History of the 22nd Infantry Regiment


The original 22nd Infantry Regiment was formed on the 22nd of January 1812 by a mandate from Congress in response to the open state of war that had begun between the United States and Great Britain. Brigadier General Winfield Scott was charged to raise a Regiment of light-infantry foot soldiers and join in the campaigns against the British in the West (the areas of Western New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio).

Winfield Scott was a man destined to have an impact on the entire Army as he would serve continually from his commissioning in 1803 until death in 1864. Scott, noted for his control, spit and polish, raised the Regiment (about 830 men) in less than 8 months. The only stumbling block was the outfitting of the Regiments enlisted men in approved Army uniforms. This was due to the British naval blockade which created a shortage of blue cloth and dyes usually available to the New England textile mills. Brigadier Scott chose to outfit the Regiment in grey because it was the only material available in any mass quantity. Today, this uniform is worn by all cadets who attend the United States Military Academy, West Point.

On 5 July 1814, the Regiment entered into battle with a superior British force near the town of Chippewa, New York. The British General Sir Jonathan Rialls, saw the grey clad Regiment in the center and right of the American Battle line. Rialls is said to have remarked that, "today should be an easy day. Those men (the 22nd) are nothing but buffalo militia." Rialls tune soon changed as the grey line began to advance in a disciplined manner, stopping only to unleash accurate and deadly long range musket fire. The Regiment started its final charge only fifty meters from the British line. The charge was so violent that it broke the British. As the British left the field of battle, Riallsí adjutant asked the General if he was sure the grey clad soldiers were militia. General Rialls replied, "Those are Regulars by God." General Riallsí statement of praise has become the unofficial motto of the 22nd Infantry, "Regulars by God!"

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