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Morgan's Rangers

Posted on 02 April 2012

 

The American revolutionaries were not without their Rangers, despite Rogers' support of the Crown. On the brink of war, the Continental Congress passed a resolution on 14 June 1775, on what is known as Flag Day, that "six companies of expert riflemen be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia." From these beginnings of the Continental Army, a group of expert riflemen composed of hardy frontiersmen were formed in 1777 into an organization George Washington referred to as The Corps of Rangers. Commanded by Dan Morgan, this Ranger force was singled out by British General John Burgoyne, the commander of British forces intent on isolating the New England colonies, as "the most famous corps of the Continental Army, all of them crack shots."

Following a disastrous expedition to Quebec, Canada, and his subsequent capture and parole as a prisoner, Morgan was appointed a colonel of a rifle regiment. Morgan's Corps of Rangers was coming to fruition. For the remainder of the war, the fame of Morgan and of his Rangers continued to grow as they deployed throughout the colonies engaging British forces.

Morgan would continue to fight in support of the American Revolution in a number of significant battles, including the battle at Cowpens, South Carolina, on 17 January 1781. An attack against Morgan and his "crack shots" by a British force of 1,100 men would result in a brilliant double envelopment that has been called by historians the "American Cannae." The British defeat was total with over 110 soldiers killed and 830 captured. Morgan's losses were placed at twelve killed and sixty-one wounded.

Source: Army Ranger



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