Friday, July 15, 2011

American Regiments - part the second.. apologies for the lack of posts recently – I think it fair to say that there have been other temptations taking up my time – not surprising given the time of the year. When the weather closes in, and so do the nights, I would be amazed if my wargaming activities don’t also ramp up by way of replacement... part of the ongoing cataloguing then, herewith the second box of American troops....

The Artillery - Rhode Island, New York & Connecticut Artillery

Like the British/Hessian forces I have three artillery pieces for the American’s - Rhode Island on the left, a medium piece, and then two light guns representing the New York and Connecticut Artillery. The medium is a Minifigs piece (and it’s lovely), the lights came from the same (long forgotten) plastic source that the British guns came from. In the background is one of the limbers (again Minifigs) – I have enough to provide one per gun, along with spare guns (to act as abandoned guns during games) – on the far left is a Minifigs wagon – I bought several of these for the Charles Grant “Wagon Train” teaser – they’re absolutely lovely. Base no's. 26, 27 & 28.

Massachusetts Militia - 4th Battalion

Longer term readers of this blog will recognise this regiment as the one that won their battle honours at the Battle of Carnine and which were subsequently subject to an on-line poll to decide which colours they were to have. Nice to know that they will forever be associated with that long-ago battle no matter how badly they subsequently perform!

Either way, by the time I got to these guys I was beginning to get to the bottom of the box of figures that John had provided – so I based these as Light troops for skirmishing – and even then we were clearly a little heavy on fife players...! The clothing style was the same as the first three battalions (base numbers 5 & 6, 13 & 14 and 15 & 22) so these guys became the 4th Battalion. Plain vanilla American Militia of the type most would recognise - plates 4, 5 & 6 in the Mollo book... Base no's. 29 & 30.

Bourbonnais Regiment – 1st and 2nd Battalion

These are the first figures I painted for the project – by this time I had decided to focus on Yorktown as the OOB to base the project round, and given the preponderance of Militia and non-Continental units the French were an obvious choice as a “stiffening” unit in the American forces.

French regiments were absolutely huge so to get round the scaling issue in the McNally rules, I just made them two units strong this allowed me to field one unit with the white colonels colour, and the other with the regimental colour. Plate no 201 in the Mollo book, plus the relevant Osprey gave me the uniform details... Base no's. 31 & 32 and 45 & 46.


These guys came to me in a supplementary parcel I think (I kept getting these odd little parcels of figures from John as he discovered various stashes of figures he had “put safely away” – quite exciting...) There is further evidence here that what John had been collecting for (I think) was a Seven Years War North America set up, but by this time I didn’t care – they fitted very nicely into the War of Independence thank you very much.... I suspect these were meant to be couriers de bois – they all had red stocking caps – all I did was colour some of the caps differently, and based them up as militia from the northern states – where clearly it is winter... Free Happy Smileys Either way, plate 10 in the Mollo book supports my contention. Base no. 33, 34, 35 & 36.

4th Continental Light Dragoons

I was also well aware that the Americans were light on cavalry - the American War of Independence was not a "cavalry war", but up until now they had none at all. John had passed me a fair few figures to represent the British 16th and 17th Light Dragoons - far more than I needed - so the quick and dirty approach to remedy this was to take four of these figures and do a paint conversion to an American Dragoon unit - the Mollo plates 176 (and 177) are two of the best in the book in my eyes, so I went with the 4th Regiment as they were present at Yorktown. Base no's 37 & 38.

1st New York Regiment

Additional stiffening was to be provided by the arrival of the first Continental foot regiments... these guys represent the 1st New York Regiment (Brigadier General James Clinton's Brigade of Major General Benjamin Lincoln's Division at Yorktown).

"The 1st New York Regiment was authorized on 25 May 1775 and organized at New York City from 28 June to 4 August, for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Alexander McDougall. The enlistments of the first establishment ended on 31 December 1775. The second establishment of the regiment (ie. this one) was authorized on 19 January 1776. The regiment was involved in the Invasion of Canada, the Battle of Valcour Island, the Battle of Saratoga, the Battle of Monmouth, the Sullivan Expedition, and the Battle of Yorktown.

