ABOUT THIS BOOK
Founded by the Legendary Robert Rogers and Later Led by John Graves Simcoe, a Loyalist Unit that Fought Alongside the British Army Against the American Patriots
Prior to the British attack on Long Island in August 1776, French and Indian War hero Robert Rogers organized a regiment to join the fight—but not on the side of his native New Hampshire. Named in honor of Queen Charlotte, the wife of King George III, Rogers’s regiment recruited the bulk of its soldiers from the large number of Loyalist refugees on Staten Island who had fled from New York. Rogers’s command of the unit was short-lived, however, after a humiliating defeat in late October by a surprise attack on his headquarters. Under new leadership, the unit played a decisive role and suffered heavy casualties at the battle of Brandywine that brought them their first favorable attention from the British high command. With this performance, and under the able leadership of John Graves Simcoe, the Queen’s American Rangers—sometimes known as “Simcoe’s Rangers”—were frequently assigned to serve alongside British regular troops in many battles, including Monmouth, Springfield, Charleston, and Yorktown. Receiving frequent high praise from Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton, the Commander in Chief of the British Army in America, the unit was placed on the American Establishment of the British Army in May 1779, a status conferred on provincial units that had performed valuable services during the war, and was renamed the 1st American Regiment. Before the end of the war, the rangers were fully incorporated into the British regular army, one of only four Loyalist units to be so honored.
The Queen’s American Rangers by historian Donald J. Gara is the first book-length account of this storied unit. Based on extensive primary source research, the book traces the complete movements, command changes, and battle performances of the rangers, from their first muster to their formal incorporation into the British Army and ultimate emigration to Canada on land grants conferred by a grateful British crown.