Saturday, 13 October 2007

14th Continental Regiment



This regiment was raised by John Glover in Marblehead, Massachusetts, in May 1775. The following year it was taken onto the Continental Army's establishment as the 14th Regiment, but became known as "Glover's Marbleheaders". Many of the recruits were seamen and fishermen, and the regiment won fame by supplying the oarsmen who ferried Washington's army across the Delaware to attack Trenton. It is recorded that some African Americans served in this regiment.

Eureka Miniatures make specific "Marbleheader" figures, representing soldiers in various seaman's clothes. The range includes an officer, drummer and standard-bearer, together with 4 rank-and-file figures: loading, firing, advancing and charging. I spent a while musing over how I wanted to use these figures and model the regiment. I am not a fan of units that are in multiple poses - my battalions are either loading/firing, advancing or charging, but never all 3 at once; I just think that looks very odd. I thought about using the figures as skirmishers, but the Marbleheaders fought in the line as well as ferrying Washington about. I found out that other regiments that recruited from seaside areas often included soldiers who wore sailors' attire, so I decided to form a full strength firing-line unit that could be used for any Massachusetts or New York regiment. Having decided on that, it seemed only fair to stick to Eureka figures to bulk out the ranks; so I added some more "ragged Continental" figures to add variety and emphasise the "ad hoc" appearance. I have some advancing and charging posed figures left over - I will either add these to another "charging" regiment or use them as skirmishers.

Mollo refers to the regiment wearing "light coloured coats, drab or brown, with red facings". Therefore, I went for a lighter colour than the dark brown that is often used for this unit (I used the Foundry "Chestnut" palette with a couple of self-mixed intermediate shades). Examining the figures, it became clear that the standard bearer and drummer figures were wearing sailors' tunics and not uniform coats like everyone else. I thought of painting those the same light brown as the other figures, but decided that if they were sailors they should really have navy coloured coats, so that's what they have. I gave some of the specific Marblehead chaps blue stripes of various hues on their pantaloons to add to the nautical appearance. I looked at what GMB flags I had to hand and selected a "liberty tree" flag on the basis that this kind of motif was common in Massachusetts regiments.
I always paint the faces of firing figures with the right eye open and the left eye closed. I am left-handed, and the last time I went "shooting" (on a stag in Brighton) I freaked out the instructors by closing my right eye and squinting out of my left - the instructors found that so odd that I wasn't allowed to continue! I remembered that story whilst painting the last firing pose figure, and so I reversed his eyes just for a laugh. In the photo on the left below you can see him, second from the right - the only left-handed man in the battalion!

20 figures. Painted September 2007. Flag from GMB.