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  • The Royal Highland Emigrants and Moore's Creek

    Pursuant to the discussion on the 84th Foot, the Royal Highland Emigrants, and whether or not they were present at the Battle of Moore's Creek, the book King's Men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario was recommended as a reference.

    This volume came in today, and there is no mention of Moore's Creek at all. What is mentioned is that two officers were sent to North Carolina to recruit, but that they were taken prisoner and sent to Philadelphia (page 39). No battalion was formed composed of North Carolinan recruits among the Highlanders in that state.

    The regiment consisted of two battalions that were stationed in Canada during the war and which did not serve together. The light companies of one of the battalions did serve in the south in 1780-1781 and fought at Eutaw Springs under Majoribanks.

    Another book I ordered, The Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 1776 by noted military historian Hugh Rankin does mention recruiting of Highlanders for the Royal Highland Emigrants and that those recruits were among the Loyalists who fought at Moore's Creek Bridge. However, they were not part of the regiment at the time, and if they ever got to Canada after being dispersed at the battle, it was in small groups and as individuals.

    Again, though, Rene Chartrand states that the Highlanders at Moore's Creek were part of the North Carolina Highland Regiment, and were therefore separate from the 84th Foot.

    Sincerely,
    M
    We are not now that strength which in old days
    Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
    Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
    To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

  • #2
    It looks as if there was some rival recruiting of highlanders going on in North Carolina at the time of Moore's Creek. Which may explain some of the discrepancy as to just who was recruiting and for what regiment.

    First, Major McDonald came to NC on orders from Gage to recruit highlanders to be commanded by Lt Col Allan McLean. My source does not specify this to be the 84th.

    Second, Governor Josiah Martin of NC wanted to raise his own highland regiment from the colony and, at the time of Moore's Creek, was waiting for permission to do so.

    Many of the men had signed up tentatively with McDonald but only if Martin failed to gain permission to recruit his own regiment of Highlanders.

    Info from: Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol X, page 325 (letter from Martin to Earl of Dartmouth)

    What are the names of the men 'King's Men' indicated were captured and sent to Philadelphia? I have a list of the officers captured at Moore's Creek and sent to Philly. There is a Major Alexander McDonald listed. Is there any reference in the book to Lt. Col Allan McLean? Was he with the 84th?

    Comment


    • #3
      I see Lt. Col Allan McLean is listed as being with the 84th in Worthington Chauncey Ford's book British Officers Serving in the American Revolution, 1774-1783.

      I believe there is a connection to the 84th in the recruiting of the NC Highlanders but I do not know if any of them actually made it into the regiment. Since Moore's Creek was such a rout, there may not be any that actually made it into the regiment.

      Comment


      • #4
        I found a list of NC loyalist prisoners sent to Philadelphia after Moore's Creek. Three of the officers (Ensign Kenneth McDonald, Captain John McDonald, and Lt James McDonald) are listed as having received commissions in the 84th Regiment (2nd Battalion) on June 14, 1775 which would fall in the recruiting time mentioned by Gov Martin in his letter. There are at least 3 other McDonalds of the 84th regiment who received commissions on June 14, 1775. I believe its probable that all six of these men were recruited together for service in the 84th, 2nd battalion. At the time of Moore's Creek they were already commissioned into that regiment.

        The prisoner list came from Loyalists in the Southern Campaign, vol I by Clarke.

        Comment


        • #5
          As to the 84th service in S Carolina later, the returns of Rawdon in January 1781 reflect some 208 effectives (4 companies). This figure should include close to 80 men captured later at Ft Motte as well as the companies that served at Eutaw Springs.

          The return can be found in The Cornwallis Papers, vol III, Saberton

          Comment


          • #6
            Found a couple of more sources with info on the 84th today. Michael Dornfest's Military Loyalists of the American Revolution has the battalion under Lt. Col. McLean as the 1st instead of the 2nd battalion. Interestingly enough, the 1st battalion is considered part of the Canadian Command and part of the Saratoga campaign. Yet, that is also the battalion he shows as having been in action at Moore's Creek.


            I also looked in The Loyalist Corps, Americans in the Service of the King by Thomas B. Allen and Todd W. Braisted. They agree the battalion recruiting in North Carolina was the 1st and not the 2nd. However, they list the number of North Carolina men involved at Moore's Creek Bridge at 'over 70'. They have the 1st battalion coming from Quebec, Mohawk Valley, North Carolina, Saint John, and Philadelphia.

