Author Topic: 63rd of Foot and the American War of Independence  (Read 6144 times)

Offline themonsstar

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,450
63rd of Foot and the American War of Independence
« on: October 27, 2012, 01:26:02 PM »
The period I'm looking at is 1775-1781 when the 63rd of Foot was on campaign in the American War of Independence.  Other then "The Manchester Regiment, Wylly, Vol.I 1756-1882 there isn't much written about the 63rd of Foot, so I've decided to look at the bigger picture of the campaign and read other servicemen's accounts of the campaign.

John Peebles' American war 1776 - 1782 published by Army Records Society ISBN 0 7509 1791 1.

John Pebbles served as an officer with the Grenadier company of the 42nd or Royal Highland regiment (Black Watch) for nearly the whole of the war for American independence. Like many officers he kept a diary and describing principal engagements and campaigns: but Pebbles did far more then describe great events.  Longer and more persistent than any British diarist of the American war, he recorded the details of army life, details that help explain what made the army formidable through a long, frustrating war: the realistic observance of Royal anniversaries, national and religious holidays, and British victories that reminded officers and men of common obligations and achievements; the pursuit of pleasure and recreation that helped form and sustain friendships within the officer corps; and the regular exchange of correspondence which kept up morale and morals.

The diary of Frederick McKenzie giving a daily narrative of his military service as an officer of the Regiment of Royal Welch Fusiliers.  During the years 1775-1781 in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York.

Published by Harvard University press  library of Congress number 67-29038. 1930.

For some extremely good maps of the campaign I looked at the book by Rand McNally

Atlas of the American Revolution
printed in the United States of America library of Congress catalogue number 74-6976 , Second printing 1975.

There is another book which I will mention is the journal of Cpl William Todd 1745-1762 is a remarkable rare other ranks record from a period when most common soldiers were illiterate. I picked this one to give an insight into what it was like serving in the British Army in the same period when the 63rd Foot was being formed.

Cpl William Todd served in the associated companies of the East Ridings of Yorkshire during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 and then in the regular Army, in Loudoun's  30th Foot and Napier's 12th Foot from 1749.

Due to his good fortune in being brought up in a parish endowed with a school for poor children he was both literate and numerate to a degree quite unexpected in a soldier of the 18th century British Army.
Allied to these skills Todd exhibits a curiosity and a power of observation that brings his experience to life in a way quite unlike any other military journal of this period.
Todd's service commenced in the 'Yorkshire Blues' and he retired as a Chelsea out-pensioner in 1763. His narrative gives not only a record of what he's Regiments were doing,but his own views on his fellow soldiers, his officers and the countries, Ireland, England, France and Germany in which he served.
His intelligence and powers of observation.  Make him an extraordinary chronicler of his time.

Offline sphinx

  • ****
  • Posts: 1,231
Re: 63rd of Foot and the American War of Independence
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2012, 01:50:42 PM »

Dont forget "The History of the Late 63rd, West Suffolk, Regiment" by James Slack.  1884.

A lot of the information that Wylly used is from that source.


Offline themonsstar

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 3,450
Re: 63rd of Foot and the American War of Independence
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2012, 04:59:57 PM »
I forgot about Maj Slack's book, I'm looking at the bigger picture of the campaign.

Cheers Sphinx
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 11:15:55 AM by themonsstar »

Offline kingo

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,267
Re: 63rd of Foot and the American War of Independence
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2012, 05:05:52 PM »
Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.