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"Bushy Run OB" Topic


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42flanker22 Jan 2019 3:58 a.m. PST

Greetings all. I should be grateful for direction to a reliable Order of Battle for the British column at Bushy Run 1763

historygamer22 Jan 2019 6:36 p.m. PST

According to Stephen Brunwell, Bouquet's forces numbered around 500 men, consisting of remnants of the 42nd and 77th regiments of Highlanders, plus a handful of 1/60th, along with some rangers. IIRC, the force was predominantly Highland. Whether the Highlanders were wearing kilts vs breeches and wool leggins is a good question. I'm looking for my old, small Bushy Run booklet.

Remember, at this point there wasn't much left of the British Army in North America, thus Bouquet really was working with the leftovers.

historygamer22 Jan 2019 7:07 p.m. PST

Based on the Bouquet Papers, near I can tell there were 7 hat companies, three Light companies, one of grenadiers, and a ranger contingent. Two of the Light Companies would be from the 42nd, the other likely from the 77th. The grenadiers were from the 42nd. IIRC, there were only a handful of 60th present.

The 42nd suffered 25 killed, 27 wounded. The 60th suffered 6 killed, 4 wounded, the 77th (also a small contingent) suffered 5 killed and 7 wounded. The volunteers, rangers, and pack horse men suffered 7 killed, 8 wounded, and 5 missing. One captain was killed (42nd), 1 wounded (42nd), two Lieutenants killed (42nd, ranger), 3 wounded (42nd, 60th, and 77th). It appears that Major Campbell was Bouquet's second. I am guessing that Major Campbell is Major Allan Campbell of the 42nd, commissioned 15 August, 1762. All of the regiments were under strength and would shortly be reduced in size.

42flanker23 Jan 2019 1:20 a.m. PST

Thank you Hg for those points, and for pointing me to the Bouquet Papers, which I have located at hathitrust.
link

My interest is in the size of the 60th Royal Americans detachment with Bouquet's column. The proportion of casualties suffered by each regiment at Bushy Run may indicate the relative size of each detachment, though not conclusively.

I see in Bouquet's letter to Amherst of 5th August (Vol 17, p.210), when describing casualties suffered in the day's fighting, he reports:
"Of the R.A.R. Lieut Dow shot through the body,&, out of 16 men in the whole, seven killed & three wounded."

That appears to be a fairly clear statement that there were only 16 or 17 men in the detachment of the 60th.

That general figure would seem to be confirmed by Bouquet's order to Capt Lieut Ralph Philllps dated 'Fort Pitt 30th September 1763 [p.236]

"You are to march to morrow with Lieut Baillie and Ensign Price, Six sergeants, Three Drummers, Six Corporals and Eighteen Private Soldiers of the first Battn of the 60th
Regiment and proceed without delay to Philadelphia."

link

-which gives a total of 36 officers and men (including Phillips) in the detachment of the 60th departing Fort Pitt.

How many of that total represented part of Ecuyer's garrison before Bouquet's column arrived, I am not sure.

Any thoughts?

historygamer23 Jan 2019 7:37 a.m. PST

Sorry 42nd, I didn't realize it was you I was responding to, not that it mattered. I always enjoy our info sharing. :-)

The 60th detachment was small as the 1st Battalion (they were soon into the process of reducing the regiment) was garrisoned all over the frontier. In short, there were few extra 60th to put into the field.

IIRC, even the Highlanders were kind of scraped together. Also, IIRC, the 77th had been, or would soon be, folding into the 78th, which was later stood down as well.

I'll see later if I can find numbers on the garrison, but it too was amall, and a good portion of the fort had been washed away in the spring flooding. Eventually the Crown got tired of rebuilding the oft flooded Fort Pitt and gave it up. It was the largest fortification built in North American, IIRC, had over 2 million bricks, and was meant to stand up to a form siege. Funny thing is that, like Fort Ti, a close by hill towered over the fort (present day Mt. Washington) and would have made the post vulnerable to artillery fire.

I volunteered at Fort Pitt Museum for many years and gave many a talk and tour there. :-)

One oddity about the Fort, all the guns there were bronze.

42flanker23 Jan 2019 11:24 a.m. PST

I hadn't intended to post incognito. Obviously, I should have lowered my hood while typing. Bad manners, really.

Bouquet's letters relay orders to Major Campbell that the 42nd was to be reduced on returning to the settlements, with most soldiers of the 77th being drafted to the 42nd to make up the vacancies left by Royal Highlanders whose enlistments had expired.

I now realise that I made an assumption that Capt. Lieutenant Phillips' detachment of 1/60th departing for Philadelphia represented all the men of the 'R.A.R' at Fort Pitt. Perhaps that is incorrect.

Still, as far as Bushy Run is concerned, we still have Bouquet's figure of 16 men of the 60th representing 'the whole' of the 'R.A.R' detachment with his column.

It does go in the face of 60th/K.R.R.C. tradition that their involvement at Bushy Run was decisive and "proved its mastery of forest warfare under Bouquets leadership."