            As to the North Carolina Highland Regiment mentioned above competing with the 84rth, Michael Dornfest says that Gov Martin never received the authorization and the regiment ended up never being formed.

            Comment


            • #7
              Did a bit more research in the Dornfest book this morning and came up with a few interesting tidbits to add. First, a summary of the 1st battalion, 84th (Royal Highland Emigrants) muster reports shows 18 officers in Quebec on May 1, 1776 (1st muster) along with 205 staff, rank and file. Within 30 days, another 111 rank and file had arrived. Within another 30 days (July 1, 1776), another 66 rank and file along with 6 officers arrived in Quebec. The summary also shows about 165 men within the heading 'total effective' yet not 'present and fit'. Among the possible explanations, they may be captured, sick, or on detachment elsewhere. These additions to the regiment tie nicely to the time frames necessary for the men scattered at Moore's Creek to make their way north. Moore's Creek having been at the end of February, some 3 to 4 months earlier.

              Dornfest also provides information on individual officers who served. In his book several men who served as officers in the Royal Highland Emigrants, 1st battalion (84rth) at Moore's Creek are reflected as later serving in Canada after the name change. A few names came up under the name McDonald,

              Angus McDonald Sr. was succeeded by Angus McDonald Jr. who took his commission north for service with the 2nd battalion, 84th.

              Donald McDonald was captured at Moore's creek, paroled in April 76, and then exchanged in Dec 76. He later sold his commission to John Harris.

              James McDonald held on of the June 14 commissions from Gage and later served with the 84rth 1st battalion

              John McDonald - same

              Kenneth McDonald - listed as serving with the RHE at Moores and later with the 2nd battalion 84rth.

              Murdoch MacLaine - held one of the June 14 commissions and later served with the 2nd battalion 84rth

              Lauchlan McLean - same thing.

              While this may seem like alot of McDonalds, the truth is it isn't even close. There were lots of McDonalds at Moore's Creek that did not hold commissions in the RHE and, consequently, did not join the 84rth in Canada. Instead, they joined various other Provincial regiments or militias. There are also a few who did have commissions in the RHE but did not continue on beyond Moore's Creek.

              In the individual bios, Dornfest distinguishes between those men who held commissions in the RHE from those whose commissions were for North Carolina Provincials. According to Dornfest, the RHE is a separate and identifiable unit that fought at Moore's Creek.

              I didn't go through the entire book but just looked in the obvious section. the Mc and Mac

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Massena View Post
                Pursuant to the discussion on the 84th Foot, the Royal Highland Emigrants, and whether or not they were present at the Battle of Moore's Creek, the book King's Men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario was recommended as a reference.

                This volume came in today, and there is no mention of Moore's Creek at all. What is mentioned is that two officers were sent to North Carolina to recruit, but that they were taken prisoner and sent to Philadelphia (page 39). No battalion was formed composed of North Carolinan recruits among the Highlanders in that state.

                The regiment consisted of two battalions that were stationed in Canada during the war and which did not serve together. The light companies of one of the battalions did serve in the south in 1780-1781 and fought at Eutaw Springs under Majoribanks.

                Another book I ordered, The Moore's Creek Bridge Campaign 1776 by noted military historian Hugh Rankin does mention recruiting of Highlanders for the Royal Highland Emigrants and that those recruits were among the Loyalists who fought at Moore's Creek Bridge. However, they were not part of the regiment at the time, and if they ever got to Canada after being dispersed at the battle, it was in small groups and as individuals.

                Again, though, Rene Chartrand states that the Highlanders at Moore's Creek were part of the North Carolina Highland Regiment, and were therefore separate from the 84th Foot.

                Sincerely,
                M
                I have been reading the Chartrand book this morning but am having trouble locating the information from your post. I can see that he has named the North Carolina Highland Regiment as being there and being defeated but he makes no claim they were the only regiment or that they represented all of the loyalists at Moore's Creek. Perhaps you could give me the specific quote making them separate from the 84th foot.

                In truth, from the info and references posted above, it looks like Mr. Chartrand has unfortunately failed to reference the recruiting of the 84th in North Carolina. I like his book and have used it many times but it doesn't change the fact he seems a bit light on the details of who and what regiments were represented at Moore's Creek. Mr. Dornfest, Braisted, and Allen are all well respected experts on loyalists and they seem to agree with the primary materials I pointed to. The Royal Highland Emigrants (84th) were very much identifiable at Moore's Creek with separate officer corps. Further, the North Carolina Highland Regiment never officially existed but is referred to by Dornfest as simply North Carolina Provincials.

