Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Poor Old Fritz


  Occasionally our Yorkie  Fritz makes a guest appearance on the blog.  He was a rescue dog we got from a shelter and was in terrible shape.  Most of his fur was gone and he was extremely undernourished.  Since then he has thrived and is a healthy 12 years old.  Oh!  And he doesnt care for little children.  Why I don't know.... But he walks like crazy and I get my miles in each day with him.  

  Unfortunately he recently did damage to his paw.  In jumping down from something he caught his toe in a thread and snapped off his nail.  Then his licking it caused a infection.  Now its bandaged and he has to wear the cone of shame.  The little faker can nowadays walk on it but when  he see a person he has to hold up his paw to get sympathy.  Sigh.....

Update:  Fritz is doing much better.  The paw is healing and he doesnt gave to wear the cone all the time.  Yesterday we did nearly 10,000 steps in two different walks.  So he is getting back to his old self and I am back to my walking.

Monday, February 26, 2024

On His Majesty’s Service: The British Infantry During the American Revolution


   Philip R.N. Katcher’s  "I'mEncyclopedia of British, Provincial, and German Army Units 1775-1783"  was one of the first books I bought.   Filled with good details of regimental  history and neat pictures of Reenactors (many who I latter met) it is still a treasured item in my library.   Has served as an important  reference to the Crown forces during the American Rev War.   It is still one of the only sources for  uniform information about Loyalists and Hessian/German regiments.  Sadly, new research has marched on and there are a number of errors and misrepresented in the book.  

  Enter this new reference book , "On His Majesty’s Service: The British Infantry during the American Revolution" by by Steven M. Baule and Ryan R. Gale.  This new book contains all the information found in Katcher's book about the British army but its updated and more detailed.  Each regiment is given a history of its service during the war and it's listing of engagements.  Uniform information such as facing colors, buttons and regimental lace patterns are illustrated.  There is a color drawings of each regiment and numerous photographs of artifacts. Lastly there is often interesting information suck as a break down of ages or occupation and length service for rank and file.   The book opens with a introductory chapter on British infantry organization, who the officer corps were, demographics and recruitment, desertion, discipline, uniforms, accoutrements, arms, training and tactics, and army leadership.  All very very useful.  

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Bushnell’s Turtle


  David Bushnell from Westbrook, Connecticut was a Yale graduate interested in creating an explosive weapon to use against the British during their occupation of New York Harbor during the Revolutionary War. Bushnell found local artisans who helped him construct an underwater vessel that could secretly transport a “bomb” to an unsuspecting British warship. Known as  "The Turtle” for its appearance, In a detailed 1787 letter to Thomas Jefferson,Bushnell described it as:

“The external shape of the sub-marine vessel bore some resemblance to two upper tortoise shells of equal size, joined together; the place of entrance into the vessel being represented by the opening made by the swell of the shells, at the head of the animal.”

 In a 1785 letter to Thomas Jefferson, George Washington wrote, “Bushnell is a man of great mechanical powers, fertile in inventions and master of execution … I then thought, and still think, that it was an effort of genius”.


Bushnell and fellow Yale University intellectual, Phineas Pratt, had developed an underwater bomb with a time delayed flintlock detonator. The one-man, hand-propelled submarine was then designed in order to transport the bomb to the enemy vessel.

The Turtle’s first contact with the British occurred in September of 1776. The plan was to approach the HMS Eagle, attach a bomb to its underside with the assistance of boring tools, and then float away in time for the explosive to sink the British warship.  Bushnell could not pilot the mission due to health issues so  a volunteers Sergeant Ezra Lee filled in.    But, there were a number of issues which effected the attack.  The vessel only had enough air to be submerged for 30 minutes and struggled against the tide. Lee's failure to attach the bomb were probably due to a combination of stress, the cooper sheeting of the Eagles hull and carbon-monoxide poisoning.  Lee ended the mission by floating away from the ship and letting the mine explode downriver, where it failed to harm either himself or the HMS Eagle. The other two attempts undertaken by the Turtle are not as well documented.  

What was the fate of the Turtle?  The American sloop transporting it was sunk by British at the Battle of Fort Lee. The Turtle was salvaged but was not able to be repaired and used again.  One source suggested seeing parts of it in a Connecticut barn in 1800

There have been a number of Turtle recreations in modern time; these include:

Replica at Connecticut River Museum.

Joseph Leary and Fred Frese co-founded a recreation Turtle project in 1976 to celebrate the United States Bicentennial. The vessel was christened by Connecticut’s then-Governor Ella Gasso and was tested in the Connecticut River. Today, it is owned by the Connecticut River Museum in Essex.

Replica in the water underway.

Rick and Laura Brown of Handshouse Studio were aided by the U.S. Naval Academy in authentically recreating the process by which the vessel was built in the Revolutionary era. This replica can be found in the International Spy Museum lobby in Washington, D.C.

