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British Loyalists in the Revolutionary War

There were about 25,000 loyalists that participated in the Revolutionary War. Thousands also joined the British Navy and at the end of the war many left their home to live in England and Canada. Many of these men fought as partisans especially in the south where the fighting was more-like a civil war than a revolution.

British Loyalists in the Revolutionary WarAmerican Legion: 1780: 400 men. Raised in New York and fought at Portsmouth and New London.

American Volunteers: 1779: 1,000 men. Raised in New York and South Carolina by Lt. Col. Patrick Ferguson. Savannah and Kings Mountain, where the entire unit was captured or killed.

British Legion: 1778: 775 men. Raised in New York by Lt. Col. Banastre Tarleton. Savannah, Charleston, Cowpens, Guilford Court House, and Yorktown (captured).

Butler’s Rangers: 1777: 600 men. Raised in New York and Canada in 1777 by Lt. Col. John Butler. Participated in raids in Pennsylvania and New York.

DeLancey’s Brigade: 1776: 1,750 men. Raised in New York by Brig. Gen. Oliver Delancy with three full battalions. The 1st Battalion was commanded by Lt. Col. John Cruger, deployed to Charleston, and defended Fort Ninety Six. The other two battalions fought in New York.

Duke of Cumberland’s Regiment: 1781: 600 men. Raised in Charleston from Continentals captured at Camden. Deployed to Jamaica in 1781.

East Florida Rangers (King’s Rangers): 1779: 860 men. Raised in Georgia and Florida by Lt. Col. Thomas Brown. Savannah and Augusta. Merged with the Georgia Loyalists in 1782.

Emmerich’s Chasseurs: 1776: 250 men. Raised by Lt. Col. Andreas Emmerich in New York. Forts Clinton and Montgomery.

Georgia Loyalists: 1779: 175 men. Raised by Maj. James Wright and was merged with the East Florida Rangers in 1779. Guides and Pioneers: 1776: 250 men. Raised in New York by Maj. Simon Frazer and attached to the Loyal American regiment in 1777.

Herlyhy’s Corps: 1776: 300 men. Raised in Nova Scotia, St. Johns, and Newfoundland. Sent to New York in 1781. Jamaica Legion & Jamaica Volunteers: 1779: 600 men. Raised in Jamaica by Governor John Dalling. Participated in raids in Nicaragua and Honduras.

Johnson’s Royal Greens (King’s Royal Regiment of New York or “King’s Royal Yorkers”): 1776: 1,290 men. Raised by Col. Sir John Johnson in New York. Fought at Oriskany, Wyoming Massacre, and Fort Stanwix. King’s American Dragoons: 1780: 350 men. Raised by Lt. Col. Benjamin Thompson in New York.

King’s American Regiment: 1776: 833 men. Organized by Col. Edmund Fanning in New York and fought at Forts Clinton and Montgomery, Charleston, and Savannah. Elements also served in East Florida, Kings Mountain (captured), and in Georgia.

King’s Orange Rangers: 1776: 600 men. Raised in New York and fought at Charleston alongside the “Volunteers of Ireland.”

LaMothe’s Volunteer Company: 1778: 45 men. Raised in the Northwestern Territory (present-day Indiana) and served at Fort Vincennes.

Loyal American Rangers: 1780: 300 men. Raised in New York from Continental prisoners and deserters. Sent to Jamaica and fought in Honduras.

Loyal American Regiment: 1776: 690 men. Raised in New York by Col. Beverly Robinson. Fought during the Philadelphia Campaign, Forts Clinton and Montgomery, and in the raid on New London.

Loyal Newport Associators: 1777: 180 men. Raised for the defense of Newport, Rhode Island.

North Carolina Loyalists (North Carolina Volunteers, North Carolina Highlanders, Loyal North Carolina Regiment “Highlanders”): 1776: 3,000 men. Organized by exiled Royal Governor Josiah Martin to fight in North and South Carolina. As the units suffered losses, stragglers joined other Tory bands in the Carolinas; some fled to New York and joined other Provincial units.

Maryland Loyalists: 1777: 425 men. Raised by Lt. Colonel James Chalmers in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Served in New York and Halifax until transferred to Pensacola, where they surrendered in 1782.

New Jersey Volunteers (Skinner’s Greens): 1776: 2,400 men. Composed of three full battalions raised in New Jersey by Brig. Gen. Cortland Skinner. Fought in New York, East Florida, Savannah, Eutaw Springs, Kings Mountain (one detachment), and Yorktown (captured).

New York Loyalists (Provincial Regiment): 1776: 500 men. Served in battle in New York, East Florida, Forts Clinton and Montgomery, Savannah, Camden, Charleston, and Hobkirk’s Hill.

Pennsylvania Loyalists: 1777: 200 men. Organized in Philadelphia and fought alongside the Maryland Loyalists in New York and Halifax until transferred to Pensacola, where it surrendered in 1782.

Philadelphia Light Dragoons: 1777: 120 men. Raised by Captain Richard Hoveden for the British Legion and King’s American Dragoons. Savannah, Charleston, Cowpens, Guilford Court House, and Yorktown (captured).

Prince of Wales’s American Volunteers: 1776: 600 men from Connecticut and New York. This unit was commanded by Brig. Gen. Monteforte Brown and fought in New York, Charleston, and Hanging Rock, South Carolina.

Queen’s Loyal Virginia Regiment: 1775: 600 men. Organized to defend Virginia from Patriot attacks. Great Bridge, Virginia. Transferred to New York and merged with the Queen’s Rangers in 1776. Royal American Reformees: 1777: 120 men. Comprised of Continental deserters and transferred to Canada for the duration of the war.

Royal Ethiopian Regiment: 1775 (Virginia): 300 men. Organized by Virginia’s Royal Governor John Murray (Lord Dunmore). This unit was comprised of blacks who were promised freedom in return for their services to the Crown. Norfolk and Great Bridge, Virginia.

Royal Garrison Regiment (Royal Bermudian Regiment): 1778: 800 men. Organized in New York by Maj. William Sutherland. Paulus Hook, New Jersey, and was transferred to garrison duty in Halifax and Bermuda.

South Carolina Dragoons: 1780: 38 men. Organized in Charleston and attached to the South Carolina Royalists.

South Carolina Rangers: 1778: 81 men. Raised in Charleston and assigned to garrison duty at St. Augustine in East Florida, where it served for the duration.

South Carolina Royalists: 1781: 700 men. Raised in East Florida by Maj. Mark Prevost. Savannah, Charleston, Ninety Six, Hobkirk’s Hill, and Eutaw Springs. Transferred to New York in 1782.

Volunteers of Ireland: 1777: 871 men. Raised in Pennsylvania and served in the New York Campaign, Charleston, Camden, and Hobkirk’s Hill. Assigned to the British Army as the 105th Regiment of Foot in 1782.

West Florida Loyalists: 1779: 75 men. Raised in West Florida and served in the Siege of Pensacola.

West Florida Royal Foresters: 1780: 43 men. Raised in West Florida and served in the Siege of Pensacola.

West Jersey Cavalry: 1778: 160 men. Raised in Philadelphia and served in the New York Campaign. Merged into the King’s American Dragoons in 1781.

West Jersey Volunteers: 1778: 200 men. Raised in Philadelphia and served in the New York Campaign. Merged into the New Jersey Volunteers.

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