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3rd Continental Light Dragoons

http://www.schistory.net/3CLD/index.html
Third Continental Light Dragoons

The Third Continental Light Dragoons is a progressive American Revolutionary War enacting group founded in 2004. The modern “3d CLD” recruits outside of geographic boundaries and the unit boasts members from North and South Carolina as well as affiliations with individuals and units from Virginia and Tennessee. The 3d Light Dragoons, Inc. is a new member of Continental Line, Inc., and is also affiliated with the Carolina Brigade

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What is a Dragoon?
The Oxford English Dictionary first recognized the word dragoon in 1604 as a French term describing mounted soldiers armed with muskets. The French word dragon predates this by half a century and refereed to a short, carbine length musket. By the eighteenth century most European armies incorporated dragoons, horse soldiers armed with a carbine and trained to fight both from the saddle and on foot. The term dragooning even entered the vernacular meaning to pull double duty similar to today’s term, multitasking. However, theory proved better than practice and instead of mounted infantry, dragoons typically filled the role of heavy cavalry in European armies.
Third Continental Light Dragoons
Halfway through the eighteenth century Hungarian style light cavalry, called hussars, proved their worth through rapid deployment and pursuit roles on the battlefield and on campaign by excelling at screening and reconnaissance missions. Light cavalry then became an essential part of European military forces and the British developed several regiments of Light Dragoons to fill the role and specialize as mounted skirmishers with pistols and carbines.

During the American Revolution four troops of Continental Light Dragoons were formed. Unlike in Europe, the Continental Light Dragoons performed both heavy and light cavalry roles during the war. An excellent example of this is the 3d Light Dragoons performance during the battle of Guilford Courthouse. They start the battle screening the right flank of the American lines from Hessian Jaegers and British Light Infantry, a typical light cavalry role, and later make a saber charge against the British Foot Guards, successfully fulfilling the role of heavy cavalry. One could say they were “dragooning” it!

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