British Troops in the Midwest.
By Mark Tully & Steve Baule
Even though the majority of us do impressions of units that fought in the Eastern
campaigns, we should bear in mind that during the era of the American Revolution
there was a strong military presence here in the Midwest as well.
Quite a few British troops did service in the Midwest. Detachments of the 22nd, 34th, 42nd (Royal Highland) and 60th (Royal American) Regiments were stationed at various posts here as early as 1765, doing duty in what are now parts of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
The 34th Regiment garrisoned “the Illinois Country” until 1767 when they were
relieved by five companies of the 18th Foot (Royal Irish), who, at various times
up until 1772, were stationed at Fort Chartres, Cahokia and Kaskaskia. Two companies
of the 18th remained in Illinois until 1776 when they were ordered to Detroit to
ultimately be drafted into the 8th (King’s) Regiment of Foot (also see the July,
1997 edition of The Courier).
In 1772 the 10th Regiment replaced the 60th at Michilimackinac. The 10th was later sent to Detroit where they were relieved by two companies of the 8th (King’s) Regiment in 1774.
A company of the 47th Regiment was sent out to augment several companies of the King’s 8th at Michilimackinac in 1781, and a small contingent of 12 soldiers from the 84th (Royal Highland Emigrants) joined them later that year. Detachments of Royal Artillery were also assigned to the posts at Fort Chartres, Kaskaskia, Detroit and Michilimackinac. The 14th Foot was in Natchez, Mississippi in 1780.
All told several hundred British redcoats and artillerymen were stationed in the Midwest before, during, and even well after the revolution (British troops were at Detroit and Fort Mackinac until 1796). Over 100 British soldiers remain in Illinois today—killed in the service of their King over two hundred years ago.
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