Monday, 21 May 2007

2nd Maryland







The 2nd Maryland Regiment was formed in January 1777 from various companies that had been raised the previous year. It formed part of the 2nd Maryland Brigade in Sullivan's 3rd Division, alongside the 4th, 6th and 8th Maryland Regiments (the 8th also being called the "German Battalion") and Hazen's 2nd Canadian Regiment. The unit fought throughout the war, at New York, Brandywine , Germantown, Monmouth, Camden and Guilford Courthouse. It suffered particularly badly at Camden, where by all accounts it went to pieces. Deserter descriptions refer to blue coats faced red. I used this uniform and added red turnbacks instead of white for the sake of variety, given that I have several other regiments in the same coloured coats.


I painted the command stand of this unit quite early in my AWI career. I began my American troops by building up Sullivan's command for the battle of Brandywine. At this stage in the war many American units were badly understrength and the 2nd Maryland is recorded as having fielded about 120 men. On a ratio of 1:20 that means a unit of only 6 figures, which is how I originally modelled it. "British Grenadier" scenarios usually combine small regiments into composite units. So, for example, the Brandywine scenario combines the 2nd Maryland with the 4th Maryland into a unit of 16 figures. This makes for a more even game, but I wonder how it effects the historical nature of the fighting: the British regulars would have found it much easier to pick off and disperse small regiments of 120 men than composite regiments of (say) 500, and that is reflected in the rule mechanics. Then again, perhaps the American commanders did combine their troops like this, in order to create units with sufficient critical mass to be able to better hold their own in battle. It would be interesting to see how a "British Grenadier" refight of Brandywine worked out with a larger number of smaller Americans units.


This regiment is largely a mix of Foundry and Eureka figures, with a couple of Perries thrown in. Over the years I have revisited all my "small" battalions and bulked them up to larger units. 18 figures. Painted August 2003 and December 2005. Flag by GMB.

2 comments:

Allan (AJ) Wright said...

I like this unit a lot. I have similar troubles with small vs. large units myself. I've been tending to paint multiple stands for smaller units for flexibility when playing at lower scales in V&B.

The red turn-backs are a nice touch, and I like the figure mix, expecially the bare-legged addition.

Anonymous said...

Giles,

Something to consider when painting up future Continental units is that, after 1777, about 10% of the infantry was black. They tended to be more common in northern units (ie northern states), and one of the Rhode Island units was 75% non-white. However, a few could be found serving as subtstitues in the lines of the more southern states, such as Maryland, Virginia and the two Carolinas.

RtL