                As to the Hugh Rankin text, I don't seem to have it. However, I totally agree with the statement attributed to his book about RHE recruits being at Moore's Creek. However, the conclusion following it about them not being part of the regiment at the time seems separate. Did that come from Rankin or is the conclusion actually made by Massena? Quotes appreciated.

                Even though I did not find any muster rolls for Moore's Creek Loyalists, I did notice that Dornfest separately identified the officers of the RHE vs the officers of the NCProvincials.

                I also have a similar question about the King's Men: Soldier Founders of Ontario. Did that book actually make the conclusion that 'no battalion was formed composed of North Carolina recruits' or was that added by Massena merely from the fact the book didn't mention more than the recruiting effort. Because it seems a bit premature to conclude no battalion was formed when officers were commissioned months prior and 'at least 70' (per Braisted and Allen) soldiers of the battalion fought at Moore's Creek.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Royal Highland Emigrants/84th Foot

                  The sources I used for researching Moore’s Creek and the 84th Foot are:

                  -American Loyalist Troops 1775-1784 by Rene Chartrand.
                  -Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by Mark Boatner.
                  -The Moore’s Creek Bridge Campaign 1776 by Hugh Rankin.
                  -Military Loyalists of the American Revolution: Officers and Regiments 1775-1783 by Walter Dornfest.
                  -The Loyalist Corps: Americans in Service to the King by Thomas Allen and Todd Braisted.
                  -King’s Men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario by Mary Fryer.
                  -Military Uniforms in America: The Era of the American Revolution 1755-1795 edited by John R. Elting.
                  -Don Troiani’s Soldiers of the American Revolution, Art by Don Troiani and Text by James Kochan.

                  Here's the order for raising the Royal Highland Emigrants, and it specifically states two battalions, not five as some sources state. The 84th Foot was a two-battalion regiment for its entire existence and the two battalions never served together and some companies from the second battalion were sent on detached service. The regiment was the brainchild of LtCol Allan Maclean who would command the 1st Battalion and Major John Small would command the 2d Battalion.

                  Royal Highland Emigrants
                  Orders to Raise a Corps
                  (Copy)

                  By His Excellency The Honorable Thomas GAGE General and Commander in Chief of all His Majesty’s Forces in North America.

                  To Lieutenant Colonel Allan MACLEAN

                  You are hereby empowered with the Officers under your command by Beat of Drum or otherwise to inlist for His Majesty’s Service, in any of His Provinces of North America, such Highlanders or such other Loyal Subjects, as you may be able to procure, to be formed into a Corps of two Battalions, to be paid as His Majesty'’ other Regiments of Foot, and to receive Fifty Shillings Bounty; they are to consist of Ten Companys each, which companies are to be composed of One Field Officer or Captain, two Subalterns, three Serjeants, three Corporals, two Drums, and Fifty private men:
                  The whole number of Officers to consist of One Colonel in Chief, one Lieutenant Colonel Commandant, two Majors, one of the two Majors to be Major Commandant, Seventeen Captains, two Captain Lieutenants, Twenty Lieutenants, Eighteen Ensigns, two Adjutants, two Quarter Masters, two Surgeons, two Surgeons Mates, and one Chaplain.
                  The whole Corps to be cloathed Armed and accoutred in like manner with His Majesty’s Royal Highland Regiment and are to be called the Royal Highland Emigrants.
                  You are to rendezvous on Lake Champlain, or bring them to this place, as you shall find most practicable; but should they be formed in Canada, you will act under the Command of General CARLETON until further orders.

                  Given under my hand at Head Quarters, Boston 12th June 1775.

                  (Signed) Thomas GAGE
                  A true Copy

                  By His Excellency’s Command
                  (Signed) Saml. KEMBLE

                  Whitehall September 15th 1778

                  The foregoing is an exact and true Copy of the Original order for levying the Highland Regiment of two Distinct Battalions, whereof the Honorable Lieut. General GAGE is Colonel in Chief, Lieut. Colonel Allan MACLEAN Commandant of the first Battalion, and Major John SMALL Commandant of the Second.

                  (Signed) John SMALL Majr. Commandant

                  Whitehall 27th March 1779

                  I have compared the foregoing Copy of the order for raising a Corps of Royl. Highland Emigrants with the Original order from Lieut. General GAGE in the possession of Lord AMHERST and find it to be a true Copy.

