FORTY SECOND REGIMENT VETERANS IN NEW BRUNSWICK

 

Arrival in America, 1776

         

Unlike the English, whose regiments usually incorporated the dregs of society, in the Highlands of Scotland bearing arms was considered an honored profession. The “Blackwatch”, 42nd Highland regiment, was one of the most prestigeous of all Scots formations. Some Laird’s sons actually enlisted as privates when the regiment was first created. While this was no longer the case in 1776, the majority of privates were drawn from the families of tenant farmers which means– as far as commoners are concerned – they were from the top of the social hierarchy.

 

On April 29 1776, The Blackwatch and Fraser Highlanders left Greenock, Scotland, embarked in a fleet of 35 sail. They were destined to be part of the largest amphibian operation in British history up until that time. Unfortunately the ships were scattered by a storm, and word of Boston’s evacuation didn’t reach elements of the fleet until they were nearing America. As a result, the 42nd’s transport “Oxford and several of the Fraser Highlander’s vessals sailed into Boston harbour where they were captured. However, by August 3th most of the convoy had joined General William Howe at Staten island, New York.

 

The campaign of 1776

 

The Blackwatch greatly distinguished itself in the campaign of 1776. At Long island on August 27th, they burst the American lines in a single bayonet charge. A diary entry from that charges adds that “ the Hessians and our brave Highlanders gave no quarter, and it was a fine sight to see what alarcity they dispatched the rebels with their bayonets after we had surrounded them so that they could not resist.” The 42nd was part of the force that overan the American lines at Kips Bay (Sept 15th), engaged a surperior number of rebels at Harlaam heights (Sept 16th) and took part in the attack at White Plains (Oct 28th). While the main British forces were bogged down attacking Fort Washington, the 42nd led two other battalions in a flank attack (Nov 16th) . Ignoring the rebel fire, the Highlanders charged uphill ( one corpulent battalion commander had to be assisted because he could not make the climb alone!) to capture 200 rebels and cause the entire fort to surrender.

 

Pisquatua, and other American Attacks

 

By Christmas 1776, the war seemed very close to ending. George Washington’s army had been repeatedly defeated as it was chased out of New York and New Jersey. Almost everyone expected his surrender. Then Washington crossed the Delaware river to fall upon Rall’s regiment of Hessians quartered at Trenton. A thousand Germans were captured, and their commander slain, in the brief encounter. The 42nd was part of the British army that marched under Cornwallis to bag the old fox - Washington – at the scene of his victory. The British arrived near nightfall, but with the Delaware frozen behind them it seemed certain that the rebels would not be able to cross back over -so Cornwallis decided to wait for the following morning before attacking. Wahington managed to escape in the darkness and – much to Cornwallis’ chagrin - captured the British rearguard at Princeton.

 

The 42nd’s turn to suffer one of these attacks arrived on May 10 1777. Between 1,500 and 2,000 fell upon their winter camp at Pisquatua. Though surprised and driven from their forward positions in a wood, the 42nd was, in the words of the American commander “too proud to surrender”. They actually rallied and thrust the Americans back! There were too many rebels for this counterattack to be countinue, and the 42nd was again compelled to give way. But they continued to fight for an hour and a half, until some neighbouring British units arrived to help push the Americans away.

 

The 1777 Offensive

 

The British resumed the offensive in the Summer. In one of the greatest strategic errors of the war, General Howe left Burgoyne’s army pushing down from Canada to its own devices and instead marched against the American capital at Philadelphia. The 42nd, newly reinforced by 170 Highlanders, was in the reserve when Howe again beat Washington in the battle of Brandywine (September 11). The British marched into Philadelphia, but Burgoyne’s outnumbered army was forced to surrender at Saratoga (Oct 17).

 

The March North

 

All hope of a speedy Birtish victory ended that winter. Clinton replaced Howe as commander of British troops in America. Instead of being reinforced, the army was stripped of troops to supply other theatres. With only 10,000 men under his command, Clinton marched North to New York. Washington pursued, and finally caught up to the British at Monmouth Court House (June 28, 1778). The 42nd took part in the attack that threw the American vanguard back. But the American army that stood at Monmouth was of a different sort than that which Howe had beaten in 1776 and 1777. Over the winter at Valley Forge, they had been forged into a weapon capable to meeting the British on their own ground. Though tecnically a draw, the battle of Monmouth marked ther emergence of Washington’s army as a force to be reckoned with.

