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Rogers' Rangers

Click to enlarge and print - used with permission, Gary Zaboly, ©1998

“The Advanced Guard” June 21, 1759. Based on primary source descriptions of the campaign, this picture depicts Major Robert Rogers and “Captain Jacobs” as they scout the forest ahead of General Jeffrey Amherst’s army on their way to capture Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) and other French posts on Lake Champlain. In the left background is the front of the Ranger column and on the right, in brown, is General Thomas Gage’s Light Infantry. In between behind the flag is a British Regular officer and a lieutenant colonel of a Provincial regiment. Two of the Ranger companies are made up of Stockbridge Indians, captained by Jacob Cheeksaunkum (Captain Jacobs) and his son.

Directions: Study the picture and caption, then answer the questions that follow.

1. Describe the setting of the picture: what does the caption say is happening? What is happening in history at this time?

2. Based on the picture describe the geography of New England during this period. Describe what transportation was like.

3. Compare the clothes of Major Roberts and Captain Jacobs. What ideas did Rogers borrow from the Indians for his Ranger uniform? What is different?

4. What is the purpose of an advanced scout? What role would you have wanted – to march with the main body of the army or to be with the scouting party? Why?

5. How do you think Rogers’ Rangers were different from British Regular Army officers? How do you think that affected the attitudes that these two groups had toward each other?

6. Why do you think both the British and the French wanted Indians allies during the French and Indian War?

7. Where is Fort Carillon (Ticonderoga) located? Why is it strategically important?

For further thinking and research: What happened in this campaign – did Amherst capture the Fort? What happened to Robert Rogers? Who won the French and Indian War? How did that outcome influence the history of North America?

Extended Activity: Create a time of the major events of the 1700s leading up to the American Revolution – include key events from the French and Indian War.

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