DAM-30 Sir John Johnson’s, King’s Royal Regiment of New York, Battle of Oriskany
The King’s Royal Regiment of New York, also know as Johnson’s Royal Regiment of New York,King’s Royal Regiment, Kings’s Royal Yorkers and the Royal Greens, were one of the first Loyalist regiments, raised on June 19th 1776, in British Canada, during the Revolutionary War.
The King’s Royal Regiment of New York was formed by exiled Loyalist leader, Sir John Johnson, from American refugees, fleeing persecution. On 19th May 1776, Sir John Johnson left his home at Johnson Hall in the Mohawk Valley and travelled with his family and approximately 200 retainers through the Adirondack Mountains to Montreal, Quebec. They arrived on the 15th June, just days after Governor Sir Guy Carleton’s army recaptured the city.
Johnson soon left Montreal to chase the retreating Continental Army southwards down the Richelieu Valley towards Lake Champlain. He met Carleton at Fort Chambly where the Governor authorized Johnson to raise the King’s Royal Regiment of New York.
Initially, the members of the regiment comprised Johnson’s refugee retainers from his estates in the Mohawk Valley, but the steady stream of Loyalist refugees fleeing to Montreal provided a ready source of recruits for the King’s Royal Yorkers. The Regiment served with distinction throughout the war, launching raids and relief missions into the Mohawk Valley of New York.
For the remainder of the Revolution, the King’s Royal Yorkers formed an integral part of Canada’s garrison. However, each year the regiment sent parties on raids into the Mohawk and neighbouring valleys for the purposes of rescuing beleaguered Loyalists and interfering with the ability of the Continental Army forces to use the region’s crops as a source of food for Washington’s army. These raids were generally launched from the Lake Champlain corridor or from Oswego, and caused a great deal of disruption. The militia of Northern New York never recovered from the disaster at Oriskany, and the region stood relatively defenseless.
In 1780, a large raid in to the Schoharie Valley led by Sir John Johnson gave rise to the destruction of large numbers of farms and pitched battles between the raiders and the demoralized American militia.