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"Queens Rangers mounted element." Topic

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Minenfeld23 Dec 2012 5:45 p.m. PST

Anyone know the unit strength of the mounted element of the Rangers? All the references I come across in OOBs combine the foot and mounted. Thanks in advance.

spontoon23 Dec 2012 7:17 p.m. PST

As far as I can find there was one "troop". What ever a troop's strength was at that time. Mind you, there were NOT both Hussars and Light Dragoons. The Light Dragoon dressed troop became the " hussar " dressed troop by changing their hats when they found the helmets made them be mistaken for Rebel cavlary.

I have six figures for mine, because that suits the rules I use.

unfashionabledc24 Dec 2012 11:22 a.m. PST

Spontoon has it wrong – the hussars were the first cavalry element, and then three troops of dragoons (dressed in much the same fashion as the British Legion cavalry) were raised later (two being absorbed post Yorktown into the KAD IIRC). SM provides further details half way down this thread:
TMP link

I have some detailed OOBs and can look them up if no one else beats me to it.

spontoon26 Dec 2012 11:53 a.m. PST

Supercilius Maximus might be under the influence of the "history" of the Queen's Rangers written by Stuart Bull which attempts to create a continuous line between today's Queen's York Rangers and Simcoe's rangers and Roger's Rangers.

Why today's regiment would want to be linked in anyway to Robert Rogers is beyond me. He was a liar, and embezzler,shameless self-promoter, con-man a xenophobe, cashiered from the army, tried for crimes ranging from embezzlement to cannibalism by way of statutory rape. He ended his days as a drunkard. His brother James was a far more effective commander and recruiter.

If it wasn't for Kenneth Roberts' novel I'm sure history would have forgotten him by now.

There are some quite distinct errors in S.M.'s timeline. The Highland company was the last raised. In the south. Might be some confusion there due to Allan MacNab claiming they were raised earlier and that they wore MacNab tartan kilts. He was head of the legislative council of Upper Canada in the 1830's and had delusions of grandeur which had to be bolstered by embellishing his service in the Queen's Ranger's in his youth. He actually joined quite late and was little more than a youth doing on-the-job training. If the Highland company wore tartan at all it would be Government tartan from the stores of the 71st.

There WERE rifle armed companies, as the Queen's Rangers absorbed a number of small Loyalist units from the New York area. However, they were quite small and might have been spread amongst the other companies.

The Hussar cap WAS adopted after being shot at by their own pickets in the southern campaign. By that time there was only one mounted troop, due to a lack of horseflesh.

Simcoe's rangers during his stint as Lieut. Governor of Upper Canada were not raised from loyalists in the province. They travelled with him from England and were recruited from Swiss and German troops amongst Emigre regiments. The only Loyalists there would be were amongst the officers. He brought with him 17 commissions and warrants. Most of these were granted to former officers of the AWI regiment, or their sons.

Also they did not " build " Yonge st. in Toronto all the way to lake Simcoe. Only about 5 km from Lake Ontario northward. It didn't reach lake Simcoe 'til the 1850's.

This body of troops were not known as " the Queen's Rangers", simply as "Simcoe's rangers at York". They were not a British Army unit, merely a small battalion as the Lieut. Governor's guard.

The furthest back today's Queen's York Rangers can truly trace their lineage is to Button's Troop of Militia Cavalry raised to patrol the province during the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada. If I were the U.S. Army I would take great offence at the QYR for using the badge of the 1st. American Regiment, Queen's Rangers from the AWI. Many of their exploits in the south bear close resemblance to the ethnic cleansing in today's Balkans!

By the way, I live in Toronto, have had close dealings with the QYR, and have spent a great deal of time over the years in the Toronto Reference Library reading and researching Simcoe's and Lady Simcoe's diaries concerning the period and the rangers.

imithe26 Dec 2012 2:08 p.m. PST

Might be some confusion there due to Allan MacNab claiming they were raised earlier and that they wore MacNab tartan kilts. He was head of the legislative council of Upper Canada in the 1830's and had delusions of grandeur which had to be bolstered by embellishing his service in the Queen's Ranger's in his youth. He actually joined quite late and was little more than a youth doing on-the-job training.

