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List of British units in the American Revolutionary War

This is a list of British units which took part in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), fighting against the American rebels and their French, Spanish and Dutch allies in the thirteen North American colonies, including battles in Florida and the West Indies. In addition to the regular army the list includes German auxiliary units (known collectively as Hessians), and militia and provincial units formed from Loyalists, West Indians, and Canadians.

No battle honours were ever awarded to British regiments who fought in America as it was seen by the British to be a civil war. Four battle honours were, however, awarded for actions against the French and Spanish in the West Indies and other theatres.

Of the British Army regiments raised during the war, primarily for military service in North America or the Caribbean, only three, the 23rd Light Dragoons and the 73rd and 78th Foot, survived the post-war reductions in the Army. The 23rd Light Dragoons (later the 19th Light Dragoons) served in India until 1806; the 73rd (renumbered 71st in 1786) later became part of the Highland Light Infantry while the 78th (renumbered 72nd in 1786) became part of the Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs) in 1881.

The newly raised 85th Foot, 86th Foot, 87th Foot, 88th Foot, 89th Foot, 90th Foot, 91st Foot, 92nd Foot, 93rd Foot, 94th Foot and 99th Foot were stationed on garrison duty in the West Indies. All were disbanded at the end of the war.

Infantry units which remained in the British Isles during the war included the 2nd Foot (Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)), the 11th Foot (Devonshires), the 12th Foot (Suffolk), the 25th Foot (King's Own Scottish Borderers) at Sussex, the 32nd Foot at Cornwall, the 36th Foot at Herefordshire, the 39th Foot at East Middlesex, the 41st Foot, the 51st Foot and the 81st Foot.

The 78th Foot, the 83rd Foot and the 95th Foot were stationed in Jersey, where they defeated a French invasion of the island in 1781 (the Battle of Jersey). Other regiments were in service in India or Gibraltar.


British Regular ArmyEdit


Gunner from the Royal Artillery in Canada, 1777, with uniform adapted to North American conditions.



Foot GuardsEdit

Brigade of Guards (raised from drafts of 1st Regiment of Foot Guards, Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards, and 3rd Regiment of Foot Guards) (1656-1968)

  • 1st Battalion (1656–present)
  • 2nd Battalion (1656-1994)

Line InfantryEdit

Regiments stationed in the West Indies

H.M. Marine ForcesEdit

  • 1st Battalion
  • 2nd Battalion

American establishmentEdit

American Loyalist unitsEdit

British establishmentEdit

Provincial CorpsEdit


Local Volunteer CorpsEdit

Associators and RefugeesEdit

West Indian ForcesEdit

German Mercenary AuxiliariesEdit

Principality of Anhalt-ZerbstEdit

Margrave of Ansbach and BayreuthEdit

Duchy of BrunswickEdit

Electorate of HanoverEdit

Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel)Edit

County of Hesse-HanauEdit

Principality of WaldeckEdit

See alsoEdit


  • Katcher, Philip, Encyclopaedia of British, Provincial and German Army Units 1775-1783, 1973, ISBN 0-8117-0542-0
  • History of Hanoverian troops in Gibraltar: Minorca and the East Indies (in German)
  • List of British Loyalist Regiments - The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies
  • Revwar75 - Crown Forces
  • the King's Own Patriots
  • The Hessians in the Revolution

  1. ^ Mary Beacock Fryer (1980). "King's Men: The Soldier Founders of Ontario". Toronto: Dundurn. pp. 32, 77, 85, 94, 101, 105, 131, 135, 143, 348, 361.
  2. ^ Charles Oscar Paullin and Frederic Logan Paxson (1914). "Guide to the Materials in London Archives for the History of the United States Since 1783, Issue 90, Part 2". Washington DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington. p. 538.
  3. ^ Newland, Samuel J. The Pennsylvania Militia:Defending the Commonwealth and the nation, 1669-1870 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs (2002)pp36-45
  4. ^ Jonathan D. Sutherland (2003). "African Americans at War". ABC-CLIO. pp. 420–421. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  5. ^ Black Loyalists:Our History, Our People. Canada's Digital Collection. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28.
  6. ^ a b c d "List of British Loyalist Associators - The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies".

External linksEdit