19th Light Dragoons

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For the regiment known as 19th Light Dragoons until 1763, see 18th Royal Hussars.
19th Light Dragoons
19th Light Dragoons guidon.JPG
Guidon of the 19th Light Dragoons (1808)
Active 1781–1821
Country United Kingdom
Branch British Army
Type Cavalry
Role Dragoon
Size Regiment
Engagements Third and Fourth Anglo-Mysore Wars (1790–1792 & 1798–1799) including: Cannanore; Bangalore; Seringapatam (1792); Pondicherry; Mallavelly; Seringapatam (1799)
Second Anglo-Maratha War (1803–1805) including: Assaye; Battle of Argaon
Vellore Mutiny (1806)
War of 1812 (1812–1815) including: Fort George; Buffalo; Lundy's Lane; Fort Erie
Battle honours Seringapatam
Assaye
Niagara
Disbanded 1821

The 19th Light Dragoons was a cavalry regiment of the British Army created in 1781 for service in British India. The regiment served in India until 1806, and in North America during the War of 1812, and was disbanded in Britain in 1821.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The 19th Light Dragoons was raised by Colonel Sir John Burgoyne (a cousin of General John Burgoyne) as the 23rd Regiment of Light Dragoons on 24 September 1781 for service in India. There had been no European cavalry to that date in India, and successive commanders there had called upon the regular British Army to supply a cavalry unit.[1] The regiment arrived at Fort St. George, Madras in 1782 and became the first British cavalry regiment to serve in India.[2] In 1786, the regiment was renumbered as the 19th Light Dragoons.[3]

India[edit]

The 19th played a major role in the Anglo-Mysore Wars and Anglo-Maratha Wars. Their first campaign was against Tipu Sultan of Mysore from 1790 to 1792.[4] After defeating Tipu, the 19th were on garrison duty until 1799 when war broke out with Tipu again. This time, the Sultan was killed during the Battle of Seringapatam.

In 1800, the 19th fought Dhoondia Wao's rebel army and in 1803, led by Major-General Arthur Wellesley (who later became the Duke of Wellington), they participated in the Battle of Assaye. In this battle, the outnumbered British troops defeated a Maratha army and the regiment was subsequently awarded the battle honour of "Assaye" and presented with an honorary colour.[5]

The 19th Light Dragoons then spent time garrisoning various British outposts. They were stationed at Cheyloor in 1802, at Arcot in 1803, in Bombay in 1804, and at Arcot again from 1805 to 1806. The regiment was summoned to Vellore on the night of 10 July 1806 to rescue the 69th Regiment of Foot who had been the victims of a revolt by Indian sepoys.[6]

North America[edit]

The regiment embarked for England on 20 October 1806, and remained in Britain until the outbreak of the war with the United States in 1812.[7] The 19th were one of the only two British regular cavalry units that served in North America during the War of 1812, and the only one to serve in Canada. (The 14th Light Dragoons served in campaigns on the American coast.) The regiment's first three squadrons arrived at Quebec City in May 1813 and were mounted on horses procured in Lower Canada.[8]

Two squadrons were sent to Upper Canada where they were involved in the blockade and re-capture of Fort George, and the destruction of Black Rock and Buffalo in New York State. Elements of the two squadrons participated in Colonel Thomas Pearson's delaying action against Brigadier General Winfield Scott's brigade during the American invasion of 1814. They subsequently fought at the Battle of Chippawa, the Battle of Lundy's Lane and the Siege of Fort Erie. Another troop pursued American raiders who had struck at Battle of Malcolm's Mills. For these actions, the regiment earned the battle honour of "Niagara".[9]

The other squadron had been stationed south of Montreal and participated in the Battle of Plattsburgh. In the autumn of 1814, the two squadrons serving on the Niagara rejoined the other squadron. The regiment served south of Montreal until the end of the war. They were sent back to England in August 1816.[10]

Disbandment[edit]

The 19th Light Dragoons were re-equipped as lancers in September 1816 and renamed the 19th Lancers. The regiment remained in Britain until it was disbanded on 10 September 1821 due to reductions in size of the British Army.[10] In 1862, the 19th Royal Hussars were created and given permission to inherit the battle honours of the 19th Light Dragoons.[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Biddulph, p.22–23
  2. ^ Biddulph, p. vii
  3. ^ Biddulph, p.62
  4. ^ Biddulph, p.67
  5. ^ Biddulph, p. 156
  6. ^ Biddulph, pp. 156–166
  7. ^ Biddulph, p.171
  8. ^ Biddulph, p.172
  9. ^ Biddulph, p.217
  10. ^ a b Biddulph, p.218–219
  11. ^ "RAC History: Hussars" (pdf). Ministry of Defence. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-01. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]