Sunday, May 9, 2021

Dearborn's Light Infantry Battalion at Freeman's Farm 1777


Colonel Danield Morgan (center) directs the fire of his riflemen (left) and 
musket armed light infantry (right).

The Saratoga Project is progressing at a rapid pace with new British, Brunswick and American units being added each week. I usually complete one such unit each week. I will do a Saratoga Project update post in the near future, but suffice it to say that I now have enough painted figures to field both armies for Freeman's Farm.

Today's fox is Colonel Henry Dearborn's battalion of light infantry, which was brigaded with Daniel Morgan's regiment of riflemen during the battles of Freeman's Farm and Bemis Heights in the Saratoga campaign. Since the Virginian riflemen did not have bayonets for their rifles, they needed the support of musket armed soldiers who could put bayonets on their weapons to counteract a British bayonet charge.

Note to war gamers: if you run into a regiment of American riflemen, do not engage in a fire fight with them, but rather, give them a volley and then close in with a bayonet charge. If the riflemen are smart, then they will hightail it out of there so that they do not get shishkabobed at the end of a British bayonet. But I digress...

Colonel Dearborn's battalion of light infantry were chosen men from the various infantry regiments serving at Saratoga, converged into one battalion. So it follows that the unit should have figures painted in a variety of uniform coat colors to represent individual parent regiments. The battalion had approximately 300 men fit and present at Freeman's Farm, so using a 1:10 figure to man ratio, 30 castings represents 300 actual men in the battalion. I usually have five stands in my American regiments so it reasons that I have five stands of six figures, each stand representing the chosen men of a particular regiment.

I am using stands measuring 60mm frontage and 80mm deep so as to accomodate the leveled muskets and bayonets on the stand so that they do not overhang the edge of the base, making them less susceptible to breakage from handling. The deep stands also allow me some artistic freedom to give the stand a diorama look.

Two stands of six figures in the advancing pose: a Massachusetts regiment in blue coats on the left, 
and a New Hampshire regiment in green coats on the right.

Three stands of figures in firing poses: 2nd New Hampshire (left), a Massachusetts regiment
in brown coats (center) and a generic regiment wearing dark khaki colored coats (right).

The whole battalion of stands converged together.

Morgan's rifles and Dearborn's light infantry (at the top) face off against Hamilton's brigade of British regiments in the fields of Freeman's Farm. The table mat is from Cigar Box Battles and the snake rail fences were made by HG Walls.

So there you have it: the American advance guard commanded by Daniel Morgan at Freeman's Farm. All of the figures are from the Fife and Drum Miniatures range of AWI figures in 1/56 scale.