Military Review

"Guerrilla Dragoons" of the American Revolutionary War

21
"Guerrilla Dragoons" of the American Revolutionary War

"Leap of the Field of Revere". The work of Edward Mason Eggleston


So Paul Revere rode dead at midnight.
His alarming inviting cry
I reached every village and farm,
Breaking drowsy calm and peace.
Suddenly a voice from the darkness, a fist blow at the door
And a word that echoes through the ages.
That word from the past is the night wind
Carries over our big country,
Then in the hour of anxiety that disturbed the world,
All the people, having risen, hears through the darkness,
How at midnight rushes to him with a call
On a prancing horse Paul Revere.
The jump of Paul Revere. G. Longfellow. Translation by M. A. Zenkevich


Military affairs at the turn of the eras. In the previous article about "dragoons with tails" and without them, we talked about a small episode of the War of Independence in the United States - the actions of the British officer Lt. Col. Banister Tarleton's dragoon unit created there, and also about the fact that George Washington's army also had dragoon regiments. although their numbers were small. However, the topic of the use of dragoon cavalry in the war of the 13 American colonies with England seemed interesting to the readers of "VO", and they asked to cover it in more detail. We fulfill their request.


1st Regiment of Light Dragoons, 1775-1776 Pay attention to Dragoon 4. He has a “jockey helmet” reinforced with metal stripes crosswise. Figure: L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII - XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. 7

Let's start with the fact that we turn to the book by Liliana and Fred Funkenov, dedicated to the wars of the 14th-1,5th centuries. on the American continent. From it we learn that the white settlers always lacked horses there, that on the way by sea from Europe they died like flies, so that the cavalry of the colonies was always small. The cavalry was militia, that is, those who, at will, enrolled in it, bought both the horse and the ammunition, and the horse had to have at least XNUMX palms at the withers, that is, about XNUMX m.Many equestrian colonists wore helmets and half-cuirass (chest only) as they protected well against weapons Indians. Since 1740, a rider must have two pistols and a carbine.


1st Regiment of Light Dragoons, 1780. Officer 1 has one epaulette, and the trumpeter's uniform, by analogy with Europe, has reverse colors, that is, what the others had black, he has green, according to the color of the instrument cloth. Figure: L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII-XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. eleven

In 1777, the Congress of the seceding colonies formed as many as four cavalry regiments of the so-called "continental dragoons". The first was Major Bland's Virginia Regiment (1776). The regiment's uniform was of a traditional cut for those years, and of two types: dark blue with red trim and brown and green - what cloth when they found it! It was on their leather helmets that a black turban was wound, and the “tail” on the crest was made of a white horse's mane. By the way, the regiment's shape changed more than once, primarily because its numbers were small: in 1781, only 60 people, that is, less than a squadron!

The second, Major Eliza Sheldon's regiment, was created in Connecticut, in fact, became the first to be formed by the decision of Congress. And this was the most numerous unit. There were 225 people in it! The uniform is blue with yellow cloth trim. A helmet with a white tail was wrapped in a blue turban.


3rd regiment of light dragoons 1778-1780 Dragoon 1 wears a fringed suede shirt, the traditional dress of American hunters. Figure: L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII -XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. 15

The third regiment, Lady Washington's Dragoons, is little known. Although there is a document stating that they wore a white uniform with a blue applied cloth. It was commanded by William Washington, cousin of George Washington.


4th Light Dragoon Regiment. 1776-1782 Fig. L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII-XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. 17

The most unusual uniform in terms of color was worn by the XNUMXth regiment. Unusual because it was bright red, "British" color. The officers sewed it for themselves from English red cloth, which was of good quality, but for the privates ... they gave the captured uniforms of the British infantry! As a result, in order to avoid confusion, they were ordered to wear homespun shirts over their uniforms, otherwise they could have been "obtained" from their own.

All four regiments suffered heavy losses, so that their horsemen, those who survived, were constantly attached to other regiments.

