The Corps of Light Troops (1759-1764)

"We hear constant skirmishing in the woods in our rear, between our light troops and the Indians, &c.”

The Corps of Light Troops reenacts the British Light Infantryman and Colonial Ranger during the French and Indian War and Pontiac's Uprising.   During the French and Indian War the British Army learned that warfare in North America was waged very different than on the battlefields of Europe, as a result they sought out colonial woodsman to form ranger companies that could go upon scouts in the endless wilderness of America, as well as fight in the manner of the Indians and Canadians.  When colonial ranger units proved to be unreliable and undisciplined at times, British officers sought to create their own "ranger" companies.  General Amherst writing to William Pitt stated; "The four new Companies of Rangers are so very bad, that I expect no Service from them, unless mixed with the Light Infantry...."  Rather than call their new units rangers, they were called the Light Infantry.   First was the creation of Gage's 80th Regiment of Light Armed Foot in 1758, and Major Scott's Provisional Battalion of Light Infantry in 1758.  Then in 1759 every Redcoat regiment was ordered to make one of their nine "line" companies a light infantry company.  They were to fill this company with their most active men, those who were the best marksmen, able to endure long marches.  

Very often these various light troops were put together to form a larger detachment for a "particular service."  Emulating those light troops from the French and Indian War, we found our units being placed into a single detachment to work together during events.  We finally decided that since we were always forming together at events and our similar philosophy on re-enacting, why not create a "Corps of Light Troops" combining our units, as well as opening our ranks to ranger impressions as well as other light infantry companies.  When we searched for a new name, the term "Corps of Light Troops" stood out in period sources.


The uniforms of the rangers and  light infantrymen resembled that of a sportsman or hunter rather than the common provincial soldier or Redcoat.  The men of the rangers often were described as wearing green short coats.  Gage's light infantrymen wore brown uniforms with leather helmets or caps.  The men serving in the "light infantry of the regiments" wore cut down versions of their regular Redcoat uniform. 


Our Impressions:

Our Current Impressions:



Rogers Rangers - Capt. James Tute's Compy.

Gage's Light Infantry - Capt. Balfour's Compy.

Light Infantry of the Regiments - 55th Regt., Compy. of Light Infantry




Possible Impressions (must be post 1758):


Provincial Rangers & Independent Companies of Rangers

Gage's Light Infantry

Light Infantry of the Regiments

Gentlemen Volunteers

(Volunteers hoping to earn a commission as an officer found the light infantry a great place to display their bravery and ability to lead.)

 

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    LV Regt. Compy. of Light Infantry              Capt. Balfour's Compy., Gage's Light Infantry                 James Tute's compy. of Rangers