 

The Rest of the War

 

Monmouth was the last major battle in the Northern theatre. Aside from being shipped South to help capture Charleston in the Spring of 1780, the Blackwatch was employed in a number of raids ( Portsmouth, Elizabethtown) and garrison postings around New York. The focus of the British effort shifted Southwards, and ended at Yorktown in 1781. After that, they merely waited for peace to be made.

 

Blackwatch vets in New Brunwick  

 

Discharged members of the 42nd entered New Brunswick along two major routes. Ninety eight arrived in St John, on October 17 1783, in the transports “Jason” and “Mercury”, along with the final Loyalist fleet from New York. The regiment, itself, sailed to Halifax. By December 17th 1783, sixteen 42nd vets from Halifax are known to have crossed over to St John. More may have followed.

 

There are undoubtedly errors in my attempt to seperate the following list of New Brunswick 42nd vets according to their port of arrival. I have to wonder, for example, if the three John Sutherlands might actually have been less than three people. Then there is John McGilvray and Donald Urquhart who Esther Clarke Wright listed as taking lots at Nashwaak, in her LOYALISTS IN NEW BRUNSWICK; but of whom I can find no corresponding mentions in the list of 1787 Nashwaak grants compiled by the Nashwaak Bicentennial Association.

My attempt to identify the New Brunswick vets who landed in Halifax would not have been possable had not Kim McDonald and Michael Barton sent me a list drawn up from the Public Records Office in London. In attempting to link some of the men discharged in Halifax as those who later appeared in New Brunswick, there is bound to be at least one case of mistaken identity.

 

All this being said, I suspect that the list that follows is, in the main, correct. There are, for example, 98 said to have landed at St John – the exact number we know to have arrived on the “Jason” and “Mercury”. That there are more than anticipated from Halifax can be explained by men ariving after December 17th 1783.

 

The total number of 42nd vets who settled in New Brunswick would appear to be 123 or, if we include the two entries that appear only in Wright’s book, 125.

At least twenty-five of these vets moved up the Mirimichi, most of them stayed there, but Charles McLaughlin is believed to have arrived in Tracadie as early as 1786, and another six were among those who established Tabusintac in 1798.

 

The Veterans:

 

(J1) Abernathy,              St John             Nashwaak              York co.

William                     Oct 1783   Lots 38,57

1787

 

(J2) Bain,                              St John            Nashwaak

Alexander               Oct 1783   Lot 66

1787

 

(J3) Blair,                              St John            Nashwaak

            George                      Oct 1783   Lot 117

                                                                        1787

 

(H1) Bruce,                           Halifax?       Nashwaak,  Mirimichi, Tabusintac

            David                         Oct ‘83       Lots 151,153                 Lot 29 SS                                                                              1787                                  1798?

 

(J4) Bruce,                            St John            Nashwaak              Fredericton

            John                          Oct ‘83       Lots 56, 114

1787

 

(H2) Buchanan,               Halifax?,             Nashwaak,                         Fredericton

William                     Oct 24 1783   Lot 72

1787

 

(J5)Cameron,                     St John            Nashwaak

            James                      Oct ‘83       Lot 95

                                                                        1787

 

(H3) Cameron,                  Halifax?             Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi?

            John                          Oct ’83       Lot 31

                                                                        1787

 

(J6) Campbell,                 St John            Nashwaak-

Lt Dugald                      Oct ‘83       Lot 1

                                                                        1787

 

(H4) Campbell,                 Halifax?            Nashwaak

            Dugald                      Oct ’83       Lots 54,82,84

                                                                        1787

 

(J7) Campbell,                 St John  c 444 Dip. Har.

            Hugh                          Oct 1783   1787

 

(J8) Daniel,                            St John            Nashwaak,                                     Mirimichi

            William                     Oct 1783   Lot 58

1787

 

(J9) Dewar,                           St John            Nashwaak,                                     Mirimichi

            John                          Oct 1783   1787

 

(J10) Dure,                            St John  Cn?

            Patrick                      Oct 1783

 

(J11) Finlayson,                St John            Nashwaak?

            John                          Oct 1783   Lot 61

1787

           

(J12) Forbes,                      St John            Nashwaak

            James                      Oct ’83       Lot 96

                                                                        1787

 

(H5) Fraser,                          Halifax?            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lot 119

                                                                        1787

 

(J13) Fraser,                         St John            Nashwaak?