However, numerous "partisan dragoons" - in fact, the same militia formations, also participated in the war against the British. But they were often created in a completely random way: at the behest of individual enterprising commanders, and usually they were also dragoons. The first such unit was the "Harry Light Cavalry", or "Lee's Legion," as this unit was also called. It was created by 22-year-old Major Harry Lee, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. There were about 300 people in the legion, but not all of them had horses. He conducted actions against the British that were completely partisan in nature, and even clashed with Tarleton's loyalist legionnaires. It is interesting that his youngest son will later become ... the famous Edward Lee - the legendary commander of the southerners! The legion consistently had as many as three types of uniforms: green with yellow trousers and a dragoon helmet with a white tail; all green with a white camisole and a fur longitudinal stripe on the helmet; and, finally, the third one - light yellow (!) with applied green cloth and the same yellow camisole.

Partisans in the truest sense of the word, who did not wear any uniforms, were Francis Morion's irregular cavalry detachment of about 30 people, which the loyalists gave the nickname Swamp Fox. However, there were also many formations of individual states in America that wore uniforms, and, of course, each state had its own. So, back in 1774, a detachment of "Philadelphia light cavalry", "Connecticut light cavalry" and "South Carolina light cavalry" appeared there. There was even a gendarmerie corps, about which it is known that he was, that he was commanded ... a German, became the predecessor of the American military police, but that's all.


Colonel Arman's Partisans: Infantry and Cavalry. Helmets with a sultan-caterpillar from the visor to the back - infantry. The riders have copper helmets with a crest and a “tail”. Figure: L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII-XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. 25

It is well known, however, that wars attract adventurers. The War of Independence on the American continent was no exception. So, for example, two famous Poles in Europe, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Kazimir Pulaski, went to fight in America against the British together with the Marquis de La Fayette. Congress awarded him the rank of brigadier general, and in 1778 ordered him to command a partisan detachment of 68 horsemen and 200 infantry. Moreover, these riders were more likely to be lancers than dragoons, since they were armed with pikes with fox tail bunchucks - the only such unusual identification mark for the entire war. In the battles he died, and his name was given to the fort, which ended up in the hands of the southerners and which in the years of the Civil War was bombarded by the northerners from Parrott's large-caliber cannons!

Another Frenchman, the 26-year-old Marquis Charles-Armand Tuffin de la Royer, also went to fight in America, who also received permission to form a horse detachment of 200 people and command it. He fought on American soil under the name of Colonel Arman, twice reassembled his defeated unit and equipped it himself! At first, the uniforms of his soldiers (half infantry, half dragoons) were olive green, pantaloons brown, and gray stockings and a black cocked hat, but in 1789 they had a beautiful blue uniform with white instrument cloth. De la Royer himself covered himself with glory, but, returning to France, during the revolution, he raised an uprising in Brittany in support of the royalists (although he fought for the republic in America!) And, most likely, died in battle.

Participated in the battles for the independence of thirteen states and hussars, but only French, from the detachment of the Duke de Lausin. At first it was a volunteer legion that the Duke de Lausin formed from foreigners to serve in the overseas colonies on the naval navy... But it just so happened that he did not get to the sea. But when the Rochambeau Expeditionary Force landed in North America to help the rebellious colonists in the fight against the British, the Lausin legion was in its composition. He took an active part in the hostilities and was the only unit in the insurgent cavalry to wear brightly colored hussar uniforms. True, there were not very many of them - only about 300, but, of course, they stood out very much among all the others in that they wore red and lemon-yellow chakchirs, blue mentics, and officers - impressive fur hats-kolbaki, and even and with a red blade and a sultan. Well, after the victory of the rebels, which ended with the creation of the United States, the legion returned to France and in 1783 was renamed the Lozen hussar regiment. In 1791, the Lozen hussar regiment received the name of the 6th hussar, and later renamed the 5th hussar regiment.


British cavalry: 1st - 16th Light Dragoon Regiment, 2nd - 17th, 3 - Mohawk Ally, 4 - dismounted Dragoons of the 16th Regiment. Figure: L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII-XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. 33

Dragoons, as described in one of the previous materials of this cycle, were the British cavalrymen. Among them were both the actual royal soldiers and the "guerrilla" cavalry detachments of loyalists, analogs of the units of the insurgent army: "Bucks County Dragoons", "James' soldiers" of Chester County, "Royal Americans", "Staten Island Dragoons" from South Carolina. And most of them were wearing red uniforms. There were exceptions, though. The already mentioned volunteers of the British Legion Banastra Tarleton and the so-called Rangers of Her Majesty, who in 1776 were only infantry, but in 1780 received ... a hussar squadron of 30 people!


