The British Campaign of 1777, The St. Leger Expedition. The Forces of Crown and Congress, Second Edition

by Gavin Watt and James F. Morrison


 

This book will appeal to those people who enjoy or need to research the minutiae of military campaigns of the American Revolutionary period.

While this book is essentially a military work, many readers will find it useful for genealogical research.

It is customary for studies of campaigns and expeditions to concentrate on the principal personalities who were responsible for the management of operations. Their characters and performances are revealed, examined and critiqued in depth. By comparison, the 'little' men who commanded batteries, companies and platoons and the even 'littler' men who did the rowing, heaving, carrying, digging, patrolling, guarding, fighting, bleeding and dying are rarely more than nameless cyphers. This study of the St. Leger Expedition provides details including name, rank, regiment and service of many of the men who participated in behalf of the Crown and of those who opposed them.

The British Campaign of 1777, The St. Leger Expedition. The Forces of Crown and Congress , Second Edition. is intended as a companion piece to Gavin Watt's complete campaign history of the St. Leger Expedition (entitled Rebellion in the Mohawk Valley - 1777), which was published in 2002, the year of the 225th mini-bicentennial of the events. While Rebellion in the Mohawk Valley focused on the historical perspective, The British Campaign of 1777 focuses on the individuals who were engaged in this struggle.

This Second Edition is of particular importance because new material came to attention of the authors only eight months after the First Edition was published. That new information precipitated an urgent need for compiling a Second Edition insofar as some units that historians previously considered to have been part of the Expedition have proven to be elsewhere at the time, while others were engaged in the Campaign who were previously thought not to be there.

This volume will be a treasured addition to your personal library, bound in fine grain Tanotex with gilt stamping on cover and spine.

285 pages. Hardcover, 8.5" x 11." Illustrated, maps, bibliography, endnotes, genealogical index, general index
Global Heritage Press, Milton, 2003 (CD 2010)
ISBN 1-894378-69-5 (v.1)


 

 

REVIEWS AND COMMENTS (2001 edition)
 

Gwen Patterson, Penetang, ON. Families, Vol. 41, No.4. Ontario Genealogical Society (2002)
This 272 page book is a "must have" for anyone with ancestors involved in either the Crown or the Congress side of the ill fated 1777 St. Leger campaign.


Philip D. Weaver, Shill's Books, A division of Continental Consulting (2010)
Lacking some of the additional detailed historical minutiae of the [second revised edition], this is the more reasonably priced earlier soft cover edition. It was one the most popular books we have ever sold and are very lucky to acquire it again for resale.


Peter W. Johnson UE, Frankford, ON. Loyalist Gazette, UELAC (2001)
I liked this book so much, that I wrote two complete reviews! Actually, something went wrong with the disc containing the first review, so...
I can think of few people in Canada who come close to Gavin Watt in terms of contributions to, and the preservation of, the Loyalist Heritage in this country. His previous works on the Loyalists are major sources for researchers in that field, which means the reader must approach this new book with high expectations. You won't be disappointed.

There is one thing that sets this book apart from just about any other work in this area. It is not just a list of Loyalists, and it is not just a list of Rebels. Rather this book contains lists of participants on both sides. Basically, Gavin handled the Loyalist side, and James F. Morrison, (perhaps the Mohawk Valley's equivalent to Gavin) provides the Rebel lists.

Topics covered include an overview of the St. Leger Expedition, and detailed sections on the participating groups including British and German Regulars, King's Royal Yorkers, (who had a substantial part in the campaign), other Provincial Units including Brant's Volunteers, the British Indian Departments, and the Indian Nations. James Morrison's section looks at the defenders including the Fort Stanwix Garrison, the 3rd NY Continental Regiment, the Tryon County Militia Brigade, Arnold's Relief Column, with sections towards the end of the book on the Schoharie Uprising, and Recruiting during the Expedition.

In each section you will find a background essay giving quite detailed information. Let's consider, for example the section, "Other Provincial Units", which includes the Royal Highland Emigrants, Hertel de Rouville's Company, and Brant's Volunteers. Following a section on sources, one is treated to a list of known participants. Endnotes close the section, and here detailed information about participants is given as available. For example, we learn that Capt. Bull in Brant's Volunteers was from the lower Susquehanna, the son of the Delaware King, Teedyuscung. Bull was active in the Pontiac Uprising. I have just hinted at the main points. There are other details included.

If you had a 1st Battn. King's Royal Yorkers ancestor, you will absolutely want to consult this book, because so many of them were involved in the St. Leger Expedition. As I have already suggested, this book has value for the genealogist, and this is a slight departure from Gavin's other works, which focus more on the history.

Finally, one other thing the book accomplishes, intended or otherwise is to remind us once again just how much of a Civil War the Revolutionary War was. As you check the Loyalist and Rebel lists of participants you do find some of the same surnames cropping up on both sides. It's good to remember that.


Philip D. Weaver, The Colonial Chronicle. An email to subscribers (2002)
Gavin's book from last year, "The British Campaign of 1777…" is still not available as a second printing. We are hoping to find answers soon, as this was our hottest seller last year.


Of the 2006 revised edition

Philip P. Weaver, Shill's Books, A division of Continental Consulting
Written by two men from the living history community, this book is a companion piece to Watt's detailed campaign history of the St. Leger Expedition entitled Rebellion in the Mohawk Valley - 1777 to be published in 2002. Here, in this updated and expanded 2004 hardcover edition, we have an overview of the stirring events that shaped St. Leger's siege of Fort Schuyler, the Battle of Oriskany, and the Schoharie Uprising. However, the book's main purpose is to provide the names of the men who served on both sides. Read about the Continental soldiers who garrisoned the Fort Schuyler (Stanwix) under Col. Peter Gansevoort; Nicholas Herkimer's Tryon County Militia who fought at the Battle of Oriskany; the Six Nations, their Affiliates and Allies; the Rangers of Major John Butler; the Continental Light Dragoons who dispersed the Schoharie Tories; the men of Sir John Johnson's Regiment, St. Leger's largest corps; and many more.


Nicholas Westbrook - October, 2017

The best, most vivid treatment of ST. LEGER is by Gavin K. Watt in two books:
(2002) Watt, REBELLION IN THE MOHAWK VALLEY: THE ST. LEGER EXPEDITION OF 1777 (Toronto, Dundurn).
(2017) Watt, FIRE & DESOLATION: THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR'S 1778 CAMPAIGN AS WAGED FROM QUEBEC AND NIAGARA AGAINST THE AMERICAN FRONTIERS (Toronto, Dundurn).

 


 

 

 
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