            Cpl Thomas                     Oct 1783   Lots 120, 121

1787

 

(J14) Gardner,                    St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lots 50, 106

                                                                        1787

 

(J15) Gray,                            St John            Nashwaak?                        Carleton co

            John                          Oct 1783   Lots 43,60

1787

 

(J16) Gunn,                         St John            Nashwaak              Mirimichi

            Alexander               Oct 1783   Lot 132

1787

 

(J17) Gunn,                         St John            Nashwaak              Mirimichi

            James                      Oct 1783   Lots 100, 102

1787

 

(J18) Kennedy,                  St John            Nashwaak

            Hugh                          Oct ’83       Lots 143,144

                                                                        1787

 

(J19) Kennedy,                  St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct 1783   Lots 124,125

1787

 

(J20) Leslie,             St John            Nashwaak

            Geogre                      Oct 1783   lots 3,37

1787

 

(J21) Masterton,                St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ‘83       Lot 81

(absent)

 

(J22) Mathewson,                         St John            Nashwaak?

            Sgt Alexander            Oct ‘83       Lots 75,76

1787

 

(J22) Matheson,                St John  St John

            George                      Oct 1783   Lot 97

1787

 

(J23) McBain,                     St John            Nashwaak

            Angus                      Oct 1783   Lots 49,154,155

                                                                        1787

 

(J24) McCaulay,                St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            William                     Oct 1783   Lts 23,24

                                                                        1787

 

(H6) McCraw,                    Halifax?            Nashwaak, Mirimichi ,            Tabusintac

Ducan                      Lots 17,18   Lot 7 SS       Lot 53 N.S             Lot 63

                                                Oct ’83       1787             1787                     1798

 

(J25) McCraw,                    St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            Farquhar                  Oct 1783   Lot 77

1787

 

(H7) McCraw,                    Halifax            Nashwaak              Mirimichi

Neil                             24 Oct 1783   Lot 87

                        1787

 

(J26) McCulloch,               St John            Nashwaak

drummer Richard                     Oct ‘83       Lot 64

                                                                        1787

 

(J27) McCulloch,               St Johns            Nashwaak

drummer William                       Oct ‘83       Lot 63

                                                                        1787

 

(J28) McDonald,                St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            Alexander Sr            Oct 1783   Lot 35?

                                                                        1787

 

(J29) McDonald,                St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            Alexander Jr            Oct 1783   Lots 113,178?

                                                                        1787

 

Note: An Alexander McDonald was discharged at Halifax, but as the two above seem to be together I have assumed that this was a third Alex.

 

(H8) McDonald,                Halifax?            Nashwaak                          Sussex

            Donald                      Oct 1783   Lot 152

                                                                        1787

 

(J30) McDonald,                St John            Nashwaak

            Francis                      Oct ’83       Lots 34, 39,40

                                                                        1787

 

(J31) McDonald,                St John            Nashwaak

            James                      Oct 1783   Lot 78

                                                                        1787

 

(H9) McDonald,                Halifax?            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lot 115

                                                                        1787

 

(J32) McDougall,               St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            Donald or Daniel            Oct ’83       Lots 141,149,150

                                                                        1787

 

(J33) McFadden,               St John            Nashwaak

            Donald                      Oct ’83       Lot 10

                                                                        1787

 

(J34) McFarlane,               St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            George                      Oct ’83       Lot 136

                                                                        1787

 

(J35) McFarlane,               St John            Nashwaak

            St John              Oct ’83       Lots 4, 147,148

                                                                        1787

 

(J36) McGillvray,               St John            Nashwaak

            Alexander               Oct 1783   Lots 22, 29

                                                                        1787

 

(?) McGilvray, John              ?                      Nashwaak?

           

Note:Wright lists him, but no corresponding record is found in the 1787 list compiled by the Nashwaak Bicentennial Association.

 

(J37) McGregor,                St John            Nashwaak

            Donald

 

(J38) McGregor,                St John            Nashwaak

            Duncan                   Oct ’83       Lot 20

                                                                        1787

 

(H10) McGregor,                Halifax?            Nashwaak

            John                                                  Lots 16,19,45

                                                                        1787

 

(H11) McGregor,                Halifax?            Nashwaak

            Malcom                                             Lot 90

                                                                        1787

 

(J39) McIntosh,                  St John            Nashwaak

            Alexander               Oct ’83       Lots 179,180

                                                                        1787

 

(J40) McIntosh,                  St John            Nashwaak

Drummer Lochlan                     Oct ’83       Lots 181,182

                                                                        1787

 

(J41) McIntosh,                  St John            Nashwaak

            Malcom                     Oct ’83       Lots 47, 135

                                                                        1787

 

(J42) McIntosh,                  St John            Nashwaak              York county

            Sgt William                       Oct ’83       Lots 5,65,67

                                                                        1787

 

