Monday, April 26, 2021

The Sudbury Fight Sites today

  There is very little today of the Sudbury Fight.  The area has been built over but there are a number of markers where buildings were located.  The site of the Green Hill fight is now a very upscale and crowded neighborhood who's people will get rather upset with you if you tramp through it near or on their land. And the Sudbury police just want to test you for drinking or drugs if you explain you are looking for the 1676 battlefield.   The Sudbury river has been famed and tamed and the wet lands filled in and cultivated.    In other words it looks nothing like it did in 1676. 

  But if you know where to look it can be a fun day.  The text description here is from the book "King Philips War:  The History and Legacy of Americas forgotten conflict. ". This is a outstanding book.  Good summary of the war and individual battles. If you want to trace the battlefields and what is located there today thus book tells you.  Highly recommended!

Haynes Garrison house; 

The site of the Deacon Haynes garrison House is on Water-Row Road, about two-tenths of a mile north of Old Sudbury Road (Route 27). The house was situated about fifteen yards from the road, facing south. It survived the Sudbury Fight, only to be demolished sometime after 1876. The cellar hole of the garrison is still visible.

John J. McCann, a Sudbury resident who was born in the Haynes garrison in 1860, remembered that “the rooms on the second floor toward the hill were bricked about four feet high, between the outer and inner walls” to keep the Indians from shooting those sleeping."

Goodenow Garrison House:

A state marker at the intersection of Old County Road and the Boston Post Road (Route 20) designates the site of the Goodenow garrison. The marker reads: THE GOODENOW GARRISON HOUSE PORTION OF THE GOODENOW GARRISON HOUSE IN WHICH SETTLERS TOOK REFUGE FROM KING PHILIP’S INDIANS DURING THE BATTLE OF APRIL 18–21, 1676. The house was standing as late as about 1815, but was moved or destroyed shortly thereafter.

Noyes’ Mill:

The site of Noyes’ Mill is marked on Route 20, west of Concord Road, near the present-day Mill Village shopping center. The marker reads: HOPBROOK MILL TO THE LEFT IS THE SITE OF HOPBROOK MILL, ERECTED IN 1659 BY VIRTUE OF A TOWN GRANT TO THOMAS AND PETER NOYES, “TO BUILD AND MAINTAIN A MILL TO GRIND THE CORN OF THE SETTLERS.” IT IS NOW THE PROPERTY OF HENRY FORD. 

Sudbury Fight Marker and Green Hill Fight:

Wadsworth, Brocklebank, and twenty-seven of their men were buried in a mass grave described by Alfred Serend Hudson as about six feet square “in which bodies were placed in tiers at right angles to each other.” The spot was marked by a heap of stones, in part to deter wolves. In 1852 the remains of these men were excavated and moved fifty feet north to the site of a new monument. A state marker at Boston Post Road (Route 20) and Concord Road designates this memorial, which is four-tenths of a mile north on Concord Road at the Wadsworth Cemetery. The marker reads: SUDBURY FIGHT ONE-QUARTER MILE NORTH TOOK PLACE THE SUDBURY FIGHT WITH KING PHILIP’S INDIANS ON APRIL 21, 1676. CAPTAIN SAMUEL WADSWORTH FELL WITH TWENTY- EIGHT OF HIS MEN. THEIR MONUMENT STANDS IN THE BURYING GROUND.

The Wadsworth Monument and Grave:


 Samuel Wadsworth’s stone, set up in 1730 by his son, Benjamin (then president of Harvard College), was moved with the bodies to the base of the new monument. It reads: CAPT. SAMUEL WADSWORTH OF MILTON, HIS LIEU. SHARP OF BROOKLINE, CAPT. BROCKLEBANK OF ROWLEY, WITH ABOUT TWENTY-SIX OTHER SOLDIERS FIGHTING FOR YE DEFENSE OF THEIR COUNTRY WERE SLAIN BY YE INDIAN ENEMY, APRIL 18TH 1676, & LYE BURIED IN THIS PLACE

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Sudbury Fight April 21, 1676


 By early April 1676 colonial authorities were aware that a sizable body of  Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Narragansett warriors under King Philip had gathered near Mount Wachusett.  They had already  attacked and burned the settlements of Lancaster and Groton and forced the partial evacuation of Marlboro.   To assist the towns the colonial Council of War ordered Captain Samuel Wadsworth and about seventy men to march to the garrison at Marlboro, passing through Sudbury on the evening of April 20, 1676. At the same time as Wadsworth and his troops marched westward along the Marlboro Road, five hundred or more warriors from the Wachusett camp had begun taking position in and around Sudbury. 

