Sunday, 21 May 2017

Philadelphia Light Horse

The Light Horse of the City of Philadelphia, or "Philadelphia Light Horse", was established in 1774.  It was a volunteer militia unit, formed by "a group of prosperous gentlemen" (according to Uniformology's book on the Continental Light Dragoons).  The troopers bought their own equipment and provided their own horses.  The coat was "rust brown" faced white, while the cap was of black leather with a buck/fox tail crest.  Apparently the unit's flag was presented by the first captain of the troop, Abraham Markoe, who had previously served in the army of Denmark.  However, King Christian II then issued an edict banning Danish citizens from fighting in foreign wars, and so Markoe had to be replaced.  

During the AWI the troop oftern acted at Washington's personal bodyguard and messenger service.  The unit was present at the battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine and Germantown.  Being essentially a militia unit it was never formally disbanded at the end of the war and survives today as Troop A, 1st Squadron, 104th Cavalry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania National Guard.  It is, apparently, the oldest military unit of US that is still in service.  

The Philadelphia Light horse don't appear in any of the published "British Grenadier!" scenarios, but I've wanted to paint up this unit for years, largely because I love the brown coats with their white facings and the bucktails and light blue turbans on the helmets.  I can always use them to add numbers in those 1:5 ratio scenarios where a lot of cavalry are required on both sides.  I had some Foundry Continental Dragoon figures left over and was originally intending to paint just one stand of 2 figures.  But I then realised that I'd bought the unit's flag (from Adolfo Ramos), so I had to pick up a command pack from Foundry at Salute this year.  The means I still have 2 Foundry figures left over that I'll need to find a use for.  The coats were painted with Foundry's "Bay Brown 42" palette.  Sources refer to rather fancy brown shabraques with embroidery and white silk finishes.  I decided against painted those on the horses and instead used my normal blue-grey colours to suggest more work-a-day furniture. 

4 figures.  Painted April-May 2017.  Flag by Adolfo Ramos.


Iowa Grognard said...


WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Agreed! Extremely handsome troops.

Best Regards,


legatus hedlius said...

Very smart uniform!

Michael Awdry said...

Outstanding Sir.

Simon said...

Great unit Giles

Steve said...

Very nice, Giles.

David said...

Fine chaps there Giles! The unit also grace my Rebels.

Big Andy said...

Very sweet. I have soe half painted Stadden 30mm- perhaps I should actually finish them.....

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