In June 1775, soon after the outbreak of the War of Independence, he was commissioned a captain of Virginia riflemen, and he marched his company to Boston in 21 days.
The army consists of 96 three-battalion regiments of infantry of the line and 12 of bersaglieri (riflemen), each of the latter having a cyclist company (Bersaglieri cyclist battalions are being (1909) provisionally formed); 26 regiments of cavalry, of which 10 are lancers, each of 6 squadrons; 24 regiments of artillery, each of 8 batteries; I I regiment of horse artillery of 6 batteries; I of mountain artillery of 12 batteries, and 3 independent mountain batteries.
It is divided into mounted riflemen, about 1900 strong, four field batteries of 340 men and two infantry battalions, each of over 800 men.
In 1859 "Boadicea" was written, and "Riflemen, Form !"
C., near the North Carolina line, by bands of riflemen under Colonels Isaac Shelby, James Williams, William Campbell and others, and after a desperate fight on the wooded and rocky slopes, surrendered.
In the winter of 1775 he accompanied General Benedict Arnold to Canada, and in the assault on Quebec (Dec. 31) he and his riflemen penetrated well into the city, where he was hemmed in and was forced to surrender.
It is now known as the Cape Mounted Riflemen and is about 700 strong.
At the head of 150 mounted riflemen, accompanied by Colonel Mackinnon, he dashed out of the fort, and, through a heavy fire of the enemy, rode to King William's Town - a distance of 12 m.