American War Service Memorial of 2nd Lieutenant John Dalgleish,
21st Regiment or Royal North British Fusiliers
John Dalgleish was commissioned 2nd lieutenant in the British army on 7 May 1776, having come from the “Dutch Service.” His account of service which follows was written in running narrative form; it is not a journal, but a service memorial perhaps derived from a journal he kept during the course of the war.
Arrived at Quebec the 8th of June and landed a day or two afterwards: remained there doing garrison duty along with the other additional companies until the 12th of August when we were ordered to march to join the army. After a long march, with a sailing over the lakes, we joined the army under the command of Lt. Gen. Burgoyne the 3d September at Fort Edward, remained 8 or 10 days, came up with the enemy the 19th instant at Freeman's Farm. Our picket engaged the above till one o'clock and were repulsed upon [which] the advanced corps went up and beat the E[nemy] of[f] the ground: about 2 [o'clock] the 21st and 62d Regts., were ordered up as the enemy had got a reinforcement and had returned to the charge. Sometime afterwards the 20th Regt. was ordered in (mistake) up to support the two former. The engagement continued very hot until about sunset when the Germans came up, upon which the enemy were glad to get off in the dusk in evening and left us masters of the field of battle: next day part [Brigadier-General Fraser's Advanced Corps] encamped on the above mentioned ground and the other on the left of that. Remained there until on the 8th [sic: 7th] of October[.] [On the 7th of October,] a strong party was sent out to try if a hill to our right and south could not command the enemy's camp. We were obliged to retire into our camp again. Began out retreat same night and came to the rising grounds round the Hospital where remained all next day. There were several shots exchanged on both sides. 9th. at night continued our retreat to Saratoga. 11th. Entrenched ourselves there. A convention proposed on the 15th or 16th and agreed to the 17th same month and signed by both parties, i.e., by Gen. Burgoyne and Mr. Gates the Genl. We began our march the 18th of November. Sept. 2d (1778) still in this situation and ordered to Rutland: arrived here the 4th instant. Nov. 11, 1778 was ordered to march for Charlottesville in Virginia a march of 600 miles. We arrived here at Charlottesville (in Albemarle county) the Jan. 1779. Remained there until the 23 Nov., 1780, when we marched into Maryland and that day several of the officers [word illegible] they were exchanged, of which happy number I was one and arrived safe in New York the 16th December, 1780.
Dalgleish was promoted to the rank of lieutenant on 20 September 1777 following the death of a fellow 21st Regiment officer, Lieutenant John Don, during the bloody fighting in the Battle of Freeman's Farm on 19 September 1777. As expressed in his narrative, Dalgleish was captured at Saratoga with the rest of the army in October. On 3 November 1780, Dalgleish was able to procure an exchange in the City of New York for Lieutenant Joshua Branard of the rebel Connecticut Militia.