King's American Dragoons
THE delivery of the standards of the King's American Dragoons, to that regiment, by his Royal Highness PRINCE WILLIAM HENRY, which was performed on Thursday last at their Camp near Flushing, was a ceremony attended with such solemnity, and productive of so much real pleasure to a numerous and respectable assembly of people, that a spectator cannot omit attempting a description of it.
The regiment (which consists of four complete troops mounted, and two dismounted) was formed on very advantageous ground in front of their encampment, with two pieces of light artillery on their right.
About sixty yards in front of the regiment, a canopy was erected twenty feet in height, supported by ten pillars; on the East side of which was a semi-circular bower for the accomodation of the spectators.
The standards were planted under the canopy on the right and left of the center pillar.
At one o'clock his Royal Highness Prince William Henry, with his Excellency Admiral DIGBY, General BIRCH, and many other officers of distinction, came on the ground at the right of the regiment, and (having passed along both in front and rear of the line, receiving the usual salutes, trumpets sounding; and music playing God Save the King, ) posted themselves in the canopy, when all the officers of the regiment saluted together.
The regiment then formed into half-troops (the artillery maneuvring with them as a division) and the whole passed in review before the canopy, performing the usual marching salutes.
After having returned to their old ground they dismounted and formed as a battalion, and then marched in close order, and formed in a semicircle in front of the canopy.
Their Chaplain the Reverend Mr. ODELL, advanced and delivered a pointed and elegant address calculated for the purpose; after which the whole regiment, officers and men kneeling, laid their helmets and their arms upon the ground, held up their right-hands, and took a most solemn oath of allegiance to their Sovereign, and fidelity and attachment to their Standard, the whole repeating the oath together.
This being finished, the Chaplain pronounced a solemn benediction (the regiment still kneeling).
The regiment then returned to their ground, and again formed as a battalion, with their artillery on their right, and fired a royal salute; being again mounted, the whole saluted the Standard together, and again marched by the canopy saluting the standards as they passed.
As soon as the consecrating and saluting the standards was over, and the regiment formed, his Royal Highness Prince William Henry, attended by Admiral DIGBY, and General BIRCH, and followed by the honourable Lieutenant-Colonel FOX, and Lieut. Colonel SMALL, (bearing the standards) came forward to the centre of the regiment, where his Royal Highness receiving the standards from his Excellency Admiral DIGBY, presented them with his own hand to Lieutenant-Colonel THOMPSON, who delivered them to his eldest Cornets;
upon a signal given the whole regiment with all the numerous spectators gave three shouts; the trumpets sounded; the music played God Save the King; the artillery fired a royal salute, and the ceremony was concluded.
The singular dignity, and very gracious manner with which his Royal Highness conferred this peculiar honour on Lieutenant-Colonel THOMPSON and the regiment, evidently excited the most genuine gratitude in him and his officers, and afforded the highest satisfaction to many of the spectators, who have been witnesses of the disinterested zeal and spirited exertions of that distinguished officer.
The Royal Gazette, (New York), August 7, 1782.
Click here for ---> Regimental History Main Page
The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies