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Men of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers in North America, 1757
Edited by Robert Henderson

The following order to the colonel of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers provides the 23rd Regiment a connection to North American events during the Seven Years War. Keeping regiments in North America up to strength proved a challenge for military officials in London. To alleviate this problem the 23rd were ordered to provide 80 men from their ranks as recruits for regiments serving in North America. It is likely other regiments were called upon to do so as well. Because there would be no uniforms for these draughts, the 80 men were told to continue to wear there present clothing of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers while with their new regiments. Therefore a peppering of 23rd uniforms would have been seen in the ranks of some regiments of the North America for the years 1757 and 1758. The choice of draughts was left up to the discretion of the commanding officer. With this freedom, it is likely the "bad bargain" or worst-of-the-lot soldiers would have been selected from the regiment.

The clothing worn by the 23rd draughts consisted of a red regimental coat with blue facings, pointed loops of white lace that had a blue and yellow edge with red and white mixed stripe inside, a red waistcoat, blue breeches, shoes, and a regimentally-cocked hat.

"War Office, 31st August 1757,

To Lt. Genl. Huske, &c.

Sir,

I herewith transmit to you His Majesty’s warrant for making a draught of Eighty men from the 23rd Regiment of Foot, (or Royal Welsh Fusiliers) to recruit His Majesty’s forces in North America.

The manner of making this draught is left to your discretion. As soon as the draught is made, you are to appoint a proper person out of every forty, to act as Serjeant, and another to act as Corporal who are to be paid as such (if not reduced for misbehaviour) from that time till they shall be incorporated into other Regiments -

Your are also to appoint a Lieutenant to every forty men, who is to take them under his Command to America, and to deliver them there to the Commander in Chief, or officer appointed to receive them. -

The Draughted men are to go with their clothing Complete but without their arms or accoutrements. - They are to be subsisted by you; and to be continued upon the Muster Rolls of your Regiment to the day of their embarkation, when the officer who goes with them is to settle their accounts, and to draw for the amount of their pay, upon the agent of your Regiment - The additional pay of the men acting as Serjeants and Corporals may be charged in your next contingent bill.-

You will acquaint the officer whom you think fit to send upon this Command; that he is to make up an account of the Sea pay of these men, while they are on Shipboard, (deducting three pense per diem from each man for provisions) and to deliver the same to the Commander in Chief, or officer appointed to receive them in America, who will order the balances to be paid to the men, and will give him a certificate that such an account has been stated; which certificate he is to bring to the Regiment. He is also to report to the officer who shall receive the draughts, the good behaviour of the men acting as Serjeants and Corporals, that they may be provided for accordingly - If they should at any time misbehave themselves, he may reduce them, and appoint other in their room. -

When he has thus deliver’d the draughts, he is to return to his Regiment, and receive an allowance of five Shillings pr day for this extraordinary duty. -

Moreover, it being the King’s pleasure that you should again complete your Regiment without loss of time, I am to acquiant you, that the Paymaster General of His Majesty’s forces, will advance to you the sum of five pounds for each man so draughted as foresaid and likewise the sum of L 1:18:3d in part for his Clothing which sums are to be respectively deducted out of the Subsistance and offreckonings of the Regiments in America which shall receive those men. - You will also receive 7 shillings for the waistcoat of each man which may be charged in your next contingent bill. -

I am &c.

Barrington"

Copyright The Discriminating General 1999


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