Connecticut Provincials

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Hierarchical Path: Seven Years War (Main Page) >> Armies >> British Army >> Connecticut Provincials

Origin and History

In 1745, 516 Provincials from Connecticut took part in the siege and capture of Louisbourg.

On March 13 1755, a General Assembly was held where it was decided to raise 1,000 Connecticut Provincials. Furthermore, the governor was authorised to raise an 500 men when asked by the commander-in-chief.

During the Seven Years' War, the regiments of Connecticut Provincials were under the command of the following officers:

  • 1st Connecticut
    • in 1755: Phineas Lyman
    • from 1758 to 1761: Phineas Lyman
  • 2nd Connecticut
    • in 1755: Elizur Goodrich
    • from 1758 to 1761: Colonel Nathan Whiting
  • 3rd Connecticut
    • in ????: Colonel David Worster
    • in 1758: Colonel Eliphalet Dyar
    • in 1759 and 1760: Colonel David Wooster
  • 4th Connecticut
    • in 1758: Colonel John Read
    • in 1759 and 1760: Colonel Eleazer Fitch

Service during the War

In August 1755, the first and second regiments of Connecticut Provincials (a total of about 850 men) took part in the expedition against Fort Saint-Frédéric (present-day Crown Point) led by William Johnson of New York. A fort initially known as Fort Lyman (soon renamed Fort Edward) was built on the Hudson River at the carrying place leading to Lake Saint-Sacrement (present-day Lake George). At the beginning of September, Johnson's force resumed its advance and reached Lake Saint-Sacrement. On September 8, part of his force was ambushed by a French force under Dieskau. The Colonials were badly mauled and retired to Johnson's camp. The French followed up but their attack on Johnson's camp was repulsed, Dieskau being wounded and captured. Johnson did not organize any counteroffensive but built Fort William Henry on the shore of Lake Saint-Sacrement. In September, Connecticut raised and sent about 1,400 militia to reinforce Johnson at Fort William Henry. On November 27, when Johnson retreated to the Hudson, he left contingents from each province to garrison Fort William Henry during the winter.

For the campaign of 1756, Connecticut raised 2,500 men.

For the campaign of 1757, Connecticut raised 1,400 men. In mid-August, after the fall of Fort William Henry, Connecticut assemble 5,000 militia who were sent to reinforce General Webb on the frontier.

On March 8 1758, a special assembly at New Haven resolved to raise 5,000 Connecticut Provincials for the incoming campaign. These were formed into 4 regiments, each consisting of 12 companies. In July 1758, the 4 Provincial regiments from Connecticut took part in the expedition against Carillon (present-day Ticonderoga). On July 5, they embarked at the head of Lake George. On July 6 at daybreak, the British flotilla reached the narrow channel leading into Lake Champlain near Fort Carillon and disembarkation began at 9:00 a.m.. On July 8, they fought in the disastrous Battle of Carillon. At daybreak on July 9, the British army re-embarked and retreated to the head of the lake where it reoccupied the camp it had left a few days before.

On March 8 1759, a special assembly at Hartford resolved to raise 3,600 Connecticut Provincials for the campaign. They were formed into 4 regiments, each of 10 companies. On May 10, on General Amherst's insistance, an additional 1,000 men were raised and integrated into the 4 existing regiments. The Connecticut Provincials, joined Amherst's Army for a renewed attempt against Carillon.

On March 13 1760, the general assembly of Connecticut voted to raise 5,000 men in 4 regiments, each of 12 coys, for the incoming campaign. These regiments took part in the three pronged attack against Montréal.

On March 26 1761 at New Haven, the general assembly of Connecticut agreed to raise 2,300 men formed into 2 regiments for the campaign. These men were involved in the repairing and strengthening of the posts of Crown Point (former Fort Saint-Frédéric) and Ticonderoga (former Fort Carillon).

On March 4 1762 at New Haven, the general assembly of Connecticut agreed to raise 2,300 men formed into 2 regiments, each of 12 coys, for the campaign. On July 27, 2 Provincial battalions (904 men) from Connecticut arrived in Cuba to reinforce the British amphibious army who had undertaken the siege of Havana.

Uniform

Connecticut Provincials are known to have worn red coats faced yellow at the beginning of the war and, from 1760, some regiments adopted blue coats faced red (this was the case of the 3rd Regiment).

Uniform in 1755-1759

Privates

Uniform in 1755 - Source: Ibrahim90 from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier no information found yet
Neckstock white
Coat red without lace; with white buttons and 1 small white button in the small of the back on each side
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button
Lapels none
Pockets horizontal pockets with white buttons
Cuffs yellow (slashed in the British pattern) with 3 white buttons on the sleeve above each cuff (one is hidden by the cuff)
Turnbacks yellow
Waistcoat yellow with small white buttons (the yellow waistcoat might have been a distinctive of officers)
Breeches red
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown, grey or black during campaigns
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Privates were armed with a musket and bayonet.

Officers

A painting depicting Colonel Nathan Whiting, lieutenant-colonel of the 2nd Regiment, dressed for parade shows him wearing a scarlet coat lined yellow and laced silver with yellow slashed cuffs and silver buttons, a yellow waistcoat edged silver, scarlet breeches, a silver gorget, and a crimson silk sash over the shoulder.

Musicians

no information found yet

Colours

no information found yet

References

Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army, Vol. III, London: Kaye & Ward, pp. 190-225

May R. and Embleton G. A.: Wolfe's Army, London: Osprey Publishing, 1974

Chartrand, Rene: Colonial American Troops 1610-1774, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, 2002

Trumbull, Benjamin: A Complete History of Connecticut, Civil and Ecclesiastical, Vol. II, New Haven, 1818, pp. 351-457

N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.