Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Benedict Arnold and the First battle of Saratoga.

  A great number of years ago I published an article on the role of Benedict Arnold during the first battle of Saratoga.  There is an academic controversy concerning his actual role in the fighting that day.  While most articles I have read concentrated on how historians view this, I approached it a bit differently.  I went back and examined all first person accounts of participants in the Battle.

  If you interested in reading this, here is the link to the article.  But be warned!  It is dry and may cause you to nod off.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

View of Breed's Hill after the battle c. 1775

 Original water color by artist Thomas Davis in 1775.  View at base of Breed' hill looking up hill.  The redoubt and breastwork are illustrated.  Remains of various fences scattered about field.  By the officers and soldiers in foreground note plants suggesting wet ground.  This is area where British guns were bogged down.

A brigade order in Boston said the men may cut their hats, in the manner the 4th have done.  These soldiers hats suggest how that should look.   As to the fellow sitting down under the shade of the tree to the left he could be a light infantryman.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Club game night

  Last night was club game night.  Ed and George invited me, and I was excited to go again.  It had been a difficult night at work the night before (flight crews timed out and medical emergency so I did not leave work till after midnight) and it is always great fun to see and game with old friends.

  As is usual there were three outstanding beautiful games.  Mike put on a scaled down version of Trafalgar with Sails of glory.  A great fun, and very beautiful game. Have to look into it more.   Ralph staged a firefight of Cannane.  Beautiful terrain and incredibly well done troops.  A superb game as only Ralph can do. Both looked great and from the sounds of it all of the players had a great time.

  I was fortunate to play in Ed's game of The Battle of Dybboll (May 28, 1849).  The was during the First Schleswig-Holstein War 1848-49.  Troops (Denmark, Prussian and German Federation) are all pretty much equal.  The Prussians are not the army of the needlegun nor von Molkle.  In fact they are quite average.  It is a very colorful and evan fight, which historical Denmark won.  The rules used were Volley and Bayonet.  Ed put an incredible amount of work into this with amazing figure conversions and outstanding game devices to record losses and brigade status.  Just really first rate!

   For more on the game I would recommend you check out Ed's blog (Ed M's Wargame Meanderings) here

or AJ's blog for a write up of a game test here  Both will give a better understanding of the game then I can.

Prussian Hussars capture the battery

Over running the Infantry

Some of Ed's beautifully done troops.

Prussian brigade advancing

Fire fight while the Guards move towards the woods

From my point of view the game was great fun.  Bob's Dannish cavalry caused no end of damage and mischief, destroying George's artillery before they could come into action.  I returned the favor by reenacting "von Bedlow's Death Ride" against Bob's artillery and infantry.  Who said cavalry is useless!  I managed to out flank the Dannish line through the woods with my guards brigade while my line held his attention.  Alas, it was too little to late as the Dannish forces held on to win the game.

  A great night was had by all!  Beautiful painted figures, on excellent terrain and great camaraderie with friends.  It does not get any better then this!

Cheers 🍺

Thursday, May 11, 2017

British Order of Battle Guilford Courthouse Campaign

British Southern Army:  December 1780 to March 1781

Lieutenant General Lord Charles Cornwallis

Webster’s Brigade: Colonel James Webster
7th Regiment of Foot (24)
23rd Regiment of Foot. (30)
33rd Regiment of Foot. (30)

 Brigade of Guards: General Charles O'Hara
Guards Light Infantry Company (12)
Guards Grenadier Company (12)
1st Guards Battalion (30)
2nd Guards Battalion (30)

Reserve Brigade: Major General Leslie
1st Bn/71st Highland Regiment (24)
2nd Bn/71st Highland Regiment (24)
von Bose Regiment (Trumbach)  (30)

British Light Infantry battalion (12)
 Jaeger company (9)
Royal Artillery ( 6-pdr & 3-per)

British Legion: Lt. Colonel Banastre Tarelton
British Legion Dragoons
1st Squadron/British Legion Dragoons: (8)
2nd Squadron/British Legion Dragoons: (8)
3rd Squadron/British Legion Dragoons: (8)
British Legion Infantry (24)
British Legion Artillery (3-pdr)
 17th Light Dragoon (6)

Camden Brigade:
 Lt. Colonel Lord Rawdon
Royal North Carolina Regiment (30)
Volunteers of Ireland Regiment (30)
New York Volunteers Regiment (24)
South Carolina Royalist (24)
Coffin's Dragoons (6)
Camden District Loyalist Militia (30)
Royal Artillery (6 pdr)

