New York Provincials
Origin and History
On April 23 1755, the assembly of the Province of New York agreed to raise 800 men for the the planned expedition against Fort Saint-Frédéric. On May 3, a Provincial Regiment of 800 men (8 companies of 100 men each) was raised. The province supplied each soldier with a felt tricorne, a coat, a shirt, two pairs of Osnaburg trousers, one pair of shoes, on pair of stockings and a blanket. In addition, the regiment received 80 axes and 400 hatchets. Arms were bought from Virginia.
In 1756, the Province of New York raised a regiment of 1,715 men under Colonel Elizah Fitch to serve in the planned expedition against Fort Saint-Frédéric.
During the Seven Years' War, the regiment was commanded by:
- 1st Regiment
- from May 3 1755: Colonel William Cockcroft
- 2nd Regiment
- in 1756: Colonel Elizah Fitch
Service during the War
In August 1755, the newly raised New York Provincial Regiment under Colonel William Cockcroft 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 August 12, the Assembly of the Province of New York resolved to raise an additional 400 men and to send them to reinforce Johnson's expedition. However, there were so much procrastination that these reinforcements were never raised. On September 8, during the Combat of Lake George, part of Johnson's force was initially 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. On November 27, when Johnson retreated to the Hudson, he left contingents from each province to garrison Fort William Henry during winter.
In mid-March 1756, the Assembly of the Province of New York agreed to raise 715 men in addition to the 1,000 Provincials already authorised, under the condition that 400 of them would be employed in an offensive war against the Indians. A contingent of New York joined the British army assembling at Albany for the planned operations on Lake Champlain which accomplished nothing significant.
In February 1757, the Assembly of the Province of New York agreed to raise 1,000 men for the next campaign.
In March 1758, the Assembly of the Province of New York agreed to raise 2,680 men for the incoming campaign. In July, one Provincial regiment (Delancey) from New York 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. In August, Provincials from New York took part in the expedition against Fort Frontenac.
In March 1759, the Assembly of the Province of New York agreed once more to raise 2,680 men for the incoming campaign. Provincial troops from New York took part in the expedition against Carillon which was abandoned by the French, at the end of July, before a formal siege could take place. In June and July, Provincial troops from New York took part in the expedition against Fort Niagara.
In March 1760, the Assembly of the Province of New York renewed its engagement to raise 2,680 men for the planned three pronged attack against Montréal which surrendered in September.
In March 1761, the Assembly of the Province of New York agreed to raise 1,787 men for the incoming campaign.
In March 1762, the Assembly of the Province of New York to raise 1,787 men to serve on the continent.
Uniform in 1755-56
|Coat||blue with gilt buttons and ??? buttonholes
|Waistcoat||blue with ??? pockets, each with ??? buttons|
Most privates suppliued their own weapons.
Officers had to supply their own uniforms and often adopted red coats faced blue or green, and laced gold.
Uniform in 1757-60
By the end of 1757, unit of New York Provincials gradually adopted a new dark drab uniform.
|Coat||dark drab (greenish yellow) with ??? buttons and ??? buttonholes
|Waistcoat||buckskin with ??? pockets, each with ??? buttons|
Troopers were armed with a musket and a bayonet.
As their men gradually adopted the new dark drab uniforms, officers began wearing green coats (a darker forest green than the "dark drap" of the privates) faced green and laced silver.
Colonel Flag: ???
Regimental Flag: ???
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
Smith, William: The History of the Late Province of New Yoek, from its discovery to the Appointment of Govenor Colden, in 1762, Vol. II; New York Historical Society, 1829, pp. 205-308
N.B.: the section Service during the War is mostly derived from our articles depicting the various campaigns, battles and sieges.