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.

1 comment:

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

These are wonderful! Your flags really finish them off well.

Best Rrgards,