Monday, 16 January 2017

Rhode Island Train of Artillery

In May 1775 the Rhode Island Assembly voted to raise troops to contribute towards what then became the Continental Army (the Rhode Island contingent being called initially the Rhode Island Army of Observation).  Three infantry regiments and a unit of artillery were formed.  I'll write about what became of the infantry regiments shortly (I painted one last year and completely forgot about it, although photos of it appear in the fourth Caliver/"British Grenadier!" scenario book).  In the meantime, here is the artillery train.  The uniform was notable for its brown faced reds coats and the leather caps.  These caps had a front of black leather which was decorated with a gold painted anchor and the words "For Our Country" painted above it.  Some time around December 1775/January 1776 the unit was incorporated into the Continental Artillery Regiment and at some stage thereafter the uniform was changed to the more common artillery uniform of blue coats faced with red.   The unit was stationed at Boston in 1775 and then New York, and companies fought in the Saratoga, Philadelphia and Monmouth campaigns. 

These are most of the figures from Old Glory's pack of Rhode Island artillery.  The pack also contains two figures of an officer waving a sword - I haven't painted those because both swords had broken off.  My artillery pieces have 4 crew members on a 60mm x 70mm base, so I don't need those officers anyway.  I may at some stage try to glue one of the swords back on and paint the figure as John Crane, who commanded one of the unit's companies.  These figures are typical Old Glory sculpts - some are better than others and it's difficult to know precisely what's happening.  It looks as if the crew are preparing to fire, but there's no one with any sort of match and the chap with the handspike looks as if he's trying to move the gun.  Anyway, I'm not all that bothered and I think the crews generally look ok.  Perry Miniatures make a pack of figures in the Rhode Island uniform.  That was released after I'd already acquired the Old Glory figures and it is hard to justify buying another pack.  Anyway, I think I've done the best I can with these figures, and having a couple more 6-pounder models is always useful.  I painted the guns in my "red oxide" colour, which I discussed some years ago in this post.  

As the unit history above indicates, figures in this uniform are really only fit for service in 1775 and early 1776, Long Island being the most likely battle to use them in (even though the uniform may well have changed by then).  The unit fought at Newport in 1778, most probably in the standard blue faced red uniform, but I suppose I can use these figures for two of the eight American guns that are required for that scenario.   I now have seventeen American gun crews, which is far more than one needs for the AWI - the largest numbers are at Brandywine and Monmouth, which require respectively twelve and nine guns on the American side.

8 figures and 2 guns. Painted December 2016.


Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Colonel Frederick Visscher

Frederick Visscher commanded the Third Regiment of Tryon's County's militia, and fought at Oriskany in the rearguard of the American column.  Visscher was born in 1740 and, like many settlers in the Albany area, was of Dutch descent.  He served in the F&IW and joined the patriot cause with his two brothers, John and Harman.  Visscher's friends and neighbours Colonel John Butler and Sir John Johnson both chose loyalty to the Crown.  As a veteran of the F&IW, Visscher was given a colonelcy in the local militia.  His brothers were also commissioned into the Third Regiment.  Visscher and his men were at the back of Herkimer's column, guarding the baggage wagons.  After the ambush was sprung, Visscher found himself cut off from the rest of the force.  His men fought their way back through the Indians who had encircled them and retreated back the way they had come to Fort Dayton.  They were pursued by the Iroquois and bodies were found some miles away (records rather chillingly mention "Major Blauvelt and Lieutenant Groat, taken prisoner and never heard of afterward").   In May 1778 charges of cowardice were brought against Visscher and certain others who were accused of running away and abandoning the rest of Herkimer's column.  However, nothing seems to have come of those charges, at least as far as Visscher was concerned.  He continued to serve in the militia and seems to have been held in high regard.  It appears that in May 1780 the home of Visscher's parents was attacked by a band of Tories and Indians led by Sir John Johnson while Visscher and his two brothers were visiting whilst on leave.  A vicious fight in the house saw his brothers killed and Visscher himself scalped and left for dead after he had been hit in the back by a tomahawk.  The house was set on fire but Visscher managed to help his wounded mother to safety.  Apparently Visscher had a silver plate made to conceal his scalping scar during public occasions.  After the end of the war, Visscher became a judge and a member of the state legislature.  He died in June 1809.

Visscher appears in the "British Grenadier!" Oriskany scenario as a brigade commander and this figure is of course a companion to those of Lieutenant-Colonel Ebenezer CoxBrigadier-General Herkimer and Hanyery Tewahangarahken.  It is another one of the figures from Galloping Major's "Anglo-American Militia Command" pack in their F&IW range.  As I said in my post on Ebenezer Cox, Visscher should be mounted but (again) I like this pose, which suggests he can hear the ambush has started.  Given that he was a prominent, senior officer, I wanted to give Visscher some decent clothes and so he appears in a more colourful suit than I suspect he wore on the day.  

