Thursday, 14 August 2008

Ebenezer Learned's brigade 1777

Now for my brigade to be used at Bemis Heights. I mentioned on my main blog that I would depict the brigade of Ebenezer Learned comprising the 2/8/9 Massachusetts and 1st Canadian.

Clockwise starting from from the left
2nd Mass - as described in Lefferts, etc very much standard uniform except for Brown breeches
8th Mass - I used the picture in Mollo (#105) as the basis. I agree with comments that it may have been just one company, but it makes a very striking unit
9th Mass - No clear description, so I depicted another Mass regiment Glovers Marbleheads (14th Cont.), which looks very similar to the unit attacking the Breymann redoubt in the Osprey Saratoga book
2nd Canadian - rather than the 1st this unit saw more action, more clarity on the uniform so I copped out.

Flags - All generic Massachusetts flags, except the 2nd Canadian which came from Warflag

I also added a couple of extra generals by converting some Revell American Militia, one is clearly formally dressed, except he is missing his hat, and the other I will use with one of my militia brigades.
Finally, here is the very useful response from Brendan Morrisey on the Lace Wars group when I queried the 1st Canadian Uniform.

"The situation with much of the Northern Army in the summer of 1777 was that very few units were issued uniforms of any sort prior to the Saratoga campaign, most only receiving their 1777 issue clothing in November and December. So the short answer to your question is that you could probably use a militia unit with a few uniformed officers for Livingston's regiment.

To take the regiments of Learned's brigade:

2nd Mass. Several deserters were recorded wearing blue coats/short jackets, so there may have been a uniform of sorts, possibly worn by men who had re-enlisted from 1776 and were wearing old uniforms from other units. The first recorded issue of clothing to the regiment itself, was in December 1777 and included a large amount of green and red cloth (suggesting green-faced-red).

8th Mass. This unit was issued with 60 coats and similar numbers of waistcoats and breeches, but also 238 hunting shirts, some time between February and August (they were very much the exception). In the early years of the war, h/shirts were issued in pairs (ie each recruit got two), but more likely the 8th were given one each because of shortages

9th Mass. They got exactly 18 sets of coat/waistcoat/breeches,which I would suspect were issued to the sergeants. The rest of the unit would have been wearing "civvies" - ie, they'd look like militia.

1st Can. Because the Canadian regiments had no "home" State, they were often overlooked when it came to clothing and equipment (IIRC,Hazen had to bang the table a few times to get Congress to kit out his own regiment, the 2nd) and I suspect a lot of them were wearing their own clothes. From the assorted deserter reports listed in an earlier post, it sounds like the two men wearing the captured British coat and the blue coat faced red, were in the the "official" uniform( probably one was a musician and hence was in reversed colours - my money's on the guy in the British coat). The other two men were probably wearing their own clothes, and therefore may have been new recruits. A consignment of British coats was "liberated" from the7th and 8th Foot (dark blue facings) and 26th Foot (yellow) during the invasion of Canada in 17775-76, and the deserter above could well have been wearing one of these - quite likely a 7th/8th Foot coat.(Before his death, Montgomery had a spat with Congress over British coats, as the latter wanted him to take away all prisoners' coats and he had to explain that only un-issued coats could be taken as spoils of war, as the British soldiers paid for their uniform, so the coats they were wearing were private property and so could not be confiscated.)

Hope that helps."


British army on parade

Finally on parade, the largest army, the British plus their German contingent, quite a lot when just laid out.

My original British wing, light infantry (Airfix nap French conversions) and Grenadiers in the front rank, the next two with Washington's army figures repainted as British. Then in the rear two British Grenadier figures used as Fusiliers and with a hat swap as line infantry. The guns used to be from Airfix Nap French Artillery set, but I upgraded them with the much nicer guns from the Revell SYW artillery

The German wing, front rank are Brunswick Grenadiers (Bearskin shaved down to give a mitre), second and third rank are the oldest figures in my collection the Brunswick regiments Von Rhetz and Von Specht (originally painted for the Bath wargames club Saratoga campaign) in the rear two ranks the Hessian contingent and accompanying jagers. The single gun is Hessian.

My newer forces, added to meet the needs of various scenarios. ACTA Light Infantry in the front rank (nice figures but rather slender) Second rank is a Revell/Accurate figures line regiment, plus a number of Piquettes (I use them in games at 1 strength point). Third rank are some upgraded Grenadiers (I gave them flags just for appearances). Fourth rank are Airfix Nap Highlanders with cut down bonnets to look vaguely AWI'ish. Rear rank is more Revell/Accurate figures painted as Loyalists. To the right is another foot guns and some Naval guns and crews for holding fortifications, etc.