Map from Eric Shultz's book King Philips War: History and Legacy of Americas forgotten conflict.

About sunrise on the morning of April 21, 1676, Philip started his attack;  focusing first on on the houses on the western bank of the Sudbury River. the settlers quickly retired within the five garrison houses.  One garrison house known as The Haynes garrison drew fighting all morning.  Because of the long morning siege most authors feel it as the object of the natives attack.  But based on later events it could also have been a faint to draw the English  reinforcements into an ambush.  To the rear of the garrison a slight rise provided cover to a group of natives who set fire one of Haynes’ wagons with combustible material and rolled it downhill to set fire to the house.   But  the flaming cart  hit a rock and rolled over short if it's destination.  In the end, the Haynes garrison would hold out.  But  destruction raged around it. 

The Hayes Garrison House

When news of the attack on Sudbury reached Concord, eleven brave ( or foolhardy) men marched to Sudbury's defence.  They proceded along the west bank of the Sudbury River. When they arrived within view of the Haynes garrison, they were ambushed with only one man escaping. 

In the early afternoon, troops under Captain Hugh Mason from Watertown arrived to help.  They drove the natives from the central settlement and crossed the Town Bridge to the western bank of the Sudbury River. Hearing  the sound of heavy fighting on Green Hill, Mason and his troops tried repeatedly to reach that fight but were driven back each time. Finally at the  risk of being surrounded and cut off, they retreated to the Captain Goodenow (or Goodnow) garrison house.    From the west a troop of eighteen mounted men finally fought their way into Sudbury after a long running fight.

Captain Wadsworth learning of the attack on Sudbury soon after his arrival at Marlboro gathered together his exhausted troops, including those under Captain Samuel Brocklebank already stationed in Marlboro, and  rapidly retraced his march back to Sudbury. As Wandsworth and Brocklebank  force crossed the bridge at Noyes’ Mill just south of Green Hill, they spotted a handful of warriors fleeing northward in the large field at the base of the hill. Thinking they had surprised Philip’s rear guard, Wadsworth and Brocklebank’s men left the road and set off in pursuit along the west side of Green Hill.  When they reached the pass between Green Hill and Goodman’s Hill, shots rang out from both hillsides as bodies of warriors (perhaps five hundred in all) sprang their ambush.  With their escape  block to the northern and southern Wadsworth’s men were thrown momentarily into a panic.  The Captain was able to rally his men and firmed back to back repulsed several native charges. As the afternoon wore on and relief was effectively blocked from reaching them Wadsworth and his troops fought their way up its side so that by late afternoon they had reached the top.  Nearby to the south sat the Goodenow garrison and the Noyes’ Mill, the latter uninhabited but able to be fortified. Darkness might bring hope of escape. It was then that the natives lit the dry brush of Green Hill on fire, forcing Wadsworth and his men to flee from the smoke and flames. As they retreated in the direction of Noyes’ Mill and the Goodenow garrison.   Wadsworth, Brocklebank and most of their men were killed. A few reached the Noyes Mill  and held out their till relieved the next day.

Fighting on Green Hill

 As night fell the natives, having completed their rout, retreated to the west, leaving the frightened settlers scattered throughout Sudbury’s garrisons to wonder what fate would bring them in the morning. The next day Captain Samuel Hunting and his company of praying Indians (they had marched from Charlestown late that day) searched the area for the English dead, gathering the bodies of five of the Concord militia. These were buried in a common grave at the east end of Town Bridge.  Wadsworth and his men were buried near where they fell.

 The Sudbury Fight should have been one of King Philips best victories. The feint at the Haynes garrison, the ambushes of both the Concord and Wadsworth’s troops, the ability to seal off Green Hill from reinforcements,  were a brilliant display of military tactics.   A victory here should have given the Wampanoag, Nipmuc, and Narragansett warriors a tremendous lift. But such was not the case. Perhaps their unacceptable losses or the fact that the English settlements still held out and  reinforcements continued to pour in was made the victory hollow. In addition the native supplies of weapons, powder and especially food stuffs were exhausted.  No matter how many fights he won his people were starving.

