c1>- the Soldiers boiled and ate them'; the hl'ttnit crab~were

·~o \er; plent\ in some pl.tcc,, that we wen· obliged to cleat them aw;l\ in order to dmm'. His men abo took the it hatchets to tlw 'Cabbage Tn·e

without compassion [andllaid their beaut' in the dust

which is at the verv LOp, the tree must be cu t dm\>11 & obliged us