PRINCE OF WALES AMERICAN REGIMENT
Prince of Wales American Regiment
From The Loyalists of New Brunswick by Esther Clark Wright
“… Philip Hierlihy – Former home Connecticut. Sgt. Prince of Wales American Regiment
From Loyalists in Arms by W. O. Raymond
A short account of the ‘Prov. Troops’ – otherwise known as British American regiments of Loyalist corps that served on the side of the King during the War of the American Revolution.
Excerpt from pages 193 to 195
“… The Prince of Wales American Regiment was formed about first of year 1777 and enlistments were continuously being made to replace the ‘non-effectives’. At the time of the muster of 15 November, 1779 the number of men that had enlisted in the corps was 613, but of these 74 were dead, 19 were ‘prisoners with the rebels’, 25 had taken their discharge, 30 had been transferred – probably to recruit the British regulars – and 113 are returned as deserters; total number of ‘non-effectives’ rank and file 261. At this time the strength of the corps, rank and file, was 352. If this was the experience of the Prince of Wales American Regiment when less than three years had passed since its inception, it may readily be believed that at the time of its maximum strength, the number present would not be more than half the total number of enlistments during the entire war period . . .
These two corps, it should be mentioned, have not been selected because the number of casualties was greater in them than in other regiments, but because their returns are sufficiently complete to make the deductions just given with little difficulty. It is only fair to add that the word ‘deserted’ did not mean that the deserters went over to the enemy, but that they retired from service without leave. Many men conceiving that they had fulfilled their term of enlistment at the expiration of two years, took French leave, and returned to their families; others, discouraged by the hardships and privations concerning which the death rate speaks volumes, did not remain so long; nevertheless many faithful fellows served through the whole war and at its close sought new homes under the British flag. It will be noted that in the case of Prince of Wales American Regiment and 2nd Battalion of New Jersey Volunteers, that when less than three years had elapsed since inception of the two corps, while there had been 1,021 men enlisted, 459 had been struck from rolls as non-effectives, leaving 562 on roll. In other words the non-effectives were 82% of those remaining on service.
A few words may now be said about recruiting grounds of the Loyalist regiments . . . In Rhode Island and Connecticut the Loyal element was much stronger than in Northern New England and many men enlisted in the Prince of Wales American Regiment, Queen’s Rangers, and King’s American Regiment, etc.”
Excerpt from Page 209
“… The Prince of Wales American Regiment was enlisted early in 1777 and under its gallant commander, Col. Montfort Browne, rendered good service in the southern campaign, particularly at the Battle of Hanging Rock, South Carolina where they materially assisted in the defeat of Col. Sumpter. At close of Revolution the corps received a grant of land on the St. John River below mouth of Keswick, including some of the islands. Among those of the corps well-known in our province’s history may be mentioned Lieut. Col. Gabriel De Veber, a native of New York, who was sheriff of Sunbury County and an active and useful member of society; Lieut. Monson Hoyt, who was actively employed in laying out and in settlement of Fredericton and afterwards engaged in business with General Benedict Arnold at St. John; Capt. Daniel Lyman, one of first members for York County in House of Assembly; Lieut. James Eccles and John Ness, who served in the King’s New Brunswick regiment and were respected and useful citizens in private life. The corps came to New Brunswick at the peace and were settled up the Keswick stream in Parish of Douglas, York County.”
Excerpt from Pages 220 to 227
Provincial Troops Serving In Revolutionary War 1775 – 1783
Tabulated Return Compiled from Muster Rolls
Name of Corps
Prince of Wales American Regiment
Brig. Gen. Montfort Browne
Mar. 25, 1777
Lt. Col. Timothy Hierlihy
Rates of Pay Per Diem – Currency Sterling
L1 10s 0d
Sergeant – Cavalry
Sergeant – Infantry
Private – Cavalry
Private – Infantry
“… Some of the regiments were provided with a band and all were properly uniformed. The uniform of the N.Y. Volunteers was red trimmed with blue, as was also that of the King’s American Regiment, Prince of Wales American Regiment, and some battalions of the N. J. Volunteers. The Highland Regiments wore kilts and had their pipes. Each important Loyalist regiment had a grenadier company and a light infantry company . . .
Extracts will be given from the memorial presented to Sir Guy Carleton, March 14, 1783 by the commanding officers of the provincial corps, in which they state:
Relying on the generous promises of their Sovereign and placing the fullest confidence in your Excellency’s benevolent interposition and favourable presentation of their faithful services, they are induced to ask: That grants of land may be made to them in His Majesty’s American Provinces, and that they may be assisted in making settlements, in order that they and their children may enjoy the benefit of British government. That some permanent provision may be made for such of the non-commissioned officers and privates as have been disabled from wounds, and for the widows and orphans of deceased officers and soldiers. That as a reward for their services the rank of the officers be made permanent in America and that they may all be entitled to half-pay upon the reduction of their regiments’.