  In any event, when the war party returned to its camp at Mount Wachusett, captive Mary Rowlandson wrote: To my thinking, they went without any scruple but that they should prosper and gain the victory. And they went out not so rejoicing, but they came home with as great a victory, for they said they had killed two captains and almost an hundred men. One Englishman they brought alive with them; and he said it was too true for they had made sad work at Sudbury, as indeed it proved. Yet they came home without that rejoicing and triumphing over their victory which they were wont to show at other times, but rather like dogs (as they say) which have lost their ears. Yet I could not perceive that it was for their own loss of men. They said they had not lost but above five or six, and I missed none, except in one wigwam. When they went, they acted as if the Devil had told them that they should gain the victory; and now they acted as if the Devil had told them that they should have a fall. 

Shortly after the fight Philip's alliances would splinter and scatter.   Philip returned with his people to their homeland around the Bristol area while the other native warriors concentrated their efforts on feeding their people.

Please note:  I will be following up on this post with two more.  One will be a visit to the sites today and what you can find there.  This will be followed up with a possible wargames scenario for refuge ting this action.  Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Grenadier Company 10th Regiment of Foot 1775


The following is from the "Muster or Commissary  roll WO-12/2750" from 26 December 1774 to 24 June 1775 for the 10th Regiment of Foot. These rolls were recorded for six months and included all men within that company during that time period.   Last year in April I posted the Light Infantry company from this regiment for the same time period. Please see it at  I wanted to show the state of the flank companies that marched on 19th April to Lexington and Concord as well as Bunker Hill on 17 June 1775.  

I would like to thank the late Vincent J-R Kehoe for sharing his copy of these muster rolls with me and the many conversations we had on this and other topics which he shared with me.  I learned a lot from him and miss him greatly.

  This year I am recording the 10th's Grenadier company.  That day they marched from Boston to Concord they may have arrived on Lexington Green after the fight.  In Concord Lt.Col. Smith sent them with the Light Infantry companies of the 47th and 59th to destroy supplies at the South Bridge.


Grenadier Company 10th Regiment of Foot

26 December 1774 to 24 June 1775


Captain Edward Fitzgerald: listed as on Commander in Chief's leave.  Does not take part either fight and on next roll listed as sick.

Captain Mundy Pole: Seconded from a battalion company of the regiment to act as commander of the Grenadier company.  Interestingly Smith has him commanding detachment sent to South Bridge while in Concord 19 April.

Lieutenant James Petrigrew: at both 19 April and 17 June fights.

Lieutenant Thomas Vernere:  deceased as of 30 June 1775.  Probably wounded at Bunker Hill as he us not listed as wounded on 19 April.


Anthony Leversuch: one of the most senior NCO of the regiment.  Transferred in 24 June 1775 to Colonels company and on 28 June is commissioned the Regimental Quartermaster.

John Letham: reduced to private on 4 May 1775!  

(In the Concord Museum is a British army hanger from the period with 10th Regiment markings.  Also on Listing of broken and lost equipment for 19 April 1775 (Wo 26/3) is lost  a sergeant's sword and scabbard under 10th Regiment.  Its conjecture on my part but could the reason this man was reduced in rank was due to having lost his equipment that day?)

On second half of the muster roll these three sergeants added:

John Ellis:  died 24 June 1775

Robert Bennett: became sergeant 24 June

Robert McCutcheon: became sergeant 25 June


Robert McCutheon: see above

Thomas Mulhall: reduced to private 17 February.  Deserted 6 October.

Thomas Rosburgh: transferred to Captain Mackintosh's company in season one half of rolls.

Samuel Curry: made Corp. 17 February.  Died 26 June.

William Pole: made Corp. 26 March.  Died 22 July.


William Eddy:


Samuel Reed: 

Robert Anderson:

Private Men:

Samuel Curry:  made Corp. 17 February.  Died 26 June.

