Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Small, John (1726-1796)

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SMALL, JOHN (1726–1796), major-general, was born at Strath Ardle in the district of Atholl in Perthshire in 1726. After serving in the Scottish brigade in the Dutch service, he obtained a commission as ensign in the 42nd highlanders on 29 Aug. 1747, and was appointed lieutenant in 1756, on the eve of the departure of the regiment to America to serve under John Campbell, fourth earl of Loudoun [q. v.] He took part in the unsuccessful attack on Ticonderoga, under Major-general James Abercrombie, accompanied Sir Jeffrey Amherst in his expedition against Canada in the following year, and in 1760 proceeded to Montreal. Two years later he sailed with his regiment against Martinique, and was made captain. On 14 June 1775 he received a commission as major to raise a body of highlanders in Nova Scotia to act against the colonists. He took part in the battle of Bunker's Hill, and shortly after was appointed to command the 2nd battalion of the 84th royal engineers, with part of which he joined Sir Henry Clintock at New York in 1779. He was appointed lieutenant-colonel in 1780, and received his commission as colonel on 18 Nov. 1790. In 1793 he was nominated lieutenant-governor of Guernsey, and became major-general on 3 Oct. 1794. He died at Guernsey on 17 March 1796. He is a prominent figure in Trumbull's picture of Bunker's Hill.

[Hist. Records of the Forty-second or Royal Highland Regiment of Foot, passim; Appleton's Cyclopædia of American Biography, v. 552; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. iv. 98.]

E. I. C.