List of Loyal or British American Regiments Serving in the Revolutionary War
Prince of Wales American Regiment
Roll of Officers – Prince of Wales American Regiment
Gabriel De Veber
Rev. George Panton
James A. Thomas
Robert Keating – Died 1781
James Holden – Died 1778
Note from Mary Lynn Smith:
- The above-mentioned officers comprise only part of the list which also includes Lieutenants, Second Lieutenants, Cornets, and Ensigns.
From The Winslow Papers Edited by W. O. Raymond
Letter from Gov. Montfort Browne to Edward Winslow
Flushing, 22nd June, 1777.
‘Sir, – I pay’d you a visit yesterday morning to acquaint you that your presence is much wanted at my head quarters in order to muster about eighty or ninety men which are part of those in whom I place particular confidence – it is possible I may receive many more ere your arrival here, as they only waited for Captain Hoyt’s armed sloop; Governor Wentworth wishes you would call upon him in your way hither as he purposes doing me the honor of a visit, and waits at home for that purpose. A Company of Gentlemen, each of good fortune, are in their way hither to joyn me, they decline pay, or any emolument whatsoever, some of them are already arrived, and all of my acquaintance. I shall request the General’s permission to put the all into one Company: such spirited conduct deserves Applause. I did intend writing on this subject to my worthy friend McKenzie, but upon second thoughts, suppose he wishes I would not trouble him with matters out of his line – I am in vast haste, Sir,’
Your most obed’t and most humble serv’t,
” …Montfort Browne was commander of the Loyalist corps called the Prince of Wales American Regiment, with rank of brigadier general. He was lieut. Gov. of West Florida in 1768 – 1769, and afterwards governor of the Bahamas.”
Letter from Lt. Col. Gabriel De Veber to Edward Winslow
St. Johns ye 14th Dec’r 1783.
‘… Sir, – Some time ago a Letter was given me directed to Lt. Col. Hulett or Officer Command’g the British American Corps on the River St. Johns wrote by Gen’l Fox’s Brigade Major. As Col. Hulett was not present I was induced to open the letter, wherein I found an order for Com’g officers of Corps to make returns for 165 days Bate and Forrage money, it having been granted by His Exc’y the Com’r in Chief, also another return of Officers with the Rank etc., etc. I immediately transmitted these orders to such officers as were here. I expect myself to come to Halifax, when I shall do myself the honor to wait on the General, mean time hope you’ll have the Goodness to mention to him the receipt of the above letter and what I have done in consequence thereof.
I am still here, where I have built a small House, for the present. I have not been up the River yet, indeed the block No. 11 which our Regiment has drawn is so far up that I am totally discouraged. The numerous family I have demands some attention to the Education of Children; at such a distance they never can hope for any, and I should think myself highly culpable, were I not to endeavor to settle nearer to the metropolis, or some place where I can attend to this necessary duty, I shall therefore leave no stone unturned in solliciting my friends to procure me if possible some lands near Halifax. Pass McQuody am told would be an Elligible Situation; if through your Interest I could be indulged to have a grant there sh’d think myself very happy, or any other place you thought would answer. Excuse the Liberty I take, your wish to serve with your very kind expressions to me and mine, have in some degree emboldened me to take this Liberty, and to think you’ll serve me if in your power, and you may rely that I shall ever retain a due sense of any favours or indulgences you may procure me. God knows my Losses have been great and my endeavors to forward the service, with my exertions as an officer, are in some measure known to you, and my zeal and attachment to Government, is I hope Generally known, therefore, when these are Considered I make no doubt they will induce you to do all you can to serve me.
I have ye honor to be Sr. Your most humble and most obedient servant,’
Gab. DeVeber, Lt. Col Pr. Wales Am. Reg.
