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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Colonial Era

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American Colonial Era 1660-1763 The growth of North American colonies, often with a change in native & national control.

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Old 15 Aug 13, 19:13
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Roger's Rangers - 2 interesting questions

I am currently reading Major Robert Rogers journals that he had kept from his service in the F&I War. The journal starts in 1755 and ends in 1761. It is very interesting and I am already half way through it after only three days.

So far I have come across two items he writes about in his journal that seem very interesting. First, he mentions on two instances so far of times where his Rangers used skaits (he spelled it this way once) and scates (he spells it this way another time) to move quicker up Lake George on scouting duties. I have never read about this before. Is this method of scouting something that was only used in North America? Is it fair then to assume that the French also used skates? I just found this very interesting as it was something I did know (or think about) before.

The second item I have a question on is regarding a letter from Major General James Abercromby dated April 6, 1758 to Rogers himself. The letter is a commission that appoints Rogers a Major of the Rangers, but also names him a Captain of one of the companies in the Rangers. Here is part of the letter:

"...of the power and authority to me given by his Majesty, hereby constitue and appoint you to be Major of the Rangers in his Majesty's service, and likewise Captain of a company of said Rangers."

Was is common to be appointed two different ranks at the same time? I know some of you have a lot more knowledge of this than I do. Any help would be appreciated as I'm interested to learn more information on both questions.
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  #2  
Old 15 Aug 13, 22:21
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You may find this interesting regarding the use of skates in the colonies, especially chapter 3.

http://www.rogersrangers.com/pdf/sen...tis_locked.pdf
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Old 16 Aug 13, 08:09
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Wow. That looks great. Thanks R5 plus. I will check it out later today.
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Old 16 Aug 13, 21:54
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I was kind of curious about others' thoughts on Roger's rank, but since no one has mentioned anything yet, here's what I found. (It is wikipedia - haven't been on this forum enough to know people's thoughts of it as a source for posts.)

Quote:
The rangers were kept organizationally distinct from British regulars. Rogers was their acting commandant, as well as the direct commander of his own company.
Quote:
In 1758, Abercromby recognized Rogers' accomplishments by promoting him to Major, with the equally famous John Stark as his second-in-command. Rogers now held two ranks appropriate to his double role: Captain and Major.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rogers_(soldier)

Haven't found anything that mentions how common it was in the army.
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Old 17 Aug 13, 00:17
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The rank is Major, and I'm betting that the title of the position he held as commander of the company was captain. I think it's best to look at Naval traditions to understand the letter to Rodgers. The Navy still refers to all ships' commanders from lieutenant on up as 'Captains". There is only one Captain on a ship, though other captains may be aboard. I spent a day and night on a PG-101 back in 1977. The Captain of the ship was a Lieutenant (O-3). Yet everyone addressed him as Captain. There were two other Lieutenants among the ships officers, but only one received the title Captain, and courtesies extended that lieutenant were visibly above those extended to the other lieutenants.

Captain - as in - the Officer in Command. Oh, and Roberts Rangers were a company rather than a battalion. Somewhere in some dim old book must be a report of Rogers or Ferguson or any of the other Ranger commanders. It would be interesting to see if any are signed:
Rob't Rogers, Major,
Captain
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Old 17 Aug 13, 10:30
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Thanks Shaun and R5 for the info. In his Journals, he (Robert) refers to himself as Major. I'm guessing since it was the higher ranking?? His Journals definitely make for interesting reading especially his strategems for ranging.
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Old 19 Aug 13, 17:07
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Originally Posted by R5 plus View Post
You may find this interesting regarding the use of skates in the colonies, especially chapter 3.

http://www.rogersrangers.com/pdf/sen...tis_locked.pdf
Ahhh!... Snow Shoes & Skates gotta love Winter... Thanks for sharing!
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