Monday, January 7, 2013

Morgan’s Rangers and “Spirit of the Revolution”

During his mortality, Mathias McGregor, the brawny, handsome hero of my paranormal romance, “Spirit of the Revolution,” (due for release May 31, 2013—big smile please...) belonged to a rowdy group of undisciplined, but very impressive soldiers, known as Morgan’s Rangers. Yes indeed.

Unlike musketeers in most military units, Colonel Daniel Morgan, a veteran of the French and Indian War, recruited a group of sharpshooting riflemen. The rifle could shoot farther and more accurately then the muskets used by the British and Hessian armies, and Daniel knew it. He organized his Rangers into small, highly mobile, light infantry units. These backwoods mountain men would target the British command structure, sniping officers, non-commissioned officers and artillery crews with great precision. As you can imagine, this affected British morale, eliminated leadership elements within their army, and reduced the effectiveness of their artillery crews.

Many operations paired the Rangers with Washington’s own Commander-in-Chief Guards. Opposite the raucous Rangers in almost every way, theses spit-and-polished men were highly disciplined, well led, and were the best equipped unit in the Continental Army. Yet, their bravery and combat abilities meshed quite well with those of the Rangers.

As an example, Morgan’s Rangers, alongside Washington’s Guards, conducted combined operations during the Pittsburgh campaign. Together they captured thirty-eight enemy troops under the very noses of a British Light Infantry unit. They fought bravely during a retreat and then eluded their enemy in an organized retreat through the marsh. Nonetheless, the full complement of Rangers and Guards returned to headquarters with all prisoners, still in tow. Morgan is said to have “indulged himself in a stentorian laugh that made the woodland ring,” when he saw his boys emerge from the swamp with “Washington’s Elite” covered in mud from head to toe. (Is it any wonder that Washington didn't allow the Rangers to camp close to his Guard? They say he feared the negative impact they'd breed among his own soldiers... and rightly so.)

Ahem... Moving on...

But why… you might ask, were some of the Rangers ordered to conduct and assist in various covert espionage activities? Well, the Ranger’s were woodland wise, stealthy, smart, sometimes audacious, and most of all trustworthy. They were utilized by Washington’s spy master, Major John Clark, to enter enemy held territory and extract key persons. They acted as couriers, delivering and receiving messages to ‘711’ (George Washington’s code name) for example, among others. They may have also conducted espionage, participated in raiding, cache destruction and other covert activities. Whatever we imagine...

If not fully accepted as officers and gentlemen, the Rangers bravery, skill, and military ability was recognized by both Washington and the British general, William Howe, who is to have remarked that Morgan’s Rangers were the most dangerous regiment in the American Army. High praise indeed, coming from the enemy.

A question for my lovely female readership...

If you had lived during the Revolutionary War, would you have set your sites on a “Rowdy Ranger” or would you have chosen a “Gentlemanly Guard?”


  1. Love it!!! Keep it coming!

  2. Both would definitely have individual appeal but, if I had to choose, I'd probably be drawn to a Ranger. :)

    1. Well, since Mathias IS a Ranger, I guess we all know my choice... ; )

      Thanks for stopping by Mae!

  3. Congrats on your upcoming release. Rowdy Rangers sound yummy.

  4. I always preferred Rhett over Ashley as well... Never could understand what Scarlett saw in Ashley.

    Thanks for stopping by and making a comment Debra! I enjoyed your visit!