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BOOK - A Service History and Master Roll of Major Edward Jessup's Loyal Rangers
By Gavin K. Watt with the research assistance of Todd A. Braisted
Published by Global Heritage Press, Ottawa, 2017

Coil bound... 48.95 (C$)
Book on CD... 21.95 (C$)
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Licensed for personal use only

Coilbound Edition
8.5" X 11"

Book-on-CD Edition

The families of Edward Jessup’s Loyal Rangers were major contributors to the settlement of eastern Ontario. Of the original thirteen townships, four were primarily settled by Loyal Rangers, yet the history of this important regiment has largely disappeared.

Created in November 1781 during the closing days of the revolutionary war, the new regiment saw no action in rebel territory, and until disbandment in December 1783, was employed in a wide range of unglamorous duties such as garrisoning, timber cutting, military construction, threshing grain, and cutting hay. Without investigation, casual researchers could be forgiven for concluding that the regiment was composed of late-comers whose contribution to Canada’s war effort was so marginal as to be non-existent. How wrong they would be!

Half of the Loyal Ranger veterans were among the earliest Royalist volunteers, and had experienced a great deal of active campaigning from 1777 to 1781. Many of these officers and men were among the most effective and experienced Provincial soldiers in the Royal Army in Canada. The regiment’s senior captain, Justus Sherwood, managed Canada’s Secret Service and its surgeon, Dr. George Smyth, was his deputy. When Governor Haldimand chose men to conduct surveys in 1783 in preparation for the settlement, his selection included Sherwood and several other Loyal Ranger officers and men.

There are two sections to this book. The history element goes back to the very beginning when men were preparing for military service, and follows the varied paths they took to see their plans realized, some with more success than others. A great deal of attention is given to General John Burgoyne’s expedition of 1777, as the several units that were brought together to create the Loyal Rangers in 1781 had served separately under Burgoyne, and the majority suffered for it. The history follows the aftermath of Burgoyne’s surrender -- exile in Quebec, squabbling among the officers, lack of proper employment, little subsistence and no pay. In 1778, there was a failed attempt to combine them into a single battalion followed by many more exasperating events. Bodies of men were sent on military raids and scouts, but their future as separate regiments remained uncertain until the governor took the situation in hand and forced an amalgamation in 1781. The history finishes with details of the war’s final two years and the subsequent disbandment and settlement.

The second section is a Loyal Rangers’ Master Roll, which was assembled by examining a great many original and secondary sources. The roll records the details of seven hundred and sixteen men whose names were found on Loyal Rangers’ returns of 1781 to 1783

Information included in the Master Roll:
  • Surname and given names
  • alternate spellings of their surnames and given names
  • their ranks in 1783
  • original enlistment dates
  • company assignments in 1783
  • service details
  • ages
  • heights
  • places of origin
  • trades
  • wives and families
  • initial settlement location.

    "Of course, not all of these details could be found for every man, but the roll is quite complete".
Contents include:
  • Errata and Corrigenda
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction and Acknowledgements
  • 1777 Provincial Units
  • Chapter One - The Burgoyne Debacle
  • Chapter Two - Agonies of Uncertainty
  • Chapter Three - The Loyal Rangers
  • Bibliography
  • Abbreviations
  • Explanations of Terms
  • Sources
  • Endnotes
  • Loyal Rangers’ Master Roll
  • Index
  • 257 pages
  • 8.5 X 11"
  • Coil bound
  • Master Roll of men (organized alphabetically by surname)
  • Sources
  • Bibliography
  • Index (of names not included in the Master Roll)
  • Published by Global Heritage Press, Ottawa 2017
  • ISBN 978-1-77240-076-2 (soft cover - coil bound)

About the author: Gavin K. Watt

Gavin Watt has studied Canada's involvement in the American Revolution for over forty five years. He has authored sixteen acclaimed books of the history of that conflict, several concentrating on the loyalist experience. Watt pursues a life-long interest in military history and has re-enacted in four historical eras. He is a honourary Vice-President of the United Empire Loyalists' Association and has often spoken on military history and United Empire Loyalist topics at historical societies' meetings and conferences

Click for a list of Gavin K. Watt's books

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