Thomas Kennedy: to Capt. Macintosh's company 24 June

William Wadsworth:

Joseph Taffe

Robert Browne

Francis Coughlan

Joseph Forrest: sick.   died 6 October

Edward Fitzpatrick: sick

Robert Manson

Edward Saxton

Thomas Keane: sick

Richard Gibbons: made Corp. 25 June

Samuel Percy: died 24 June

John Macmanus

Joseph Sheppard: made Corp. 17 November

William Boyd: sick

Stephen Wise: to Captain Mackintosh comp. 25 June

John Williams: made Corp. 25 July

Peter Golden: died 24 June

William Pole: made Corp. 26 March

Edward Deighan: sick

James Potter

Daniel Carroll

John Turner: to capt. Pole's company 25 June

Moses Conner: on duty

Joseph Randle

Richard Gray

Robert Purday: to capt. Dalway's company 25 June

Daniel Jones

Robert Pelham:  sick

John Horn: died 27 June

Andrew Cunningham:  made Corp. 25 June

The following men added to Grenadier company in second half of roll:

William Kelly: from capt. Mackintosh's company 25 April then on duty.

George Jackson: from 37th Regt. 12 June

Thomas Jackson: from 37th Debt. 12 June

Thomas Dogherty: from 45th Regt. 12 June

William Holden: from capt.Herbert's company 25 Sept. Then sick.

Thomas Mulhall: recuced from Corp. 17 Feb. Deserted 6 Oct

John Letham: reduced from sergt. 4 May

Michael Kelly: from Captain Pole's company 25 April - sick


John McCann: from Captain Mackintosh's company 25 April.  Died 24 June.

John Shaw: from Colonels company 25 April.  Died 19 July.

Mustered on the Rolls as of 19 January for 25 June 1774 to 24 December 1774:

2 Lieutenants

2 Sergeants

3 Corporals

1 drummer

2 Fifers

31 privates

Total 41 men

Allowed to pass unrespited:

1 Captain


Total 2. 

Company 43

(When adding the 4 contingent or warrent men the establishment strength is 47)

On next roll of 6 October for 25 December 1774 to 24 June 1775:

1 Sergeant


20 private men

Total 22. 

Allowed to pass unrespited:

1 Captain

2 Lieutenant

1 Sergeant

3 Corporals

2 Fifers

10 Privates

2 Casuals

Total 21. Company total 43

Note that the totals show the losses on both 19 April and 17 June that illustrate how decimated the company was following these actions.  It is also interesting the transfers both into and out of the company and the promotion and reductions of ranks.  Last note that wounded are not listed as they were still paid for this time period.  They were just interested in if you were alive or not!

Monday, April 19, 2021

Two eye witness accounts: Lexington Green 19 April 1775


It is always interesting to compare eye witness accounts of the same event.  Two people can see or experience the same event but come away from it with totally different interpretations.  Here is the case of British officer William Sutherland (38th Regiment) and Lexington Militia Man William Todd.  Both interacted on Lexington Green but came away with totally different interpretations of the same event.  

It. William Sutherland was mounted on a captured horse and when the firing broke out on Lexington Green the horse bolted for home taking Sutherland on a wild ride before he could stop it and return:

When we came up to the Main body who were drawn up in the plain opposite to the Church when several Officers called out, throw down your Arms & you shall come by no harm, or words to that effecth Which they refusing to do, instantaneously the Gentlemen (British officers) who were on horseback rode in amongst them at which time I heared Major [John] Pitcairns voice call out "Soldiers dont fire keep your ranks and form & surround them," instantly some of the Villains were got over the hedge, fired at us, & it was then & not before that the Soldiers fired which sett my horse agoing who gallopped with me 600 yards or more down a road to the right amongst the middle of them, at last I turned him and in returning a vast number who were in a wood at the right of the Grenadiers fired at me, but the distance was so great that I only heared the Whissing of the Balls, but saw a great number of people in this Wood, in  consequence of their discovering them being there our Grenadiers who were then on our flank and close to them gave them a very smart fire.

On the other hand here is a Lexington Militia man, William Tidd who thought he was being chased by a mounted British officer and ran for his life;

about five o’clock of said morning, intelligence was received that the British were within a short distance; and, on the beat to arms, I immediately repaired to where our company were fast assembling; that when about sixty or seventy of them had taken post, the British had arrived within sight, and were advancing on a quick march towards us, when I distinctly heard one of their officers say, “Lay down your arms and disperse, ye rebels!” They then fired upon us. I then retreated up the north road, and was pursued about thirty rods by an officer on horseback calling out to me, “Damn you, stop, or you are a dead man!” – I found I could not escape him, unless I left the road. Therefore I sprang over a pair of bars, made a stand and discharged my gun at him; upon which he immediately turned to the main body, which shortly after took up their march for Concord. 

