The First Foot Guards

We are a Revolutionary War reenactment group based in Boston MA,
accurately portraying the royal household regiment that is now known as
The Grenadier Guards


The Organization of the 
British Army


History of the First Foot Guards

Organization of the First Foot Guards


Organization of a typical Line Regiment (1775)
Guards organization was different

Order of Battle
at New York City and Pennsylvania

The British Army in the American Revolution
Historian EE Curtis on the difficulties


Regiments of the army
Location of the Regiments in 1775

Provisioning the army 
What the troops got to eat


Ranking within a Line Regiment
Notes on the command structure

English establishment
Listing of regiments and their strengths

Pay scale of the army
How much more pay did Guards get over Line Regiments?

Cost of Officers' Commissions
How much did officers have to shell out?

The Chirugeon
Who were the staff, and what were their qualifications?

The Engineer
Mr Montresor and his travels in America.

The British Army in the American Revolution.

"Ever since the American Revolution became a subject of investigation, no little discussion has been paid to the continental army. The British army, on the other hand has received but passing notice. Writers have frequently assumed that it was a smooth-running fighting machine which failed because badly directed. The impression has been created that it wanted in nothing save success. We are asked to picture Washington's men as ragged and half-starved, while Howe's are to be imagined as warmly-clothed and well-fed. In fact the well-equipped forces of the crown in scarlet coats and gold braid have traditionally been used as a foil to set off the wants and sufferings of the tattered Continentals."

So wrote Edward E Curtis in his Yale doctoral thesis, which was published in 1926
 in New Haven as:

The Organization of the British Army in the American Revolution.

This excellent study has been reprinted (1998) by:
Corner House Historical Publications
14 Catherine street, PO Box 207
Gansevoort NY 12831

Curtis went on to become Professor of North American history at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, a post he held for many decades.

Curtis wrote his thesis to test the accuracy of this view expressed above and to shed light on the methods employed in recruiting, transporting and subsisting the army in America. After a thorough and critical discussion of these aspects, supported by fascinating tables of contemporary data and supported by copious citations, Curtis concludes that:

"The failure of British armies in the American Revolution cannot be ascribed to want of courage on the part of the officers or men. No braver troops ever shed their blood for the flag of England than those who thrice charged up bunker Hill or who attacked the American lines at Saratoga. The failure was due partly to inept generalship, partly to natural difficulties, and partly to maladministration. In this study, emphasis has been laid on the last two factors. The blunders of British generals have frequently been stressed, but the negligence, corruption and inefficiency which pervaded the administration of the army and the manifold obstacles that stood in the way of an attempt to suppress rebellion in America have rarely been accorded adequate recognition.

"As regards the matter of natural difficulties, indeed the king's troops had more to contend with than their opponents. They were separated from their base by a broad expanse of the Atlantic. Supplies had to be brought a distance of three thousand miles by water. In these days of steam-propelled ships, it is no small achievement, as the recent war [ World War I] demonstrated. Infinitely more difficult it was in the era of laggard sailing vessels, which were at the mercy of every wind.


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