The regiment was furloughed 2 June 1783 at Newburgh, New York and disbanded 15 November 1783."

I think it EXTREMELY unlikely that the regiment presented this smart an appearance by this stage of their service - constant campaigning, the heat of the southern states, shortage of supply etc etc would have resulted in them looking considerably different but I took my reference from the Mollo plate 168, and I love the parade ground look for a Continental regiment as it helps to convey the regularity and discipline of the regiment - please don't tell me they "look wrong" as I will ignore you... Free Happy Smileys Base no's 39 & 40.

2nd New York Regiment

The sister regiment to the 1st New York, same brigade at Yorktown, and same comments apply with regard to appearance..

"The 2nd New York Regiment was authorized on May 25, 1775, and formed at Albany from June 28 to August 4 for service with the Continental Army under the command of Colonel Goose Van Schaick (good name!). The enlistments of the first establishment ended on December 31, 1775.The second establishment of the regiment (ie., the one these figures represent) was authorized on January 19, 1776.

The regiment would see action in the Invasion of Canada, Battle of Valcour Island, Battle of Saratoga, Battle of Monmouth, the Sullivan Expedition and the Battle of Yorktown. The regiment would be furloughed, June 2, 1783, at Newburgh, New York and disbanded November 15, 1783." Base no's 41 & 42.

Lauzun's Legion Hussars

Some more cavalry for the American side - I have a couple of units of British cavalry so this unit was intended to "even things up", as they are classed as European regulars.

From the Osprey book "American War of Independence Commanders" (Elite 93): "‘Duc de Lauzun.’

The flamboyant young duke was a scion (wouldn't you just love to be called a scion? Free Happy Smileys) of France's wealthy, high-nobility. He was colonel by the age of 20 and saw his first action in 1768 campaigning with light troops in the hills of Corsica. He was also a handsome, quick-witted and noted courtier, and, in 1778 he was made colonel-in-chief of the Volontaires étrangers de la Marine (Foreign Volunteers of the Navy). This brigade-like new unit was to have up to eight legions of mostly German soldiers, comprising infantry, hussars and artillery, and intended for service overseas. The Volontaires étrangers de la Marine raised only three legions, the 1st going to the West Indies, and the 3rd to Mauritius and later India. Lauzun was more interested in managing a corps at home and, in 1780, the 2nd Legion that had remained as a depot in France was transformed into Lauzun's Legion (see Men-at-Arms 244: The French Army in the American War of Independence 1778-83)

Eager for action, Lauzun commanded the troops sent with Adm. de Vaudreuil's fleet to capture Senegal from the British: it fell on January 30, 1779. His new corps, the Volontaires étrangers de Lauzun (known to Americans as Lauzun's Legion) and comprising 300 hussars and 300 infantry, sailed for North America with Rochambeau's army in June 1780. Once on Rhode Island, there was little action and it was not until a night skirmish on July 17/18, 1781 that a detachment saw action against some British light dragoons. The French army was now marching south past New York and Philadelphia and the hussars of Lauzun's Legion proved to be valuable scouts as it neared and then invested Yorktown."

This regiment represents another failed attempt on my part to find a decent yellow! Base no's 43 & 44.

Saintonge Regiment

Another French regiment - this time Saintonge. Just one unit of this regiment so far - like Bourbonnais I will add another at some time.

The regiment served in Brigade Soissonois, along with the regiment of the same name, and also the Touraine Regiment.

"The Saintonge Regiment, also known as the 85e Regiment of the Line, was raised in the year 1684 in the province of Saintonge, France. From 1763 to 1768 the regiment served in the West Indies and French Guiana. In 1780 the regiment was sent with Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau to help the United States during the American Revolutionary War. The regiment took part in the Siege of Yorktown in 1781. In 1782 the regiment returned to the West Indies and then back to France in 1783. Following the French Revolution the regiment became the 82e Regiment of Infantry."

Base no's 47 & 48.


...and that's it for the moment.. more anon!