William Tidd.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Culloden (1964) Peter Watkins


  April 16, 2021 is the 275 anniversary of the Battle of Culloden.  Back when I was eight or nine years old I saw the Peter Watkins documentary Culloden.  It was a fascinating and horrific experience. Since that time I have seen the movie multiple times and searched out and read John Prebble's book numerous times.  Although I have read other books about the battle my mind still sees it through the lens of this film.  

 Back in April 1983 I took a month off from work to travel around Great Britain via rail pass.  It was a amazing experience.  I made sure I was in Inverness in time for the anniversary of the battle.  I got up early on the morning of 16 April and in a light drizzle walked to the battlefield with a copy of John Prebble's book Culloden.  For a number if hours I walked about stopping and reading portions of the book at the locations of the battle from the book.  I cannot remember how long I was there but it was a fascinating experience. 

 I have, through my time with the NPS and on my own visited numerous battlefields (Monmouth, Guilford Courthouse, Cowpens and too many others) and historical sites (Ford's Theater) on the anniversary of the event.   But of all of them my time on Culloden moor was the most memorable and haunting.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Rawdon's Army April - September 1781


When Cornwallis' chased off after Greene he took the best of the best with him.  Lord Rawdon was left to defend South Carolina with a mixed bag of worn out understrength British regiments, poor moral Hessian regiments used for garrisson duty and a number of crack loyalist regiments.  There was little cavalry and most were mounted infantry who were learning on the go.  Quite the opposite of Cornwallis' army.  Yet, he accomplished wonders with it and his army can make a very good table top collection.  Please note that information on loyalist uniforms is sketchy at best and most documents are for 1783 so what a particular regiment wore and when is often a best guess.  Most details for uniforms would be similar to dress in Cornwallis' army.

British Regiments:

3rd Regiment:

Arrived June 3, 1781.  Took part in relief of Ninety Six and Battle of Eutaw Springs.  Uniform red coat with buff facings, small clothes and belting.  It is not known if they adapted their uniforms to campaign conditions or not.  So possible to use figures in their 1768 regulation uniforms.

17th Company

Served with Provincial Light Infantry in operations against Marion and other partisans.  Made up from survivors of the 17th Regiment of Foot after Stoney Point.  Dressed in the battalion companies uniform of red coat faced white,  cocked hats, and overalls. Officer silver lace.

Marjoribanks' Flank battalion

Made up of the light and Grenadier companies from the 3rd, 19th and 30th Regiments. It is not known if they adapted their uniforms to campaign conditions or not.  So possible to use figures in their 1768 regulation uniforms.

19th Regiment

Arrived June 3, 1781. Took part in relief of Ninety Six.  Regimental baggage lost at Monk's Corner S.C. July 1781 and fought at Quinby Bridge.  Flank companies at Eutaw Springs.  It is not known if they adapted their uniforms to campaign conditions or not.  So possible to use figures in their 1768 regulation uniforms.

30th Regiment

Arrived June 3, 1781.  Took part in relief of Ninety Six.  Uniform red coat with pale yellow facings.  It is not known if they adapted their uniforms to campaign conditions or not.  So possible to use figures in their 1768 regulation uniforms.

63rd Regiment

Sent to siege of Charleston in 1779 and remained in South Carolina until 1782.  Detachments fought as mounted infantry at Fishdam Ford and Blackstock's Hill in 1780.  Regiment fought at Hobkirk Hill and Eutaw  Springs 1781. Green facings. Officers gold lace.

64th Regiment

Fought at siege of Charleston 1779 and Eutaw Springs 1781.  Very active against Marion and fought a series of actions against him. Uniform black facings.  Officers gold lace.

82nd Regiment

Arrived in South Carolina as part of General Leslie's reinforcement December 1780.  Black facings.  Officers gold lace.

2/84th Regiment (Royal Highland Emigrants)

Sent to South Carolina April 1781 and fought at Eutaw Springs.  Originaly dressed in Highland uniform similar to 42nd.  May have worn overalls in south rather then kilt.  Blue facings.  Officers gold lace.

