The 16th Regiment of Foot had a rather short and uneventful stay in North America during the Revolutionary War, but nevertheless distinguished itself on the few fields on which it fought. For much of its early deployment, the 16th and its light infantry company were spread out as detachments at various southern outposts. The 16th Regiment of Foot arrived in New York in 1767.The regiment was immediately sent to Florida where it remained until the outbreak of the American Revolution. In the standing orders of 1775, the 16th was listed as having 477 men in 10 companies. By 1778, the Regulars were defending small British forts from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida. The Light Company was attached to Cornwallis’ 2nd Battalion of Light Infantry and the Grenadier Company was in Savannah, Georgia on garrison duty. The Light Company fought in the battle of Cowpens and the Grenadier Company fought In the Battle of Savannah. Following the outbreak of hostilities with Spain 1779, Bernardo de Galvez, the Governor or Spanish Louisiana, launched assaults on the British forces in which would be known as the Gulf Coast Campaigns. The 16th was overwhelmed by the superior numerical Spanish forces slowly lost territory to the Spanish. Here is the list of battles in order the 16th fought in:
Fort Bute, Louisiana. Fort New Richmond in Baton Rouge. Fort Panmure in Natchez, Mississippi. Fort Tompson, Arkansas. Fort Amitch, Arkansas. Fort Charlotte, Mobile, Alabama. Siege of Pensacola, Florida.
After the fall of theses British outpost, General John Campbell, Commander of the British Forces in the Gulf, concerned over the condition of the defenses, requested reinforcements, and began construction of additional defenses. A huge Spanish/ French Army under Governor General Bernardo de Galvez laid siege to British at Pensacola. At first the British repelled the Spanish/ French Army but a lucky Spanish cannonball hit the powder room of the fortifications and huge explosion opened the way for the Spanish/ French forces to take the fort. On May 10, 1781, the formal surrender was complete. More than 1,100 British prisoners were taken and another 200 casualties sustained. The Spanish and French army took over 400 casualties. The terms of capitulation included the entirety of British West Florida. The 16th Foote surrender to the Spanish army. The 16th was then exchanged and was recalled back to Great Britain for refitting.
Before the surrender, Capt. James Colbert was a company commander of the 16th Foote and he and some of his men escaped into British held Mississippi and Alabama. He and his men allied with the Chickasaw Indians to form raiding parties. Colbert’s new army would lead raids up and down the Mississippi River to stop trade on the Mississippi, but his campaign ended when his failed attack on Fort Carlos (Arkansas Post) 1783 failed. After the battle, Colbert and his British Partisans returned to Mississippi and the War ended.