Sunday, January 22, 2017

8th Regiment of Foot

    At the time tensions between the United States and Britain resulted in America declaring war the 8th Regiment of Foot was based in Quebec and Nova Scotia.  During the course of the war the 8th Regiment of Foot would find itself at the forefront of the defense of Canada.

    The Regiment took part in a daring raid on Ogdensburg New York in February 1813.  To reach their destination, the Regiment and Canadian militia had to cross the frozen St. Lawrence River and march through dense snow. After gaining control of the fort the British destroyed the main barracks and three anchored vessels,and departed with provisions and prisoners.

    In April 1813, elements of the 8th, Canadian militia, and Native American allies attempted to defend  York (present-day Toronto) from and American attack.  As the Americans landed on the shoreline, the grenadier company of the 8th engaged them in a bayonet charge but we're repulsed.   The Americans  overwhelmed them and forced the entire command to retreat. Although they captured York the Americans suffered over 250 casualties, including their commander  General Zebulon Pike, when retreating British regulars detonated Fort York's Grand Magazine.

    While garrisoning Fort George, at Newark (present day Niagara-on-the-Lake), in May 1813  the 8th Foot ( with companies of the Glengarries and Runchey's Company of Coloured Men) attempted to disrupt an amphibious landing by the Americans. Although outnumbered British delayed the invasion force which allowed the defenders to retreated. Interestingly this was the first time the 8th would fight against the American officer Windfield Scott who led the landing parties.  In June 1813, the 8th and 49th regiments attacked the American encampment at Stoney Creek in a daring night time action.  Although the British captured two American brigadiers  and inflicted heavy losses, Colonel John Harvey who commanded the British worried (panicked?) his heavily outnumbered command would be captured ordered a withdrawal.  Later that year the regiment took part in the capture of Fort Niagara, and the raids on Buffalo and Black Rock New York.

    In July 1814 the regiment fought in the Battle of Chippawa against their old foe Winfield Scott.  Later in the month, the regiment fought in the Battle of Lundy's Lane. The following month, the regiment took part in the action at Snake Hill during the siege of Fort Erie.  The 8th Regiment received the battle honour 'Niagara' for its contribution during the War.

    To recreate this regiment I again used the incredible miniatures from Knuckleduster.  To illustrate the long service of the regiment I put the rank and file in the older stove pipe shako, while the officers wear the newer Belgic shako.  My thoughts are the officers would have purchased the new version of the caps before the men were issued theirs. Conjecture on my part but possible. But it does set it apart from the similarly dressed 1st Regiment on the table top.   As many have noticed it is important to me that I know something about the regiments I push on the table top.  Flags are again from Flags of War.  And beautiful works of art they are too!  Flag finals from Front Rank miniatures.

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