Loyalist Regiments:

Provincial Light Infantry

Arrived with the forces under General Alexander Leslie in December 1780.  

Formed in New York in 1780, the battalion was made up six companies from the following loyalist regiments: 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalions New Jersey Volunteers (blue facings),3rd bn. De Lancey's (green facings),Loyal American Regiment (green facings) and King's American Regiment (Blue facings) and numbered about 200 men. They were commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Watson Tadswell Watson, a Guards officer.  The battalion  wore their parent regiments uniform but were to be equipped as light infantry. They also had a company from the 17th Regiment of Foot operating with them.  For most of their time in the south they operated in anti partisan operations against Sumner and later with the 64th Regiment of Foot and a troop of loyalist horse against Francis Marion's partisans.  They took part in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.

Volunteers of Ireland  (2nd American Regiment)

The regiment was raised in Philadelphia Pennsylvania during the British occupation in 1777 by Francis Rawdon-Hastings.  He had been given permission to form a British Provincial regiment from Irishmen, serving in the American Thirteen Colonies. It was felt that many of these men would desert to the Crown of such a regiment was raised.  Known as the Volunteers of Ireland the regiment was placed on the American establishment as the 2nd American Regiment (Volunteers of Ireland) on 2 May 1779.

  The Volunteers served at the siege of  Charleston in 1780, and the Battle of Camden 1780.  Sergeant Thomas Hudson of the Volunteers  received a decoration for heroism at Camden. The regiment fought at the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill in April 1781, as well as the relief of the Loyalist fort at the Siege of Ninety-Six in May 1781.


New York Volunteers (3rd American Regiment)

  One of the very first loyalist fighting regiments they had a long and stories history.  Organized as two independent companies under Captains  Grant and Campbell in late 1775, they fought at the Battle of Long Island although "dressed in rags."  They later took part in the fighting around White Plains New York.  Sent south with Colonel Archibald Campbell in 1779 they fought in Georgia and South Carolina.  After their defense of Rocky Mount their commander Colonel Turnball suggested they were given a standard. In addition a company from the regiment under Captain Coffin was equipped as cavalry and served as dragoons at Hobkirk's Hill and Eutaw Springs battles. In 1779 they were taken on the American Establishment as the 3rd American Regiment. Uniform is based on returns in 1782 which suggest they wore red coats faced blue. Prior to that it is very unclear and contradictory.  Officers appear to have had silver lace .  


Kings American Regiment (4th American Regiment)

The King's American Regiment was raised in New York in December 1776 by Colonel Edmund Fanning. It took part in the 1777 attacks on Fort Clinton and Fort Montgomery,  the 1780 Siege of Charleston, the 1781 raids on Newport and Richmond, Virginia, and the 1781 Campaigns in South Carolina,  Georgia and East Florida. The regiment was brought into the American Establishment, on March 7, 1781 and renamed the "4th American Regiment". The regiment became part of the British Establishment in 1782 (possibly as the "110th Regiment of Foot" ) and was disbanded in Canada in 1783.  During much of their history they fought along side the New York Volunteers at Fort Montgomery and Fort Clinton 1777 and again later at  Hobkirk Hill 1781. The regiments uniform for much of their history appears to be red coats faced green (later faced blue).  Officers lace was gold.  

South Carolina Royalists

Although raised as an infantry battalion by the summer of 1781 they were converted to a legion type organization.   From a nine company infantry regiment eight companies were equipped  as cavalry, and one infantry company.  In this configuration they were more mobile and equipped to fight the American partisans.    They reverted back to infantry companies before being moved to to St Augustine, November 1782 .    It appears the regiment had many black soldiers in its ranks. When disbanded in October 1783 the white soldiers were sent to settle in Nova Scotia.  Black soldiers were combined with other men from various loyalist corps and sent  to the West Indies to serve there as Carolina Corps.

  There is not a lot of documentation for this regiment so it's a educated guess based on what is out there.  Here is what we do know;  Early in their history they had red coats faced white.   Wiederhold’s 1783 Almanack states that the South Carolina Royalists had red coats, but no facing and button colors are indicated. The 1783 New York List mentions “Red Coat — Yellow Lappel Variety button hole,” for the South Carolina Royalists.  It is also possible they might have had blue jackets for a short time.


Red coat faced green in 1783.

