The plan of British defenses on the north side of Philadelphia in 1778 was drawn by Colonel Lewis Nicola, an original member of the Pennsylvania Cincinnati. Colonel Nicola, a professional soldier, translator of military texts and engineer, was Philadelphia Town Mayor. He was commissioned Col. of the Invalid Corps by Congress on June 23, 1777. This unit, originated by him, was made up of men fit only for limited service -- the progenitor of World War II's Coast Guard Reserve.

When the British occupied Philadelphia, Congress ordered Col. Nicola's unit, then at Fort Mifflin, to Allentown, PA, as a guard for the Army Hospitals and Stores. Unique as his contributions were to the war, he is best remembered for his letter to Washington in May, 1782, suggesting Washington make himself a king.

Nicola was a member of the American Philosophical Society.
Left Side Of English Plan Near North Side Of Philadelphia, 1778 Right Side Of English Plan Near North Side Of Philadelphia, 1778
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  Officer History
  Date   Rank   Unit   Military Action   Position   Status
  20 Apr 1776   Volunteer   Pennsylvania Line       Barrack Master, Philadelphia, PA  
  2 Dec 1776   Major   Pennsylvania Line       Town Major, Philadelphia, PA  
  23 Jun 1777   Colonel   Invalid Corps       Commander  
  16 Jul 1777 - 15 Jun 1781   Colonel   Invalid Corps   Philadelphia, Garrison   Commander  
  15 Jun 1781 - Nov 1783   Colonel   Invalid Corps   Fishkill Encampment, Garrison Duty   Commander  
  Nov 1783 - Dec 1784   Colonel   Invalid Corps   West Point, Invalid Corps   Commander  
  30 Dec 1784   Brigadier General   Invalid Corps       Commander   Retired
  To Read About Colonel Nicola's letter to General Washington, click here .  
  To Read General Washington's response to Colonel Nicola, click here .  

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