East Florida Rangers
Governor TONYN’s Instructions and Orders to the Officers of the Rangers dated St. Augustine the 30th January 1777.
To the Officers of the Rangers Lieutenants MOORE, WILLIAMS, YORK, PHILIPS, JEFFERSON and HALL.
You are hereby directed immediately to join with all the Rangers His Majestys Troops under the Command of the Officers appointed, and conduct them into the rebellious Province Georgia by such rout as will best answer the intended Service,
you are all to be particularly attentive to inform the Officers of the King’s Troops of the Roads, Swamps and Bay Gawles, Passes, Creeks, Rivers, Fords, and the places most accessible to pass the Creeks, and Rivers by Rafts, or other industrious means and you must describe to the Officers the Courses the Creeks and Rivers make up the Country, and give all the information in your power of the face of the Country, the Rebel Posts, and Stations, and where it may be possible for the Enemy to have concealed Posts or Stations.
You are to be very circumspect wherever the Troops march in viewing the Country to discover the Rebel Enemies, that no Surprise may happen from a concealed Ambush.
As you are on horses it will be your duty to advance on Front, and on the Flanks of the King’s Troops to watch and descry the Rebels, and upon any thing extraordinary being observed you are quietly to let the Officers know it, without hurry or impatience and to guard against Flurry, preserving a reserve of firmness within your own Breasts and a steady Countenance.
When you have given the Officers a comprehensive knowledge of the Country you are daily, to march through you will give them perfect notions of the Places to Camp on, and the Country adjacent to, and surrounding those spots.
You are to pay the greatest attention, that the Rangers and Indians together provide fresh meat either Venison or Beef at each Camp for the Troops, Rangers and Indians, and You are to acquaint the Officers of those places which have deposits of Rice, or where Corn may be hid.
You will also be very attentive to act as Conductors and Guides to the Troops never leaving the Officers without two or three of the Rangers being present with them, that are capable to conduct them on the Rout.
Upon all occasions, and at all times you must consult and follow the Commands of the Officers, and when you have given them all the information you can according to such circumstances as may occur implicitly follow what they point out to be done, as none of you are sufficiently instructed in military movements to form a night Judgment of the motions which may be requisite to make to attain to a particular Object, and the Officers can only be the proper Judges of these movements, and their reasons for Adopting such measures.
Your Service on this occasion is to cooperate in all cases, and in all events in conjunction with his Majestys Troops doing your utmost in all Attacks against his Majestys Enemies, and you will conduct the Troops to such places within the Rebel Province of Georgia as may be best situated to support and maintain the Rangers and Indians in collecting and bringing away with the utmost dispatch a large number of Cattle for the use of this Province and Garrison, which places I conceive to be from the intelligence I have, and from your own reports on Satilla River, and from thence to the Altamaha.
As you have a perfect knowledge of the Country, and know the best ranges for Cattle, and where they are in the greatest plenty, you will therefore conduct this Corps to those places where the most Cattle may be easiest got, and where there is the least hazard to be interrupted in the execution of this Service.
It is an incumbent duty in you all to preserve harmony and a friendly intercourse in this Corps, that the King’s Troops Rangers and Indians may act uniformly with the same Spirit for the good of His Majestys Service, and that the same Ambition may invigorate the whole Corps.
It is not to be supposed the Rebels will act so dastardly as tamely to submit to let the Cattle be drove away without attempting to prevent it you are therefore to expect they will endeavour to harrass the Corps, and may also attack it.
Wherefore it is necessary that the greatest Alacrity be kept up, that the whole Corps may be constantly ready to sustain any Attack, and that it be particularly observed to preserve such Order, and measures as will most easily facilitate a junction at all times with the whole Corps upon this head you must strictly and most earnestly pay the nicest attention to the directions of the Officers of the King’s Troops, and be most assiduously vigilant to guard against all Surprises.
For doing all which this is your Authority,
(Signed) Pat: TONYN
Great Britain, Public Record Office, Colonial Office, Class 5, Volume 557, pages 325-328.
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