60th Foot

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Origin and History

A royal warrant established a new regiment in the American colonies on December 25 1755 as the "62nd (Royal American) Regiment of Foot". A special act of the British Parliament confirmed the creation of the regiment on March 4 1756. Exceptionally, it counted 4 battalions. Soldiers were recruited in Germany (including prisoners of war) and Ireland; and among the Swiss and German settlers of Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland.

By July 1756, only one battalion was already raised.

When the original 50th Foot and 51st Foot were disbanded on December 27 1757, the regiment became the "60th (Royal American) Regiment of Foot".

During the Seven Years's War, the regiment was commanded by:

  • since December 25 1755: John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudon
  • from December 27 1757: James Abercromby
  • from September 20 1758 to September 21 1768: Lord Jeffrey Amherst

During the same period, the colonels of each battalion were:

  • 1st Battalion:
    • since January 1 1756: John Stanwix
    • around 1758: Henri Bouquet (as effective commander)
    • from October 28 1761 to January 11 1776: Jacques Prevost
  • 2nd Battalion:
    • since January 2 1756: Joseph Dusseaux
    • from December 20 1757: Robert Monckton
    • from October 24 1759 to December 16 1767: James Murray
  • 3rd Battalion:
    • since January 3 1756: Charles Jeffereys
    • from February 25 1757: George Augustus Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe
    • from September 28 1757 to December 9 1760: Charles Lawrence
  • 4th Battalion:
    • since January 2 1756: Jacques Prevost (from 1758 to 1761, effectively led by Lieutenant-Colonel Fredrick Haldimand of the II./60th Foot; Prevost was absent to protest his not being given the rank of brigadier-general and may never had led the 4th Battalion in any battle; theater commanders were more than happy to leave the extraordinarily difficult Prevost behind)
    • from November 11 1761 to 1763: Marcus Smith

Service during the War

1st Battalion

In April 1758, part of Bouquet's battalion was assigned to the expedition against Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh) under Brigadier John Forbes. In May, part the battalion received rifled-carbine. Bouquet, the colonel of the battalion, trained his men as light infantry. By the end of June, Forbes' army was on the march from Philadelphia, slowly progressing towards Fort Duquesne by Raystown, Shippensburg and Loyalhannon. In September, a detachment of the battalion took part in a raid on Fort Duquesne but the affair was mismanaged and the British were counter-ambushed by the French and their Indian allies. At the end of November, Forbes' Army marched on the fort which was destroyed by the French before retiring. Meanwhile, in July, a detachment of the battalion took part in the expedition against Carillon (present-day Ticonderoga). On July 5, they were 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. By November 1, Fort Edward was garrisoned only by 1 battalion of the Royal American regiment and 4 companies of Rogers' Rangers.

In September 1760, a detachment of the battalion was present for the French surrender of Montréal.

In 1761, the battalion laid idle in North America.

2nd Battalion

In Spring 1757, the 2nd Battalion was selected for the planned campaign against Louisbourg or Québec. In early June, the transport fleet carrying the battalion sailed from New York, arriving at Halifax on June 30. However, three French Naval Squadrons reinforced Louisbourg that summer and the expedition was cancelled. Lack of winter-quarters at Halifax forced the relocation of the 2nd Battalion back to the Mid-Atlantic Colonies.

In Spring 1758, the 2nd Battalion embarked from Philadelphia and returned to Halifax. On May 28, the British Fleet departed Halifax for the expedition against the Fortress of Louisbourg. On June 8, when Amherst's Army landed near Louisbourg, the battalion was part of the centre brigade under Wolfe. In May and July, the battalion took part in the Siege of Louisbourg which surrendered on July 27. After the capture of the fortress, the battalion was assigned to a detachment under Lord Rollo who submitted Isle Saint-Jean (present-day Prince Edward Island) and tried to remove the inhabitants, with small success; for out of more than 4,000, they could catch but 700.