From The Loyalist Provincial Corps by Robert S. Allen
Excerpt from Pages 11 to 16
“… In New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island, no Loyalist provincial corps was formed, but numerous individuals from these provinces enlisted. Many New Englanders filled the ranks of the Queen’s Rangers, the King’s American Regiment and the Prince of Wales American Regiment. Three major Loyalist provincial corps raised in 1775 were associated with Nova Scotia. In addition, 3 small units, Timothy Hierlihy’s Corps, the St. John’s Volunteers, and a part of the King’s Rangers, served in the defence of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Other New York corps of military significance included the Prince of Wales American Regiment … In order to raise Loyalist provincial corps quickly and to encourage recruitment, the British government provided various incentives. Influential and preferably wealthy loyal Americans were granted warrants to organize and command military regiments. As well, individuals were awarded commissions if they were able to muster sufficient men for a platoon, company or battalion. The officer classification ultimately depended upon the number of recruits collected by the individual. Recruits, who were to serve two years or ‘during the present war in North America’, received a bounty of money upon enlistment and the promise of a land grant following end of hostilities. Each Loyalist provincial corps was provided with uniforms and accoutrements, and was armed with the older Long Land tower musket or ‘Brown Bess’ …
Throughout the war various Loyalist provincial corps conducted desultory raids against the enemy in New York, New Jersey and along the New England coast. For a time in 1777, the central department became a divided command. In the successful Philadelphia campaign, The Queen’s Rangers were praised ‘for their spirited and gallant conduct’ at the Battle of Brandywine Creek on 11 September 1777. The following year the Prince of Wales American Regiment and the King’s American Regiment were part of the royal force that defeated a French and American rebel expedition at the Battle of Rhode Island on 29 August. The civil war and strife now became very bitter in the Carolinas. A premature gathering of loyal Americans to join the British invasion of North Carolina was frustrated in viscous fighting at Ramsour’s Mill on 20 June 1780. At Hanging Rock on 6 August 1780, the Prince of Wales American Regiment was nearly annihilated in a four hour battle. These Loyalists-in-arms became a ‘band of brothers’, who fought with skill and enterprise, and showed themselves to be ‘disciplined enthusiasts in the cause of their country’. With the creation of the United States, the officers and men of the Loyalist provincial corps faced new challenges. Many went on to combat the wildness of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Upper Canada.”
Excerpt from Pages 49 to 62
“… The basic weapon of the foot soldier on both sides of the colonial rebellion was the smooth-bore flintlock musket. By the 1770s there were many musket varieties and several innovations. An infantryman in line of battle was expected to load and fire four rounds a minute. At best his accuracy was limited to about 50 meters. Typically each side exchanged two or three volleys before the side with the advantage launched a bayonet charge, which was substantially more devastating than musket-fire. Though the traditional Amerindian war clubs continued to be used, iron-headed tomahawks and belt axes of European manufacture, which arrived with the Europeans in the 16th century, were more efficient weapons and well suited to war under North American conditions. They were used as late as the War of 1812, not only by Indians but also by Canadian irregulars during the French regime, Loyalist Provincial Corps, and light infantry units of the regular British army. The regular soldier of the period used cylindrical cartridges wrapped in paper. These he carried in a cartridge box, a block of hardwood with vertical holes, covered with leather. The box was held either over the right hip by a shoulder strap or in front on a waist belt. After the advent of cartridge boxes, the powder horn remained popular among civilians who joined the Loyalist Provincial Corps. The horn was easily obtainable from slaughtered cattle; it was light, strong and watertight. It was a popular pastime for owners to scrimshaw it, that is, inscribe designs, illustrations and names on their horns. The gorget, the last vestige of mediaeval armour was worn by 18th century officers as a symbol of rank. It hung about the neck on a ribbon. The 1768 warrant specified that the designation of the line regiments of the British Army was to be engraved on the gorget along with Royal Arms.”
From The Evacuations by Robert S. Allen
Excerpt from Page 62
“… New York was the key evacuation port for the loyal Americans. Between April and November 1783, five major fleets transported as many as 30,000 refugees to various locations in Nova Scotia, and to what later became the ‘Loyalist province’ of New Brunswick. The sea voyages were dangerous. One ship, the Martha, with the Maryland Loyalists and part of the 2nd Battalion of Delancey’s Brigade on board, was wrecked on a ledge of rocks at approaches of Bay of Fundy, and more than 100 perished.. Many of the Americans who did arrive safely were not overjoyed at the prospects.”
From Loyalist Military Settlement in New Brunswick by Wallace Brown
Excerpt from Pages 82 to 84
“… About half the New Brunswick Loyalists were disbanded soldiers and their dependents, representing about 20 of the 50 provincial corps formed during the war. They were known as ‘provincials’ to distinguish them from ‘civilian refugees’, but the difference is not always clear. Some civilians had served in regiments, and others, such as the Associated Loyalists, had fought in non-regimental units … almost all New Brunswick Loyalists, both refugees and provincials, were evacuated at government expense from new York and environs to the mouth of the St. John River. The Spring Fleet disembarked on May 18 and this remains the official anniversary of the Loyalist landing in the province. There was also a June Fleet and a Fall Fleet … Overwhelmed by his task and reluctant to promote a rival settlement, Nova Scotia Governor John Parr had done little to prepare the hamlets at the mouth of the St. John River for the large number of immigrants. Because transportation upstream was scarce and the land was not generally ready for settlement, most Loyalists spent winter around Carleton and Parrtown (Saint John). They huddled in spruce-covered tents and makeshift huts, exposed to bitter cold and suffering from lack of food. Quarreling and drunkenness were common, and deaths all too frequent …
The Prince of Wales American Regiment is best known for its engagement of General Thomas Sumter at Hanging Rock, South Carolina. The Regiment settled on the Keswick River and south of its confluence with the St. John. Lieutenant Munson Hoyt became a Fredericton pioneer, and Captain Daniel Lyman an early member of the assembly for York County. The New Brunswick provincials, like most Loyalists, faced ‘that permanent North American war, the war against the wilderness’. They received standard government aid: free land on the usual scale, and food, seed, tools, clothing, and other supplies for three years. Officers got half-pay, and all soldiers retained their arms and accoutrements; a few received compensation for losses suffered during the war, and fewer still gained government office. Opinions vary regarding their quality as pioneers. Some half-pay officers, partly because of their secure income, were deemed particularly successful farmers. Some observers praised the cohesion of the former military units. Others, however, found that ‘vice of every kind, incident of the camp … prevailed’, and bemoaned the ‘rum and idle habits contracted during the war’.”