Her Majesty's Rangers. Horsemen ... like hussars (1-2), if you look at the headdress. But in all other respects, their uniforms were not at all hussars. Dragoons (3-4) had a more familiar shape. Figure: L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII-XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. 29

So the hussars in the American Revolutionary War fought on both sides, but in very small numbers. In addition to the British dragoons, the Hesse-Kassel jaegers, who performed the duties of mounted scouts, and the Braunschweig dragoons, or “dragoons princes of Ludwig”, who first arrived in Quebec and carried garrison service in Canada, and then fought with the colonists, also fought for the king. But there were also few of them: first 282, and then 312 people with 20 officers.


Braunschweig Dragoons 1776-1783 Note that the uniforms of both American and European soldiers were almost identical in cut. However, there were differences! American dragoons wore more "advanced" hats: leather and felt helmets with crests and visors, while those same Braunschweig dragoons still sported their old-fashioned bicorne hats. Figure: L. and F. Funkenov. "Wars on the American continent XVII-XIX", M .: Astrel / AST, 2003, p. 39

To be continued ...
Author:
Articles from this series:
Dragoons with "tails" and dragoons with hats
"National Horsemen" vs. Cuirassiers
Enemies of cuirassiers of the XNUMXth century
Cuirassiers and cuirasses of the Napoleonic wars
Cuirassiers in Russia: how it all began
Cuirassiers in battles and campaigns
Horse latniks back in service
Cuirassiers in museums
Friends and Enemies of Imperial Cuirassiers
Polish shells, Austrian hussars and Turkish fives
Enemies of the Cuirassiers
With whom the latniks of the emperor Maximilian fought?
“A small discovery in the butt of an arquebus ...”
Horsemen of the Eighty Years War
Horses and saddles of the XVI-XVII centuries
“By people and by horses, not by aer”
Ordonance companies
“It's a miracle if someone is killed with a spear”
Mounted Latniks Sunset
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  1. Kote Pan Kokhanka
    Kote Pan Kokhanka 15 August 2020 05: 42 New
    +7
    Vyacheslav Olegovich, thank you - made you happy!
    Regards, Vlad!
    1. kalibr
      15 August 2020 07: 14 New
      +4
      Glad you're glad!
  2. Kaetani
    Kaetani 15 August 2020 07: 26 New
    +4
    Many thanks. It's nice to discover the pages of history.
  3. Senior seaman
    Senior seaman 15 August 2020 14: 56 New
    +2
    For example, two famous Poles in Europe, Tadeusz Kosciuszko and Kazimir Pulaski, went to fight in America against the British together with the Marquis de La Fayette. Congress awarded him rank of brigadier general

    Him, who is this?
    Began to understand, the marquis was immediately accepted as a major general. Kosciuszko - colonel, only then promoted to the brigadier, and immediately to the brigadier - Pulawski - "the father of the American cavalry"
    1. kalibr
      15 August 2020 15: 46 New
      +3
      The second part of the novel "Three from Ensk" has been published on author.today. Continuation ... where heroes in America and fight in Spain ...
      1. Senior seaman
        Senior seaman 15 August 2020 17: 00 New
        +3
        I have seen:)))
    2. Catfish
      Catfish 15 August 2020 16: 00 New
      +2
      Ivan, hello and best wishes! hi
      Well, what about here without the Poles ... request
      What is interesting to me is that when the Poles once again went to fight "For our and your freedom and impatience" (so it seems?), At almost the same time, Imperial Russia sent its warships to the shores of America:
      “Mutual understanding with the President of the United States of America Abraham Lincoln was quickly found. This was facilitated to a large extent by the skillful and active work of the Russian naval attaché in the United States, Captain 1st Rank Stepan Stepanovich Lesovsky.
      On June 25, 1863, Emperor Alexander II signed the highest permission to send cruising squadrons to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans for operations on the trade routes of Great Britain in the event of the outbreak of hostilities. "(C)
      I wonder how all these Kostyushki and Pulavskys reacted to this - to have the Russian emperor-satrap as allies somehow not like a boy. wink
      1. Senior seaman
        Senior seaman 15 August 2020 17: 06 New
        +2
        Mutually.
        You know, I was more surprised when Poland was remembered among the liberators of Bulgaria. That is, on the one hand, of course, not a question. The Poles in the RIA served and fought, and not even badly.
        On the other hand, they served in our country by conscription, and at the call of the soul they fought on the completely different side, as part of the Polish legion in the Sultan's army. Here is such a squiggle turned out, as our first president said :)))
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 15 August 2020 17: 13 New
          +3
          Here is such a squiggle turned out, as our first president said :)))

