Thursday, 26 May 2016

23rd Virginia

The 23rd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was formed in May 1861, recruiting in Richmond and surrounding areas.  As with the other units I've been posting about, the 23rd spent most of the war on service with the Army of Northern Virginia, fighting in  Lee's Cheat Mountain Campaign, Jackson's Valley Campaign, the Seven Days' Battles, Early's Shenandoah Valley Campaign and finally ending the war at Appomattox.  The regiment fought at Gettysburg in Steuart's brigade in Johnson's division in Ewell's II Corps.

The 23rd appears in the following Valley Campaign scenarios: McDowell (8 figures), Kernstown (10), First Winchester (24) and Port Republic (24).  I think all these figures were newly painted in 2012.  Despite the rather ginormous right hands, I like the marching Dixon figures as you can achieve huge variety among the same basic couple of poses (if you ignore the fact that everyone seems to have tears in their trousers in the same places).  I suspect the frock-coated chaps with their right left forward are Union figures, but I think they work ok.

24 figures.  Painted May-July 2012. Flag by Adolfo Ramos.



Wednesday, 25 May 2016

2nd Virginia

The 2nd Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was raised in Charles Town, West Virginia in April 1861.  It was a founding regiment of the "Stonewall Brigade".  The 2nd Virginia fought at Bull Run and participated in many of the famous engagements of the Army of Northern Virginia: Jackson's Valley Campaign, the Seven Days' Battles, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Early's Shenandoah campaign of 1864 and the Appomattox campaign.  At Gettysburg the Stonewall Brigade was in Johnson's division in Ewell's II Corps and attacked Culp's Hill on the second and third days of the battle.  Apparently Private John Wesley Culp was in the 2nd Virginia and he was killed close to his uncle's farm on the hill that bore his family's name.

The 2nd Virginia features in the following "Guns of Gettysburg" Jackson scenarios: Kernstown (16 figures), Port Republic (12), Front Royal (24) and First Winchester (24).  Most, if not all, of these figures are the product of my 2012 Dixon ACW splurge.  I copied a couple of more complicated blanket roll designs from some Don Troiani paintings.  It was while putting this unit together that I realised I was painting too many light blue trousers (or "pants", as I think Americans call them), which I gather weren't actually worn much by Confederate infantry.  I do like the dynamic feel of this unit - the Dixon range at its best.

24 figures.  Painted May-July 2012.  Flag by GMB. 


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

21st Virginia

The 21st Virginia Volunteer Infantry Regiment was raised in June/July 1861 and took recruits from the city of Richmond and neighbouring counties.  It saw action as part of the Army of Northern Virginia, participating in Jackson's Valley Campaign, the Seven Days' Battles and then Early's Shenandoah Valley campaign in the summer of 1864.  At Gettysburg, the regiment was in Edward Johnson's division in Ewell's II Corps and lost heavily in the Confederate attacks on Culp's Hill. 

The 21st Virginia appears in a few of the Valley Campaign scenarios: Kernstown (14 figures), McDowell (16), Cross Keys (24) and First Winchester (24).  Numerate readers will notice that I am 4 figures short, as there are only 20 figures here.  I can't explain that mistake, and it's too late now to As with the 15th Alabama, this unit contains many of the figures I painted in 1998, although I think there are a few more of the 2012 ones in the front row.  The flag is an interesting from GMB.  I needed a small flag as there isn't much space on the cast-on flag pole on the officer figure.  All I can find out about it is that this was a battle version of the First Confederate National Flag, and one was captured by Union forces at the Battle of Pea Ridge (fought in March 1862) in Arkansas.  So I don't know if any regiments in Jackson's command would have carried it, although it seems perfectly possible.

20 figures.  Painted June-July 1998 and May-July 2012. Flag by GMB.


