27th (Inniskilling) Regiment to North America

Thursday, 5 May, 1757

During the Seven Years’ War, the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment of Foot was ordered, in February 1757, to march from its stations in Ireland to Cork where it arrived with families following. While the Inniskillings waited some two months for the transports and the right sailing conditions, the Regiment’s records noted the warm hospitality afforded by Cork’s citizens and businesses. This became important for the soldiers’ wives and children who had to remain in Cork when the Regiment departed for North America.

The Regiment set sail in a convoy of transports on 5 May 1757. After seven weeks at sea, the 27th landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in early July, and, with detachments from other regiments, formed a reserve for an expected expedition planned by the Commander in Chief and Governor General Virginia, General Lord Loudoun, to attack the French fortress of Louisburg on Cape Breton Island. Intelligence concerning the presence of a French fleet in the harbour at Louisburg caused Loudoun to abandon the attack. He reorganized his force and set sail with the Inniskillings for New York. On arrival, the Regiment was ordered to Fort Edward.

FortEdward2thFort Edward was located at the most northerly point of the Hudson River near the boundary between the Province of New York and Nouvelle (New) France. It was where travellers had to leave the Hudson and carry their canoes overland to Lake George in order to continue the downriver journey from the lake to the St Lawrence River.

It was there, during preparations for operations against the French, that five volunteers, two officers and three NCOs, undertook training in scouting and fighting in woods, tactical skills necessary in the terrain running astride the Hudson River and north towards the St Lawrence River.

Such training was directed by Major Robert Rogers of the New England Rangers. Rogers’ Rangers operated in winter against the French, travelling on snowshoes and crossing frozen rivers and was one of the few colonial forces capable of operating in the harsh winter conditions through difficult mountainous terrain. Rogers commanded his Rangers in conditions where British regular units were unable to operate. He wrote a period handbook on tactics with its twenty-eight 'Rules of Ranging'