The history of the Prince Of Wales' American Regiment is presented in 7 parts. Click below to skip to:
Part 1 - Introduction & From Confinement to Commandant
A History of the Prince Of Wales' American Regiment - Part 7 of 7
At the end of their career, the regiment spent a peaceful year on Long Island in 1783. All those officers who had been absent in New York now either rejoined the regiment or were replaced by new ones. Even the ever absent Brigadier General BROWNE returned to the scene.
BROWNE had been recalled to England in 1780 and removed from his government in the Bahamas. Left with no appointment, he now zealously sought to have the PWAR placed upon the "American Establishment" which would guarantee half pay to the officers after the war and confirm their rank in America.
They had actually been recommended as early as 16 December 1780 by Captain Henry ROOKE, Deputy Inspector General of Provincial Forces.128 The request was angrily denied by Lord George GERMAIN, as the PWAR and some of the other corps recommended were well below strength at the time.129
In January of 1782 he memorialed Lord AMHERST directly for this honor, but again to no avail.130 He even took the extraordinary step of attempting to recruit his corps in Ireland, and apparently with some degree of success, but was forced to leave them behind when ordered on board the Renown for his voyage back to America in 1782.
By a coincidence, the regiment in Charlestown had been augmented by about fifty drafts from the Volunteers of Ireland when that corps was drafted in October of 1782.131 In the end, the matter of establishment mattered little, as Parliament voted most Provincial officers half pay on 27 June 1783.132
That settled, the only task left to the regiment was its disbandment and the settlement of its surviving officers and men in what was left of British North America. Twenty three sergeants and men opted to take their discharge in New York City on 3 September 1783, either from a desire to go home or to settle their affairs.133
One man not left around to supervise the end of the regiment was their commanding officer. BROWNE, his services in America at an end, was returning to England on 1 August 1783 on board a Royal Navy frigate, HMS Emerald, in company with Lt. Col. Andreas EMMERICK, the former commander of the Chasseurs from way back in 1777, and 93 men from the Ansbach–Bayreuth Regiment.134
On 12 September 1783, 173 officers and men, 28 servants, 68 women, and 61 children embarked for the River Saint John, Nova Scotia (modern New Brunswick).135 The corps was disbanded on 10 October 1783, and the men would start their new lives in the wilderness of the Maritimes.
Those who had survived the six years or seven years of service were few, but they could look back with some pride as to their services. They had lost their homes and property and many had lost relatives, but they could now start new lives under the government they had fought to preserve.
128 War Office 34/130/44–45.
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