(J43) McIntyre,                   St John  p 842

            Cpl Angus

 

(H12) McIver,                       Halifax?            Nashwaak

Alexander               Oct ’83       Lot 32

                                                                        1787

 

(H13) McKay,                      Halifax?            Nashwaak              Kent

            Angus                      Oct ’83       Lot 108

                                                                        1787

 

(J44) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak

            Donald                      Oct ’83       Lot 128

                                                                        1787

 

(J45) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak

Duncan                   Oct ’83       Lts 26,28

                                                                        1787

 

(J46) McKay,                      St John  p 261

            Francis

 

(J47) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak

George Sr                 Oct ’83       Lot 133

                                                                        1787

 

(J48) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak

            George Jr                 Oct ’83       Lots 27,37

                                                                        1787

 

(J49) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak

            Henry                         Oct ’83       Lot 59

                                                                        1787

 

(J50) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lot 170

                                                                        1787

 

(J51) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak

            Robert Sr                  Oct ’83       Lots 109,110,111

                                                                        1787

 

(J52) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            Robert Jr                  Oct ’83            Lots6,61,88,126

                                                                        1787

 

(J53) McKay,                      St John            Nashwaak       

            William                     Oct ’83       Lot 27

                                                                        1787

 

(J54) McKenzie,                St John            Nashwaak              Nashwaak

Alexander               Lot # 2                      died 1848

June 6 1787

 

(J55) McKenzie,                St John            Nashwaak

            Cpl Donald                      Oct ’83       Lots 44, 156

                                                                        1787

 

(H14) McKenzie,                Halifax?            Nashwaak                          Mirimichi

            Hugh                                                  Lot 167                             (Blackville)

June 6 1787

 

(H15) McKenzie,                Halifax?                   Nashwaak              see note

            John                          Oct ‘83                   Lot 112                

           

(H16) McKenzie,                Halifax?                   Nashwaak             see note

            John                         Oct ‘83                   Lots 42, 172                       see note

 

I am informed that one of the two John McKenzies. Listed above, later moved to Lancaster parish, St John county, and agsin to Carleton county where he died about 1834

 

(J56) McKenzie,                St John            Nashwaak

            Sgt John              Oct ’83       Lots 5,33

                                                                        1787

 

(J57) McKenzie,                St John            Nashwaak              Kent parish

            Roderick                   Oct ’83       Lot 71                                    (Carleton co)

                                                                        Jun 6 1787

 

(J58) McLaggan,               St John            Nashwaak

            Cpl Pter                Oct ’83       Lots 171,173,174,176,177

                                                                        1787

 

(H17) McLaughlin,             Halifax?            Nashwaak?                        Tracadie

Charles                    Oct 1783            (family)                     1786?

                                                            (family)

 

(J59) McLean,                    St John            Nashwaak                          Sussex

            Cp; Donald                      Oct ’83       Lot 30

                                                                        1787

 

(H18) McLennon,               Halifax?       St John

            William                     Oct ‘83

 

(J60) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak

Cpl Donald                      Oct ’83       Lots 148,168,169

                                                                        1787

 

(J61) McLeod,                    St John?            Nashwaak,                         Mirmichi

            Duncan                   Oct ’83       Lots 157, 160

                                                                        1787

 

Note: A Donald McLeod, was discharged at Halifax, might actually be the man listed above.

 

(J62) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak             Tabusintac

            John                          Oct 1783   Lot 164                 Lots 35,39,47,50                                                                           1787                           1798

 

Note: McLeod was discharged from James Campbell’s company in July. I am only assuming that he would have been among those to go to St John.

 

(J63) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak                          Fredericton

            Malcom                     Oct 1783   Lot 13

1787

 

(J64) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak

            Murdoch                 Oct ’83       Lot 161

                                                                        1787

 

(J65) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak

            Robert                       Oct ’83       lot 183

                                                                        1787

 

(J66) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak

            Roderick Sr             Oct ’83       Lots 162,163

                                                                        1787

 

(J67) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak

            Roderick Jr              Oct ’83       Lots 46,158,159

 

(J68) McLeod,                    St John            Nashwaak

            William                     Oct ’83       Lot 166

                                                                        1787

 

(J69) McMillan,                   St John            Nashwaak,                                     Mirimichi

            Miles                          Oct ’83       Lot 14

                                                                        1787

 

(J70) McNabb,                   St John            Nashwaak

            Sgt James                        Oct ’83       Lots 21,73,74,83

 

(J71) McPherson,                         St John            Charlotte co

            John                          Oct ’83

 

(J72) McPherson,                         St John            Nashwaak                          York county

William                     Oct ’83       Lots 129,131

                        1787

 

(J73) McSwain,                  St John            Nashwaak,                                     Mirimichi?