The cavalry, light dragoons to the front, British Legion behind, in both bodies the first unit is the earlier painting. To the right of the cavalry is the Hessian Grenadiers. To the left is Tarleton posing!

That's almost the whole army, I do have the Italeri Light Dragoons, but they get used with my heavier British cavalry for the SYW.

Once again, I can see the need for quite a bit of remedial work.


Wednesday, 13 August 2008

French Army on parade

Now for the French, like the Americans parts of the army are over 30 years old and has gradually grown since then. The early army was a simple force of 3 units of infantry (back then my European battalions were 24 figures strong), with the new rules they became 6 but little changed until the Revell SYW figures appeared, at that point I added quite a number of new units rounding off the force so it could fight stand-alone actions. It is also used for the SYW.

The entire army

Front two ranks of infantry are the two units of Saintogne units (depicted as grenadiers) and four units of Soissonais, Third and forth ranks are Deux-Ponts, Grenadiers de France (Naval Infantry in the Americas) and Dillon. The final rank is Canadian Militia so actions from the French & Indian Wars can be fought.

Right Flank

Shows one unit of light infantry from Lazun's Legion, one of the two guns behind is also from the Legion, if necessary the Deux Ponts can act as close order infantry of the Legion. The unit on the other flank is the Chasseur-Voluntaires de Sainte-Dominge.

Left flank

Although most generals are from the Airfix AWI sets, some SYW command figures were added.

Lazun's Legion cavalry led by the Duke

Except for the Duke they are Airfix conversions, If I get around to adding more I'll use the excellent SYW Hussar figures like the Duke, who just has a head swap.

As with the Americans the problem with carrying out this review is the highlighting the deterioration of quite a few figures. I never quite notice when playing as the lighting is usually quite dim.

Looks like I've got a project to tidy up all my AWI armies.


Missing American Cavalry

After publishing the American army I spotted that my two newer cavalry regiments were missing, so here they are in the front rank. They are the 3rd (Baylors) and 4th (Moylans) Continental Dragoons

Those who use plastic figures will recognise them as the limber outriders from the Airfix Napoleonic British RHA set. The older units were converted from the AWI British grenadier officer. The units are the 2nd (Sheldons) and 1st (Blands) Continental Dragoons


Sunday, 10 August 2008

AWI Brigade for the southern campaigns 1781

Just completed some new figures to use in my Southern battles of the AWI. It's a combined brigade comprising Huger's (1st & 2nd Maryland) and William's (4th & 5th Virginia) brigades. Like all my continental regulars I depict them in a common uniform, which is not correct, but it's the way I started in the period over 30 years ago and it makes it easy to identify the units. The flags came from two sources Warflag for the 1st MD, and Dansk Figurspilsforenings (see downloads) for the 2nd MD and Virgina flags. The latter were adapted slightly using MS paint to give different background colours.

The Maryland regiments (front rank) are very much as documented, but there is much less on the Virginia regiments (rear rank), so I depicted the 4th in the standard continental uniform for Virginia and the other I used artistic license and copied the uniform used in Tarltons Quarter for the 10th Virginia (link)

As my basing seemed quite varied (link) I decided to keep to my current style although it's more effort.


Monday, 4 August 2008

American army on parade

Having seen the 4th of July parade over on Tarletons Quarter, I felt inspired to do the same. Many of the figures are over 30 years old and are showing signs of wear, in particular the dreaded yellow bayonet disease, or in this case yellow muskets.

Overview of my current force with rifles/lights in the first rank, continentals and artillery in the second, militia in the third and most of the fourth. Finishing with cavalry in the rear. The majority of the figures are Airfix with a number of Revell/Accurate figures for the rifles and some militia

The right flank, rifles leading, followed by my oldest brigade the 1st-4th New York regiments (painted for the Bath Wargames Club's Saratoga campaign in the early 70s) followed by a militia brigade and then a small mixed brigade of the Lafayette Light Infantry and two regiments of militia.

The left flank, rifles followed by the additional continental regiments of Webb, Lee, Hartley and Sherburne (nearly as old as the New Yorkers) then militia brigade using Airfix figures and then one using Revell/Accurate figures.

My CinC stand (Washington look alike?) using SYW figures

The frightening part is seeing the variety in the basing of the units, I have been so used to just playing with the units, I had forgotten how varied and tatty they had become. I'll need to put some time aside to tidy them up.