Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The Saratoga Project: Brunswick Troops


Fife and Drum Miniature Hessian Musketeers wore uniforms
that were similar to those of the Brunswick soldiers.

Part II of the Guide to the Saratoga Project describes the organization and uniforms of the German troops that were in Burgoyne's Canada Army.

Burgoyne's army consisted of about 4,400 British troops and 4,700 German troops at the start of his campaign. The German contingent was comprised largely of hired soldiers from the Duchy of Brunswick in Germany. There was also a smaller German contigent from Hesse Hanau. The Duke of Brunswick's son, Carl Wilhelm Ferdinand, was married to George III of Britain's older sister. This facilitated the rental of Brunswick regiments to the British cause in North America.

The Hesse Hanau musketeer regiment, including its grenadier company, was stationed at Fort Ticonderoga,  and did not participate in the fighting at Saratoga. The von Barner light battalion was composed of musket armed chosen men from the Brunswick musketeer regiments plus one company of rifle armed jagers.

The table below provides information about the uniforms of the Brunswick musketeer regiments. All regiments had blue coats and white small clothes (waist coat and breeches) and white hat lace. The term "Facing Color" refers to the colors of the lapels, collar and cuffs. Hat Lace is simply the color of the tape around the edges of the cocked hat. The pompom was a decorative ball of yarn atop the cocked hat.

Brunswick Musketeer Regiments

Regiments          Coat Color     Facing Color   Buttons   Pompoms/center 

Prinz Friedrich    Blue                Yellow            White      Yellow/White                

von Riedesel        Blue                Yellow            White      Yellow/White                

von Specht           Blue                Red                Yellow       Red              

von Rhetz             Blue                White            Yellow       White/Yellow   

Other Regiments           

von Barner            Blue                Black**        White              White            

Jaegers                 Green              Red                White              Green ***      

Hesse Hanau        Blue                Red *              White            White                     


*    the Hesse Hanau regiment had red lapels with white button lace

**  the light infantry battalion had no lapels; yellow aigulette on the right shoulder

*** the Jagers had green waist coats and buff colored breeches, white aigulette on right shoulder

Regimental Drummers

All musicians wore a yellow coat with shoulder epaulettes in white. There were no chevrons on the sleeves save that of the senior drummer in the regiment. The facing colors varied from regiment to regiment, as follows:

Light Blue - Prinz Friedrich and von Riedesel

Red - von Specht

White - von Hetz

Coat Details

Uniform coats were dark blue with red turn backs. The cuffs were of the looser Swedish Cuff style rather than the tight Prussian cuff. The lapels had only four buttons: one on the top, then a pair of buttons in the middle of the lapel, and one button on the bottom of the lapel.

Small Clothes

All regiments wore white waistcoats and white breeches. The Brunswickers adapted the British style of "overalls". The overall was a single leg with gaitor buttons at the ankles near the bottom of the cloth, thereby negating the need for the soldiers to wear separate leg gaitors. There is some conjecture that the Brunswick soldiers wore stripped overalls made from mattress ticking. This is incorrect as the overalls were made from the linen colored spare tents provided by the British. The striped overall look originates from the John Mollo book on uniforms of the American Revolution and the error has perpetuated itself into many a uniform plate. The only Brunswick soldiers that wore striped ticking overalls were the Prinz Ludwig dismounted dragoon regiment.


Brunswick officers were armed with sword and carried spontoons. There is some speculation that the pole arms for officers and NCOs were left in storage in Canada and that they carried firearms. Officers were distinguished by a waist sash of a silver and yellow mix as well as with a gorget around their necks. Their hats hat silver lace and a black cockade on the front.

Brunswick NCOs were distinguished by an ash cane that hung from the second button from the top on the righthand lapel. They had metalic lace on the collar, lapels and cuffs. Their cocked hats had black and white pompoms and hat tightener cords. Those NCOs carrying firearms wore a belly box for cartridges on their front waist.


Brunswick grenadiers wore the same uniform as the musketeers in the regiment, save for the ubiquitous miter hat. The grenadier company from each of the four Brunswick regiments were converged into one grenadier battalion.

