Thursday, 8 June 2017

The 42nd (Highland) Regiment of Foot at Monmouth

The 42nd Regiment of Foot in 1778
The 42nd Regiment was one of the first three Highland Regiments to fight in North America.
It fought at many battles, among them also at the Battle of Monmouth on June 28th, 1778. They were part of the 3rd Brigade under General Charles Grey, 1st Earl Grey.
Storming forwards
When Clinton and Cornwallis, emboldened by the earlier American retreat, decided to press the attack, the 42nd Foot, the famed Black Watch, would lead the way against Lord Stirling on the American left. But a Yankee battery of 12 big guns under the command of Edward Carrington, extending from those on Comb’s Hill, opened on the attacking British infantry, among them the  Highlanders of the 42nd regiment, with such fury that they were forced to fall back. The heavy artillery fire with canister shot and 2 ounce iron grapeshot forced the Scotsmen to take protection in the apple orchard of Sutfin’s Farm. Battlefield archaeologists were able to precisely locate this orchard by the mass of shot concentrated in this spot.
The NCOs
In 1778 the Highlanders were no longer wearing their Highland garb. They looked almost like ordinary British infantry, but for their bonnets, and their officers and NCOs wearing the scarves over the shoulder and not around the waist.
The Regimental Colours
The figures I used are King’s Mountain Miniatures I obtained from Galloping Major. They are nicely sculpted and paint well. The lowered colours, kneeling men, and the types of falling soldiers and the casualty figure fit quite well for the situation at the Battle of Monmouth.
Colonel and Captain
Drummer, Piper and Captain

Monday, 5 June 2017

1st Regiment Ansbach-Bayreuth

From 1769 to 1791 the Franconian principalities of Ansbach and Bayreuth were ruled by Christian Friedrich Karl Alexander Markgraf von Ansbach-Bayreuth of the house of Hohenzollern. The population in the territories amounted to about four hundred thousand people. The Markgraf von Ansbach-Bayreuth was deeply in dept, because of mismanagement, and jumped at the English king's offer to commit 1160 of his troops, receiving £ 100,000 sterling in recompense. In 1791, not long after the war, he sold both Ansbach and Bayreuth to Prussia and lived the rest of his life in England on a Prussian pension.
The regiment (ratio: 1:20)
In 1777 the small army from Ansbach-Bayreuth was shipped to North-America. It consisted of two infantry regiments, a J├Ągercorps of four companies, a detachment of artillery with four battalion guns, and staff and medical personnel. The first infantry regiment was from Ansbach, and the second from Bayreuth.
Part of the regiment
Officer and NCO assembling the line
The infantry regiments were one battalion strong, each composed of one grenadier and four musketeer companies. The Ansbach regiment consisted of 432 men, the Bayreuth regiment had 412 men. They were always brigaded together. The Ansbach-Bayreuth troops were incorporated into Howe's army in New York, and were part of the Philadelphia campaign. The Ansbach-Bayreuth infantry regiments were also with General Cornwallis at the Siege of Yorktown. Many of the infantry were captured when Lafayette's Light Infantry Division took Redoubt No.10 by night assault on  October 14. The remainder of the Franconian troops surrendered with the rest of the British forces five days later, on October 19, 1781.

back view
The uniforms of the Ansbach-Bayreuth infantry closely followed the Prussian pattern. They wore blue coats with red turn-backs, white small clothes and black gaiters. Their black hats were bound with white worsted lace. The two regiments had different facings; those of the Ansbach regiment were red, those of the Bayreuth regiment black. The hats and grenadier caps of the Ansbach regiment had red pompoms, those of the Bayreuth regiment probably white.
The grenadier caps had a white-metal front. Those of the Ansbach regiment had red backings and a blue headband, and those of the Bayreuth regiment white backings and black headband. The headbands were decorated with grenades following the Prussian fashion.
There is no evidence that Anspach-Bayreuth musicians wore elaborate lace on their coats.
Obverse side of the clours
(Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History)

The colours were made of white damask silk. Their obverse side showed a wreath of a green palm and a laurel branch tied with pink ribbon. They surrounded a crown and the entwined letters “SETCA”. This monogram spells Sincere et Constanter, Alexander, or truthfully and steadfastly, Alexander, which was the motto of the Prussian order of the Red Eagle and the Markgrafen von Brandenburg-Ansbach-Bayreuth. Beneath this appeared the letters “M.Z.B.” which stood for Markgraf zu Brandenburg. Below the wreath we read the date “1775”.
Reverse side of the colours
(Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History)
The reverse side of the unit colours showed the Red Eagle of Markgraf C. F. C. Alexander of Brandenburg and above it a scroll bearing the motto, pro principe & patria, for prince and fatherland.
The regimental colours

I made the blades of the colours with the help of my Micrografx Picture Publisher and the printer.
The result
The cords consist of thin intertwined wire, pained black and white.