However, I have just come across an unsourced reference in a Masters thesis from 1997 to five companies of the 1st Bn. 60th (reinforced with men from the 2nd Bn) being with Bouquet. Where that might have come from I don't know. The author's account of the decisive manoeuvre is pretty off, so maybe he shouldn't be taken too seriously.

42flanker23 Jan 2019 2:40 p.m. PST

Further to my last, I came upon this detailed study of the 'Numbers and Tactics at Bushy Run,' by Don Daudelin
from The Western Pennsylvania Historical Magazine, Vol. 68, No. 2 (April 1985)- which I see was mentioned in an earlier discussion of Bushy Run back in 2010 (The TMP search engine grinds slow but exceeding fine).

The article is a little muddy in places but it seems that in the end he favours the lower number for the 60th as mentioned by Bouquet.

link

historygamer24 Jan 2019 5:22 a.m. PST

"Still, as far as Bushy Run is concerned, we still have Bouquet's figure of 16 men of the 60th representing 'the whole' of the 'R.A.R' detachment with his column."

Likely, that number is correct. There were few extra 60th roaming about as most/all were in garrison.

"It does go in the face of 60th/K.R.R.C. tradition that their involvement at Bushy Run was decisive and "proved its mastery of forest warfare under Bouquets leadership."

Pure fantasy. The 60th (pick your battalion, as there were four) was a run of the mill line regiment with the same experiences as most serving on the frontier. Their competency for frontier fighting (along with that of the 77th) can perhaps be judged by their performance at Grant's Hill. Not that good. Of course Grant was a boob, so that didn't help. It should be noted that following the the Battle of Grant's Hill, the Captain leading the plussed-up 60th detachment – Landers – offered to resign. Grant, on the other hand, asked if being captured would hurt his chances at promotion. Too funny.

" have just come across an unsourced reference in a Masters thesis from 1997 to five companies of the 1st Bn. 60th (reinforced with men from the 2nd Bn)"

Wow, is that a load of horse hockey. The most (Lt. Col) Bouquet had with him on the Forbes Campaign was four companies in 1758. Col Stanwix (CO – 1st Battalion)- the fort builder – was the one to build Fort Pitt. He likely had more companies with him when he constructed the fort.

Bushy Run was a Highlander's fight. While some of the 77th was drafted into the 42nd, I think that others were sent to the 78th. There were two battalions of the 77th, if I recall correctly. Going from memory on this one.

You might check Campbell's book on the 60th. It is the best, in my opinion. The relationship to the later day KRRC is tenuous at best.

Bouquet gave woodland training to some of his forces at Raystown (later day Bedford), but based on their performance at Grant's Hill, it didn't stick too well. Then again, I'm not really sure what Grant's plan was there.

42flanker24 Jan 2019 8:07 a.m. PST

All very interesting. I have indeed been dipping into Campbell's 'The Royal American Regiment: An Atlantic Microcosm, 17551772'. which is very informative on training opportunities (or lack of) and the relative efficiency of the 4 battalions of 60th RAR. Apparently the 2nd 4th had a record of higher effectiveness, and perhaps better luck.

As a side note, I have also been enjoying the various claims for when the motto 'Celer et Audax' was, allegedly, awarded to the 60th by Wolfe for a selection of exploits in the weeks before his death atop the Plains of Abraham (Joachim; Montemorency) and which, having "for some unaccountable reason fallen into disuse, was resumed by authority" in 1824. I don't believe it was in any Major--General's gift to grant such distinctions


It has also been claimed for the KRRC that:

"The grenadier companies of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions were included in the companies composing the Louisburg Grenadiers-a corps d'elite-to which was assigned the place of honour in the centre of the line. It was in close proximity to our grenadiers that the immortal Wolfe fell. It is said that it was Lieutenant John Brown, of the Royal Americans, who was the first to reach the dying hero. together with Lieutenant J. F. W. des Barnes,' his A.D.C., also of the Regiment."

Several pinches of salt required there, relating to the OB of the Louisbourg grenadiers and the regiment to which Lieut Brown(e) belonged; even his first name (Henry rather than John)- the identication of any other the men remains a matter of conjecture. des Barnes was commissoned into the 62nd<60th but I think that's all that can be said.

I digress.

It's a shame that a regiment with so illustrious a record for later years should rest its laurels on such questionable claims. That is Victorian military history for you.

historygamer24 Jan 2019 9:20 a.m. PST

The 1st Battalion was largely split up, no doubt affecting its abilities. They also spent a lot time building stuff, as opposed to drilling, etc.

Some day I'll find that reference to the one battalion on the Plains going into two ranks. Some day. :-)

The original idea behind the four battalion regiment – to serve as the main garrison regiment in the colonies – was quickly overtaken by events. The one nod to serving there was the lack of lace on their uniform. I think it was the only one like that till the 80th was briefly formed – a battalion that did not have the usual 9 (and later 10) companies.

The artist John Buxton has some very good paintings of the 60th on Western PA frontier.

I also found it fascinating that Haldimand and St. Clair swapped battalions.

42flanker24 Jan 2019 9:48 a.m. PST

The history of how the govt attempted to form a regular infantry corps for the 13 colonies, with skills suited to local conditions, is interesting even if it turns out not to be always as thrilling as tradition would have us believe.

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