          Yes, their whole story is one continuous squiggle. Nothing personal, just a side view.
      2. Astra wild
        Astra wild 15 August 2020 18: 54 New
        +2
        In this case, the world has gone crazy: Louis -16 creates a democratic America. And the Russian Tsar Alexander 3, from history I remember a negative character, protects against foreign interference.
        I'm wondering if Alexander III found out what the negroes are doing. Perhaps he would have supported the southerners?
        1. Catfish
          Catfish 15 August 2020 19: 31 New
          +2
          Vera love , I think that since two years before these events serfdom was abolished in Russia and the Emperor-Emperor, as an advanced monarch, supported any progressive undertaking in this regard. Although, for what reasons everything was actually done there - the devil only knows. request
          1. Astra wild
            Astra wild 16 August 2020 07: 34 New
            +1
            Konstantin, and you gave me an idea of ​​what Alexander could be guided by. In 1856, the Crimean War ended, and England and France were then our opponents, and Alexander could use this pretext to make the English byak
            1. Catfish
              Catfish 16 August 2020 08: 04 New
              0
              Suitable as an option for a personal relationship. smile
        2. saygon66
          saygon66 16 August 2020 21: 45 New
          +1
          "Emperor Alexander III as a negative character in the history of Russia." wink
          - Sounds like an essay theme in the Soviet school ... smile
          - He was a Conservative, not without it, but became a "reactionary" ... However, the time of his reign was a heyday for the Russian Empire. And what booze - so who is not without it?
  4. VIP
    VIP 15 August 2020 17: 29 New
    +4
    "even though he fought for the republic in America" ​​is illogical logic. Louis 16 took advantage of the moment to arrange a "goat's face" for the English: he sent the corps of the Marquis of Rochambeau to America.
    In fact, the monarch created a republic. If it were not for the old "love" of the French for the English, it would not have been known then the USA
  5. Astra wild
    Astra wild 15 August 2020 18: 59 New
    0
    Colleagues, who is Paul River and what is the reason for his jump?
    1. saygon66
      saygon66 16 August 2020 16: 52 New
      0
      - One cheerful American jeweler! wink
    2. kalibr
      16 August 2020 20: 37 New
      -1
      I went to warn fellow citizens: "The British are coming!" After that, detachments of minutemans quickly gathered and met them with shots. And so the war began.
    3. gsev
      gsev 17 August 2020 00: 31 New
      0
      Quote: Astra wild
      and who is Paul River and what is the reason for his jump?

      In the history of Russia, Ivan Susanin is apparently an equal person to Paul Rivera.
  6. Icelord
    Icelord 16 August 2020 08: 57 New
    0
    Quote: Astra wild
    In this case, the world has gone crazy: Louis -16 creates a democratic America. And the Russian Tsar Alexander 3, from history I remember a negative character, protects against foreign interference.
    I'm wondering if Alexander III found out what the negroes are doing. Perhaps he would have supported the southerners?


    Perhaps only this was Alexander the second
  7. saygon66
    saygon66 16 August 2020 16: 03 New
    0
    - A strange division ... Classic dragoons - soldiers who knew how to fight both on horseback and on foot ... and here horses are separate, people are separate! wink
    - And in general, the American cavalry was more "shooting" than "chopping" ...