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George Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe

From Academic Kids

George Augustus Howe, 3rd Viscount Howe (c.1725-July 6, 1758) was a career officer and a Brigadier General in the British Army. He was described by James Wolfe as "the best officer in the British Army". He was killed in the French and Indian War while trying to capture Fort Carillon.

George Howe is credited with the introduction of the Light Infantry Companies in the British Army. When he commanded the 5th infantry, he developed two of these companies in response to the requirements of wilderness and Indian campaigns. The companies carried less and lighter equipment than line companies, their jackets were shortened, and their belts changed from white to black.

They drilled to gain experience in skirmishing and rapid maneuver. After a time each line regiment had one or two light infantry companies. For larger battles, these would be grouped into a light infantry battalion and used to attack flanks or other actions that took advantage of their maneuverability. The tactic was quickly adopted by other European armies and later by the American Continental Army.

George Augustus became Colonel of the 55th (Westmoreland) Regiment of Foot on September 28, 1757 while at Halifax. In December he was promoted to Brigadier General. In 1758 he and the regiment were part of General James Abercrombie's failed attack at Ticonderoga. On July 6, Abercrombie's force marched north from the shore of Lake George in four columns. General Howe led one of these columns, with the 55th regiment of accompanied by a unit of Connecticut militia, with Major Israel Putnam as a scout and guide. They made contact with a French unit and a sharp skirmish ensued. They fought well, taking 148 prisoners, and causing an estimated 300 enemy casualties with limited losses to their own number. But one of those casualties was General Howe, who fell from a single shot, and died in Putnam's arms. The Massachusetts Assembly (or general court) later voted 250 to place a monument in Westminster Abbey.

Preceded by:
Emmanuel Howe
Viscount Howe Followed by:
Richard Howe
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