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.


Tuesday 6 December 2016

The Volunteers of Ireland

The Volunteers of Ireland was a corps of Loyalists that was raised in Philadelphia in May 1778.  A letter from General Clinton to Lord Germain (the British Secretary of State for America at the time) suggests that the motive for establishing a regiment of loyal Irishmen was recognition that, while it had been assumed that Irish immigrants were likely to be among the most hostile to continued British rule, in fact such communities had not completely assimilated and retained some affection for "the Old Country".  Lord Rawdon, son of the 1st Lord of Moira in the Irish peerage, was given command and entrusted with raising the regiment.  Rawdon had fought at Bunker Hill as a lieutenant in the grenadier company of the 5th Foot, and his actions there resulted in promotion to a captaincy in the 63rd Foot.  Whether Rawdon succeeded in recruiting only Irishmen is unclear - Clinton's letter refers to the regiment containing 380 deserters from the Continental Army.  The regiment also incorporated men from the Roman Catholic Volunteers, a unit raised in October the previous year but which was having discipline problems.

Here's what the original recruiting notice of May 1778 said:

ALL Gentlemen, Natives of Ireland, who are zealous for the Honour and Prosperity of their Country, are hereby informed, that a Corps, to be stiled the VOLUNTEERS of IRELAND, is now raising by their Countryman, LORD RAWDON.

Those who wish to seize this favourable Opportunity, of manifesting their Attachment to their Native Land, are desired to apply to Captain BOURNE, at his Quarters, opposite to Coenties Market-place, or to Lieutenant MOFFAT, at the Lines, Kingsbridge; Lieutenant BINGHAM, Long-Island; Lieutenant DALTON, Powles-Hook, or at Mr. DEAN's, at the Sign of the Ship, near the Fly Market, where they shall be honourably entertained.
Any person who shall bring an approved good Recruit, shall receive Half a Guinea for each.
Good Men of any Country will be received.


The VoI was placed on the American establishment as the 2nd American Regiment in May 1779.  The regiment saw action at Camden, where one of its sergeants was decorated for bravery, Hobkirk's Hill and then in the relief of the siege of Fort Ninety-Six.  The regiment remained in South Carolina for the duration of the war, and after the surrender at Yorktown was shipped to New York.  In December 1782, the regiment was put on the British regular establishment as the 105th Foot.  The troops were taken to Nova Scotia where they settled.  Rawdon's career continued to flourish - he served as Governor-General of India for 10 years from 1812 and died in 1826, whilst Governor of Malta.

In the published "British Grenadier!" scenarios, the VoI appear twice - 30 figures for Camden and 20 for Hobkirk's Hill.  I decided to stick with 20 figures after I'd already based the first batch on a base of 6 (the Camden scenario in the first "British Grenadier!" scenario book is enormous, so I've largely used unit strengths from the other scenarios - if a Camden game ever looks imminent I can easily paint up another 10 figures); so I used a 20x50mm base for the last 2 figures (the frontage is a couple of mm too large, but who's going to notice).  These are Perry Miniatures figures, of course, and wear the "Brandenburg coat" uniform that the regiment is thought to have worn.  The uniform is quite fiddly to paint, and I found the harp motifs on the caps particularly difficult.  Sources differ on whether the caps hat white tape around the front edge - I decided to leave that out, but added silver tape to the command figures.  Much of the VoI uniform is conjecture, including these lovely GMB flags, I assume.  These are pretty figures, but ultimately the regiment is unlikely to see much action on the tabletop.

20 figures.  Painted June-August 2016.  Flags by GMB.

Monday 5 December 2016

Iroquois (7)

Here's the final pack of Indian figures for now, the Conquest Miniatures "Iroquois Warriors A".  I now have 50 Iroquois/generic Woodland Indian rank-and-file, 12 chiefs, 3 mounted Indians, a pack of civilians and 6 each of the Delaware, Sauk/Fox and Stockbridge tribes.  So that's 89 Indians altogether, which is more than enough for any AWI collection.  I'd like to add the final generic Conquest pack, "Indians with bows" at some stage, and perhaps some more Galloping Major figures; but that's some way off at the moment.  I like painting these figures enormously, but they do take time as each one is an individual.  I didn't find much information about the caps/hats that two of the figures are wearing.  There are illustrations of them in the Osprey Iroquois MAA, but not much explanation of what they were or how they were made.  So I've just followed the colour schemes in the paintings, which may be too modern.  The hats seem to have coloured streamers at the back, which is why they look a bit "red, white and blue".

I was out in the garden yesterday taking my final photos for this year's posts - two larger regiments and some odds and ends.  I'm currently working on the King's Royal Regiment of New York, the main Loyalist unit that fought at Oriskany, and a couple more Patriot personalities.

6 figures.  Painted November 2016.