18th Century Living History

The 68th Foot in North America?

In Seven Years War on July 7, 2011 at 10:28 am

John Lambtons 68th foot will be guesting with NFOE at a living history event at Quebec House at the begining of September. In preperation I’ve been doing some research on the British Soldier in North America and more generally about the 68th foot in North America.

Guadeloupe in 1759, several of the places on the map are mentioned in the Soldiers Journal

Firstly it goes without saying the 68th foot as a regiment per se never served in North America. We do know however men drafted from the regiment did serve in what was then deemed North America. Men of the 68th were drafted to regiments serving in Guadeluope, as mentioned in this extract from ‘A Soldiers Journal’, “when we recieved order to march back Southampton, when we arrived we found the other half of the regiment had been drafted to fill up regiments garrsioned in the island of Guadeloupe”. The soldier of the 68th’s journal continues and he himself is eventually drafted and sails for the Indies.

The soldier was drafted into one of the regiments garrisioning the Islands and would eventually go on to serve in Lord Rollo’s succesful expedition to occupy Dominica and this probably explains why the regiment is sometimes wrongly said to have taken part in the taking of capture. In fact some of draftees may have even taken part in the capture of Havana 1762.

The Siege of Havana, from the National Maritime Museum Collection.

Although drafted ‘a soldiers journal’ makes it relatively clear that the men drafted were done so quite quickly and that there is no mention of a change of regimental uniform occurring. It is therefore probable men in the uniform of the 68th did fight in the North America Theatre at least in 1761 and perhaps up to 1762 depending on the availability of new uniforms.

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