Part of the French troops that came with d'Estaing to Savannah, and with Saint-Simon to Yorktown were small units of dragoons of the regiments de Bezunce-dragons and Condé-dragons. They were just one company each of 40 horsemen and a small staff, 50 soldiers altogether. When I planned to have these units in my French army I decided to size them up a bit - two dragoons, a drummer and an officer per unit just weren't enough, in my view. So I wanted to paint two squadrons with a standard-bearer for each regiment. Which meant 11 figures: 8 dragoons, 1 drummer, 1 standard-bearer, and 1 officer per unit.
Front Rank have some Schomberg Light Dragoons in their SYW range. They have the right type of helmet for the French dragoons of the 1770ies, but the uniform coat is of the wrong cut of course, and above all the figures have a number of flaws: They wear the wrong form of dragoon gaiters (instead of boots), carry two pistols instead of one pistol and a tool at the saddle, they do not have a picket-pole, and their sabres are rather straight etc.
The main problem, however, was finding out the details of the uniforms, and the look of the standards my units were to have. Both units were stationed in the West Indies, so their uniforms were probably the same for Savannah and Yorktown, i.e. uniforms according to the regulations of 1776. Different French websites provided me with the necessary information about the uniforms and horse trappings. I only had to activate my little knowledge of French, and from time to time ask my wife for help who speaks French fluently (sometimes it's not too bad to be married to the right kind of person).
This regiment had the usual green coat with white cuffs and lapels, and a red turn-down collar. The green saddle-cloth had a white and black chequered border (silver for officers). Drummers wore the King's livery, i.e. a dark blue coat with Royal lace.
They too had a green coat, but their distinguishing colour was that of the noble Condé family: "ventre de biche". It is a reddish light ochre, which I got by mixing gold ochre and titanium white, with just a little bit of Carmine. This colour appeared on collars, cuffs and lapels of the uniform coats, on the saddle cloth and portemanteau, and on the drummer's livery, which was that of the House of Condé (which was next to the Royal Family).
At Yorktown, however, they were not used as fighting units, if we may believe the sources. They probably served as a head-quarter's guard, together with the 50 hussars of the Volontaires étrangers de la Marine, who had come with them from the West Indies.
28mm Ancient Gaul Cavalry
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