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During the American Revolution, British light infantry and grenadier battalions figured prominently in almost every battle and campaign. They are routinely mentioned in campaign studies, usually with no context to explain what these battalions were. In an army that employed regiments as the primary deployable assets, the most active battlefield elements were temporary battalions created after the war began and disbanded when it ended. This work is the first operational study of these battalions during the entire war, looking at their creation, evolution and employment from the first day of hostilities through their disbandment at the end of the conflict. It examines how and why these battalions were created, how they were maintained at optimal strength over eight years of war, how they were deployed tactically and managed administratively. Most importantly, it looks at the individual officers and soldiers who served in them. Using first-hand accounts and other primary sources, These Distinguished Corps describes life in the grenadiers and light infantry on a personal level, from Canada to the Caribbean and from barracks to battlefield.
Don N. Hagist is managing editor of Journal of the American Revolution (http://allthingsliberty.com), and studies the lives and service of individual British soldiers in the 1770s and 1780s, relying almost exclusively on primary sources. His books include Noble Volunteers: the British Soldiers who Fought the American Revolution (2020) and British Soldiers, American War: Voices of the American Revolution (2012), and he has published numerous journal articles. He is an engineer for a major medical device manufacturer, and lives in Providence, Rhode Island.