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The 42nd (The Black Watch) in the War of Independence
Excerpt from Kilts & Courage, Vol. 2, The Documentary History of the 42nd or Royal Highland Regiment in the American war for Independence, by Paul L. Pace

Graham, Lt. Col. Charles. Three regimental reviews in 1774, 1775 and 1784 indicate Graham was born around 1750 making him only about 10 years of age at commissioniong.  Other sources show him to have been born around 1742 making him 18 at the time of his commissioning as an Ensign in Sept. 1760.  Charles was the oldest son and heir of Lt. Col. Gordon Graham Yr of Drynie (also Drainie) who married a Miss MacKenzie and who was one of the original officers at the time of the formation of the regiment in 1739.  Drynie was an estate in the Black Isle (a peninsula between the Beauly and the Moray Firths and the Firth of Cromarty), county of Cromarty.   Charles Graham was also the brother of Lt. William Graham and the brother-in-law to Capt. Donaldson who had married his sister Anne.  Charles Graham served with the regiment in the latter part of the French and Indian War and in the Carribean in 1762 and obtained a Captaincy in Sept. 1771 in place of Capt. John Stewart, Yr. of Stent! on, who retired.

When the regiment arrived in America and was split into two battalions in Aug. 1776, Maj. Grant, the company commander of the Grenadier Company, assumed command of the 2nd Battalion.  To facilitate this realignment, Grant and Capt. Graham exchanged companies and Graham assumed command of the Grenadier Company for the New York campaign of 1776 and the Rhode Island campaign in 1776-1777.  Graham remained in New York when the Grenadiers sailed for the Philadelphia campaign in July 1777 being noted as Capt Graham ... is left Sick at New York.  Graham rejoined the Grenadiers on Oct. 18, 1777, missing the battles of Brandywine and Germantown in Pennsylvania.  Graham temporaily assumed command of the composite 2nd British Grenadier Battalion after the commande, Lt. Col. Monckton, was killed at the Battle of Monmouth in June 1778.

Graham became Major of the 42nd Regt. on the retirement of Lt. Col. William Grant in Aug. 1778 and served with the line battalion the Raid on Portsmouth in May 1779. Upon the regiments return from Virginia, Lt.Col.Thomas Stirling was breveted a Brigadier General in America, and Maj. Graham assumed command of the 42nd Regt.  He commanded the regiment for the occupation of Stony Point, New York in 1779, the Siege of Charleston in 1780 and the relief attempt for Cornwallis army.  When Brevet Maj. Gen. Stirling was formally promoted to Colonel of the 71st Regt. (Frasers Highlanders) in 1782, Graham was promoted to Lt. Colonel of the 42nd Regt.  Graham left America on leave in April 1783, before the regiment moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and was still shown on leave for the regimental review conducted at Halifax on June 9, 1784.

Graham was later appointed a Brigadier General for Sir Ralph Abercrombys expedition against the French and Dutch possessions in the West Indies in September 1794 and promoted Major General the following year. He was appointed Colonel of the 5th West Indies Regiment in November 1796 and was the temporary commander-in-chief at St Vincent from September 1796 to March 1797 in Abercrombys absence.  Died in the West Indies, August 1800. ppointments: Ens. Sept. 17, 1760; Lt. Sept. 10, 1762; QM Feb. 15, 1764 (resigned as QM Sept. 3, 1766); Capt. Sep. 7, 1771; Maj. Aug. 25, 1778; Lt. Col. Apr. 28, 1782.

Graham, Lt. Henry.  Graham was commissioned an Ensign in a 42nd Regt. Additional Company in Nov. 1777 in place of Ens. John Spens who was promoted.  Graham was then promoted to Lieutenant in Feb. 1779 in place of Lt. Harry Munro who was promoted into the 71st Regt.    Lt. Graham he did not join the regiment in America until after the war and may have transferred to the 2nd Battalion, 42nd Regt. in Dec. 1781. He is, however, listed in the regimental muster report dated Jan. 17, 1784 under the name Hendry Graham and noted as  gone to Europe on half pay 24th Augt  83.   Appointments: Ens. Nov. 11, 1777 (42nd Regt. Additional Company); Lt. Feb. 2, 1779; Transferred to 2nd Battalion, 42nd Regt. Dec. 1, 1781; Half pay Aug. 24, 1783 (1st Battalion, 42nd Regt.).

Graham, Lt. James [1].  Born around 1754, Graham was commissioned an Ensign in the 42nd Regt. while the regiment was stationed in Ireland in Mar. 1770 and was promoted to Lieutenant in March 1773 in place of Lt. Thomas Hall who retired.  He was assigned to the 42nd Light Infantry Company at the beginning of the American war and served with that company in the 1st British Light Infantry Battalion in the New York/New Jersey campaign of 1776-1777.  In May 1777, he obtained a Captaincy in the 57th Regt. and was later promoted to Major of the 37th Regt. in 1781. Appointments: Ens. Mar. 31, 1770; Lt. Mar. 1, 1773; Capt. May 22, 1777 (57th Regt.); Maj. Dec. 30, 1781 (37th Regt.).

