Saturday, 17 February 2007

11th Virginia Regiment

This the only American battalion I currently have that is entirely clothed in hunting shirts. The 11th Virginia Regiment was raised in September 1776 and incorporated Daniel Morgan's rifle company and various other independent rifle-armed units. Morgan was initially appointed colonel. The11th Virginia fought at Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth. In May 1779 the battalion was redesignated as the 7th Virginia Regiment. I do not think that this is the same unit as "Morgan's Riflemen", a corps of 500 riflemen which was formed on the orders of George Washington in the summer of 1777, fought in the Saratoga campaign and was disbanded in early 1778, but I could be wrong. If these are two separate units then I suppose it is possible, if not probable, that Morgan took experienced men from the 11th Virginia into his new rifle corps.

I modelled this unit in hunting shirts of various hues as that look seemed best for a collection of individual rifle companies from Virginia. Although most of the figures are in fact musket-armed, at the far right of the line are 4 figures from the Perry skimishing riflemen packs. A close-up of those figures is shown below. The excellent flag is from GMB and I thought it deserved a close-up. 16 figures. Painted March 2006.


Anonymous said...

Your 11th Va was the same unit that fought at Saratoga.

Anonymous said...

Nope, completely separate unit.

Morgan's Rifle Corps was raised by Washington in early 1777. It was organised as a typical 8-company battalion, with a Lt Col and a Major. The men came from those Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia regiments that had integral rifle-armed companies (ie one of rifles and seven armed with muskets), although it seems that not all the men came from those rifle companies as there is a surviving order to issue the men so chosen with rifles belonging to other members of their unit if they did not have one themselves.

The peculiar organisation of the PA, MD and VA regiments caused some problems early in the war from the fact that when the rifle company was detached, it left an asymmetric establishment.

When with the Main Army, Morgan's corps numbered just under 600 all ranks and also had a Lt Col and a Major. The normal strength given for the Saratoga campaign is around 300, so either the corps was split in half - the others remaining with Washington - or it had a lot of men off sick, or detached.

As an aside, some of Fraser's Company of Select Marksmen on the British side were using rifles taken from Morgan's rifle company that was captured during the siege of Quebec in 1775.