American Legion (Loyalist)

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American Legion
Benedict Arnold. Copy of engraving by H. B. Hall after John Trumbull, published 1879.png
Benedict Arnold was the British, commander of the Loyalist company of the "American Legion" that was formed primarily from deserters of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, from an engraving by H. B. Hall based on a painting by artist John Trumbull.
Country Great Britain
Allegiance Great Britain
BranchBritish provincial unit
Typeinfantry, dragoons (mounted infantry) (auxiliary troops)
Sizeregiment (1,200)
Garrison/HQLong Island, Province of New York
EngagementsAmerican Revolutionary War
Brigadier General Benedict Arnold

The American Legion was a British provincial militia unit raised for Loyalist service late in the American Revolutionary War by Benedict Arnold, the former Continental Army general who had crossed over from the Patriots to the British. The unit was composed primarily of deserters from the Continental Army. "Legion" was an 18th-century term for a military unit the size of a regiment, but consisting of infantry and dragoons (cavalry), or infantry, dragoons, and artillery, all under one command to make it more flexible for scouting or irregular operations than a regiment, which consisted of infantry or cavalry alone.

Regiment formed[edit]

The American Legion was raised on Long Island, New York, in October 1780. In the first half of 1781 it was sent with General Arnold on raids in Virginia.


The unit was with Arnold in the September 1781 raid on New London, Connecticut, but was not involved in the attack on Fort Griswold. It was, however, involved in the British occupation and burning of New London.


The uniforms of the Loyal American Legion was a Red Coat with green facings. They had short tails as opposed to the regular redcoats who had long tails.

Regiment disbanded and resettled in British Canada[edit]

The American Legion was disbanded at the end of the war in 1783.[1][2]


  1. ^ Allen, Thomas B. (2010-11-09). Tories: Fighting for the King in America's First Civil War (p. 321). Harper Collins, Inc. Kindle Edition.
  2. ^ "Benedict Arnold : The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site".

External links[edit]