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James Abercrombie

Sir James Abercrombie (1706-April 28, 1781) was a British General and commander of forces in America during the French and Indian War who met with disaster in the Battle of Ticonderoga (1758). He was born in Scotland to a wealthy family, and purchased a Major's commission to enter the army in 1742. He was promoted to Colonel in 1746, and Major General in 1756. Abercrombie commanded a Brigade at Louisbourg in 1757 and became commander of the British forces in America after the departure of Loudoun in March of 1758.

That summer, he led an expedition against Fort Ticonderoga. Abercrombie was a genius at organization, but vacillated in his leadership to the point where his troops called him Mrs. Nanny Cromby. He managed the remarkable feat of assembling 15,000 troops and moving them and their supplies through the wilderness. Then, on July 8, he got 2,000 of them killed to prove that 15,000 men can't take a stone fort manned by 3,000 with artillery through frontal assault with bayonets. Eventually his force panicked and fled, and he retreated to his fortified camp south of Lake George. This disaster got him replaced by General Jeffrey Amherst and recalled to England in 1759. On his return to England, he sat as a member of parliament, and supported the coercive policy toward the American colonies.

General Abercrombie's son was Lieutenant Colonel James Abercrombie (?-June 24, 1775). He had served as a Captain in the 42nd Foot before being made aide-de-camp to General Amherst in 1759, and was promoted to the grade of lieutenant colonel in 1770. At the Battle of Bunker Hill he led the grenadier battalion in their charge of the redoubt on the left wing. He was shot during that charge, and carried from the field. He was taken to hispital facilities in Boston where died from his wound a week later.



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