During the French and Indian War Gage was met with more failures than successes.
He was part of the failed Braddock expedition where he became friends with a young George Washington. During the expedition Gage was blamed for poor field tactics during the British retreat.
His failures would not end there. He was unable to do so, however General Amherst was able to accomplish his mission without the fort and Gage was placed as governor of Montreal. Here he gained a solid reputation for his administration abilities. Although he had significant setbacks in the French and Indian War, Gage did have one large success.
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He formed the first British regiment of light infantry. This unit was much quicker than the British regulars and were able to fight the Indians and the French in wooded areas rather than in the open field. He was the highest ranking officer in all of North America. Gage spent most of his time in New York where he and his wife Margaret Gage presided over the colonies. Like most officers of this time Gage engaged in nepotism. He promoted many of his friends and family members to higher ranking positions although they were not necessarily qualified.
During this period colonial tensions began to rise. Gage began to pull his frontier troops back to the larger cities of the colonies.
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British regulars began to be quartered in New York and Boston, which made relations even worse. This occupation led to the Boston Massacre and the withdrawal of British troops from Boston. At this point, relations were beyond repair although Gage gets most of the blame for being unable to secure Boston.
Thomas Gage Images
The Bostonians had organized an army of militia and minutemen to fight the British. They had also begun to store ammunition in Concord. With each passage of each new act the British only made things worse. Lord Dartmouth of England ordered Gage to seize the rebel leaders and the rebel stores of ammunition. With great haste Gage sent men into the Middlesex countryside late at night.
The rebels were ready as Dr. Joseph Warren , Paul Revere , and others warned the countryside and mobilized the provincial militias. Heavy casualties were inflicted on the British during the retreat.
General Thomas Gage
After the battle was over the rebels had embarrassed the British regulars and Boston was under siege. In he was appointed governor of Massachusetts, and he was in command at Boston during the outbreak of the American Revolution.
In he was a second time appointed commander-in-chief in North America, but within a few weeks he resigned and returned to England. He died on April 2, In he married Margaret, daughter of Peter Kemball, president of the Council of New Jersey; and by her he had six sons and five daughters.
MHS Collections Online: Letter from Thomas Gage to Thomas Hutchinson, 30 April
His Correspondence with the secretaries of state, , is being edited by Carter New Haven , Return to the Seven Years' War home page. Events, Issues, and Concepts. Internet Resources. Franco-American History.