In early 1776 a composite battalion was formed of detachments from each of the three Guards regiments for service in America. Each company of the three Guards regiments were to send 15 privates. Officers volunteered for service. Although a Grenadier company already existed with each regiment none had a light infantry company, so one was organised. These various detachments were organised into regiment of eight battalion, one Grenadier and one Light Infantry companies and fielded a little over one thousand men.
On arrival in New York on12 August 1776 the Guards were trained in Sir William Howe's light infantry discipline. Due to command and control problems with such a large regiment the Guards were reorganized into two battalions; the Grenadiers and four battalion companies were assigned to the first battalion while the Light company and the remaining four battalion companies were assigned to the second battalion. In addition the Guards were now designated a brigade under the command of General Matthew.
In addition to this reorganization, the uniform of the Guards underwent a transformation. Instead of the London parade ground appearance and more practical campaign look was acquired. Regimental coats were shortened, shoulder straps replaced with blue cloth. The
As the was progressed it appears that the regimental lace was placed back on the coats, and bayonets may have regained their separate belts. At least by the time of the southern campaigns.
The Guards fought extensively throughout the American war. In fact few units saw more service throughout the war then the Guards. In 1776 notably at Long Island and Fort Washington. The brigade also participated in the 1777 campaign at the battles of Short Hills and later in the invasion of Pennsylvania and the 1778 retreat through New Jersey. The last major battle in which the brigade served in the northern theater was Springfield, New Jersey in 1780.
My miniature Brigade of Guards is made up of figures from the truly outstanding Fife and Drum miniatures. They are the only company out there to do a historically correct Guards figure for this time period.
In addition they also do the correct Grenadier and Light figure with the the curious hat-cap. So you can field a correct Brigade of Guards. There is no evidence that the regimental colors were sent to American so this is one of the few units I have without colors. On the table top the Brigade fields two thirty figure battalions and two twelve figure flank companies.