                  (Signed) Leod. MORSE

                  Great Britain, British Library, Additional Manuscripts, No. 21,833, folios 1–2.

                  Taken from the website www.royalprovincial.com



                  Regarding the recruitment of Highlanders for the RHE in North Carolina, Rankin states that two officers of the regiment were dispatched to that state for that purpose in July 1775-LtCol Donald MacDonald and Captain Donald McLeod. They were ‘apprehended’ and questioned by state Committee of Safety, but released, after maintaining that they were no longer in the British Army (Rankin, 10).

                  Rankin also states that 300 men were recruited for the RHE but were added to the Loyalist force departing for the coast to meet the British expeditionary force that was supposed to be on the way to support the rising (Rankin, 12). However, there is no evidence that the recruits were ever part of the regiment and because the Loyalist force was defeated with most of the troops captured, and the rest dispersed, that any of these men ever reached Canada and the regiment.

                  Kochan states that the Loyalist unit that fought at Moore’s Creek was the North Carolina Highland Loyalists (Kochan, 46). No mention is made of the RHE being present in any form, but he does mention that General Gage had dispatched officers to ‘recruit a Highland corps’ (Kochan, 46).

                  Chartrand makes a definite distinction between the RHE and the Highlanders who fought at Moore’s Creek, stating that it was the North Carolina Highland Regiment (Chartrand, 13). The 1st Bn of the 84th Foot is described by Chartrand on page 22, and the 2d Battalion on pages 23-24.

                  In Boatner’s Encyclopedia, there is no correlation drawn between the troops who fought at Moore’s Creek and the 84th Foot. The RHE are not mentioned by Boatner at Moore’s Creek.

                  Fryar states that ‘Two officers were taken prisoner by the rebels while recruiting in North Carolina. Major John Macdonald and the battalion’s chaplain, the Reverend John Bethune, were apprehended and taken to Philadelphia’ where both were set free when Philadelphia was taken by the British in 1777.

                  The North Carolina Provincials are listed as a Loyalist unit by Allen and Braisted on pages 81-82 and was the unit that fought at Moore’s Creek. This seems to me to be the same unit said by Kochan to be the North Carolina Highland Loyalists and by Chartrand as the North Carolina Highland Regiment.

                  Dornfest confirms that the warrant, as shown above, signed by General Gage was for a two-battalion regiment, not five battalions as asserted elsewhere. Dornfest also lists Moore’s Creek as an engagement of the 1st Battalion, which is not supported by any evidence. The first battalion was in Canada at the time and fought in the siege of Quebec. The battalion could not be in two places at once.

                  That the regiment was a two-battalion organization is also confirmed in Elting, Military Uniforms in America, page 38.

                  Conclusions:

                  Based on the proferred evidence, it seems likely that the RHE was intended and formed as a two-battalion regiment. Officers were dispatched to North Carolina to recruit and may have recruited up to 300 of the North Carolina Highland Scots for the regiment, but they were not, by any evidence presented, formed as part of the regiment and probably didn’t fight as part of the regiment, but part of the North Carolina Provincials/North Carolina Highland Loyalists/North Carolina Highland Regiment. So the idea that the RHE fought at Moore’s Creek, especially as the 1st Battalion was stationed in Canada at the time is most probably incorrect.

                  Sincerely,
                  M
                  We are not now that strength which in old days
                  Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                  Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                  To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Massena View Post


                    Regarding the recruitment of Highlanders for the RHE in North Carolina, Rankin states that two officers of the regiment were dispatched to that state for that purpose in July 1775-LtCol Donald MacDonald and Captain Donald McLeod. They were ‘apprehended’ and questioned by state Committee of Safety, but released, after maintaining that they were no longer in the British Army (Rankin, 10).

                    Rankin also states that 300 men were recruited for the RHE but were added to the Loyalist force departing for the coast to meet the British expeditionary force that was supposed to be on the way to support the rising (Rankin, 12). However, there is no evidence that the recruits were ever part of the regiment and because the Loyalist force was defeated with most of the troops captured, and the rest dispersed, that any of these men ever reached Canada and the regiment. I'm not sure what should be required prior considering them 'part of the regiment'. They were in the army, at the battle, recruited into the regiment, and likely being controlled by officers holding commissions in the regiment. As far as none having reached Canada, there doesn't seem to be any muster lists available for tracing rank and file but a number of the Carolinian officers made it to Canada. Some were traced in the post 2 above this one.