Monday, 23 May 2016

15th Alabama

The 15th Alabama was formed in May 1861 from various militia units in the south east of the state.  After spending most of 1861 in training, the regiment was placed into Ewell's division in the Army of Northern Virginia, which was then transferred to Stonewall Jackson's corps.  Consequently, the regiment first saw action during the Valley Campaign of spring 1862 and particularly distinguished itself at the Battle of Cross Keys.  1862 proved to be a busy year.  The regiment participated in the Seven Day's Battles (losing a quarter of is strength at Gaines' Mill), then the Northern Virginia Campaign of August/September and Lee's Maryland Campaign (in which the regiment fought at Antietam).  In May 1863 the 15th was transferred to Longstreet's corps and formed part of a newly constituted "Alabama Brigade" under Brigadier General Evander Law.  It was in that brigade that the 15th Alabama fought what was probably it's most famous action, attacking Chamberlain's 20th Maine at Little Round Top at Gettysburg - the 15th Alabama was the regiment that Chamberlain famously counter-charged when his men's ammunition had been exhausted.  In September 1863 the 15th Alabama was transferred with the rest of Longstreet's corps to Bragg's Army of Tennessee and fought another hard battle at Chickamauga.  In May 1864 the corps returned to Virginia and remained fighting with Lee until the surrender at Appomattox. 

This unit contains many of the very first Dixon ACW figures I painted back in 1998, so the painting's a bit rough and ready.  I don't think I did much in the way of proper research into  uniforms, and so probably just used a variety of blues, browns and greys.  I'm sure ACW aficionados will be able to spot all kinds of errors.  I can't now recall why I chose an Alabama regiment - I expect it was because in those days I had grand designs about wargaming Gettysburg and so wanted to start out with the brigade that charged up Little Round Top.  I painted the two flags myself.  I did think about replacing them with more accurate GMB flags (the flags themselves are not permanently glued to the staffs), but I realised that I'm quite attached to these early efforts and so decided to keep them.  In the "Guns of Gettysburg" scenario book for Jackson's Valley Campaign, the 15th appear in 3 scenarios: Freeman's Ford (12 figures), First Winchester (20) and Cross Keys (24).
24 figures.  Painted July 1998 and April-June 2012. 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

American Civil War Week

It's American Civil War week at Tarleton's Quarter!  For the next 6-8 days I'm going to aim to make one post each day on a project I spent the first half of 2012 working on, namely creating a brigade of troops from Stonewall Jackson's command of 1862 and some other ACW bits and bobs.  I had intended to run this series of posts back in 2012/3.  Why I failed to do so is anyone's guess now - I think because I was waiting to paint up my Jackson command stand and that fell by the wayside (even now it's still not quite finished....).  I can't believe it's taken me four years to do these posts, although it does explain why this blog was so quiet in 2012.  I did just one teaser post and then forgot all about it...Anyway, I'm planning on posting photos of one regiment a day until they are all finished.  I'll probably not do complete battle histories for each unit, as my knowledge of the ACW is still pretty weak and so that would take a lot of time and research.  It's more about posting some photos I enjoyed taking in the garden the other week and rediscovering these figures.  Like 'em or loathe 'em, you can't deny that the Dixon figures for this period have character.

First, some project history.  I spent much of March to May 2012 painting 25mm ACW Confederates.  Almost exactly 18 years ago I bought a whole load of Dixon ACW figures.  I remember the date because I'd just finished my law school exams and I decided to treat myself to a new period; I recall Dixon were offering a discount on a "Jackson's Foot Cavalry" deal, or something like that.  I haven't ever counted them all, but I suspect there were about 100 infantry figures, plus some artillery and Stonewall himself.  I painted 40-odd figures that summer, before I started work in September.  I was still living "at home" back then, and somewhere I have a couple of photos of me painting these figures which were taken by my parents' 20-something Hungarian cleaner, who appeared to be fascinated by either these figures or my painting of them (there's more to that story, but as this isn't Legatus Hedlius' blog I'm not going any further!).  However, after painting those initial figures my ACW interest waned and I moved on to other things (Darkest Africa and SYW, I think) and never returned to Jackson, although several times over the intervening years I have finished off the odd ACW infantry figure that I'd part painted.  I also didn't base any of the figures I had painted - probably because I didn't know what rules I wanted to use and back in those days I had very limited experience of wargaming anyway and tended not to base anything I'd painted until I'd met someone else who was into the period and could advise how I should approach it.