Ninety-Six, South Carolina
Cruger's Loyalist Brigade:
Lieutenant Colonel John Harris Cruger
1st Bn/Delancey's (18)
3rd Bn/New Jersey Volunteers (24)
South Carolina Royalists (30)
Loyalist Artillery (2 x 3-pdr)
96th District South Carolina Loyalist Militia Brigade:
Brigadier Robert Cunningham
King's Long Cane Loyalist Militia (24)
Cunningham's Little River Loyalist Militia (24)
Stevens Creek Loyalist Militia (24)
Dunlap's Loyalist Dragoons (6)

Note:  For March into North Carolina against Greene's army Cornwalis may take with him Webster's Brigade, Guard's brigade, Reserve Brigade, British Legion , unbrigaded troops and North Carolina Loyalist regiment.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

American Order of Battle Guilford Courthouse Campaign

   The following are the troops available, each month for the American commander.  Please note that the order of battle changes each month.  This is due to reinforcements arriving, and militia enlistment ending so they are going home.

 January 1781

Brigadier General Daniel Morgan 

Continental Light Brigade:
Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard 
Maryland/Delaware Light Battalion (30)
Triplett’s Virginia Battalion (24)
Washington's Dragoons (10)

Pickens' South Carolina Militia Brigade (3rd South Carolina Brigade of Militia):
Colonel Andrew Pickens 
1st Spartan SC Militia Regt. (30)
2nd Spartan SC Militia Regt. (30)
McCall's State Dragoons (6)
Cunningham's Rifle Battalion (12) (mounted)

Sumter's South Carolina Partisan Brigade (@400) (1st S.C. Brigade of Militia):
BG Thomas Sumter 
Left Wing/Sumter (mounted) 24)
Right Wing/Sumter (mounted) (24)
Hampton's South Carolina State Dragoons (6)


February 1781

American Southern Army (division): 
Major General Nathaniel Greene 
Brigadier General Daniel Morgan 
Singleton's Continental Artillery (2 guns and crew)

Continental Light Brigade:
Lieutenant Colonel John Eager Howard 
Maryland/Delaware Light Battalion (30)
Militia battalion (24)
Rifle Battalion (12)

Virginia Continental Brigade (Brigadier-General Isaac Huger)
1st Virginia Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel John Green) (30)

Maryland Continental Brigade (Colonel Otho Williams).
1st Maryland Regiment (Colonel John Gunby) (30)
2nd Maryland Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Ford) (30)

Washington's Dragoons (10)

Lee's Legion (brigade)
Lee's Legion Dragoons (12)
Lee's Legion Infantry (12)   

Stevens' Virginia Militia Brigade 
Brigadier General Edward Stevens
Stevens' Virginia Militia (24)

North Carolina Militia Brigade (873)
Brigadier General William Davidson 
William's Surrey County, North Carolina Militia Battalion (24)
Polk's Mecklenburg Militia Battalion (24)
Locke's Rowan County, N.C. Militia Battalion (24)
Graham's Mecklenburg County, N.C. Dragoons (6)
McDowell's North Carolina Riflemen (12) (mounted)
Winston's North Carolina Riflemen (mounted) (12)

Pickens' South Carolina Militia Brigade (3rd South Carolina Brigade of Militia):
Colonel Andrew Pickens 
1st Spartan SC Militia Regt. (30)
2nd Spartan SC Militia Regt. (30)
McCall's State Dragoons (6)
Cunningham's Rifle Battalion (12) (mounted)

March 1781

Virginia Continental Brigade (Brigadier-General Isaac Huger)
1st Virginia Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel John Green) (30)
2nd Virginia Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Hawes) (30)

Maryland Continental Brigade (Colonel Otho Williams).
1st Maryland Regiment (Colonel John Gunby) (30)
2nd Maryland Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Benjamin Ford) (30)

Virginia Militia Brigade (Brigadier-General Edward Stevens).
2 battalions of 24 figures each

Virginia Militia Brigade (Brigadier-General Robert Lawson).
2 battalions of 30 each

North Carolina Militia Brigade (Brigadier-General John Butler).
1 battalion of 30

North Carolina Militia Brigade (Brigadier-General Thomas Eaton).
2 battalions of 30 each

Rifle Regiments
(one corps was led by Colonel William Campbell, another by Colonel Charles Lynch
2 battalions of 12 each

Light Dragoons and Partisan Corps:

Delaware Light company
12 figures

William Washington’s Light Dragoons:
8 Cavalry

Lee’s Legion:
9 Infantry
 8 Cavalry

Continental Artillery (two 2-gun sections)

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Cowpens - Guilford Courthouse Campaign refought .