            Murdoch                 Oct ’83       Lot 80

                                                                        1787

           

(H20) Menzies,                   Halifax            Nashwaak?                        Mirmichi

John                          Oct 24 ‘83,                                         Lot 6 SS

                                                            by 1786

 

(J74) Munn,                         St John            Nashwaak

            Cpl Donald                      Oct 1783   lots 130,139,140

1787

 

(J75) Munro,                         St John            Nashwaak

            William                     Oct 1783   Lot 36

                                                                        1787

 

(J76) Murdock,                  St John            Nashwaak,                         Tabusintac

            Donald                      Oct ‘83       1787                           1798

 

(J77) Peebles,                    St John            Nashwaak

George                      Oct ’83       Lots 53, 63

                        1787

 

(J78) Peebles,                    St John            Nashwaak

John                          Oct ’83       Lots 79, 85

                        1787

 

(H21) Robertson,               Halifax?            Nashwaak

Donald or Daniel            Oct ‘83       Lots 104,105

                                                                        1787

 

(H22) Robertson,               Halifax,             Nashwaak,             Mirmichi            Tabusintac.

            Duncan                   Oct 24 1783            (story)           lot 5 SS       1798

                                                                                                By 1786

 

(J79) Robertson,               St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lots 93,94

                                                                        1787

 

(H23) Rose,                         Halifax            Nashwaak              Mirimichi

            Donald                      Oct ’83       Lot 118

                                                                        1787

 

(J80) Ross,                           St John            Nashwaak

Andrew                     Oct ’83       Lot 86

                                                                        1787

 

(H24) Ross,                         Halifax?;            Nashwaak

            Donald                      Oct ’83       Lots 41, 89

                                                                        1787

 

(J81) Ross,                           St John            Nashwaak

            James Sr                 Oct ’83       Lot 12

                                                                        1787

 

(J82) Ross,                           St John            Nashwaak

            James Jr                 Oct 1783   lots 11,15

                                                                        1787

 

(J83) Ross,                           St John  Kent?

            Cpl John             Oct ’83

 

Note: In her “History of Tabusintac”, Louise mentions “one Ross” from the 42nd who settled in Tabusintac, but I don’t have the data to connect this statement to any of the men mentioned above.

 

(J84) Sproule,                    St John            Nashwaak

            Sgt Andrew                     Oct ’83       Lots 98,99

                                                                        1787

 

(J85) Stewart,                     St John            Nashwaak

            Duncan                   Oct ’83       Lot 166

                                                                        1787

 

(J86) Stewart,                     St John            Nashwak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lot 103

                                                                        1787

 

(J87) Stewart,                     St John            Nashwaak

            Sgt Peter              Oct ’83       Lots 52,122,123

                                                                        1787  

 

(J88) Sutherland,             St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            George                      Oct ’83       Lot 101                 Davidson/Cort

                                                                        1787?                         Sept 1785

 

(J89) Sutherland,             St John            Nashwaak

            Hugh                          Oct ’73       Lots 7, 9

                                                                        1787

 

(J90) Sutherland,              St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lot 8

                                                                        1787

 

(J91) Sutherland,             St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lots 145,175

                                                                        1787

 

(J92) Sutherland,             St John            Nashwaak

            John                          Oct ’83       Lot 130

                                                                        1787

 

(J93) Sutherland,             St John            Nashwaak

            Robert                       Oct ’83       Lot 146

                                                                        1787

           

(J94) Sutherland,             St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            William                     Oct ’83       Lot 134                 by 1788

                                                                        1787  

 

(J95) Thompson,             St John            Nashwaak

            Sgt John              Oct ’83       lots 69, 70

                                                                        1787

 

(J96) Trebblecock,                       St John  St John co

            Thomas                    Oct ‘83      

 

(?) Urquhart, Donald                                  Nashwaak?

                                               

Note: This is another vet listed by Wright, but not found in the Nashwaak Bicentennial list

 

(H25) Wier,                             Halifax?            Nashwaak

            JOhn                          Oct ’83       Lot 25

 

(J97) Wilson,                      St John            Nashwaak

            Adam                         Oct ’83       Lot 107

                                                                        1787

 

(J98) Yeldon,                      St John            Nashwaak,                         Mirimichi

            Sgt Alexander            Oct ’83       Lot 66

                                                                        1787