From The Loyalist Tradition by Ann Gorman Condon
Excerpt from Page 113
“… The Loyalist military tradition did not end with the Revolutionary War. When the provincial regiments moved north, they brought with them their memories, their esprit de corps and their readiness to take up arms in defence of the Crown. Many Loyalists joined local militia units or provincial fencible regiments. A number recorded their wartime experiences in personal memoirs or in petitions submitted to the Loyalist Claims Commission to get compensation for their suffering and losses. These activities and records provided the foundation for an indigenous military tradition in Canada.”
From The Loyalists of New Brunswick by Esther Clark Wright
Excerpt from Page 4
“… From … 1776 – 1783 New York and Long Island were occupied by the British and were a place of refuge for those who were known for loyalty to the King..”
Excerpt from Pages 38 to 65
“… The Loyalists were aware that negotiations for peace were being carried on in Paris, but whether the terms of the peace would improve or worsen their situation they did not know. The articles of peace, for submission to the governments concerned, were signed on November 30, 1782 … Whether there was advance notice of terms of treaty, or whether it so happened that officers of provincial corps were able to get together a few days before official receipt of articles of peace is not clear. At any rate, on March 14, 1783, a memorial was drawn up and presented on behalf of Provincial Regiments by ‘B. Thompson, Lt. Col. Commandant King’s American Dragoons; Gab. D’Veber, Lt. Col., Commanding Prince of Wales American Regiment; John Coffin, Major, King’s American Regiment etc., etc’. … In August 22, 1783 Carleton wrote to Governor Parr to recommend the provincial troops to his Excellency’s protection and favour. Throughout September and October and into November the evacuation of the provincials, and civil departments, and the merchants, farmers and mechanics continued. The British and British American Regiments did not get away until the 15th although they were supposed to sail on September 3rd. They had to be picked up at various stations where they were encamped and redistributed according to the capacity of the vessels in which they were to sail for Nova Scotia. The embarkation return shows the magnitude of the undertaking.”
Excerpt from Pages 151 to 179
“… During the preparations for the evacuation of New York, it became apparent that there were two groups, the Refugees, many of whom belonged to the Associated Loyalists, and the Provincials. The distribution was made sharper by the circumstances of the evacuation and by the division of land on the St. John River. It is possible even today to hear a New Brunswicker state that his ancestor was not a Loyalist, but a soldier in the Prince of Wales American Regiment or some other Provincial Corps. Actually the lines were not so sharply drawn between the two groups … The agents of the disbanded corps, or the senior officers of each regiment in the province were to transmit without delay a roll containing the present state of the battalion, troop or company, enumerating the officers, non-commissioned officers and privates, their wives and children, by name, together with the place of their residence, that all at present in the province and unprovided for, might have their lands assigned them. By January, 1785, the regiments were so widely scattered that these rolls were not complete. Several fragmentary attempts at enumeration have survived.”
Excerpt from Pages 254 to 345
New Brunswick Loyalists – Service With Prince of Wales American Regiment
Clark (e), James (3)
Fredericton, N. B.
Miramichi, N. B.
Miramichi, N. B.
Miramichi, N. B.
Squire (s), Peter
York County, N. B.
Miramichi, N. B.
From The History of Central New Brunswick by L. M. B. Maxwell
Excerpt from Page 68
“… Below the grant to the Guides and Pioneers on the bank of the St. John at foot of Sugar Island, was a small grant to the Prince of Wales American Regiment. This regiment was raised in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Officers of the Prince of Wales Regiment who came to this region were: Lt. Col. Gabriel de Veber; Surgeons Robert Moody and ?; Quarter-master Monson Hayt; Captains Daniel Lyman, Andrew Maxwell and James Eccles; Ensigns John DeVeber, Joshua Ward and Oliver Peck.”