1 figure.  Painted December 2016.

Monday, 9 January 2017

Lieutenant-Colonel Ebenezer Cox

I'm going to kick off the new year with some more personalities.  Colonel Ebenezer Cox was one of the commanders of the vanguard of the American column that was ambushed at the battle of Oriskany on 6 August 1777 while on its way to relieve Fort Stanwix.  He was born in June 1741 and was killed at the battle.  His official position at the time of the battles appears to have been second-in-command of a unit of Tryon Country militia (Brigadier Nicholas Herkimer being the commanding officer of this unit).  Apparently Tryon County's militia was formed into five regiments, each with distinct recruiting districts - Cox led the First Regiment, with men drawn from the Canajoharie area.  In my post on Herkimer, I noted that on the morning of 6 August Herkimer had misgivings about pushing on to Fort Stanwix before reinforcements had arrived, but was cajoled into continuing his advance by his other officers.  Cox is named in histories of the battle as being one of those officers who accused Herkimer of being a coward and a Tory.  Cox must have been with Herkimer at the front of the column when the Crown forces attacked - he and several other officers were killed in one of the first vollies, whilst Herkimer was hit in the leg shortly thereafter.  The First Regiment appears to have lost five of its captains and one lieutenant in the battle and so must have been pretty cut up in the battle. 

So unfortunately, the real Ebenezer Cox (who was the father of four young children at the time) had didn't live beyond the battle's opening stages.  However, he is listed as the vanguard's commanding officer in the "British Grenadier!" Oriskany scenario and so I wanted to have a figure to represent him (and act as another militia commander more generally).  This is another Galloping Major sculpt, from the "Anglo-American Militia Command" pack in their F&IW range.  The look and pose of this figure is perfect, I think - running for cover just after the ambush has been sprung.  Also, unlike a lot of command figures who just stand around, this chap is actually shouting orders.  I suppose militia commanders should be mounted, but to be honest I think they look better on foot - I expect they jumped off their horses pretty quickly at Oriskany.   

1 figure.  Painted December 2016.


Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Tenth year anniversary

My first post of the year is almost always a self-congratulatory celebration of another year of blogging.  At times over the years I've felt rather embarrassed when writing this post, as some years saw far less output than others and there have been times when this blog seemed rather comatose.  However, this time I can celebrate reaching 10 years, and whilst the regularity of posts over those years has been very inconsistent at least the blog has managed to keep going for a full decade.  Like the Continental Army in the AWI, "Tarleton's Quarter" may sometimes look as if it's been beat, but it always manages to rise up again.  This year things began quietly but picked up in the second half of the year, before tailing off sooner than I had intended in December.  That means there's a backlog of figures to post about, so the figures below don't tally with what I've posted about over the past 12 months.  As always, I'll try to be more regular with posts this year and I'm both grateful for and appreciative of all the kinds comments that are left here. 

Painting time was spent almost exclusively on the AWI this year, and my main focus was on building up my Loyalist troops.  My other key aim was to continue making inroads into my leadpile, which made 2016 a cheap year from a wargaming perspective as my purchases were limited to the figures I acquired at Salute and a few books.  I've now worked through the bulk of my unpainted Perry lead; what's left comprises a couple of regiments' worth of Continentals and some bits and bobs.  I still have about 60 Foundry figures and various Old Glory packs (one of which I've just finished).  But I'm intending to have all these metal packs finished by the end of this year.  I have a couple of other commitments, and finding painting time remains elusive; but it's a realistic target and I should be able to fit in a couple of other things as well. I'd like to return to the First Carlist War and make a start on my Cape Town 1806 project, but I'm in no great rush and the necessary inspiration will arrive in its own time.  Appreciating now that, in painting terms at least, it's largely 1770-1870 that interests me I have been thinking about other periods - the War of 1812, the South America Liberation Wars, the Crimean War and the ACW all interest me.  However, at the moment I feel I can't justify rushing off and buying more lead or plastic when so much remains unpainted.  So it's more of the same for the foreseeable future, but I'm content with that.  The only other development of note has been taking the plunge with the "X-Wing" miniatures game.  I thought that when Hugo turned seven in December it might be the time to try out this game with him, given that he loves Star Wars and people I know had suggested he would be old enough to get to grips with it.  I'm delighted to say that we spent over 2 hours playing X-Wing last weekend and it looks like a hit.  Monty is far too young to understand the rules or indeed play properly; but he likes moving his ships and rolling the dice so I'm hoping this game will produce some family fun over the next few years.