                    Kochan states that the Loyalist unit that fought at Moore’s Creek was the North Carolina Highland Loyalists (Kochan, 46). No mention is made of the RHE being present in any form, but he does mention that General Gage had dispatched officers to ‘recruit a Highland corps’ (Kochan, 46).



                    Chartrand makes a definite distinction between the RHE and the Highlanders who fought at Moore’s Creek, stating that it was the North Carolina Highland Regiment (Chartrand, 13). The 1st Bn of the 84th Foot is described by Chartrand on page 22, and the 2d Battalion on pages 23-24.

                    Does Chartrand deny their having been there or just fails to mention it. I don't remember him stating the North Carolina Highland Regiment was alone at Moore's Creek. There were far too many loyalists at Moore's Creek for all to be in the same regiment.

                    In Boatner’s Encyclopedia, there is no correlation drawn between the troops who fought at Moore’s Creek and the 84th Foot. The RHE are not mentioned by Boatner at Moore’s Creek.

                    Fryar states that ‘Two officers were taken prisoner by the rebels while recruiting in North Carolina. Major John Macdonald and the battalion’s chaplain, the Reverend John Bethune, were apprehended and taken to Philadelphia’ where both were set free when Philadelphia was taken by the British in 1777.



                    The North Carolina Provincials are listed as a Loyalist unit by Allen and Braisted on pages 81-82 and was the unit that fought at Moore’s Creek. This seems to me to be the same unit said by Kochan to be the North Carolina Highland Loyalists and by Chartrand as the North Carolina Highland Regiment.

                    I think this is just another example of there being more than one regiment being recruited and present at Moore's Creek.

                    Dornfest confirms that the warrant, as shown above, signed by General Gage was for a two-battalion regiment, not five battalions as asserted elsewhere. Dornfest also lists Moore’s Creek as an engagement of the 1st Battalion, which is not supported by any evidence. The first battalion was in Canada at the time and fought in the siege of Quebec. The battalion could not be in two places at once.

                    I disagree that a battalion is incapable of being two places at once. The revolution is filled with examples of detachments being present at this battle or that battle. However, in this case it would be particularly easy because the battalion was being recruited at that time. And in more than one place. Nobody has claimed the RHE marched down from Canada as a regiment (or battalion) for the fight at Moore's Creek Bridge. Recruiting had been going on for several months in North Carolina for the regiment and they had a number of men ready to travel to Canada and join the main part of the regiment. Seems like several companies must have been involved. But not a full battalion.

                    That the regiment was a two-battalion organization is also confirmed in Elting, Military Uniforms in America, page 38.

                    Conclusions:

                    Based on the proferred evidence, it seems likely that the RHE was intended and formed as a two-battalion regiment. Officers were dispatched to North Carolina to recruit and may have recruited up to 300 of the North Carolina Highland Scots for the regiment, but they were not, by any evidence presented, formed as part of the regiment and probably didn’t fight as part of the regiment,

                    I am on vacation and don't have access to my books but, don't I remember the Moore's Creek battle as pretty much a single blast knocking the lead loyalists off the bridge. Quickly followed by hasty disorganized retreat by the entire force? Given the description of events I remember, wouldn't it be difficult to describe any regiment as having fought at Moore's Creek in an organized manner? Please correct if memory has failed but didn't Captain McLeod (of the RHE) choose 75 of the best fighting men from all the combined units (an indirect assertion they were separated by unit) and then try to lead them across the narrow bridge. One good blast from Caswell's militia (and maybe a swivel or two) instantly killed Mcleod and a few others leaving all the rest to pretty much run away.

                    but part of the North Carolina Provincials/North Carolina Highland Loyalists/North Carolina Highland Regiment. So the idea that the RHE fought at Moore’s Creek, especially as the 1st Battalion was stationed in Canada at the time is most probably incorrect.

                    Sincerely,
                    M
                    Its all coming down to what is required for a regiment to claim participation in a battle. In this case the RHE had separate and identifiable men in the Loyalist force. The Loyalist force contained more than one regiment and the best of each were chosen for the 75 man unit. (a common way to choose 'light infantry'). At least one officer of the RHE participated via leading the 75 man light infantry force and was killed for his trouble. Other officers of the RHE were captured. I believe these facts gives the regiment (or battalion) claim to being present at the battle. At least by way of detachment. However, it is openly admitted these men had never been to Canada at the time of Moore's Creek. Further, many, if not most, were captured or dispersed by the loss such that they never rejoined the regiment. I recently looked at:

                    http://www.amazon.com/Revolutionary-...North+State%27

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Then, our opinions diverge. Having two officers present from the 1st Battalion that was in Canada present for the action does not mean that the battalion or regiment was present.

