Unit History

On September 7, 1757, Lord Loudon, the Commander in Chief of British Forces, circulated a letter to the various Provincial governments requesting they provide him with Ranging companies to be attached to the British Army. The Council put the task to the Provincial Assembly who, on September 13, 1757 voted for and authorized the pay and clothing of 100 men, officers included. The company was provided with a definite uniform consisting of: “ one good Blanket, a half thick Under-Jacket, a kersey lapell’d Jacket, Buckskin Breeches, two check Shirts, two pair of Shoes, and two pair of Stockings, a Leather cap and a Hatchet”.[1]  The Assembly requested that Lord Loudon provide the company with Arms.  Recruiting was ongoing throughout the next two months. Sometime in early December the company was mustered before their Provincial agents and found to be fit for service. The company then began making their way to Albany, NY via New York City as a newspaper extract for December 26th, 1757 states: "Thursday last a Number of Rangers, raised in New Jersey, passed this City on their Way to the Northward."[2]

It appears that not all the Rangers made the trip up to Albany though. In the January 2nd, 1758 issue of the New York Gazette or the Weekly Post Boy the following advertisement was made: " DESERTED from Perth-Amboy, the 20th Instant, JOHN MAGEE from the Company of RANGERS Whereof HEZEKIAH DUNN is CAPTIAN, Said MAGEE is about 5 feet high, 45 years of age, Red fac'd, had on when he went away Provincial Clothing, viz. A Grey lapell'd Waistcoat, and an under green Jacket, a Leather Cap, and Buck-skin Breeches. Who-ever will secure said Deserter, and lodg Him in any Gaol, or bring him to said Regiment, now at Albany, shall have 20s. Sterling Reward, Paid by said Capt. Hezekiah Dunn"[3]. The add ran in the next two issues also. Private Magee appears to have returned to the Company because the Company pay roster has him finishing out his term of service, but he is lacking 4 days pay compared to his comrades. A case of homesickness or unfinished business no doubt kept him from marching with the others.

In late November as the Company was being raised, a party of French and Indians had descended the Mohawk River in New York, and laid waste to the settlement of German Flats, giving the impression that the interior of New York was next to be invaded. The British commander in chief, Lord Loudon sent some regulars and local militia to meet the attack but they were to late. The French had raided the settlement and retreated back into Canada. The local military commander, Sir William Johnson requested that soldiers be posted in the settlements in the valley for their protection.

As the Company arrived in Albany, Lord Loudon decided that they would be of good service to the Mohawk area and sent them to Stone Arabia.[4] 

No other operational notes are known for their stay in the Mohawk region at this time, except for a letter from Guy Johnson to his uncle Sir William Johnson upon the Company's leaving the area when their service obligation expired on April 1st, 1758.[5] The Company appears to have had a hard time returning home to New Jersey. On July 14th, 1758 Capt. Dunn laid before the House of Assembly a petition for 15 extra days pay to cover the time and expense he and his men suffered after their official discharge. The petition states that bad weather, bad roads, and a number of the men being taken with smallpox delayed their timely return.[6] It is not known weather the men received this extra pay as it is not noted on their official pay roster. One thing that is known is that 10 of the Rangers did not return home to New Jersey. They are listed as deceased on the pay roster. It is uncertain whether smallpox or hostile action killed them.

On thing is for certain though, New Jersey troops "did most effective service" throughout the French & Indian War.






[1] New Jersey. General Assembly. Votes and Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Province of New Jersey. Aug. 19-Sept. 23.  Woodbridge: Parker, 1757, New Jersey Archives, Colonial Wars File, Trenton

[2] The Pennsylvania Journal. No. 786, December 29, 1757, Microfiche copy

[3] The New York Gazette or Weekly Post Boy, #780, January 2nd, 1758, New York Public Library

[4] Abercromby to Johnson, 27 Dec 1757, The Papers of Sir William Johnson, Volume II, pp. 768-769, Albany, 1922


[5] Guy Johnson to William Johnson, 2 April 1758, The Papers of Sir William Johnson, Volume II, pp.809-810, Albany, 1922

[6] Petition of Hezekiah Dunn, 14 July 1758, New Jersey Archives, Colonial Wars File, Trenton