 In volume one issue one of The Courier Steve Haller wrote an article about wargaming campaigns without maps.  in this article he refought the Cowpens -Guildford Courthouse campaign using this method.  Always a big fan of his writing in the Courier, I recently revisited his article with a mind to use his suggested campaign.

   In his introduction Haller wrote, "War gamers who enjoy the variety that acampaign offers for the use of their collections are often discouraged by the time and clutter involved when maps are used.  An alternative method might employ the use of an scenario based on a historical campaign (complete with OB's, etc) which allows elements of choice and chance to determine the nature of each battle of the campaign.  Each battle is assigned a number of points that are awarded based on the results of the Battle (e.g. comparison of casualty ratios). "   To me this has always been a fascinating idea which I wanted to try out.  Taking Steve Haller's article and work I have slightly modified it by changing some of the options for battles and created my own order of battles based on historical returns.  But the spirit of the campaign remained what Steve wrote way back in the early 1980's.  Here is my outline and rules for the Cowpens -Guilford Courthouse Campaign.  The campaign order of battle including militia desertion (i.e. going home) and reinforcements will be in the next post as part 2.

Campaign Guide Lines:
1.  Rules used are Loose Files and American Scramble.
2. Figure scale is 10:1
3. Terrain to be based on historical battles in the area.
4. After each battle 25% of casualties will be returned to each unit.  One month after that battle all American units (including loyalists) receive an additional 25% returned.  Two months after battle British and Hessian units receive back 25% casualties.  Units that drop to under 20% of their original strength after a battle are eliminated.
5. Staff Officers return after battle if roll a 4-6 on a D6.
6.  Players should be familiar with the historical campaign.

1. January 1781
General Morgan invades South Carolina with his Light Troops.  He can successfully link up with Pickens' South Carolina brigade by rolling 1-4 on a D6;  Sumter's brigade will join on a roll of 1-3.

Morgan now has three options:

1.  Fight Cowpens as the historical battle with historical order of battle.
2.  Attack Camden.  The garrison under Rawden will march out to fight him at the Hobkirk Hill area.  After that battle Tarleton will try to intercept Morgan by rolling a 1-3 for an encounter battle.
3. Attack the Fort Ninety-Six garrison. A defense will be set up by Cruger based on a Steve Haller scenario.   The garrison can be reinforced by Tarleton by rolling 1-4 on a turn determined by a die roll.

2. February 1781
Cornwallis'  and Tarleton chase Greene's and Morgan's forces through North Carolina.  The following battles are possible and determined by a die roll:
1. Cowen's Ford will be defended by Davidson's militia brigade as the historical battle by rolling 1-4.  Greene can detach elements of the Continental Light Division to assist on a turn determined by a die roll.
2.  A meeting engagement on random terrain involving all units if a 5-6 is rolled.

March 1781
Greene's reinforced army turns to fight Cornwallis army.
1. Guilford Courthouse as the historical battle by rolling 1-4.
2. Greene attacks Cornwallis army at Guilford Courthouse by rolling 5-6.

Victory is determined by casualties and condition of army at end of campaign.  Forces available for certain battles or each month will be posted in addition order of battles.

I am presently finishing the last couple of regiments for this campaign.  Once done I will be reporting the progress of how this turns out. I am looking to set this up for June 2017.  

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Henry Clifford's Crimean Watercolors

   Watercolor from Henry Clifford VC  of the British army of the March towards the Alma, 1854. Love the two soldiers talking in lower right corner and especially the soldier resting!

 Rifle Brigade skirmishing

A Rifleman close up and supply donkey

The Guards fighting at The battle of the Alma.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Niagara 1814 Campaign

  My Niagara 1814 project is finally nearing completion.  I have long wanted to do this, but have ways had a reason to put it off.  I started a couple times, once in 15mm  but again it never amounted to much so isold the figures off.  It was the Knuckleduster miniatures line of figures for 1812 which finally got me going.  An almost complete line with a great variety of figures and competitive priced.  I started in March 2016 after Cold Wars and a little over a year later I am playing games with the collection.  Is it completely?  No collection is and there are some holes and additional regiments I want to add.  But for now I am very happy with it.


