The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Saturday, August 15, 2009

1776 Connecticut

December 12, 1776- Sheldon's Horse, the Second Continental Light Dragoons, commissioned by Congress under the command of Colonel Elisha Sheldon at the direct recommendation of General George Washington. Washington indicated that he expected Sheldon to appoint only gentlemen of "true spirits and good character" and observed that gentlemen of fortune and of reputable families generally made the most useful officers.

The unit had volunteered for service early in 1776 but was rejected because of insufficient forage for the horses and men. The dragoons entered active service after the defeat of the Continental Army at White Plains, New York, in October 1776.

The name dragoon is derived from the carbine (the dragon) carried by Frederick the Great's medium cavalry. Lighter and shorter than a regular musket; the carbine's size made it ideal for light cavalry use. It was attached to the shoulder with a musket sling. Pistol holsters on the saddle contained two French cavalry pistols for use in close quarters, and dragoons also carried
a wooden canteen, bedroll, feed bag and picket rope.

Most of their fighting was done on foot with the horses being used primarily as transport. Dragoon mounts were generally smaller than those used by heavy cavalry. Horses had to be bay, black, chestnut or gray in color. The typical load carried by a horse could be 250 pounds, including equipment and rider.

Members of Sheldon's Horse served as personal bodyguards to General George Washington.

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