Anyway, the painting tally for 2016 is as follows:

- AWI: 243 infantry, 26 cavalry, 6 horses, 2 guns and 1 wagon;
- Napoleonics: 6 infantry, 6 horses and (most of) 1 coach;
- ACW: 8 infantry.

So that's 325 "points" in total, which is a dead-heat with last year's total.  The Napoleonic coach is the Warlord Games set of Napoleon's Berlin Coach; this was my Christmas hols project and I'm hoping to have it finished over the next couple of weeks.  I painted 8 more ACW figures and will paint the rest of the battalion at some stage this year.

Coming up next on TQ: American artillery and militia personalities, the King's Royal Regiment of New York and some much-delayed Highlander command.  I don't really have any relevant photos, so I've added some of a parade last autumn of my Hessian and Brunswick troops (without the artillery - I forgot all about that).  It's been a good while since I painted any German auxiliaries and I just wanted to have a look at them.  Happy New Year, everyone.   

8 battalions in total, with jaeger skirmishers, command and a vignette  

Grenadier battalions, with Regiment Rall at the back
Fusilier regiments (Knyphausen and Von Lossberg)
Musketeer regiments (von Bose, Leib, von Mirbach) 
Jaegers and casualties
Brunswick commanders (Breymann and Riedesel)

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

5th Pennsylvania

The 5th Pennsylvania Regiment had its origins in the 4th Pennsylvania Battalion, which was raised in early 1776 with Anthony Wayne as its Colonel.  A year later, the enlistments of the men who had joined this unit expired, but many of them joined the newly-raised 5th Pennsylvania Regiment.  The regiment was engaged throughout the campaigns in the northern theatre - Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth and Stony Point.  At some point, the regiment was transferred to the south, as it fought at Green Spring in July 1781 during the Yorktown campaign.   The regiment was disbanded on 1 January 1783.  It appears in the following "British Grenadier!" scenarios: Brandywine (18 figures), Germantown (18), Whitemarsh (16) and Monmouth (24 - this is described in the scenario as a composite of various Pennsylvania units).

This regiment uses the figures from Perry packs AW172-173, "American infantry in peaked caps".  The box of plastic Continental infantry contains peaked caps, although those have a feather behind the front.  The majority of figures in the plastic set are in breeches, so if you want to have a regiment of infantry in caps and overalls, you'll need to use these metal packs.  Research suggested various possibilities for regiments wearing caps, such as Henley's Additional (which I already have, albeit in tricornes).  I decided on the 5th Pennsylvania largely because I don't have many Pennsylvania regiments and I liked the blue faced white colour scheme of this regiment.  I'll admit to finding the figures rather fiddly to paint.  In particular, I couldn't work out the straps on the reverse of the figures.  If you look at the photo opposite, you can see that the bread bags have large straps - I'm pretty sure I've painted two straps as one, but I'm just not sure what the underneath strap is for (the bayonet?). 

Also, I was initially wary of the bands around the muskets - the vast majority of American figures in the Perry AWI don't have bands and I wondered whether this was an anachronistic mistake.  However, the answer is probably that these are supposed to be French-supplied Charleville muskets, which did have bands on them during this period (as indeed can be seen on the Perry French figures).  Apparently the "Brown Bess" was fairly unique in not having bands, and Dutch and German muskets had them as well as French ones (hat-tip to Brendan Morrissey for this information).  The Charleville musket was first introduced in 1717 and the design was revised several times before the musket was replaced by percussion lock types in the 1840s.  The muskets supplied to the Continental Army were mainly older models from the 1760s.  The newer Model 1777 was used by French troops during the AWI and this was the standard model used in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

The French Charleville musket
A replica second 1769 Short Land Pattern "Brown Bess" musket

The flag is by GMB and is a loose one that I found in my flag box without any identification.  I couldn't place it, but my pal Bill Nevins tracked it down as the "Easton Flag".  Legend has it that the flag was first displayed in July 1776 for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in Easton, Northampton County in Pennsylvania.  However, it seems more likely that this flag was used by local militia during the War of 1812.  With a circle of gold stars it's very similar to the flag of the European Union, but I think it looks ok for this regiment, as the colours match and so much the better if it has some connection with Pennsylvania.  It's from GMB pack WIA43.  I'm not all that keen on the pose of the standard bearer, although I understand that this is the way flags were usually carried on the march.  With this finished unit, I've now painted at least one of all the American infantry packs released by Perry Miniatures - there are 29, in case you're wondering!