Graham, Lt. James [2].  Ens. James Graham of the 57th Regt. joined the 42nd Regt. in Aug. 1778 as a Lieutenant in place of Lt. John Rutherford, promoted to Captain Lieutenant. Graham transferred to the 64th Regiment a few months later in Jan. 1779 and remained with that regiment until he retired at in Feb. 1783.  Appointments: Ens. Jan. 9, 1776 (57th Regt.); Lt. Aug. 18, 1778 (42nd Regt.); Transferred to the 64th Regt. on Jan. 8, 1779; Retired Feb. 1783 (64th Regt.).

Graham, Lt. John.  A Regimental Review dated May 1775 lists Grahams commission dates as Ensign in the 42nd Regt. as July 1758 and his promotion to Lieutenant as July 1760, but these dates appear to be for Capt-Lt John Graham, Yr. of Inchbrakie who was killed at the Battle of Bushy Run in 1763.   In Aug. 1776, soon after arriving in America, he was promoted to Captain Lieutenant in the 71st Regt. (Frasers Highlanders) and died while serving with that regiment in 1779.  His wife, Mrs. Grizie Graham was awarded a pension of 49 pounds by Parliament consideration of losses sustained by her late husband, Captain John Graham of the 71st regiment of foot... Appointments: Capt. Lt. Aug. 23, 1776. (71st Regt.); Died Apr. 7, 1779 (71st Regt.).

Graham (also Graeme), Yr of Inchbrakie Capt. Patrick (also Peter).  Called Peter by his family and fellow officers, Graham was born on Feb. 17, 1755, second son to Patrick Graeme, 8th of Inchbrakie, a former captain in Gen. Colyears Regt. of the Dutch service, and his wife Amelia Oliphant (sister of Oliphant of Gask).  Capt. Grahams uncle, Capt-Lt. John Graham, 42nd Regt., was killed at the battle of Bushy Run in 1763 in western Pennsylvania during Pontiacs Rebellion. Patrick was commissioned Ensign in the 42nd Regt. in Dec. 1772 in place of Ens. Colin Campbell who was promoted into the 55th Regt. As the regiment was increasing in size for the war in America in Sept. 1775, Graham was promoted to Lieutenant in the Additional Company.  On arriving in America, Graham served with the line battalion in New York/New Jersey campaign of 1776-1777.  He was seriously wounded in the arm at Fort Washington in Nov. 1776 and Lt. Col. Stirling noted in March the next year that Lt Peter Gra! ham is recovering, but will be long eer he gets the use of his Arm...  In Capt. Erskines absence as a Major of Brigade, Graham likely commanded that company for the Philadelphia campaign of 1777-1778 until June 5, 1778 when he was promoted to Captain in the Additional (or recruit) Company in place of Maj. James MacPherson who retired.  From the Additional Company in Scotland and with the support of the Duke of Montrose, Graham was promoted to Major of the 2nd Battalion, 42nd Regt. when it was raised by Lord Murray in March 1780. The 2nd Battalion embarked for India in March 1781 but suffered from scurvy and a fever caught on the Island of Joanna and on reaching Calcutta in 1782, five officers, including Maj. Patrick Graham, and 116 non-commissioned officers and privates had died.  Appointments: Ens. Dec. 31, 1772; Lt. Sep. 8, 1775; Capt. June 5, 1778 (42nd Additional Company); Maj. in the Army Oct. 11, 1779; Maj. Mar. 21, 1780 (2nd Battalion, 42nd Regt.); Died enroute to In! dia, 1781 (2nd Battalion, 42nd Regt.).

Graham, Lt. William.  Born about 1733, William Graham was a younger son of Lt. Col. Gordon Graham, Yr of Drynie of the 42nd Regt. and his wife, Miss Mackenzie.  Drynie was an estate in the Black Isle (a peninsula between the Beauly and the Moray Firths and the Firth of Cromarty), county of Cromarty.   William was the younger brother of Capt. Charles Graham and brother-in-law to Capt. Alexander Donaldson of the 42nd Regt. Additional Company. Lt. Graham joined the regiment as Quartermaster in Jan. 1770 and was commissioned an Ensign the next month.  He was promoted to Lieutenant while continuing to serve as Quartermaster in 1772 in place of Lt. John Robertson who was also promoted. In Mar. 1776, as the regiment prepared for duty in the American War, Graham resigned his position as Quartermaster in favor of his assignment to the Grenadier Company.   Graham served with the Grenadier Company, commanded by his brother Charles, in the New York campaign of 1776 and the Rhode Island ! campaign of 1776-1777.  Being the Captains brother may have affected Grahams attitude as documented by Lt. Peebles who wrote in Feb. 1777: Mr. Wm. Gr never thinks of taking any share of this duty & as little of any other as he can help...  In late 1776 Graham attempted to purchase a company in the regiment but was not successful in raising sufficient funds and resigned in Apr. 1777.  Graham married Isabella Abernathy and had four children (Charles, Abernathy, George and Jean).  William Graham, late 42d Regiment was admitted into the Royal Company of Archers on Feb. 18, 1792. Appointments: QM Jan. 18, 1770; Ens. Feb. 10, 1770; Lt. Nov. 23, 1772; Resigned as QM Mar. 19, 1776; Resigned from 42nd Regt. April 25, 1777.

Further information about the family links to the Black Watch are to be read in Sketches 21 and 32 in the Book of the Graemes on this website.

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