Monday, 10 September 2012

The charge of the Delaware-Maryland battalion at Cowpens

If I was going to reenact the Revwar I'd go for one of these later war looks as this was the culmination of years of trial and error.
Image from Osprey - Warrior 68 - Continental Infantryman of the American Revolution

7 comments:

  1. Those hunting frocks are quite comfortable.

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  2. Sorry to be a party pooper on this one but sadly the plate is full of inaccuracies. It purports to illustrate the composite Maryland-Delaware infantry battalion at Cowpens and is more or less made up, conflating several other speculative reconstructions. The plate comes from 'The Continental Infantryman' Osprey Warrior title which is one of the less useful titles.

    Firstly the MD-De light corps was composed of troops drawn from the survivors of the two Maryland divisions that fought at Camden. Thus although the battalion was a 'light corps' it was not composed of men drawn from specifically from light companies as such. Kirkwood's Delaware company formed part of this unit and seems to have operated as a light unit but it is doubtful if it wore light bob caps.

    The extrapolition of hunting shirts for the unit seems to come from an older H Charles McBarron plate of Hall's Delaware regt done for the Company of Military Historians. Sadly McBarron does not provide a specific reference to issue of hunting shirts that can be traced. Ward's Delaware Continentals refers to issues of shirts and small clothing but NOT hunting shirts. Neither is there any reference to hunting shirts in the Nathanael Green papers.

    Neither Lawrence Babits nor Don Troiani seem to consider that the Maryland/Delaware troops went south with anything other than blue coats faced red and normal cocked hats. For example:

    http://www.historicalimagebank.com/gallery/main.php/v/album01/album15/TRW50+-+Maryland+Continental+Officer+1780-1781.jpg.html

    http://www.historicalimagebank.com/gallery/main.php/v/album01/album15/TRW164+-+Delaware+Regt_+Private+1780+.jpg.html

    The officer is shown in blue faced white which is incorrect for any Maryland or Delaware officer at this point in the war.

    The depiction is also way off mark in depicting the officer and drummer ahead of the front rank - when the officer should be level with the front rank on the left or right of his platoon whilst drummers should be in the secon rank drawn up behind captains on the flank or in the centre of the battalion or in serre file behind the battalion according to von Steuben.

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  3. Fair enough. My bad. I am a bit out of my depth when it comes to the Revwar

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  4. Ralph,

    No problem it is just that Osprey is one of the poor ones, it aims low and misses.

    The 'hunting shirt & cap look' was used by Continental re-enactors (lead by the 2nd Virginia Regt) who were campaigning to preserve to represent the Pennsylvania Continentals who fought at Green Spring in July 1781. Not sure on what evidence it is based on but you can get a look at it some re-enactor footage here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KlslDkPoDU

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