Friday, 8 May 2009

Queen's Rangers brief history


Many Loyalist regiments were raised at the beginning of the AWI. The regiment in question here was the Queen's Rangers which was named after Queen Charlotte, wife to George III.
Anyone unfamiliar with the Queen's Rangers would certainly not be unfamiliar with the gentleman who raised it, a certain Robert Rogers, still basking in the glory from the French and Indian War. The good times weren't to last, however and Rogers parted company with the regiment in 1777. After the war, he went to London where he died a pauper.
The regiment was mostly raised from loyalists in Westchester, Long Island and western Connecticut.
In the North, the regiment saw action at Mamaroneck, Brandywine and Germantown where they suffered sunstantial losses.
Their most succesful commander, John Graves Simcoe was very popular and saw them through the rest of the war finally seeing them surrender with the rest of the troops at Yorktown. In happier days with the regiment he lead them through the Philadelphia campaign saw action in New York State and New Jersey.
The period which most interests me is after this when they ventured further south with Benedict Arnold, raiding Richmond and Charlestown. Fighting as reconnaisance and outpost troops, they were never defeated in battle.
When the surrendered at Yorktown with the rest of the army their Colours were smuggled away and not handed over as they were supposed to be.
The modern day descendents of the Queen's Rangers reside in Toronto and the Yorktown Colours can still be seen there in the officers mess. The Rangers participated in the building of York (modern day Toronto) and Shaw, McGill and Jarvis Streets are all named after Queen's officers.