Aide–de–camp: a military officer who assists another high-ranking officer.
Auxiliary: The fact that the British needed Auxiliary units to supplement the Imperial Army demonstrates their inability to muster a home grown force in the face of public distaste. As a result, the British were "loaned" soldiers by treaties with several German principalities. Even thought the bulk of these soldiers came from principality of Hesse-Kassel, hence the name Hessians, the British also contracted a significant reserve from six other German principalities. It is this system that differentiates the "mercenary" from the "auxiliary". The former understanding was based on a contractual system between a government and an individual. The latter rested upon a treaty between governments.
London Trade: Colonialists who participated in the Black Market by selling their wares to the British for hard currency, that is currency that is not likely to depreciate suddenly or to fluctuate greatly in value. The rationale may have been either greed or necessity. Those who needed to do so were concerned that if they did not sell immediately, a farmer for example would have their livestock and grain confiscated by Washington's militia for the war effort, or they would receive a pittance due to mass circulation of counterfeit script.
Privateers: Men who were authorized by their government to seize goods from enemy vessels. Loyalist privateers robbed Patriot vessels and sold the goods to Loyalists, while Patriot privateers did the opposite.
Neutral Ground Edit
The Neutral Ground was a region of contested space, in the year 1776, which extended North from British-occupied Manhattan Island and the encampment of Kingsbridge (modern day Bronx) to the Patriot frontlines, Washington’s armies had retreated north controlling the banks of the Hudson River found between Westpoint and Peekskill. It was an area between enemy lines.
Cowboys and Skinners: The names "cowboys" and "skinners" were applied to marauders (also known as guerrillas and irregular cavalry) operating in the Neutral Ground around New York City, roughly Westchester County NY, during the American Revolution. Although the names were loosely applied to all lawless bands and individuals, including those of no political affiliation, the cowboys were generally considered to be Loyalists and the Skinners rebels. Both groups also provided intelligence information about the activities of the other side.
The "Cowboys" were the Westchester Light Horse Battalion, a Loyalist provincial corps of the British army, commanded by Col. James de Lancey. The battalion was an irregular unit of the British army from 1777 until the end of the war, taking part in some of the principal battles. The cowboys' main occupation was stealing cattle and selling them to the British garrison in New York City.
The "Skinners," named after Gen. Cortland Skinner's Brigade of New Jersey Volunteers, had no regular organization and did not consistently serve either the Americans or the British. They attacked and robbed local civilians from 1778 to 1783 and sold their plunder to both sides. They were also sometimes employed by the British or Americans as scouts and spies.
King's Ferry: a river crossing found on the Hudson River, or North River as it was known at the time, between Stony Point, New Jersey and Verplanck New York.
1) The Revolutionary War by Charles Patrick Neimeyer, 2007.
3) Encylopedia.com articles on Cowboys and Skinners: