Claims and Memorials
To the Commissioners appointed by Act of
Parliament for enquiring into the Losses &
Services of the American Loyalists
The Memorial of Lt. Col. J. H. CRUGER
That your Memorialist before the American troubles commenced, had the Honor of being one of His Majestys Council for the province of New York and was Chamberlain of the City of New York where he resided and where he was well established in Business.
That altho after Hostilities were commenced in 1775 the proceedings against the Kings friends became more and more threatning yet your Memorialist remained in the City of New York from a hope that he might in some measure counteract the designs of the factious by his influence as an Officer of Government and that he might be ready to seize any Occasion that should offer to make himself useful, nor did he leave the City untill ill Government, and order were totally subverted, & his person in imminent danger.
That in June 1776, he was compelled to fly to Long Island and in order to elude the pursuits of parties sent out to apprehend him and others of the Kings Friends, was obliged to take refuge in woods and swamps where he suffered extreme hardships untill the Arrival of the Kings Troops on Long Island in August 1776. He then immediately joined the Army and made a tender of his Services to the Commander in Chief.
That on the 8th Sepr. 1776, he had the honor of receiving a Lieut. Cols. Commission from General HOWE and was appointed to the Command of the first Battalion of Br. Gl. DELANCEYs Brigade, then to be raised. In the succeeding November he was ordered on Command to an advanced post on Long Island and continued on constant out duty in the province of New York (part of the time under the Command of Genl. TRYON) untill his Batallion was ordered for Embarkation.
That in November 1778 he sailed with the Troops under the Command of Lieut. Col: CAMPBELL, for Georgia; at the Capture of which he was present and continued on a variety of duty throughout the province till he with his Batallion was ordered by General PREVOST into Savannah, just before it was besieged by the Combined force of France and America and for the whole of the Siege was honor’d by the Commanding Officer with a very important post in the Line.
In June 1780 Lord CORNWALLIS Commanding in the Southern District ordered your Memorialist with his Battn. and three other Regts. to take post so as to Cover the frontiers of Georgia and South Carolina which he did with such good effect, as to establish the tranquility of the Country this continued untill Sepr. following when a Body of Rebells consisting of between 1000 and 1200 Men composed Chiefly of fugitives from South Carolina and Georgia made a descent from the Mountains and attacked Augusta 130 miles above Savannah and 55 from your Memorialists post in South Carolina.
The Critical Situation of that time not only of Augusta but of the whole province of Georgia, the rapid movements for its relief the raising the Siege of Augusta as well as driving the Enemy totally out of the province of Georgia by a pursiut of 60 Miles in consequence of which good order and Government were once more established in the province as a Circumstance which can be fully explained by his Excellency Sir James WRIGHT and Lieut. Govr. GRAHAM and for your Memorialists Conduct at that time he begs leave to refer to two Letters from Earl CORNWALLIS herewith delivered.
That in order to derive proper advantages form this successful replusion of the Rebels your Memorialist used freuqent endeavours to conciliate the minds of the Inhabitants by personally going through the Country and so far reconciled the disaffected that with the greatest approbation of all Description of people Commissions of the peace were issued out to principal persons throughout the Country, who continued to Act under them untill the approach of Genl. Green with a numerous Army in April 1781.
That on the 22d May 1781 Your Memorialists post of 96 was invested by Genl. Green with an army of between 4 and 5000 Men and a Train of Artillery, the Garrison consisting of about 300 Soldiers and 150 Militia in rather a Defenceless Situation.
The Enemy Confident in their Numbers and flushed with the Conquest of 5 Successive posts made a peremptory demand of the immediate Surrender of the Garrison the refusal of which Caused a heavy Cannonade from them which continued with every other exertion on their part and not less on the part of the besieged untill they were relieved by Lord RAWDON the 19th June.
If your Memorialist has any merit in extricating himself from the difficultys he was incompessed with and in saving the post of 96 he is confident he will receive it from Lord CORNWALLIS and Lord RAWDON; and he also begs leave to refer to Col. BALFOUR with whom as Commandant of Charles Town he more immediately corresponded during his Command at 96 and who was ultimately acquainted with the very great difficultys of procuring provisions and other requisites for forming a Magazine, at so remote a post to withstand a regular Siege.
When Lord RAWDON returned to Charles Town he left your Memorialist a very respectable Command with which he remained in the district of 96 untill he was ordered to join his Lordship at Orangeburgh from which place he marched with Col. STEWART in pursuit of Genl. Green untill the sickness which prevailed among the Troops in consequence of the inclemency of the Season compel’d them to retire towards Charles Town.
And in the Action of the Eutaw Springs the 8th Sept. 1781 Your Memorialist was second in Command to the success of which day he presumes to think he had some share in Contributing. For his conduct in the conclusion of the Campaign 1781 when he had the Command of an advanced post at Stono untill the Month of Decr. he begs leave to refer to Genl. LESLIE.
That in the Summer of 1782 when all offensive operations had ceased, he obtained the Commander in Chiefs permission to return to New York for the benefit of his health in which he had suffered very Considerably having been near 4 years upon constant and severe duty exposed to an unwholesome Climate in Georgia and South Carolina.
That circumstanced as your Memorialist is banished from his Native Country, his person attainted and his fortune confiscated, by an Act of the State of New York passed in November 1779 he humbly hopes that this detail of his Services will be viewed with a candid and indulgent Eye, and with respect to his general Character as an Officer, he begs leave in Addition to the particular references he has made above, to call your Attention to two Letters of Sir Guy CARLETON to Lord NORTH at the Secretary at War with Copies of which they have been pleased to favor him.
Nevertheless disposed as he is to quit this Subject he is bound in Honor and Justice to Declare on behalf of his Battalion that in the most arduous Situations, and under Circumstances the most trying, they never fail’d to manifest an ardent Zeal for their King and Country, a perfect Subordination in Garrison and the most chearful Alacrity in the field and it is a Testimony he cannot with hold from them, that when ever they have been called into Action they have fought with success.
Their numbers raised from time to time, since the Commencement of the Corps, have amounted to upwards of 800 Men, 300 of whom have been expended in the provinces of Georgia and South Carolina.
That Your Memorialist being deprived of his property his Office of Chamberlain and a profitable Establishment in Business in consequence of his Loyalty and the part he took in the Royal Cause, humbly prays that his Case my be taken into Consideration, that under your Report he may Receive such Aid or Relief as it shall be found to merit.
J: H: CRUGER
Feby. 9th 1784
Great Britain, Public Record Office, Audit Office, Class 12, Volume 20, folios 142-145.
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