History of the DeLancey Brigade
Oliver DeLancey, a prominent citizen of New York who had commanded Provincial Troops in the old French War, was "... authorized to raise a Brigade of Provincials soley for the Defense of this (Long) Island, to re-establish Order and Government within the same..." on September 5th, 1776. He was later to become the Senior Loyalist Officer within the British Army in North America.
Using his own money, he raised and equipped DeLancey's Brigade, recruiting 1,500 Loyalist volunteers into three Battalions from New York City, Long Island, Westchester County and Connecticut.
The Brigade's duties included guarding supply wagons and foraging parties, acting as a police force, and partaking in numerous skirmishes. James DeLancey, former High Sheriff of Westchester County and nephew of Oliver, commanded a calvary unit known as the Westchester Troop of Light Horse. Because they supplied the British Army and inhabitants of New York with cattle, they were known as the "Cow boys".
In 1778, the first two battalions of DeLancey's were sent to join the Southern Campaigns. They took part in the sieges of Savannah and Charlestown and distinguished themselves by successfully resisting the siege of Fort Ninety Six, South Carolina. The Third Battalion remained in the New York City area. At Setauket and Fort Franklin on Long Island, they successfully defended loyal inhabitants from rebels, who attacked in whale boats from Connecticut. Other towns garrisoned by DeLancey were Oyster Bay, Brookhaven, Huntington, Morrisania and King's Bridge.
At the war's end in 1783, the men and families of DeLancey's were resettled in Nova Scotia, Canada, with one ship sinking within sight of their new homes. Many attempted to stay in the New York area to be harassed by the victorious Americans.
The uniform of DeLancey's is a brick-red wool regimental coat with Royal blue facings, plain buttons arranged singularly or by twos or threes signifying the battalion, white smallclothes (breeches, waistcoat and shirt) and a black cocked hat, edged with white tape. A white, round hat was worn for the Southern Campaign.