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.



Will McNally said...

Very interesting, nice to see your research.

CelticCurmudgeon said...

Very, very nice, indeed! Quick question about paint choices: what paints did you use for the jackets and trousers? Again this was nicely done.

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I like the 'parade ground' look of this unit in their striking blues. Is that some black lining I see on the belts? Very nice touch - and a lot of work.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Lovely looking regiment Giles! Congratulations on painting all the packs!


Simon Jones said...

Great parade ground look. I researched some of the Patriot flags that are supposed to be from the AWI period. A lot are thought now to be of 1812 vintage. Some are very dubious in design, I guess we will never know for certain the provenance of these colours.

Have a great Christmas

Jason said...

Another superb looking unit Giles. I do really enjoy seeing your completed regiments parade ready to take the field.
Best wishes,

Ken Reilly said...

Nice work Giles, interesting research on the unit too, many thanks

The Yarkshire Gamer

David said...

Fine brushwork Giles, as ever, and an interesting and informative post as well.

Steve said...

Wonderful addition to the collection!

AJ (Allan) Wright said...

I like the caps on these - very smart looking.

The paint work on the canteens is exceptional.