The Battalion or "Hat" companies made up the bulk of a regiment, a total of eight companies. Called hat companies as they all wore the bicorn or "cocked" hat. When the Tenth Regiment of foot arrived in Boston in the fall 1774, it was 477 strong. The break down, as noted on the Regimental Structure page was:
Battalion Companies: (eight companies, 47 Officers and men each) Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 2 Serjeants, 3 Corporals, 1 Drummer, 38 Private Soldiers.
Thus, these eight companies made-up the main body of the Regiment on the field or parade accounting for 376 out of the 477 men, a formidable group to say the least.
Battalion soldiers battle at Tower Park, Patriot's Day weekend, 2018.
The battalion soldiers were trained in all aspects of military drill including some tactics used by the Lights and the Grenadiers. Their main purpose though was to bring about the British Army’s main tactic, devastating vollies. They could fire by companies from the left, right or center depending upon the situation. Firing by platoons, being two per company, 16 platoons total, would create a near machine gun effect. This would not be straight down the line of platoons, but alternating from the left and right to center then would begin again from the flanks. A rate of fire not many could, nor would, stand against.
Capt-Lieut., Stone commanding battalion solders at Tower Park, Patriot's Day weekend, 2018.
Battalion companies had names to show seniority: the Colonel’s Company, the Lieutenant Colonel’s CO'Y, and the Major’s CO'Y, followed by the First Captain’s CO'Y, Second Captain’s CO'Y, Third Captain’s CO'Y, Fourth Captain’s CO'Y and Fifth Captain’s CO'Y. The senior company was referred to as the "Colonel's CO'Y" as the Colonel of the Regiment was its Captain, at least on paper. The Colonel was not involved in the day-to-day business of this company (the Tenth's Colonel, Major General Edward Sandford, never left England) and as such, another officer was in effective command. Since the company already had a Captain, this officer held the rank of Captain-Lieutenant. The same situation existed for the Lieutenant Colonel’s CO'Y and the Major’s CO'Y.
After a 12 year hiatus, the Tenth Regiment is proud to be bringing back the Colonel's Company. Visit the "Take the King's Shilling" page and find out how YOU can join the Tenth and become a Battalion soldier.