In 1759, the battalion was part of the expedition against Québec, being attached to Brigadier-General Townsend's Brigade. On June 27, the army landed on Isle-d'Orléans and were drawn up on the beach near the village of Saint-Laurent. On July 9, a skirmish occurred near the Montmorency Fall. One battalion (II. or III.) of the 60th Foot was attacked by a party of Canadians and Ottawa Indians who was in turn repulsed by the grenadiers of the 28th Foot. The 60th Royal American lost 14 men killed and several wounded. The Canadians lost 4 killed and 1 wounded, the Indians 3 killed and 4 wounded. On July 31, the grenadiers of the second battalion as well as 2 other companies (II. or III.) took part in the failed attack on the shores of Beauport where they were part of the first wave with the Louisbourg Grenadiers. The assault failed and these companies suffered heavy losses. On September 13, the battalion took part in the victorious Battle on the Plains of Abraham near Québec. It was initially kept in reserve but was later sent to reinforce the left flank. On September 18, Québec finally surrendered. At the end of October, when Vice-Admiral Saunders left with his fleet for Great Britain, the battalion remained as garrison in Québec along with 9 other battalions.

On April 28 1760, at the defeat of Sainte-Foy, the battalion was in Burton's Brigade on the right wing. In September, a detachment of the battalion was present for the French surrender of Montréal.

In 1761, the battalion laid idle in North America.

3rd Battalion

In 1758, the 3rd Battalion was selected for the planned expedition against the Fortress of Louisbourg. On April 23, it sailed from Boston and arrived at Halifax by mid-May. On May 28, the British Fleet departed Halifax. On June 8, when Amherst's Army landed near Louisbourg, the battalion was part of the right brigade under Whitmore. In May and July, the battalion took part in the Siege of Louisbourg which surrendered on July 27. After the capture of the fortress, the battalion was assigned to a detachment under Lord Rollo who submitted Isle Saint-Jean (present-day Prince Edward Island) and tried to remove the inhabitants, with small success; for out of more than 4,000, they could catch but 700.

In 1759, the battalions was part of the expedition against Québec, being attached to Colonel Murray's Brigade. On June 27, the army landed on Isle-d'Orléans and were drawn up on the beach near the village of Saint-Laurent. On July 9, a skirmish occurred near the Montmorency Fall. One battalion (II. or III.) of the 60th Foot was attacked by a party of Canadians and Ottawa Indians who was in turn repulsed by the grenadiers of the 28th Foot. The 60th Royal American lost 14 men killed and several wounded. The Canadians lost 4 killed and 1 wounded, the Indians 3 killed and 4 wounded. On July 31, the grenadiers of the second battalion as well as 2 other companies of the regiment (II. or III.) took part in the failed attack on the shores of Beauport. where they were part of the first wave with the Louisbourg Grenadiers. The assault failed and these companies suffered heavy losses. On September 13, during the victorious Battle on the Plains of Abraham near Québec, the battalion was initially drawn up en potence fronting the Saint-Charles to prevent French light troops from outflanking Wolfe's Army. On September 18, Québec finally surrendered. At the end of October, when Vice-Admiral Saunders left with his fleet for Great Britain, the battalion remained as garrison in Québec along with 9 other battalions.

On April 28 1760, at the defeat of Sainte-Foy, the battalion was kept in reserve in rear of the centre. In September, a detachment of the battalion was present for the French surrender of Montréal.

In 1761, the battalion laid idle in North America for most of the year. By the end of the year, the battalion was sent to the West Indies where it arrived in Carlisle Bay in Barbados on December 24.

In January and February 1762, the battalion took part in the expedition against Martinique and in the siege of Fort Royal. Then from March to August, it participated in the siege and capture of Havanna, suffering heavy losses from sickness during the following months.

4th Battalion

In Spring 1757, the 4th Battalion was selected for the planned |campaign against Louisbourg or Québec. In early June, the transport fleet carrying the battalion sailed from New York, arriving at Halifax on June 30. However, three French Naval Squadrons reinforced Louisbourg that summer and the expedition was cancelled. Lack of winter-quarters at Halifax forced the relocation of the 4th Battalion back to the Mid-Atlantic Colonies.

In July 1758, the battalion took part in the expedition against Carillon (present-day Ticonderoga) under James Abercromby. On July 5, they were 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. By November 1, Fort Edward was garrisoned only by 1 battalion of the Royal American regiment and 4 companies of Rogers' Rangers.