2/New Jersey Volunteers

Red coat faced blue 1783.

Coffins Dragoons (Mounted company NYV)

Raised from a company of infantry from the New York Volunteers.  A report from December reported the men dressed in "green jackets.". These were either left over uniforms from the NYV rifle Company or possibly from Queens Rangers or British Legion uniforms in supply at Charleston.

South Carolina Dragoons

Commanded by Captain Edward Fenwick this troop Of about 30-40 men served with the South Carolina Royalists.  no documents about uniform.  

South Carolina Rangers

Raised in Charleston in 1780 and served in that area.  Commanded by Major John Harrison.  Nothing known about uniform.

Hessian Regiments

By 1781 Hessian regiments were usually second class units and reserved for garrisson duty.  They seldom took the field.  Researching Hessian regiments can be confusing due to the name of the regiment changing with new commander.

De Angelelli

Originally the Grenadier Regiment Rall.  Part of the garrison of Charleston about 400 men.  Uniform blue coat lined red with red collar and cuffs.  Small clothes buff.  Brass Grenadier caps.  

Fusiliers Regiment Ditfurth

Part of the garrisson of Charleston.  As a Fusilier regiment wore brass cap with yellow bag edged white.  Blue coat lined red and pale yellow facings.  Small clothing yellow and red neck stocks.  Officer lace gold.   About 500 men.

Garrison Regiment von Huyn

Part if the garrison of Charleston.  About 500 men.  Uniform blue coat with yellow collar and cuffs and lined red.  Small clothes buff.  Officers lace  silver.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A Night To Remember by Walter Lord



   A short break from wargames and historical research.  Each 14th April I take some time in the evening to read one of my favorite books of all time, "A Night To Remember" by Walter Lord.  Its a ritual I gave been doing since I was very young.  Sometimes I finish the book (staying up until the early hours of the morning) other times its a few chapters.  A fascinating topic and a very brilliant read.  The copy I read is a rare illustrated edition which I hunted for and finally found back in the 1980's.  It is also autographed by a few survivors of the ship I was lucky enough to met and the author Walter Lord himself.  So its doubly special.

Tomorrow, back to more usual topics and my run down about Lord Rawdon's Southern Army April swept ember 1781.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Cornwallis' Southern Army 1781


  Cornwallis' Field force is something of a wargamers dream.  You get all the bells and whistles and the really neat stuff with little or no fluff.  It is built for that gamer who loves to have the elite regiments.  Only the best is good enough! There are Guard regiments, elite line regiments, light infantry, cavalry , artillety, Jagers and Hessian. Due to the small numbers involved you can build this army at a 1:10 ratio without breaking the bank.


Most British regiments will be dressed similar.  Red coats with regimental facings on the lapels, collar and cuffs were often cut short.  Winter overalls of brown wool were worn in place of breeches.  The westkit or vest was of white wool or linen material.  The cocked hat or tricon was usually cut down into a round or slouch hat. Belting was whiten buff leather for most regiments except the Highlander.  On the right hip was a black cartridge box, sometimes with a brass regimental badge and a bayonet on the left hip.  Water bottles or canteens were usualy tin although the Guards had their unusual tubs.  A linen haversack held rations and there were a variety of knapsack. Exceptions to this will be listed with each regiment.

17th Light Dragoons

A small troop of about 40 to 50  men were attached to the British Legion.  They kept their regulation uniforms.  When offered new British Legion uniforms as replacements after their uniforms were worn out refused.

Brigade of Guards:

Arrived in December 1780 and served throughout the campaign.   The Brigade was drawn from all three Guard's regiments and their uniform was very heavily modified for service in America.   After arriving in South Carolina in January 1781 the Guards were reorganized into six oversized companies of about 140 rank and file each.  The first battalion was made up of two battalion companies and the Grenadier company.  The second battalion had two battalion companies and the Light Infantry company.  The light company was often detached and saw service with Tarleton's British Legion cavalry during the campaign.  

Regimental coats were shortened, shoulder straps replaced with blue cloth.  The distinctive regimental lace was removed in 1776 but may have been replaced by 1780.  Trousers and short gaiters were issued to replace breeches.  The cocked hat was uncocked, lace removed, brim cut short and recocked on one side only.  The waistbelt was placed in storage and the bayonet standard attached to the cartridge box belt.  Haversacks and a water tub issued.  