 Left Division, U.S. Army:
Major General Jacob Brown: Commander

1st Brigade : Brigadier General Winfield Scott
9th Infantry  (Major Leavenworth) (24)
11th Infantry (Major McNeil)  (24)
22nd Infantry  (Colonel Brady)  (24)
25th Infantry (Major Jessup)  (24)

2nd Brigade : Brigadier General Eleazer W. Ripley
1st Infantry  (Lt. Col. Nicholas)  (24)
21st Infantry ( Lt. Col. Miller)  (24)
23rd Infantry (Major McFarlane)  (24)

3rd Brigade : Brigadier General Peter B. Porter
5th Pennsylvania (Militia) Regt (Colonel Fenton)  (24)
New York Volunteers. (24)
1st Rifle Regiment. (24)

Artillery : Capt. Nathan Towson, U.S. Artillery Corps
Foot Artillery (Towson)
Foot Artillery (Richie)
Foot Artillery (Biddle) :

Cavalry : Capt. Samuel D. Harris
U.S. Light Dragons (6)


 British Right Division 1814
Lieutenant General Gordon Drummond, commanding

1st Brigade: (Colonel Scott)
8th (King’s) Regiment
100th Regiment
 Royal Artillery

2nd "Light" Brigade (Lieutenant Colonel Pearson)
Glengarry Light Infantry Regiment
Volunteer Battalion of Incorporated Militia
2nd Lincoln Militia
Niagara Light Dragons
Native Warriors
 Royal Artillery

3rd Brigade: (Lt. Col. Morrison)
1st (Royal Scots) Regiment
Royal Artillery

At present I have on the painting table the 5th York militia regiment, the 41st and 89th regiments, Royal Marine rocket battery and the 19th Light Dragoons. For the Americans I would like to add a couple more volunteer regiments, and another regular regiment.  For cavalry, although it is wrong I would love to paint up some of the Kentucky mounted Riflemen.  Perhaps in the future I will do the Battle of the Thames!   So more to do!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Crimean War Armies 1854

   My oldest and most favorite of my armies would be the Crimean war collection.  At present it includes British, French and Russian.  Someday I plan on adding Turks.

Russian Army in Crimea:
Army Hqs (Prince A. S.Menshikov)

16th Division (Lt. Gen. Kvetinski)
1st brigade:
Vladimirski Regt. (4 bns)
Susdal'ski Regt. (4 bns)
2nd Brigade :
Uglitski Regt. (4 bns)
Kazanski Regt. (4 bns)
16th Artillery Brigade (2 light btry, 2 heavy btry)
Cavalry Brigade:
Kievski Hussar Regt.
Ingermanlandski Hussar Regt.
Uhlan regiment

400 Infantry figures
  39 Cavalry figures
  24 Gunners and 12 Cannon
     5 Brigade commanders

French Army in Crimean
1st Brigade (Espinasse) Reinforced
1st Zouaves (2 battalions)
7th Ligne. (2 battalions)
20th de Ligne (2 battalions)
1st Chasseurs d'Afrique

150 Infantry figures
  13 Cavalry figures
     6 Gunners and 3 Cannon


British Order of Battle 1854
Lord Raglan

1st Division (Duke of Cambridge)
1st Brigade (Bentinck)
Grenadier Guards
Coldstream Guards
Scots Fusilier Guards I
2nd Brigade (Sir Colin Campbell)
42nd Black Watch Highlanders
79th Cameron Highlanders
93rd Sutherland Highlanders
Royal Artillery (2 Batteries)

Light Division (Brown)
1st Brigade (Codrington)
7th Royal Fusiliers
23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers
33rd Duke of Wellington
2nd Brigade (Butler)
19th Yorkshire Regt.
77th  Middlesex Regt.
88th Connaught Rangers
Royal Artillery (1 battery)

Cavalry Division (The Earl of Lucan)*
Light Brigade (the Earl of Cardigan)
Heavy Brigade (Scarlett)
Royal Horse Artillery (1 battery)
*because of their small numbers I field both cavalry brigades as a single regiment.

300 Infantry figures
   26 Cavalry
   18 Gunners and 9 Cannon