Seeing as that particular McNab you've just mentioned wasn't born until 19 February 1798, any American service he may have seen in the Queen's Rangers would be quite a spectacular achievement in itself and probably wouldn't require any embellishment.

Mapleleaf26 Dec 2012 10:35 p.m. PST

Allan Napier MacNab was the one born in 1798 and later became the Premier of Canada West. His father also called Allan MacNab was a lieutenant in the 71st Regiment and the Queen's Rangers under Lt-Col. John Graves Simcoe.

Allan Napier reportdly had a distinguished combat record inthe ar of 1812and this is probably the service Spontoon refers to

From Wiki: As a fourteen-year-old boy he fought in the War of 1812. He probably served at York and also certainly as the point man in the Canadian forlorn hope that headed the Anglo-Canadian assault on Fort Niagara. The 20 local men eliminated two American pickets of 20 men each with the bayonet before taking part in the final assault (Captain Kerby of the Incorporated Militia Battalion was reportedly the first man into the fort)


As to the "ethnic cleansing" charge it was a ugly war and their actions were similar to those of the "Rebel" forces in cleaning areas of Loyalists and particularly against the Six Nations in Upper New York where Washington was called
"Conotocaurious (Town Destroyer)"

spontoon27 Dec 2012 10:45 p.m. PST

Sorry, I got carried away with my own rant. I was in fact referring to Allan NAPIER Macnab's father ( also head of the legislative COUNCIL of Upper Canada, not Premier.) This stems from the confusing habit of the Scots of recycling names. My own family have been Donald and Duncan in alternate generations since we got off The Ark. Can't find out A.N.MacNab's dad's middle name, if any. One of the causes of the 1837 rebellion in Upper Canada WAS the passing of public offices within families, after all.

There is a portrait of A.N. MacNab's dad reputing to be of him in the uniform of the Queen's Rangers Highland company, but rather napoleonic in cut, wearing MacNab tartan ( not in existence in the 1780's) and a fully feathered bonnet that would not be out of place at Waterloo!

Regarding the burning of the Six Nations villages, was that not Clinton's work? Washington, of course could be held ultimately responsible.

Supercilius Maximus30 Dec 2012 7:07 p.m. PST

Just like to point out that none of my info was taken from Bull's history of the later unit, for the simple reason that I had until now never heard of it. Most of it comes from Todd Braisted's excellent site on the Provincial units of the AWI and the late Gary Corrado's research on the unit, as well as Simcoe's journal (which from memory is where the mention of the highland company being formed in 1777 comes from, as does the incident of the hussar trooper being shot by a jaeger because he was wearing a captured American helmet; both are, IIRC, listed as happening during the Philadelphia campaign).

The point of my post in the link was to make it clear to folk that the old view that the QR was "substantially" a rifle unit ie that was how the "centre" companies were armed was wrong and was due to a mistake by Lefferts in linking the AWI unit with the later re-formed regiment from the "Napoleonic" period (which was rifle-armed).

The NY rifle-armed Loyalist companies you refer to were mainly mounted units (popular for work between the Lines outside NYC) and hence were absorbed into the second of the three "light dragoon" troops rather than into a distinct rifle sub-unit. In fact, this troop – along with the third being raised in and around Charleston, SC – never saw service in the field; the only riflemen with the QRs there were Sgt McPherson's platoon of 12-16 men, most likely drawn from either the Light and Highland companies (the latter being considered a second light company), or from the best shots in the 8 centre companies, as was commonly done with "marksmen" in British line battalions at the time. This detachment was known to be mounted, as McPherson was killed leading them in a charge alongside the hussar troop at Spencer's Ordinary in June 1781. There were certainly two distinct mounted units – one troop of hussars and one of light dragoons – under Simcoe at this time, although they may have merged by the time of Yorktown due to horse losses.

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