Sunday, 15 April 2012

Just off the painting table

Scottish Highlanders + French Imperial Guard

5th New York , Duryees Zouaves

The 5th New York Volunteer Infantry, "DuryƩe's Zouaves," was one of the most renowned fighting regiments of the American Civil War. Their colorful Zouave uniform, precise maneuvers, effectiveness in combat and steady bearing under fire, won them universal respect and recognition. Many observers considered the 5th New York to be the best-drilled volunteer unit in the Federal Army. In addition to a casualty list that totalled 211 dead out of 1,508 men borne on the rolls, nine of its soldiers attained the rank of general - five the full rank, and four by brevet.

The French Zouave military system was popularized in American just prior to the Civil War by Elmer E. 
Ellsworth, a young man from New York who aspired to a distinguished military career. Ellsworth was 
fascinated with what he learned about the Zouaves from newspaper accounts, books from France, and a 
French surgeon who had served in a Zouave regiment in the Crimea. In 1859, he organized the U.S. 
Zouave Cadets in Chicago, uniformed them in modified Zouave dress, and trained them to be disciplined 
men of arms and masters of the Zouave drill. This intricately timed drill included skillful bayonet maneuvers; 
loading and firing while standing, kneeling and lying down; and "rallying by fours," a Zouave fighting tactic 
whereby squads of four met formed fighting units, ready to face attack from all sides. The Cadets' loose 
fitting garments were ideal for executing these rigorous maneuvers. In contrast to standard military 
exercises and dress of the time, Ellsworth's elaborate drills and dazzling uniforms made for spectacular 
demonstrations. In 1860, after a sensational tour of twenty Eastern cities, the Cadets won acclaim as the 
champion drill team in the country. Co. Ellsworth's famed unit gained the attention of many, including 
Abraham Lincoln.

When the Civil War broke out the next year, Ellsworth recruited a new Zouave regiment from the rugged, 
physically fit men of the New York City Fire Department. Determined to defend the Union, Col. Ellsworth 
and his red-shirted firemen of the 11th New York Fire Zouaves were part of the Federal invasion of 

Northern Virginia and the occupation of Alexandria on May 24, 1861. That day Ellsworth was fatally shot 
after removing a Confederate flag from the roof of the Marshall House Hotel. This highly-publicized incident 
made Ellsworth a hero and martyr for the Union, stimulated army enlistments in the North, and generated 
many Zouave regiments.

Ellsworth's home state of New York had a large French immigrant population and produced the greatest 
number of Zouave units. Of the 30 New York regiments recruited during the War, four were established in 
April and May of 1861 during the first large wave of Zouave regiments. The spirit of camaraderie was 
strong in many units, which were frequently named after their regimental commander or "father." The 
renowned 9th New York Volunteer Infantry, known as Hawkins' Zouaves, was mustered in on April 23, 

1961, the first Zouave regiment to be raised in the Union Army. Other well known groups followed: the 11th New York, the 10th New York (National Zouaves), and the 5th New York (Duryee's Zouaves). 
The 5th New York, so-called "Red Devils," were one of the most famous units because of their flamboyant 

uniforms, precise drilling and firing ability, and steadfast courage on the battlefield. The 5th New York 
served at Second Bull Run and suffered one of the heaviest battle fatality rates of any Federal infantry 

While some Union Zouave regiments were recruited from pre-existing volunteer militias, other were newly 
formed in the early part of the War such as the 11th Indiana Volunteer Infantry, known as Wallace's 
Zouaves for its leader, Lew Wallace, author of Ben Hur. Eastern states such as New York, Pennsylvania 

and Massachusetts raised the most Zouave regiments although a respectable number came from the 

Midwest. By the end of the War, over 80 Zouave regiments had been raised in the North and around 20 in 
the South. Noted Confederate regiments included the notorious Wheat's Louisiana Tigers whose Major, 

Chatham Roberdeau Wheat, was born in Alexandria, Virginia and the Louisiana Zouave Battalion, or Coppens' Zouaves, whose leader fell at Antietam. Because of its distinct French heritage, Louisiana 
produced the most Southern Zouave regiments. A number of women, especially the wives of soldiers, were 

associated with Zouave regiments and wore quasi-military uniforms. Called vivandieres and cantinieres in 

the French Army, these female members served as mascots and suppliers of beverages, tobacco and other 

goods. Mary Tepe, a French-born vivandiere with Collis's Zouaves, the 114th Pennsylvania, was decorated 

for her bravery at Fredericksburg where she was wounded. Kay Brownell, who came from a British military 
family, was a vivandiere and nurse who heroically carried the flag at First Bull Run for her husband's 
regiment, the 5th Rhode Island Infantry.

The Zouaves took great pride in their gallant image, their reputations as reckless, brave fighters willing to 
die in combat, and most of all in their exotic uniforms. The colorful, unrestrictive attire of the soldiers 
differed greatly from the tight and stiff European military dress of 1830 when the first Zouave regiments 
were formed. Predominantly blue and red in color, the Zouave uniforms varied widely from regiment to 
regiment. A number of units like the 5th New York, 9th New York, Collis's Zoaves and the Louisiana 
Tiger Zouaves adopted highly Arab-influenced outfits which incorporated full pants, leggings, short 

jackets decorated with cloverleaf "trefoil" loops call tombeau, and North African turbans, fezzes and 
skullcaps. For dress occasions, a few units wore tasseled fezzes wrapped by a ten foot white sash to form 

a large turban. More modified, partial Zouave uniforms imitated the French light infantry Chasseurs and 

