Monday, 4 September 2017

1st Rhode Island State Regiment

Rhode Island was the first of the thirteen colonies to formally renounce its allegiance to George III, in May 1776.   The colony then proceeded to raise various regiments of troops as an "army of observation".  The 1st Rhode Island Regiment began life in 1775 as "Varnum's Regiment", was then adopted into the Continental Army as the 12th Continental Regiment, was re-designated the 9th Continental Regiment in 1776 and then on 1 January 1777 became the 1st Rhode Island Regiment.  What became the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment followed a similar path: raised as "Hitchcock's Regiment" in May 1775 it joined Continental service as the 14th Continental Regiment, then becoming the 11th Continental Regiment in 1776.  A year later it was re-designated the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment.  In February 1778 the 1st and 2nd Rhode Island Regiments merged, and a new 1st Rhode Island Regiment was formed largely of freed slaves.  These units appear to have been consolidated into the "Rhode Island Regiment" in 1781.   A third unit, "Church's Regiment", was also raised in May 1775 but was disbanded at the end of the year and its men transferred into the other 2 regiments.  A further unit, "Richmond's Regiment", was raised in October 1775 and was taken onto the Continental establishment later that year.  The unit appears to have been discharged early in 1777.  There are also references to another short-lived regiment, "Babcock's" or "Lippitt's Regiment", which was raised in 1776 and disbanded in January 1777.  

The uniform colours I used for this battalion were taken from the leaflet that comes with the Perry boxed set of Continental infantry.  This has dark blue coats faced yellow for the "1st State Regiment" in 1777.  I confess I'm not entirely sure which of the five regiments above it is supposed to be.  Uniforms changed from year to year in the 1775-8 period and it may be that the blue faced yellow coats were issued to the 1st Rhode Island Regiment in January 1777, or were unique to one of the other units.  I've seen references to the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment starting off with brown faced red coats and then changing into white hunting shirts in June 1778.  So I'm a bit confused as to this unit's identity but, to be honest, I don't really mind since I like the blue faced yellow coats and this is something different to the more ubiquitous blue or brown faced red.   What is clear is that this painted unit is not the later-war "Rhode Island Regiment" in the famous all-white uniforms and fancy leather hats.  I painted these figures with 1776-78 very much in mind.

I painted these figures a good while ago and then forgot about them.  A photo of them appears in the fourth "British Grenadier!" scenario book to accompany the Newport scenario.  I wanted to use up all my remaining metal "marching" figures, so there are a number of different packs and manufacturers represented here.  At one end is a base of four of Eureka's "ragged Continental" figures - this is the company that hasn't received its new uniform issue yet (but are still marching proudly).   

The blog's been quiet recently for various reasons.  I have some more AWI cavalry to post about shortly and then...Napoleon in Egypt week!

20 figures.  Painted December 2014 to February 2015.  Flag by GMB.




Der Alte Fritz said...

I like how nicely the Eureka ragged Continentals look with the Perry figures.


David said...

A fine looking unit Giles and, as ever, an interesting overview.

WSTKS-FM Worldwide said...

Glad to see you are still going in light of the Photobucket stumble earlier in the summer. Lovely figures. You do them justice with your painting technique. While the variegated appearance of the AWI period is certainly an attraction, for some reason blue-coated rebels/continentals remain my favorites.

Best Regards,


Fire at Will said...

Napoleon in Egypt week sounds very tempting

John said...

Very nice- as usual. Your blog always inspires me!

Two4Slashing said...

Welcome back, very nice miniatures, as always inspirational

Simon said...

Nice mix of figures, I have done this with my units. I think that blue faced yellow was used by another Continental unit as well. For the life of me I cannot remember which. Deserter descriptions help a little with coat colours, but did an entire regiment wear the same uniform? I guess we shall never really know.

Giles said...

Thanks for the comments, chaps.

Simon - are you thinking of the 13th Virginia? That was an early unit I painted (in skirmish order) and I think it's Mollo who has them with yellow facings.

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Beautiful looking regiment Giles!


Simon said...

Hello Giles,
That's it the 13th Virginia, I actually have the unit in my collection.