Hessian Grenadiers from Fife & Drum Miniatures- uniforms were similar 
to those of Brunswick grenadiers.

Grenadier Miters

                            Miter Plate        Miter Bag                             Pompom

Prinz Friedrich     Silver            Yellow w/white piping          Yellow/white

von Riedesel         Silver            Yellow w/white piping           Yellow/white

von Specht            Brass             Red w/white piping               White

von Rhetz              Brass             White w/ red piping               Red

Hesse Hanau        Silver            Yellow w/white piping            Red /yellow

Hessian Grenadiers from Fife and Drum Miniatures. Their uniforms
are similar to those of Brunswick grenadiers.

Fife and Drum Miniatures is currently working on Brunswick musketeers and grenadiers to be added to the product range. Their expected arrival is approximately late April 2021. In the meantime, I use the F&D Hessian figures as stand ins for Brunswickers. The principal difference between Brunswickers and Hessians is that the former wear one-piece overalls and the latter wear gaitors.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Saratoga Project: Guide To Burgoyne's Army


British 9th Foot at Saratoga
(Fife and Drum Miniatures)

My lack of blogging in recent weeks does not indicate a lack of hobby related work during the first few weeks of 2021. Quite the contrary, my paint brushes have reactivated favorably and I have made a good dent in my planned project for 2021: The Saratoga Project in 1/56 Scale. The 1/56 scale figures are approximately 30-32mm in height and of course they will all be Fife and Drum Miniatures figures.

As of today, my British Saratoga army includes: 9th/20th/21st/62nd Regiments of Foot; two stands of 8 light company figures; three stands of 8 grenadiers. The line regiments will have five stands of 8 figures, or 40 in total. The converged light and grenadier battalions will each have six stands of 8 figures, or 48 in total.

My first inspection of the armies at Saratoga indicates that I can do the British army with a moderate number (for me, at least) of figures at my planned figure to man ratio of 10 to 1. This ratio means that one casting represents 10 actual soldiers. I like to organize my war game armies around historical orders of battle, if they are available. For this purpose, I used the Osprey Campaign Saratoga 1777 book, authored by Brendan Morrissey. As an example, if the British 9th Regiment of Foot had 398 officers and men during the campaign, then I would round up to 400 men and field a war gaming unit of 40 castings.

I will use my existing American regiments augmented by Morgan's Rifles.

The project will also include the necessary troops to fight Oriskany, Hubbardton and Bennington, so this includes Mohawk Indians and Brunswick troops. By the way, Brunswick musketeers and grenadiers are the next new figures in the queue of the Fife and Drum Miniatures Saratoga figure range. These will likely be available by May 2021.

Converged British Light Infantry

Converged British Light Infantry

Converged British Grenadier Battalion

Reference Material

A good place to start is the finding of a good reference books with the orders of battle for all of the armies. Fortunately, Osprey Publishing has "Saratoga 1777, Turning Point of a Revolution". The book, authored by noted war gamer and historian Brendan Morrissey, provides a nice summary of the whole campaign and specific battles, and also provides detailed orders of battle around which a war gamer can build his/her own table top army.

If you are interested in a deeper dive into the Saratoga campaign, then I would recommend the following books:

  • Campaign to Saratoga - 1777,  by Eric Schnitzer and illustrated by Don Troiani, (2019 Stackpole Books - publisher)
  • Saratoga, A Military History of the Decisive Campaign of the American Revolution, by John Luzader, (2008 Savas Beatie - publisher)
  • Saratoga, The Turning Point of America's Revolutionary War, by Richard Ketchum, (1997 Harold Holt -publisher)
  • Uniforms of the British, German and American Armies at Saratoga, by Brendan Morrissey is a very detailed description of uniform details and regimental organization for the units that fought at Saratoga. The information can be found on the Perry Miniatures web site (under the Articles pull down menu).  Click on the adjacent link  to find the three articles. Perry Miniatures "Articles"
  • Campaign Book #7, The War of Independence in the North, "We Have Always Governed Ourselves, by Greg Novak (1988 Ulster Imports - Publisher, out of print). 

Eric Schnitzer is the head Park Ranger, historian-interpreter at Saratoga National Historical Park, having served in that role for more than 20 years. Don Troiani is well-known for his accurate historical and military paintings. John Luzader has served with the National Park Service with an expertise on the battle of Saratoga.

