Thursday, 29 September 2011

Captain Robert Stewart - Monongahela 1755

Captain Robert Stewart was a native of Scotland who fought and was wounded at the Battle of Great Meadows in July, 1754. He was promoted to captain in the Virginia forces on November 1st, 1754.
Stewart commanded the troop of Virginia light horse on Braddock’s expedition. His unit served as escort for General Braddock and fought at the Battle on The Monongahela.

During the Battle he had two horses shot out from under him and his sword and scabbard were shot away. He was one of only five members of a 29 man unit that survived the battle, suffering only a slight injury when one bullet creased his brow and another his forehead. 1

Captain Robert Stewart at Monongahela.

In 1755 General Braddock raised a company of “Horse Rangers”, 34 men under Captain Robert Stewart, these became known as the Virginia Light Horse  “Every officer sergeant, corporal and private to be armed with a short carbine, case of pistols and a cuttng sword.” (Braddock Orderly Book entries February 28, 1755).

Colonel George Washington wrote to Governor Robert Dinwiddie on October 11, 1755
“3 drunken soldiers of the light-horse, carousing, firing their pistols, and uttering the most unheard-of imprecations” caused a panic among the local populace who mistook them for an Indian raiding party.

Captain Stewart - One of only five members of his unit to survive the battle.

Colonel Washington himself wrote of Stewart that “His military knowledge is second to none in our service and his assiduity I can greatly confide in. I can't use the freedom of mentioning it to the General, nor shou'd I .” Washington to Major Francis Halkett Fort Cumberland, July 21, 1758 (Washington papers).

1. Courtesy of John Jenkins Designs.

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