The Conquest

Military Situations at the Start of the War

The British Garrison

50th (Shirley's) or 51st (Pepperell's) Regiment of Foot, 1754-1756

Caption: 50th (Shirley's) or 51st (Pepperell's) Regiment of Foot, 1754-1756

Until the 1740s, the British colonies had few regular soldiers. The largest contingent, the 40th, was in Nova Scotia. Following the founding of Halifax in 1749, the city garrison grew by two additional regiments, the 45th and 47th, to a total of approximately 1,500 officers and men. The Thirteen Colonies of New England had barely 550 soldiers in British colonial independent companies posted to New York and South Carolina. Towards 1754, with the addition of a few artillery detachments and some 100 Rangers from Nova Scotia, there were about 2,300 men and officers of all ranks, representing too few professional soldiers given that their role was to defend a coastline that stretched from Nova Scotia all the way to Florida. With the exception of the Rangers, these troops also knew nothing about the art of bush-fighting.