Anyway, for reasons I cannot explain at all, four years ago I decided to get stuck into these Dixon figures.  Sometimes one just gets an "urge", and if it's to paint figures that have been in the leadpile for over a decade then it's best to give into the urge.  I suspect that Dave Brown's "Guns at Gettysburg" rules and the excellent scenario books by Paul Stevenson (all published by Caliver) had been sending me subliminal messages.  (My ACW project has taken so long that in the intervening years Dave Brown has released a new edition of GaG and has been developing an entirely different set of ACW rules.)  The figures I painted in 1998 formed elements of 4 regiments; 2 charging and one each of firing and marching.  All the figures needed sprucing up and basing and I had to add new figures to bring them up to strengths of either 20 or 24 figures.  I realised I was having so much fun that I painted another couple of regiments from scratch and started work on a couple of vignettes.  I still have enough figures for about 3 more regiments, I think, so I may turn to those later this year.  I then bought a few packs of the Perry "Bull Run" infantry, which had just been released and got stuck into those; I have two regiments finished and another on the way. 

So there's a lot to come over the next few days.   I've used this post to show all the regiment together, in something approaching a game situation.  Incidentally, I do have some Union troops as well, although most of those are very badly painted (the shades of blue I used were far too bright).   Normal AWI service will resume in a couple of weeks.  Currently on the workbench are Butler's Rangers, Highland colonels and Pulaski's Legion, and I see that almost by accident I've undercoated some more Dixon rebs...

Thursday, 19 May 2016

15th Foot

What became the 15th Foot was raised at Nottingham in June 1685 by Sir William Clifton, the Deputy Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, to help deal with the Monmouth Rebellion.  Clifton didn't remain colonel of the regiment for very long - he died in 1686, aged only 23.  After some years in Scotland and Ireland the regiment fought with Marlborough at Blenheim.  It was part of the Scottish garrison from 1714 to 1724 and in the 1740s fought in the Caribbean at Dominica, Jamaica and Cuba and at Cartagena.  Designated the 15th Foot in 1751, the regiment deployed to the Americas at the start of the French and Indian War and fought with Wolfe at Louisburg and Quebec.  The regimental lace was later amended to include a black line in remembrance of Wolfe's death.  The regiment remained in Canada until 1768, when it returned to the UK.  But it returned to America in 1776 and fought in the AWI until being sent again to the West Indies in 1779.  During the AWI the 15th acquired the nickname of "The Snappers" - at Brandywine the regiment ran short of ammunition and what was left was given to the best shots, with the remaining men simply "snapping" powder charges.  Unfortunately the regiment was captured at St Kitts in 1782 and had to reform from scratch (at which point it was given the county title of Yorkshire East Riding).  After five years in Ireland the regiment returned to the Caribbean in 1805 and remained there, so taking no part in the Napoleonic Wars.  The 15th returned to Canada in 1862 as one of the battalions shipped to the Americas in the wake of the Trent Affair (so one could also model it with the Perries' conjectural "British Expeditionary Force" figures).  The regiment was one of four battalions which fought in the AWI that are the ancestors of the modern British Army's Yorkshire Regiment, the other three being the 14th, the 33rd Foot (Cornwallis' own regiment) and the 76th.

This is something of a counterpart to the 44th Foot I painted at the end of last year - I wanted to use up my remaining metal British infantry figures and the 15th is the second and last full unit that I had in the leadpile.   Like the 44th, the 15th Foot is a useful regiment to have in one's collection if you like the big northern battles.  It appears in the Fort Washington, Brandywine, Germantown and Whitemarsh scenarios as a 16-figure unit and also as 18 figures in Monmouth 1 (i.e. the "morning action" contained in the second volume of "British Grenadier!" scenarios).  The classic Howe-era campaign dress of cut-down coats and slouch hats is perfect for these battles.  Incidentally, I've never really been sure whether the figure I've used as an officer is supposed to be a sergeant or an officer.  Under the 1768 Royal Clothing Warrant, officers were to carry "espontoons" while sergeants carried "halberts".  I know there is a technical difference between the two in terms of shape, and I think the figure here is probably carrying a spontoon.  If this chap is an officer, then he's removed his right-shoulder epaulette as well as all his lace.

These marching figures are among my favourites in the Perry AWI range.  They are straightforward to paint, with good faces (shared with the corresponding Continental infantry packs) and look quite elegant.  The 15th brings my tally of British line battalions to 32 (not counting converged battalions of flank companies and Marines).  I'll have some further thoughts on British line regiments in a couple of weeks when I post about the first batch of "reinforcements" that I've been painting over the past couple of months.

16 figures.  Painted March-April 2016.  Flags by GMB.