Make your own free website on Tripod.com
THE AMLAW FAMILY     |   Home  Links  Contents
Some History of the "Congress's Own Regt."


see this also...

and this....

On 19 November 1775 Montgomery had directed his kinsman James Livingston to begin raising the regiment of Canadians authorized by Congress. Livingston, a New Yorker, had married a woman from Montreal and had settled at Chambly. He formed the regiment at nearby Pointe Olivier and moved it up to Quebec in December.40
Several Canadians who had been expelled from Quebec by the British also began to recruit men, although only the partnership of Edward Antil and Moses Hazen proved successful. When Antil, son of a former chief justice of New Jersey, carried the news of Montgomery's death from Quebec to Congress, he used the opportunity to recommend Moses Hazen as a popular local leader. Hazen was a New Hampshire native who had served as a captain in Rogers' Rangers during the French and Indian War. Although he had been allowed to purchase a lieutenancy in the British 44th Foot, he had been forced into retirement in 1763 and had settled in Canada. After marrying a French-Canadian, he became an economic and social leader in the Richelieu Valley. Hazen arrived in Philadelphia shortly after Antil. On 20 January 1776 they secured authorization to raise a second Canadian regiment. Unlike Livingston's the new unit was patterned after French regiments in Europe during the Seven Years' War. Its 1,000 rank and file were organized in four battalions, each with five 50-man companies.41
Colonel Hazen and Lieutenant Colonel Antil returned to Canada and on 10 February organized the 2d Canadian Regiment, primarily in the Richelieu and St. Lawrence Valleys. Many French veterans of the French and Indian War who had remained as settlers in Canada in 1763 joined the unit, but only half the regiment was recruited before the pro-American sympathies of the Canadian populace subsided. Hazen's personal financial backing during this period gave the regiment a special status. Since Congress did not reimburse Hazen, it allowed him to retain a proprietary interest in the regiment. As a result the unit retained its unique four-battalion organization throughout the war.42
Although both Canadian regiments drew heavily on French-Canadians for their enlisted strength, most of the officers came from the small English-speaking community. A majority of this segment of the population had been born in America, including the two colonels, and were ardent supporters of the Revolution. The influential French clergy, however, supported the British Crown. Bishop Briand of Quebec excommunicated Catholic Canadians who supported the Americans, including Francois-Louis Chartier de Lotbiniere, a Recollet priest who served as Livingston's chaplain. The evacuation of Canada in the summer of 1776 then added exile to this spiritual hardship for the men of the regiments and their families.
40. Montgomery to Schuyler, 19 Nov and 5 Dec 75, and Arnold to congress, 11 Jan 76, RG 360, National Archives.
41. Arnold to Congress, 12 Jan 76, RG 360, National Archives; Force, American Archives, 4th ser., 5:550; JCC, 4:75, 78, 223, 238-39; Smith, Letters of Delegates, 3:112-13, 122-24, 146-48, 154, 161, 167, 459. Valuable sources for the formation of the Canadian regiments include the following: George Francis Gilman Stanley, Canada Invaded, 1775-1776 (Toronto: Hakkert, 1973); Gustave Lanctot, Canada and the American Revolution, 1774-1783, trans. Margaret M. Cameron (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967); and Allen S. Everest, Moses Hazen and the Canadian Refugees in the American Revolution (Syracuse: University of Syracuse Press, 1976).
42. JCC, 5:811-12; 6:900; 8:589; 19:427-29; Force, American Archives, 4th ser., 5:751-53; Pennsylvania Archives, 1st ser., 8:17-20; Board of War Report, 28 Jun 81, RG 360, National Archives; Gates to (probably Congress), October 1778, and Hazen to Gates, 28 Jan 79 and 12 Dec 82, Gates Papers.