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 Simon Fraser

Simon Fraser

Birth
Balnain, Highland, Scotland
Death 8 Oct 1777 (aged 48)
Saratoga, Saratoga County, New York, USA
Burial*
*–Alleged or in dispute burial location
Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York, USA
Plot Great Redoubt
Memorial ID 8746 · View Source
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British Army Brigadier General. Born in Invernesshire, Scotland, the tenth son of Alexander Fraser of Balnain by his second wife, Jean Mackintosh of Kyllachy. He began military career in the Dutch service and was wounded during the siege of Bergen-op-Zoom in 1747. He was pensioned as a subaltern from the Earl of Drumlanrig's regiment and then joined the British army in 1755 as a captain lieutenant in the 62nd Royal American Regiment. In 1757 he transferred to the 78th Highland Regiment of Foot, Fraser's Highlanders. He was at the siege and capture of Louisbourg in 1758 when he was promoted to captain, and was at Quebec in 1759. After his service in the French and Indian War, he was transferred to Germany as a major on the staff of Ferdinand of Brunswick. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in 1768. He then served garrison duty in Gibraltar, before being posted to Ireland as aide-de-camp to Jeffrey Townshend, the lord lieutenant. In 1770 he was appointed Irish quartermaster general. In 1776 his regiment was posted to Canada. His success at Trois Rivieres in June saw him promoted to Brigadier General. Recognized as one of Burgoyne's best field commanders, he was placed in charge of the elite Advance Corps at Saratoga. At the Battle of Freeman's Farm on September 19, the British right flank was under Fraser's command. American Colonel Daniel Morgan and his riflemen harassed the right while they were advancing through the woods, inflicting heavy casualties. Fraser was forced to fall back to the main column. The British held the field by day's end, but Fraser and General von Riedesel suggested they retreat to Fort Edward. Instead, on October 7, the British forces again faced the Americans at Bemis Heights. Fraser threw his Regiment into support of the grenadiers. He was spotted riding across the British lines and apparently targeted by the American riflemen. Multiple shots were fired, wounding his horse. An aide-de-camp pointed out Fraser was drawing fire but the General refused to withdraw. A final volley hit Fraser in the belly and he fell, mortally wounded. He was taken to the Taylor House, where he was nursed by Baroness von Riedesel. In her memoir she recorded Fraser's last hours: "...[he]o ften exclaim..."Oh, fatal ambition! Poor General Burgoyne! My poor wife." he asked General Burgoyne to have him buried at six O'clock in the evening, on a hill…" Fraser died the following morning, and Burgoyne granted his dying wish, burying him on the field. Nearly 210 years after his death, members of The Old 78th Fraser Highlanders re-enactment group served as honor guard at the unveiling of a monument to the memory of Brigadier General Fraser at Saratoga. The exact place of burial in the Great Redoubt is in dispute.

Bio by: Iola


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 7 Mar 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8746
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Simon Fraser (26 May 1729–8 Oct 1777), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8746, citing Saratoga National Historic Park, Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .