British Regiment


Brant’s Volunteers was an irregular corps raised in spring of 1777 during the American Revolutionary War by Joseph Brant which fought on the British side in the Province of New York.

The corps initial size was about one hundred men consisting of one-fifth Mohawk and the rest New York Loyalists. The Loyalists were mostly of English, Scottish or Irish descent and drawn from New York. They wore a piece of yellow lace on their hats as identification. Why the Loyalists would prefer Brant’s command is difficult to explain; some refused any other service whatsoever. A simple explanation is that they were wild and undisciplined.{Fact|date=March 2009} Brant’s men, at least on occasion, dressed as Indians due to lack of supply and to disguise themselves while raiding their former neighbors:

“Colonel Alden’s Report To General, Stark.

Head Quarters, Cherey Valley Aug’st 12th 1778.

Dear General; I have the honour to Informe you that this Morning a Scout of mine Came in who have been Peace Down the Suscohanna taking their rout round by the Butternuts and Returnd by the way of one Tunecliffts who they have, with fourteen or fifteen other Torrys, Brought In Likewise two of Brant’s party, who ware Collecting Cattel at the Butternuts for Brant. Ware Clothed and painted Like Indians; with them they have Brought about one hundred head of horn’d Cattel, and horses besides thirty or Forty Sheep then of Brant’s Party ware a Scout up to the Butternuts from the Unidlles and ware there Collecting Cattle, Expectlng In two or three Days a Party from Brant’s to assist in Careing them Down, but as good Luck would have It we have ben two quick for them, I have Exeamined them and verily think all of them to be Enemys to this Country, Should much Rather fall Into the hands of Brant then either of them.”

Though Joseph himself received a Captain’s commission in the Six Nations Indian Dept., Brant’s Volunteers were Associators; they were unpaid by the British and relied upon plunder (and Joseph’s credit) for their compensation. Eventually, Frederick Haldimand authorized provisioning, but no money. Since their unit had no official recognition, many members transferred to Butler’s Rangers and the King’s Royal Regiment of New York. It grew to at least three hundred men. Later in the war, Brant was able to attract a larger number of Indians to his unit.

They were at the Battle of Oriskany (1777), Battle of Cobleskill, Battle of Minisink, Attack on German Flatts, Raid on Springfield (1778) and at many other battles seeing more action than most other units.

A few of the non-natives were still with the unit at the end of the war and settled with Brant along the Grand River in Canada.