62nd Foot

21st Foot

Burgoyne's British and German Army

Lt. General John Burgoyne's Canada Army numbered approximately 9,500 officers and men and consisted of troops from Britain, Brunswick and Canada. There were two brigades of British soldiers with 4,000 men; the Brunswick contingent with 3,500 men; and 1,900 headquarters and unassigned troops. The following order of battle for Burgoyne's army is sourced from Brendan Morrissey's book on the Saratoga Campaign (Osprey).

The numbers in parentheses indicate the total number of officers and men in that particular regiment or formation.

Advance Guard - Brigadier General Simon Fraser

24th Foot (391)

Converged British Grenadiers (631)

Converged Light Companies (611)

Corps of Marksmen (102) 

Royal Artillery - 

  • four 6-pounders - Captain Thomas Jones
  • four 6-pounders, four 3-pounders, two 5.5-inch howitzers - Captain Ellis Walker

1st Brigade - Brigadier General Henry Powell

9th Foot  (398)

47th Foot (detached to guard bateaux on Lake George) (380)  

53rd Foot (left behind at Fort Ticonderoga ) (391)

2nd Brigade - Brigadier General James Hamilton

20th Foot  (383)

21st Foot  (393)

62nd Foot  (377)

NOTE: due to detachments, the 9th Foot joined the 2nd Brigade commanded by Hamilton during the two battles of Saratoga.


  • RA - Major Griffith Williams (267)
  • Hesse-Hanau Artillery - Captain Georg Pausch (103)
  • Attached infantry - Lt. George Nutt (155)
  • Artillery Park - 3 brigades


General staff and ADCs (17)

Prinz Ludwig Dragoons (dismounted) - Lt. Col. von Baum (307)

King's Loyal Americans - Lt. Col. Ebenezer Jessup (150)

Queen's Loyal Rangers - Lt. Col. John Peters (150)

Canadians/Bateauxmen - Capt. Monin / Capt. Boucherville (300)

Indians (500)

The Brunswick Contingent - Major General Friedrich von Riedesel

The Brunswick contingent constituted the Left Wing of Burgoyne's Canada Army and was organized into three brigades: Advance Corps (von Breymann), 1st Brigade (von Specht), 2nd Brigade (von Gall) and the Hesse Hanau artillery (Pausch).

Artillery - Captain Georg Pausch

4 x 6-pounders Hesse Hanau artillery brigade

Advance Corps - Lt. Colonel Heinrich von Breymann

Grenadier Battalion - companies from the Rhetz, Riedesel, Specht and Prinz Friedrich regiments (456)

Light Battalion - Major Ferdinand von Barner - chosen men from the same regiments as above (398)

Jager Company - Captain Carl von Geisau (124)

Artillery - Lt. von Spangenburg (2 x 6pdrs and 2 x 3pdrs)

1st Brigade - Brigadier General Johann von Specht

Regiment von Rhetz (535)

Regiment von Riedesel (537)

Regiment von Specht (536)

2nd Brigade - Brigadier General Wilhelm von Gall

Regiment Prinz Friedrich (533) - detached to Fort Ticonderoga

Regiment Erbprinz of Hesse-Hanau  (546)

In war game terms, my Brunswick contingent will have the converged grenadier and light company battalions, the Jager company, two sections of artillery and four battalions of musketeers (omitting the detachement at Fort Ticonderoga). As of this writing, only the jagers are painted and I plan on using my Minden SYW Prussian artillery crew figures manning British 6-pounders and 3-pounders. I can draft some of the Fife and Drum Miniatures Hessians into my Brunswick contingent until the Brunswick figures go into production, probably in May 2021.

What Is Ahead?

I plan on adding uniform information for both British and Brunswick regiments, to be posted on this blog. I will also post orders of battle for the forces at Hubbardton, Bennington and Oriskeny in the near future. Finally, I will post pictures of the British and Brunswick regiments as they are painted. Hopefully, by mid to late Summer 2021, I will have the necessary forces to game all of the battles that comprise the Saratoga Campaign of 1777.