24 figures.  Painted July-September 2016.  Flag by GMB.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Volunteers of Ireland

The Volunteers of Ireland was a corps of Loyalists that was raised in Philadelphia in May 1778.  A letter from General Clinton to Lord Germain (the British Secretary of State for America at the time) suggests that the motive for establishing a regiment of loyal Irishmen was recognition that, while it had been assumed that Irish immigrants were likely to be among the most hostile to continued British rule, in fact such communities had not completely assimilated and retained some affection for "the Old Country".  Lord Rawdon, son of the 1st Lord of Moira in the Irish peerage, was given command and entrusted with raising the regiment.  Rawdon had fought at Bunker Hill as a lieutenant in the grenadier company of the 5th Foot, and his actions there resulted in promotion to a captaincy in the 63rd Foot.  Whether Rawdon succeeded in recruiting only Irishmen is unclear - Clinton's letter refers to the regiment containing 380 deserters from the Continental Army.  The regiment also incorporated men from the Roman Catholic Volunteers, a unit raised in October the previous year but which was having discipline problems.

Here's what the original recruiting notice of May 1778 said:

ALL Gentlemen, Natives of Ireland, who are zealous for the Honour and Prosperity of their Country, are hereby informed, that a Corps, to be stiled the VOLUNTEERS of IRELAND, is now raising by their Countryman, LORD RAWDON.

Those who wish to seize this favourable Opportunity, of manifesting their Attachment to their Native Land, are desired to apply to Captain BOURNE, at his Quarters, opposite to Coenties Market-place, or to Lieutenant MOFFAT, at the Lines, Kingsbridge; Lieutenant BINGHAM, Long-Island; Lieutenant DALTON, Powles-Hook, or at Mr. DEAN's, at the Sign of the Ship, near the Fly Market, where they shall be honourably entertained.
Any person who shall bring an approved good Recruit, shall receive Half a Guinea for each.
Good Men of any Country will be received.


The VoI was placed on the American establishment as the 2nd American Regiment in May 1779.  The regiment saw action at Camden, where one of its sergeants was decorated for bravery, Hobkirk's Hill and then in the relief of the siege of Fort Ninety-Six.  The regiment remained in South Carolina for the duration of the war, and after the surrender at Yorktown was shipped to New York.  In December 1782, the regiment was put on the British regular establishment as the 105th Foot.  The troops were taken to Nova Scotia where they settled.  Rawdon's career continued to flourish - he served as Governor-General of India for 10 years from 1812 and died in 1826, whilst Governor of Malta.

In the published "British Grenadier!" scenarios, the VoI appear twice - 30 figures for Camden and 20 for Hobkirk's Hill.  I decided to stick with 20 figures after I'd already based the first batch on a base of 6 (the Camden scenario in the first "British Grenadier!" scenario book is enormous, so I've largely used unit strengths from the other scenarios - if a Camden game ever looks imminent I can easily paint up another 10 figures); so I used a 20x50mm base for the last 2 figures (the frontage is a couple of mm too large, but who's going to notice).  These are Perry Miniatures figures, of course, and wear the "Brandenburg coat" uniform that the regiment is thought to have worn.  The uniform is quite fiddly to paint, and I found the harp motifs on the caps particularly difficult.  Sources differ on whether the caps hat white tape around the front edge - I decided to leave that out, but added silver tape to the command figures.  Much of the VoI uniform is conjecture, including these lovely GMB flags, I assume.  These are pretty figures, but ultimately the regiment is unlikely to see much action on the tabletop.

20 figures.  Painted June-August 2016.  Flags by GMB.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Iroquois (7)

Here's the final pack of Indian figures for now, the Conquest Miniatures "Iroquois Warriors A".  I now have 50 Iroquois/generic Woodland Indian rank-and-file, 12 chiefs, 3 mounted Indians, a pack of civilians and 6 each of the Delaware, Sauk/Fox and Stockbridge tribes.  So that's 89 Indians altogether, which is more than enough for any AWI collection.  I'd like to add the final generic Conquest pack, "Indians with bows" at some stage, and perhaps some more Galloping Major figures; but that's some way off at the moment.  I like painting these figures enormously, but they do take time as each one is an individual.  I didn't find much information about the caps/hats that two of the figures are wearing.  There are illustrations of them in the Osprey Iroquois MAA, but not much explanation of what they were or how they were made.  So I've just followed the colour schemes in the paintings, which may be too modern.  The hats seem to have coloured streamers at the back, which is why they look a bit "red, white and blue".

I was out in the garden yesterday taking my final photos for this year's posts - two larger regiments and some odds and ends.  I'm currently working on the King's Royal Regiment of New York, the main Loyalist unit that fought at Oriskany, and a couple more Patriot personalities.

6 figures.  Painted November 2016.