Scottish Soldiers in Colonial America, Part Six


It was not until the mid-18th century that the British Government began to dispatch formal Scottish regiments–such as Fraser’s Highlanders, the Black Watch, and Montgomery’s Highlanders–to serve in America. The Seven Years War, 1756-1763, otherwise known in America as the French and Indian War, led to significant recruitment in Scotland, particularly in the Highlands, for service in America. The massive increase in immigration to America from the Highlands that occurred in the decade after the French and Indian War resulted to some extent from the influence of returning soldiers. The allocation of land to former personnel in the aftermath of the Seven Years War was also a major incentive.  A significant number of Scots who ultimately settled in the colonies were recruited in local militias–notably the Virginia Regiment, many of whom are noted in this volume.

In 1776, on the outbreak of the American Revolution, former soldiers who had received land grants were recalled for duty by the British Government. For example, former Scottish soldiers who had been settled on the Mohawk Valley joined the King’s Royal Regiment of New York. After the war large numbers of soldiers from former Loyalist units and from regular British Army regiments, including many Scots, were settled in what has become Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, and Quebec.

The War of 1812 revealed the military weakness along the borders of British North America with the United States. After the contemporaneous Napoleonic Wars, 1793 -1815, the British government strategically settled thousands of former British soldiers along the Canadian border.  Among the units involved was the Canadian Fencibles, a Highland militia raised in 1803 on the promise of settlement in Canada after the war–a promise that did not fully materialize.

This book, which identifies upwards of 2,000 Scottish combatants, their units, and places served in the Americas,  is based on primary and published source material located in Scotland, London, Canada, the United States, and the West Indies, and likely marks the final installment in this series.

David Dobson

2021, paper, 90 pp.

ISBN: 9780806359274