Lastly, In August of 2007, three men were stopped by the police while piloting a Turtle replica near the RMS Queen Mary 2 in Brooklyn, N.Y. The New York Times noted the vessel “resembled something out of Jules Verne by way of Huck Finn....’”

If interested in reading more about this fascinating submarine I highly recommend the following book.

Manstan, Roy R. And Frese, Frederic J.  The Turtle: David Bushnell's Revolutionary Vessel.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Ambush at Black Rock Cross


At our clubs January game night Mark Decoteau (front and center in the picture smiling at the camera)  put on his his  "Ambush at Black Rock Cross" game using the rules  Pikeman's Lament.     He is planning on putting this on at the Mayhem convention later this year and wanted to test it out.  This is one of the nice advantages of belonging to a club.  You get try out rules you might never use or periods you don't have figures for and probably won't ever. While this us a period I know next to nothing about I tried it and had a wonderful time.  In fact I was enjoying myself so much I neglected to take any pictures!  Fortunately Ed did and I will borrow his from his great blog. (   https://edmwargamemeanderings.blogspot.com/2024/02/january-game-night.html)    Thank you Ed!  Please note your humble blogger in his green vest too busy playing to notice anything around him.

The game was Set during the English Civil War period up by the Scottish boarder.  A royalist wagon of gold is headed to a castle with a small escort.  Mounted Scott horse and a war band of Highlanders are set to ambush it while Royalist cavalry ride to the rescue.  

As I mentioned I know little about the period and this was the first time playing the rules.  Mark was an outstanding game master and kept things running smoothly as well as giving historical the bits about the various troop types and history.  Once home after the game I raced to my library to read up in the period.  The rules were great fun and I plan to pick up a set as I know I will be playing them again.  

Update from the AmazingMr Ed:

 For an Eastern Renaissance version of this game (from which it was derived), you might want to check out the July 24 2022 post on my blog:



Sunday, February 11, 2024

A blog reccommendation


  If you have not discovered it yet please drop over to my friend Eric's  new blog, "Brown Spread and Yellow Fruit."  Eric is a great gamer who posts imaginative and very entertaining battle reports.  He is extremely enthusiastic and a great fellow.   Looks like a great start and much more to follow.

 As Hal Thingum used to say, highly recommended!


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

American Revolution Map Books


  In creating our miniature table top battles miniature war gamers need good maps.  How else to create our table top battlefields.  In addition they are important in learning about a battle and if fortunate  enough to actually visit the site orientated ourselves.  So it is with great news that there are two new books out on maps of battles of the American Revolution.  Both are worth your time, both include numerous battles but are very different.  This includes not on my the map but also text.

Battle Maps of the American Revolution.

The American Battlefield Trust is the premier battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Over the last thirty years the American Battlefield Trust has preserved more than 54,000 acres of battlefield land across 145 battlefields, in twenty-four states.  On its webpages tge Trust has hundreds of maps of both  major and minor battles. Many of these maps have been collected here in this book.  The maps give troops movements and a superior idea of the topography.  Unfortunately there is little to no text description of the battle.

Atlas of the Battles and Campaigns American Revolution.

I have been looking forward to this book for some time now.  I have a couple books by the author David Bonk and great respect and enjoy his work. 

The Atlas of Battles and Campaigns of the American Revolution provides a comprehensive visual summary of the campaigns, major battles and minor skirmishes of the war. The atlas includes over 120 maps created using maps from the Revolution, including the large collection from the US Library of Congress and enhanced with more accurate topographic mapping from the 1880s. The maps also show troop dispositions and movements taken from a wide range of written sources to provide the most accurate representation of the battles and campaigns. The Atlas will be a valuable resource for anyone with an interest in the American Revolution, including wargamers, reenactors, and students of the conflict.

 The Atlas follows the war from Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill and then major engagements at  Long Island, Trenton, Brandywine, Saratoga, Monmouth, Savannah, Guilford Courthouse and Yorktown. Thre are also A collection of minor but very interesting actions, at Harlem Heights, White Plains, Short Hills, Barren Hill, Stony Point, Hobkirk’s Hill and Green Springs. All of which cry out the be fought on your table top.  Finally the Atlas includes those important  engagements in the West Indies, Gibraltar, and India.  Each engagement includes a well research account of the action as well as good orders of battle. The maps are a new style color coded system.  Personally I prefer the older topographic style maps but these work.

Both books are well done and highly recommended.  The Atlas is a hardback printed book so naturally is much more expensive.  That said I like the maps better in the other book.  So you pays your money and takes your chances.  Personally I recommend both for your library.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

My Return


  Hello all, yes I am back.  The last couple months have been too busy with personal and health issues so I had no time for blogging or fun hobby type activity.  I have also been adjusting to life retired and what to do with myself.  The good news is my health is better and I am finally finding my mojo again.  So I should be posting regularly once again.  Thank you for those who dropped me notes and those who continued to visit here.  I appreciate it greatly!