A History of the 1st Regiment of Light Dragoons

Copyright © 2011
by "Blake Morales"
All Rights reserved

The Historical 1st Dragoons in 1777
A Dragoon is a light infantry soldier who used a horse for transportation. Because a horse has the ability to travel faster that a man on foot, dragoons were extremely valuable for reconnaissance, spying, prisoner guarding, foraging, raiding enemy camps, message relaying, guard duty, defense against enemy dragoon attacks and numerous other duties.  The 1st Regiment of Light Dragoons (originally the Virginia Light Horse) was raised by Virginia in 1776 and was commanded by Theodorick Bland and the 5th troop was Captained by "Light Horse Harry" Lee.  The troop contained 30 men and joined the continental army under Washington in New Jersey in December of 1776. This troop under the command of Henry Lee was very successful in the early years of the war and was highly praised by both George Washington and the local press for their meritous service. As proof of their tenacity, Lee's troop served as Washington's body guard in the Battle of Germantown and later in the war was designated as Lee's Legion, serving in the southern campaign.

The Re-created Living History 1st Dragoons in the 2000's
The re-enacted 5th Troop was founded by Mark Wedow and a small group of fellow re-enactors from Illinois and Wisconsin in the spring of 2003. Most had been involved in re-enacting the American Revolution for ten years or more prior to creating the 1st Dragoons. We have since then dedicated ourselves to giving an authentic depiction of life as soldiers and their families that fought with the original 1st Regiment of Light Dragoons during one of this country’s most trying periods. Today the unit is now based in Illinois and has members from Wisconsin, and Indiana as well. Members join us for the history, the battles, a glimpse of period military life style, the period camping, or just for the companionship and friendly family atmosphere. The current 1st Regiment of Light Dragoons, 5th Troop is a recognized not-for-profit organization registered with the state of Illinois.

Commander of the 1st Dragoons Colonel Theodorick Bland                  Captain Henry Lee of the 5th Troop