In May of 1779, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Rogers, the famous commander of Rogers' Rangers during the French and Indian War, was given a warrant to raise two battalions of KING'S RANGERS to combat what the British called the "unnatural rebellion." Rogers himself would ultimately have little to do with the King's Rangers as he had given in to alcoholism. Major James Rogers, Robert's brother, was the commandant of the Second Battalion. Captain Samuel Hayden of New Jersey was the senior officer of the First Battalion. The two battalions were quite different from each other. While the 1st Battalion was heavily comprised of New Jersey men, the 2nd Battalion was composed mostly of New Englanders along with a few immigrants from England and Ireland.
In September 1779, the Second Battalion of King's Rangers were garrisoned for a time at Fort St. Johns on the Richelieu River (now Saint Jean, Quebec). In October of 1780, a detachment of the Second Battalion took part in raids by Major Christopher Carleton into the Champlain Valley and the attacks on Fort Anne and Fort George NY. When rebels surrendered at Fort Anne, the King's Rangers took advantage of an easy opportunity: they recruited 16 of the enemy prisoners into their own relatively small ranks.
There was, however, another side of the war. The Second Battalion was involved in the business of spying for the British. One of the more interesting missions was when James Breakenridge, Jr. of the King's Rangers accompanied another loyalist carrying a secret proposal from Vermont's Governor Thomas Chittendon and Ethan Allen regarding negotiations for Vermont to become a Canadian province. Known as "The Vermont Negotiations," Major James Rogers was reportedly heavily involved in correspondence and face to face meetings with Allen and his associates.