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Loyalist Muster Rolls
One of the last Provincial regiments raised during the war, the King’s American Dragoons is also one of the best remembered due to its famous commander, Benjamin THOMPSON.
This corps was proposed in 1780 as a New England cavalry unit to be commanded by the old French and Indian War general, Timothy RUGGLES. THOMPSON, a much younger man who was well connected, was eventually thought to be a better choice and given the command of the new regiment.
Many of its officers had served in the ranks of Governor Wentworth’s Volunteers. They and others were among the most elite of Loyalist society.
The regiment paid the highest bounty of any Loyalist regiment raised during the war, allowing it to complete to its establishment even after the surrender of CORNWALLIS and his army at Yorktown.
Despite the high discipline of the corps, its uniformity and thorough training, it never served in any battle or skirmish of the war.
THOMPSON and his adjutant served in several skirmishes outside of Charlestown and five dragoons were taken prisoner in a regimental hospital on Long Island, but that is the extent of their combat.
In addition to new recruits, the corps also received drafts from such units as the Loyal New Englanders, the Volunteers of New England, Governor Wentworth’s Volunteers and Stewart’s Troop of Light Dragoons.
The regiment was organized into six troops, with attached light artillery. Not all of the men were mounted, as was common in cavalry units of the time.
The rolls for the unit date from 1781 through 1783. The majority are in the National Archives of Canada, RG 8, “C” Series, Volume 1901.
The rolls presented below though are different, found among the Headquarters Papers of the British Army in America, PRO 30/55 in the Public Record Office in England.
These are the only rolls of the regiment in that collection and represent the time just prior to the regiment receiving its colors from Prince William Henry.
To read more about this unit, please see the Regimental History of the King's American Dragoons.
Captain John Fulton's Troop, 4 August 1782
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The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies