[REVOLUTIONARY WAR]. HOWE, William (1729-1814), British Commander-in-Chief. Manuscript document signed ("Wm. Howe") as British Commander in Chief for North America, countersigned by Robert Mackenzie, German Town [Germantown, Pennsylvania], 5 October 1777. 1 page, oblong 4to (9½ x 14¾ in., integral blank docketed, square papered seal at top left, text in a clear clerical hand. In very fine condition.
A BATTLEFIELD APPOINTMENT DATED THE DAY OF THE BATTLE OF GERMANTOWN. John McIntosh is appointed a Captain in the celebrated 42nd Royal Regiment of Foot (the "Black Watch"), a highland regiment famed for its costly storming of the French entrenchments at Ticonderoga in 1758. At the head of the document, Howe is styled "Commander in Chief of all his Majesty's Forces with the Colonies laying on the Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to West Florida inclusive"; the regiment's commander, Lord John Murray, is named and McIntosh is enjoined in the usual terms to obey the orders of his superior officers.
The 42nd of Foot, better known as the Black Watch, was the first kilted regiment in the Royal Army and the first to emply bagpipes. It served in the Seven Years War in North American and in the Caribbean. When the Revolution broke out, a batallion of light infantry from the Black Watch was landed at Staten Island in August 1776 and fought at the Battle of Long Island, Harlem Heights and at the capture of Fort Washington. While holding certain key posts in New Jersey, the Regiment energetically repulsed an ill-advised attack by Americans at Piscataway (10 May 1777). As part of Howe's army in the Phildelphia campagn, the Black Watch fought with distinction at Brandywine (11 September 1777), at Paoli (21 September, the so-called Paoli massacre), and, on the same day as this appointment, in the Battle of Germantown (5 October 1777). The regiment later saw action at the battles of Monmouth, Stony Point, the seige of Charleston and was part of Cornwallis's army that surrendered at Yorktown.