Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Colonel Frederick Visscher

Frederick Visscher commanded the Third Regiment of Tryon's County's militia, and fought at Oriskany in the rearguard of the American column.  Visscher was born in 1740 and, like many settlers in the Albany area, was of Dutch descent.  He served in the F&IW and joined the patriot cause with his two brothers, John and Harman.  Visscher's friends and neighbours Colonel John Butler and Sir John Johnson both chose loyalty to the Crown.  As a veteran of the F&IW, Visscher was given a colonelcy in the local militia.  His brothers were also commissioned into the Third Regiment.  Visscher and his men were at the back of Herkimer's column, guarding the baggage wagons.  After the ambush was sprung, Visscher found himself cut off from the rest of the force.  His men fought their way back through the Indians who had encircled them and retreated back the way they had come to Fort Dayton.  They were pursued by the Iroquois and bodies were found some miles away (records rather chillingly mention "Major Blauvelt and Lieutenant Groat, taken prisoner and never heard of afterward").   In May 1778 charges of cowardice were brought against Visscher and certain others who were accused of running away and abandoning the rest of Herkimer's column.  However, nothing seems to have come of those charges, at least as far as Visscher was concerned.  He continued to serve in the militia and seems to have been held in high regard.  It appears that in May 1780 the home of Visscher's parents was attacked by a band of Tories and Indians led by Sir John Johnson while Visscher and his two brothers were visiting whilst on leave.  A vicious fight in the house saw his brothers killed and Visscher himself scalped and left for dead after he had been hit in the back by a tomahawk.  The house was set on fire but Visscher managed to help his wounded mother to safety.  Apparently Visscher had a silver plate made to conceal his scalping scar during public occasions.  After the end of the war, Visscher became a judge and a member of the state legislature.  He died in June 1809.

Visscher appears in the "British Grenadier!" Oriskany scenario as a brigade commander and this figure is of course a companion to those of Lieutenant-Colonel Ebenezer CoxBrigadier-General Herkimer and Hanyery Tewahangarahken.  It is another one of the figures from Galloping Major's "Anglo-American Militia Command" pack in their F&IW range.  As I said in my post on Ebenezer Cox, Visscher should be mounted but (again) I like this pose, which suggests he can hear the ambush has started.  Given that he was a prominent, senior officer, I wanted to give Visscher some decent clothes and so he appears in a more colourful suit than I suspect he wore on the day.  

1 figure.  Painted December 2016.


AJ (Allan) Wright said...

Lovely. I particularly like the 'serious' nature of his facial expression.

Simon said...

Wow, what a lovely sculpt. I really like the pose, I may think about putting in an order for some of these figure.


David said...

Fine figure enhanced by your excellent brush work Giles!

Phil said...

Nice post and great paint job!

Paulalba said...

Cracking, he's a man who can hold it together under fire. Great bit of history Giles!