I decided to have the first or Ansbach regiment because their red facings looked more impressive than the black ones of the second regiment. For figures to represent my Ansbach regiment I bought a box of plastic miniatures from Warlord Games (Black Powder, American War of Independence 1775-1783, WGR-AWI-03, Hessian Infantry Regiment). The sculpt is precise and fine, the canteens could be more protruding, and cartridge boxes should be larger. But this is a mistake to be found with most “Hessian” figures.
The parts generally fit well, but assemblage is a bit tricky sometimes if the parts are too tiny or flimsy. But if you manage to glue them in their appropriate places the figures look quite well. Their postures are a bit stiff, though – but this becomes a unit trained in the Prussian style. Their size is 33 mm from crown to toe, so the men are a bit taller than the rest of my units which are 28mm miniatures. This doesn’t matter really, as I won’t mix them with other units.
Timothy J. Reese (Uniforms of the American Revolution, 2006) writes that the Ansbach regiment “was in part formed from a Leib (bodyguard) battalion, explaining the officer wearing yellow small clothes until worn out.” I made use of this information and painted my colonel and captain accordingly.

Friday, 26 August 2016

The stockade

Stockades are a very old form of defence. In America they were used by Indians and the first settlers, and continued well into the 19th century, usually at the frontier. They served as temporary miltary defences as well as defences of single farms or of whole setllements.
Masterton Stockade of 1669
1832 civilian fort with stackade and blockhouse
(Apple River Fort replica, Elizabeth, Illinois, USA)
I conceived my stockade again as a module construction. It consists of 3 straight sections, a gate section, 4 corner sections, 2 inner angle sections, and 2 stone basements and a new timbered ground floor for my blockhouse.

straight section
front view with some Indian figures

corner section
gate section with moveable gate wings
inner angle section (used with the settlement enclosure below to create a protruding sectin of the defence)
stone basement 1
stone basement 2
new timber ground floor for my blockhouse
With these parts it is possible to build differnt simple fortifications on the gaming table.
corner of a small fort with a defending blockhouse
blockhouse with stockade enclosure
the same blockhouse with an additional stone basement

enclosure of a small settlement
 The use of the stockade is not limited to the American Revolutionary War, of course.

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Redoubt

For a long time I had wanted to build a small earthen fortification that could be used on the table. My friend Horst and me agreed that a fort or redoubt should be built in a modular form. So I started planning. First I drew a sketch of the cross-section of the wall.
cross-section of the wall and ditch
The figures are in millimetres, but I changed the measures slightly later because I used 30mm thick polystyrene foam sheets to build up the wall in two layers.
I started with three straight sections of the wall, using 4mm plywood as a base and for the sides and the buld-up of the parapet. The front of the wall was then smeared with an olive-green coloured filler. And I then continued with four rectangular corners, a door section, and a section with a gun emplacement. The abatis palisades I added after everything had dried. They were cut from small sticks of oakwood I had collected sometime in the past (you never know what things like this can be used for, just keep them in your cellar).
The fort before the final finish, arranged as a simple redoubt shape and without stairs
The gun emplacement under construction (equipped with a British 6-pounder by Pipe-and-Drum)
The door section with Anspach grenadiers (figures by Warlord Games)
The outsides of the walls were then covered with static grass (from a model railroad shop).
The finished gun emplacement with British gunners (Warlord Games figures)
I can now use these moduls for a simple square redoubt, a redoubt with a gun emplacement (like Redoubt 10 at Yorktown), or as a small fort, or as the cicumvallation of a blockhouse.Here follows the photo shooting of the finished fortification:
The redoubt with a wet ditch (made of printed cardboard and plywood borders),
here the stairs in the corners are added

This is what the corner stairs look like
The entrance to the redoubt with removable bridge
Redoubt with gun empacement and a 18-pounder naval gun
A small fort consisting of a blockhouse with cicumvallation
The fl├Ęche guarding the entrance, with chevaux de frise,
made of rocket sticks (collected on New Years Day) and toothpicks
Seen from the interior
I wonder who will dare to attack this fortification. However, Redoubt No. 10 at Yorktown was taken by the Amaricans in a surprise night attack. It had a dry ditch though.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Blockhouses were very common in North America, either as single defences, or as part of larger fortifications. The most widespread type is the two-storey building, the groundfloor of which is either of stone or of timber, and the upper storey protuding so that defenders can fire down trough machcoli in the floor at attackers who have managed to get next to the wall.

Fort Hawkins
They were used from the French and Indian War well into the 19th century.
My blockhoulse has a stone groundfloor and a timber upper storey, the latter with gun ports. The cardboard roof is covered with shingles. Instead of a look-out there is a central chimney.
The Ansbach grenadiers (Warlord Games figures) are added for size comparison
The material I used is mainly 4mm plywood, the upper storey with a layer of balsa wood. For the roof I used cardboard and laser-cut shingles by Charlie Foxtrot Models. By the way: The stone wall is a product of my computer printer.
Here are some more pictures of the thing:

The groundfloor with the fireplace
The upper storey with machcolis, trapdoor and a cannon
Detail of the gun port
An attacker's view of the machcolis