Thursday, 19 November 2015

Emmerich's Chasseurs (1)

Captain Andreas Emmerich (sometimes "Emmerick") was a professional soldier from Germany and a veteran of the Seven Years War, who early in the AWI proposed to the British that he raise a corps in Germany for service in America.  Those proposals were rejected and Emmerich then lobbied General Clinton instead, who allowed Emmerich to form a more modest unit of 100 "marksmen" from men currently serving in various loyalist regiments, under Emmerich's command.  This was in August 1777.  The unit's performance in the attack on the Hudson Forts later that year was impressive and Emmerich was allowed to expand his force.  So the following year, Emmerich added two troops of dragoons, one light infantry company, one rifle company, and three "chasseur" companies (presumably also infantry or mounted infantry) to his original company of riflemen.  Emmerich was promoted to lieutenant colonel, in charge of what was effectively a "legion" but which is referred to in contemporary documents as a "corps of chasseurs".  A recruitment notice has survived, and it reads as follows:

To all Gentlemen Volunteers,
By Virtue of a Warrant from his Excellency Sir HENRY CLINTON, K. B. and Commander in Chief of all his Majesty's Forces in North-America, bearing Date the 30th of April, 1778.
Lieut. Col. Commandant EMMERICK,

Is now raising Six Companies of Foot, to consist of 360 Rank and File, and Two Troops of Light Dragoons, to consist of 100 Men, who will receive immediately their Bounty before attested; their Pay, Provision, and Cloathing regular, and agreeable to the King's Allowance, without clipping or deduction. To any that bring Horses fit for the Service, the Price will be paid immediately. ------- For which Purpose proper Officers will be stationed in New-York, on Long-Island, Staten-Island, Philadelphia, and elsewhere. The Refugees who are single Young Men, and out of Employ, should particularly manifest their Zeal on this Occasion, and shew that they are in Reality Friends to his Majesty.

Whoever knows EMMERICK, knows that his Soldiers live like Gentlemen, and that all such as behave well, he treats like a Brother.

God Save the King

The force went on raids around New York and elements of the force seem to have been present at the battle of Monmouth.  What happened internally to the corps during 1778 and early 1779 isn't clear, but the officers in the legion seem to have fallen out with Emmerich and/or each other.  Desertion became a bad problem and the corps was dissolved on Clinton's orders.  Some of the cavalry troopers were sent to serve with the British Legion and others together with the infantry went to other well-known regiments such as the Volunteers of Ireland, De Lancey's Brigade and the Queen's Rangers.  Emmerich remained in service, but without his own command.  I'll add some details about his further adventures in my next post.

These are the Eureka Continental dragoon figures again, which I've used to model the mounted element of the corps.  I see no reason why these figures can't also be used for loyalist units and I'm already working on a second one (the East Florida Rangers).  The mounted troop of Emmerich's Chasseurs only appears in the Indian Field scenario, as a 4-figure unit.  So Emmerich's Chasseurs are never going to be a priority for an AWI wargamer, but it's not often one has an excuse to paint up loyalist cavalry and it doesn't take long to do 4 figures.  And they look pretty.  The uniform of a dark green coat faced dark blue with black tricorne follows an illustration by Lefferts (see here).  When the unit was first raised in 1777, it is probable that the recruits wore the uniforms of the regiments from which they were drafted - so green coats faced white, blue of red as was customary for loyalist troops in the war's early years.  It appears that new uniforms were obtained in autumn 1778, possibly red coats as the loyalists began to be re-clothed into red coats around this time.  I liked the combination of green and blue so decided to go with Lefferts.  I followed this uniform through for the infantry element of the corps, which I'll write about in my next post.

4 figures.  Painted October 2015. 



Michael Awdry said...

Nicely done Giles, the horses are rather good too.

Simon said...

Great figures and another informative post.


Fire at Will said...

A splendid unit and I understand the temptation to add them to your army. I'm tempted to do the same.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

As always very lovely work Giles!


Dalauppror said...

Indeed very nice !