“Don’t Tread On Me!”: My AWI Rebel Army (Part 2)

First an apology for it being a bit quiet here this last month!  I haven’t managed to do any wargaming since our Kolin refight in January, added to which I’ve been on holiday for the last two weeks.  However, there should be plenty of wargaming in March and there are a load of new painted units awaiting photography.

The good news is that while I was on holiday, this blog passed 250,000 hits since I started it in April 2018! 🙂 My thanks to everyone who follows, comments, encourages or just simply browses through.  As mentioned before, I only do this for the free drugs and groupies and absolutely refuse to pollute the page with adverts.  I just post what interests me and it’s always nice to know that it interests at least SOME others…

Anyway, here are a few more photos of my AWI American army.  As in Part 1, they’re not in any particular order and basically represent what I fancied painting at the time…

Above:  Smallwood’s Maryland Battalion was raised in January 1776 by Colonel William Smallwood as state troops.  However, on 6th July of that year the regiment was attached to the Continental Army, where it was brigaded with Colonel Haslet’s Delaware Battalion.  This began a long partnership between the two units, who became regarded as something of an elite corps.  Both battalions were formally adopted into the Continental Army on 17th August 1776 and Smallwood’s Marylanders distinguished themselves only two weeks later during the Long Island Campaign, where they single-handedly mounted the rearguard against vastly superior numbers.  However, the battalion was virtually wiped out in this heroic action and was reconstituted during September by absorbing various Maryland Independent Companies.  The unit officially became the 1st Maryland Continental Regiment in January 1777.

Above:  Although it seems rather incongruous to have an American Patriot dressed in red, Smallwood’s Marylanders definitely went to war in 1776 dressed in this manner; red coats with buff facings and smallclothes.  However, there is good evidence to suggest that some or all of the unit might already have been wearing hunting shirts (variously described as buff or violet) by the time of their heroic action on Long Island.  Uniformity probably broke down completely following and the absorption of other units in September 1776 and following the General Order of 1779 they were largely wearing blue coats with red facings, line the 2nd Maryland Continentals shown below (and in the famous painting of the 1st Maryland Continentals at Guildford Courthouse at the top of this article).  Other units also wore red coats (often from captured British stocks), with Forman’s Additional Continental Regiment in 1777 having the same combination with buff facings and smallclothes, so this unit can do double-duty.

Above:  Smallwood’s Marylanders are Wargames Foundry figures, painted sometime in 2005.

Above:  The 2nd Maryland Continental Regiment had a far shorter history than the 1st Maryland Regiment, having been formed in January 1777 from various Maryland Independent Companies then serving with the Continental Army.

Above:  The 2nd Maryland Continental Regiment seems to have worn a blue coat with red facings, white tail-turnbacks, white metal buttons and white hat-lace for much of its existence.  This uniform was formalised (with white smallclothes) for all Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia regiments with the General Order of 1779 (with wildly varying degrees of success).  I’ve thrown a couple of red turnbacks and hunting-shirts in, along with other items of headgear and unlaced hats to represent ‘vagaries of supply’.  The smallclothes were recorded as russet-brown during the regiment’s early days, though buff smallclothes also appear in paintings, as do dark brown waistcoats with blue breeches.  Yet another depiction of the 2nd Maryland Regiment from 1781 shows them wearing earth-brown coats and breeches with red facings, white turnbacks, white metal buttons and white waistcoats.  I’ve mainly gone with the blue and brown theme, though with a few men wearing randomly-coloured hunting shirts, ‘overhauls’ and ‘American trowsers’.

Above:  The 2nd Maryland Continental Regiment is my most recently-painted American unit.  I painted it last Autumn, using Perry Miniatures figures and a flag by GMB Designs.

Above:  Colonel John Haslet’s Delaware Battalion was raised in early 1776 and in August of that year was assigned to the Continental Army in Long Island, being brigaded with Smallwood’s Marylanders, with whom they were to have a long association.  Both battalions fought well during the Battle of Long Island, though the Delawares managed to escape without the catastrophic casualties suffered by the Marylanders and were therefore still fit to fight for the rest of campaign, fighting especially well at White Plains.

On 1st January 1777 they were re-titled as the Delaware Continental Regiment, being the only such regiment to be formed from that tiny state.  However, only two days later at the Battle of Princeton, Colonel Haslet was shot through the head and died instantly, with command passing to Colonel David Hall.  Like so many regiments, the Delawares suffered repeated disasters and were re-constituted time and time again, yet retained a reputation as a hard-fighting regiment.  However, following a particularly bad day at the Battle of Camden in 1780, the regiment was broken up into independent companies and was never re-formed as a single battalion.

Above:  The Delaware Continentals are possibly unique in the annals of the Continental Army, in that they somehow managed to maintain a reasonably consistent uniform throughout the war.  In 1776 they are recorded as having a blue coat with red facings, white turnbacks and white metal buttons (gold for officers), with white smallclothes.  By 1778 they seem to have added yellow hat-lace to the ensemble and seem to have remained dressed much in this manner for the rest of the war, aside from some suggestion of brown breeches.  The Delawares were therefore in the fortunate position of almost matching their stipulated uniform of the General Order of 1779.

Above:  For the Delaware Continentals I used Perry Miniatures figures and painted the flag myself.  As usual, I mixed in a few men dressed in hunting shirts and ‘overhauls’.  This was actually the last Continental regiment I painted before my ‘Long Pause’ of 2009.  The Perry ‘Ragged Continentals’ pack had just been released at the time, so I included a few of those figures.

Anyway, that’s it for now.  I’ll finish off with this great painting of the Delawares at Long Island.

This entry was posted in 28mm Figures, American War of Independence, British Grenadier! Rules (AWI), Eighteenth Century, Painted Units. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “Don’t Tread On Me!”: My AWI Rebel Army (Part 2)

  1. Jim says:

    Good stuff here. I’ve recently started a Colonial army myself and there is a trove of good information here.

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