                      Those two officers were on recruiting duty, and since the recruits never made it to the regiment, seems to me the point is moot.

                      For example, Col Haslet was present at Princeton where he was killed in action while his regiment was in Delaware recruiting. That doesn't mean that the Delaware Regiment was present at the action.

                      Sincerely,
                      M
                      We are not now that strength which in old days
                      Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                      Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                      To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wiki has a nice article on the situation at Moore's Creek Bridge to include mention of the recruiting efforts in North Carolina.

                        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_...s_Creek_Bridge

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Massena View Post
                          Then, our opinions diverge. Having two officers present from the 1st Battalion that was in Canada present for the action does not mean that the battalion or regiment was present.

                          Those two officers were on recruiting duty, and since the recruits never made it to the regiment, seems to me the point is moot.

                          For example, Col Haslet was present at Princeton where he was killed in action while his regiment was in Delaware recruiting. That doesn't mean that the Delaware Regiment was present at the action.

                          Sincerely,
                          M
                          Yes, but those two officers were present and in the lead of their new recruits who included several other officers and, according to your info above, something like 300 men for the regiment. And then one of those very officers was killed taking the lead unit into the only combat of the entire battle. Seems to me your threshold for having 'made it to the regiment' is too high. The men are the regiment and the regiment is the men.

                          However, always content to hold divergent views.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            However, the regiment was in Canada...

                            And that makes the idea that the RHE was at Moore's Creek somewhat ludicrous.

                            Sincerely,
                            M
                            We are not now that strength which in old days
                            Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                            Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                            To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I rec'd The Highland Scots of North Carolina 1732-1776 today, and here is what is said on pages 152-154 on the RHE:

                              'A large body of emigrants from Scotland came to North Carolina in 1775, as we have seen. The exiled Governor Martin, who was at that time aboard his floatingn executive mansion at the mouth of the Cape Fear, greeted a number of Highlander ships when they arrived. Knowing that he had no power to prevent the Highlanders from seizing crown land for their settlement, he decided to grant them land freely in return for an oath declaring their 'firm and unalterable loyalty and attachment to the King...their readiness to lay down their lives in the support and defence of his Majesty's Government.' The Board of Trande adopted a similar policy in 1775 to encourage enlistments in the Royal Regiment of Highland Emigrants. The following document was given to new recruits:

                              'The bearer hereof, Duncan MacArthur, having voluntarily engaged to serve His Majesty in the Royal Regiment of Highland Emigrants, (raised and established for the just and lyoal purpose of opposing, quelling, and suppressing the present most unnatural, unprovolked and wanton rebellion,) conformable to the orders and directions of his Excellency the Commander-in-chief, and agreeable to His Majesty's most gracious intentions, signified by the Earl of Dartmouth, (Secretary of State for America,) that such emigrants from North-Britain, as well as other loyal subjects, that should engage to serve in the before-mentioned corps, shoudl be considered in the most favourable light; and after the conclusion of the present unhappy civil war, (to which period only they are obliged to serve,) be entitled to a proportion of two hundred acres vacant (or forfeited) lands for every man or head of a family, together with fifty acres more in addition for every person the family may consist of; the whole to be graned and patented without any expense to the said grantees. And, moreover, to be free of any quit-rent to the Crown for twenty years.'

                              This contract with Duncan MacArthur was made in Boston in December 1775. Most members of the Royal Regiment of Highland Emigrants were either from New York or Nova Scotia. Although this writer has not discovered any copies of any such contracts made with North Carolina Highlanders, it is possible that some North Carolinians made similar agreements with Brigadier General McDonald. We do know that Governor Martin was directed in April, 1775, to set aside a special area in North Carolina for such Highlander recruits. We know also that the British government planned to organize the North Carolina Highlanders into the Second Battalion of the Royal Highland Emigrants when they reached the mouth of the Cape Fear.'

                              Interesting, but the only problem with the 2d Battalion idea is that it was already ordered to be formed in Canada in June 1775, and it is in direct difference with Dornfest's book on the Loyalists.

                              So, it appears that the issue is difficult at best and not at all conclusive. What is certain, however, is the the Royal Highland Emigrants did not fight at Moore's Creek in early 1776-both battalions were in Canada.

                              Sincerely,
                              M
                              We are not now that strength which in old days
                              Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
                              Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
                              To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

                              Comment

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