From June to July 1759, the battalion was part of Brigadier Prideaux's force (5,000 men) sent in an expedition against Fort Niagara who soon surrendered.

In September 1760, a detachment of the battalion was present for the French surrender of Montréal.

In 1761, the battalion laid idle in North America.

Uniform

Privates

Uniform in 1758 - Source: rf-figuren from a template by Frédéric Aubert
Uniform Details
Headgear
Musketeer black tricorne laced white with a black cockade (left side)
Grenadier British mitre with: a blue front embroidered with the King's cypher and a crown over it; a small red front flap with the white horse of Hanover surmounted by the motto "Nec aspera terrent"; red back; a blue headband wearing the number 60 in the middle part behind

N.B.: even if it was contrary to regulations, the mitre cap was probably covered with bearskin

Neckstock white
Coat brick red lined blue without lace with 3 white buttonholes under the lapels
Collar none
Shoulder Straps red fastened with a white button (left shoulder)
Lapels blue without lace with 7 pewter buttons
Pockets horizontal pockets without lace, each with pewter buttons
Cuffs blue (slashed in the British pattern) without lace with white buttons on the sleeve
Turnbacks blue
Waistcoat brick red without lace
Breeches blue (leather breeches were also worn during campaigns)
Gaiters white with black buttons
brown canvas during campaigns
Leather Equipment
Crossbelt natural leather
Waistbelt natural leather
Cartridge Box black
Bayonet Scabbard black
Scabbard black
Footgear black shoes


Troopers were armed with with a "Brown Bess" muskets, a bayonet and a sword. They also carried a dark brown haversack with a metal canteen on the left hip.

N.B.: on campaign swords were replaced with hatchets, and coats and hats would be cut down for ease of movement on the North American frontier.

Officers

Officers of the regiment wore the same uniforms as the private soldiers but with the following differences

  • silver gorget around the neck
  • an aiguilette on the right shoulder
  • silver lace on the coat, lapels, cuffs, buttonholes, waistcoat
  • a crimson sash

Officers wore the same headgear as the private soldiers under their command; however, officers of the grenadier company wore a more decorated mitre cap.

Officers generally carried a spontoon, however, in battle some carried muskets instead.

Musicians

According to the Royal Clothing Warrant of 1751:

The drummers of the regiment wore the royal livery. They were clothed in red, lined, faced, and lapelled on the breast with blue, and laced with the royal lace (golden braid with two thin purple central stripes).
The front or fore part of the drums was painted blue, with the regimental badge (king's cypher within the circle of St. Andrew and a crown over it), and the number “LX” under it. The rims were red.

Colours

King's Colour: Union with its centre decorated the regimental badge (king's cypher within the garter and a crown over it). The regiment number "LX" in Roman gold numerals in the upper left corner.

Regimental Colour: blue field; centre device consisting the regimental badge (king's cypher within the garter and a crown over it); the Union in the upper left corner; the crowned royal cipher in the 3 other corners. The regiment number "LX" in Roman gold numerals superposed to the Union in the upper left corner.

N.B.: since this regiment exceptionally counted 4 battalions, the colours of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th battalion were respectively distinguished by 1, 2 and 3 flaming rays superposed to the upper left branch of the saltire of the King's colour. The same distinctions existed for the regimental colours with the rays issuing from the Union in the upperl left corner.

King's Colour - Source: PMPdeL
Regimental Colour - Source: PMPdeL

References

Aylor, Ron: British Regimental Drums and Colours

Boscawen, Hugh: The Capture of Louisbourg, 1758, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 2011

Fortescue, J. W.: A History of the British Army Vol. II, MacMillan, London, 1899

Funcken, Liliane and Fred: Les uniformes de la guerre en dentelle

George II: The Royal Clothing Warrant, 1751

Lawson, Cecil C. P.: A History of the Uniforms of the British Army - from the Beginnings to 1760, vol. II, p. 90-103

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

Mills, T. F.: Land Forces of Britain the Empire and Commonwealth (an excellent website which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the web)

Wikipedia 60th Foot

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