1st Continental Light Dragoons

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1st Continental Light Dragoons
1st Legionary Corps
AllegianceUnited States Continental Congress
Size6 troops
Part ofContinental Army
Nickname(s)Bland's Horse
Colorsbrown coats with green facings, after 1781 blue coats with red facings
EngagementsBattle of Brandywine,
Battle of Germantown,
Battle of Edgar's Lane,
Battle of Guilford Court House
Lt. Col. Theodorick Bland
Lt. Col. Anthony Walton White
Colonel William Washington.

The 1st Continental Light Dragoons, also known as Bland's Horse, was a mounted regiment of the Continental Army organized between 13 June and 10 September 1776 in Williamsburg, Virginia, from eastern and northern Virginia for service with the Continental Army.


The regiment was first authorized 8 June 1776 in the Virginia State Troops as the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th (Captain Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee) and 6th Troops of Light Horse, and on 25 June 1776 mustered as the Virginia Light Horse Regiment. It was first adopted by and then accepted into the Continental Army, designated as the 1st Continental Light Dragoons on 25 November 1776.

On 31 March 1777 in General Orders, George Washington named promoted officers of the 1st Light Dragoons.

Theodorick Bland Esqr., Major, Comdt. to be Colonel thereof. Capt. Benjamin Temple of the 2nd. Troop is appointed the Lt. Col. Capt. John Jameson of the 3rd. Troop is appointed the Major. Lieut. Cuth. Harrison of the 2nd. Troop is appointed Captain of the same. Lieut. Alexander S. Dandridge of the 4th. is appointed Captain of the 3rd. Lieut. John Belfield of the 5th. is appointed Captain of the 6th; vacant by the resignation of Capt. Nelson. Cornet William Lindsay of the 3rd. Troop is appointed Lieutenant of the same. Cornet John Watts of the 4th. is appointed Lieut. of the same. Cornet Henry Peyton of the 5th is appointed Lieutenant of the same. Cornet Henry Clements of the 6th. is appointed Lieut. of the second. Mr. Cole Diggs, Cadet, is appointed Cornet of the 3rd. Troop. Mr. Robert Yauncey, Cadet, is appointed Cornet of the 4th. Troop.[1]

On 7 April 1778 Lee's Troop was replaced by Captain Addison Lewis's troop. Lee's Troop then expanded into Lee's Legion, designated the 2nd Partisan Corps in 1781. The 1st Continental Light Dragoons were reassigned to the Southern Department on 8 November 1778 when the Corps of Continental Light Dragoons was broken up as an organization. The regiment was officially re-organized on 1 January 1781 consisting of four mounted and two dismounted troops and redesignated the 1st Legionary Corps. On 2 November 1782, reflecting an amalgamation that had occurred in the spring of 1780, the unit was consolidated with the 3d Legionary Corps, maintaining five troops, and the new unit was designated 1st Legionary Corps.

The regiment saw action at the Battle of Brandywine, Battle of Germantown and the Battle of Guilford Court House. The regiment was disbanded on November 15, 1783, at Winchester, Virginia.


  • Wright, Robert K. Jr. (1983). The Continental Army. Army Lineage Series. Washington, D.C.: United States Army Center of Military History. CMH Pub 60-4. Retrieved 2006-05-24.
  • Washington, George. "The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources. Vol. 7. University of Virginia". Retrieved 17 February 2012.

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