The Grenadiers and Light Infantry were issued a curious hat-cap.  This appears to be a visor cap with a bearskin crest.  A possible drawing of this was done by Major John Andre on his map of Brandywine. To distinguish the two battalions the first were to leave strips of lace on their shoulder straps.

As the War progressed it appears that the regimental lace was placed back on the coats, and bayonets placed on  separate belts.  The Guards were also in 1780 issued brown overalls like the rest of Cornwallis' army for the winter. 

Light Infantry battalion:

The Light battalion fought at Camden and was destroyed at Cowpens.  It often was attached to the British Region and flight with them in many of their actions. It was composed of 2 companies of  the 71st Highland Regiment (35+34 ), 1 company of the 16th Regiment of Foot (41), & 1 company of the Prince of Wales’ American Volunteers (40).  

 Uniforms are a bit of a mystery and since there is little documentation they are a best guess.  Presently I field them as British light infantry in short coats, overalls and round hats with black equipment.  The 71st had white facings, the 16th yellow and the Prince of Wales possibly blue.  If you want more variety you could field them in their regimental uniforms.  

7th Regiment of Foot:

The eight battalion companies of about 200 men served until captured at Cowpens in January 1781.   By 1780 the regiment was a veteran battalion of long service and were not recruits.  The regiment wore red coats faced blue.  Although it was very common for most British regiments to wear their hats cut down the 7th may not have done this according to the present reenactment group.  If so it would be one way to make the regiment look different from the 23rd.  Colors captured at Cowpens.

23rd Regiment of Foot:

This famous regiment numbered about 250 to 300 men and served together with the 33rd throughout Cornwallis' campaign.  They took part in most important actions

The regimental coat with blue facings was shortened and brown winter overalls issued.  By 1779 the Regiment had placed the expensive Fusiliers cap in storage and wore a cocked, probably cut down like the Brigade of Guards hat.   The cartridge box had a badge in brass of the three feathers of the Prince of Wales. The regimental and Kings colors were carried in the south.

33rd Regiment of Foot:

Served throughout the campaign with about 240 to 300 men.The regimental coat with red facings were shortened and a hat similar to the Guards worn.  Otherwise same uniform information as for the 23rd who they served together with in most actions throughout the campaign.

71st Highland Regiment:

By 1781 this hard fighting regiment had been campaigning in the south since 1779.  The regiment was made up of two battalions.  The light infantry company served with the compbined ad hoc light battalion.  Both the light company and first battalion captured at Cowpens.

The regiment wore a shortened red coat with white facings.  The belting was black and probably A cartridge box rather then a belly box.  Overalls were brown wool for winter.  The highland bonnet was worn.

Royal Artillery:

Served throughout the campaign with three and six pound guns.  Wire a blue coat faced and lined red and yellow lace.  Gun carriages were gray with metal parts painted black.  May have worn cocked hats trimmed yellow or cut down caps.


Jager Company:

A oversized company of about 90 men.  Green coats faced and lined red.  Probably overalls.

Musketeer Regiment von Bose:

Arrived in December 1780. A large regiment of over 300 men.  Dressed in blue coats faced white and lined red.  Issued The British brown winter overalls.  Cocked hat had white lace and a Red pompom.  


British Legion Dragoons:

The most famous of loyalist regiments. Tarleton's dragoons served throughout the campaign and acquired a reputation for ruthlessness.  Organized into three troops they numbered between 120 and 240 men.  Before Cowpens they took in  very large numbers of  Continentals captured at Camden.  This could account for their poor performance at that battle as many took the opportunity to desert back afterwards.  Dressed in short green jackets with black collar and cuffs, buff breeches and the famous Tarleton cap.  In summer may gave been dressed in white socks.

British Legion Infantry:

The poor step child if the British legion. Served until captured at Cowpens in 1781.  In addition a light three pounder usually operated with the Legion.

Wore a green coat with black cuffs and collar.  Waistcoat was also green and possibly laced and overalls.  Possible leather helmet or cap or campaign modified cocked hat.  Documentation is lacking.

Royal North Carolina Regiment:

Although they marched with Cornwallis' they were usually assigned to guard the baggage.  Possible wore red coat faced blue with no lace. There is no documentation for white hats.  Although if you want them who am I to say no!