featured narrower pants, long western frock coats and traditional kepi-style caps. Whether exrememe or 

moderate, the Zouaves could always be identified by the unusual accent of their dress and French goatee 
beards and mustaches often worn by soldiers to complete the "Zouave look." Some nonconformists 
sported shaved heads and numbers, slogans and designs cut into their hair. Innovator Elmer Ellsworth 
created several stunning uniforms for his Chicago Zouave Cadets: a non-Zouave but French-style blue 
traditional "full dress" uniform; a Chasseur uniform using blue, standard frock coat but with red trousers; 

and an informal fatigue uniform. The dress and style of the Zouaves were so popular that uniforms were 

made for young children, including President Lincoln's son Tad and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's son Jesse. 
Zouave paper dolls, coloring books and other toys were also popular. Ladies' fashions of the time showed 
Zouave influences in the use of ornate jackets, vests and other oriental flourishes. Contrary to popular 
belief, the Zouaves' vivid uniforms were not replaced in 1863 in favor of standard regulation attire. The 
114th Pennsylvania, Collis's Zoaves, for example, appear in 1864 photographs wearing their recognizable 

uniforms. Hawkins' Zouaves, the 5th New York, and Wallace's Zouaves also proudly wore their 
uniforms throughout the War.
As part of a commission one of our customers requested a small band of 5th New York Zouaves. The results are below

Sunday, 8 April 2012


To celebrate the launch of the new on line store we are offering all customers that use the on line shop £15.00 off their first order over £60.00. This can be used on a combined order that is over £60.00. To get your discount enter  NEW-CUSTOMER when requested for voucher code. You can only use this code once.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Sample figures

Sample figures of our Napoleonic and american civil war ranges are now available on ebay.

American Civil War

American Civil War units are now available on the website

All the unit are Perry miniatures in plastic and metal. At the moment we only have infantry available but cavalry , artillery and command units will be available soon.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

8e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

The first French Eagle to be captured by the British was taken by the 87th (Royal Irish Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot from the French 8e Ligne at the Battle of Barrosa (Chiclana) on 5 March 1811. The first British soldier to touch the battle standard was a young officer, Ensign Edward Keogh, although as his hand grasped it, he was immediately shot through the heart and killed. He was followed by Sergeant Patrick Masterson who grabbed the eagle from the French ensign who carried it, reputedly with the cry "By Jaysus, boys, I have the Cuckoo!".
Below is some of the regimental history and some pics of a unit recently painted by us.

8e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne

Regimental History
1776: Formed from 1er and 3e Bataillons Regiment de Champagne
1791: 8e Regiment d'Infanterie
1796: 8e demi-brigade d'Infanterie de Ligne (formed from the following)
3e demi-brigade de Bataille (1er Bat, 2e Regt d'Inf, 5e Bat Vol de l'Aisne and 5e Bat Vol de la Cote d'Or)
1er, 2e and 3e Bataillons Volontaires de Lille
1er Bataillon auxillaire de l'Eure
1er Bataillon auxillaire de l'Aisne
1803: 8e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne
Colonels and Chef de Brigade
1791: De Chalup (Jean-Marc) - Colonel
1792: D'Armenonvil'e (Robon-Antoine-Marie Le Coutrier) - Colonel
1793: Tugnot de Lanoye (Jean-Henri) - Colonel
1796: Sarrut (Jaques-Thomas) - Chef de Brigade
1803: Autie (Jean-Francois-Etienne) - Colonel
1811: Braun (Joseph) - Colonel
1815: Ruelle (Louis-Gabriel) - Colonel
The 8e Regiment produced two Generals of Brigade and above
Tugnot de Lanoye (Jean-Henri)
Born: 24 June 1744
Colonel: 8 March 1793
General de Brigade: 29 April 1794
Died: 25 August 1804
Sarrut (Jacques-Thomas)
Born: 16 August 1765
Chef de Brigade: 28 May 1794 (3e demi-brigade de bataille)
Chef de Brigade: 19 February 1796 (8e demi-brigade d'Infanterie)
General de Brigade: 29 August 1803
General de Division: 20 June 1811
Commander of the Legion d'Honneur: 14 June 1804
Died: 26 June 1813 (as a result of wounds sustained at the battle of Vittoria)
Colonels killed and wounded while commanding the 8e Regiment d'Infanterie
Colonel Autie: wounded 5 March 1811
Officers killed and wounded while serving with the 8e Regiment d'Infanterie during the period 1804-1815
Officers killed: Eighteen
Officers died of wounds: Fourteen
Officers wounded: One hundred and thirty-four
Regimental war record (Battles and Combats)
1793: Nerwinden, Nimegue and Tirlemont
1795: Armee du Nord
1797: Armee du Nord and Allemangne
1798: Armee de Mayence, Danube and Rhin
1800: Offenbourg and Hohenlinden
1802: Armee du Hanovre
1805: Austerlitz
1806: Halle and Lubeck
1807: Mohrungen, Ostrelenka, Dantzig and Friedland
1808: Espinosa
1809: Talevera-de-la-Reyna
1809: Essling and Wagram
1811: Chiclana and Fuentes-d-Onoro
1813: Lignenza, Vittoria and Pampelune
1813: Dresden
1814: Bar-sur-Aube and Arcis-sur-Aube
1815: Waterloo (Papelotte)

Battle Honours
Hohenlinden 1800 and Friedland 1807

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

2nd Battalion 69th (South Lincolnshire) Foot

Another unit recently dispatched is a set of Victrix Waterloo Infantry here shown in the colours of the 69th Foot.

2nd Battalion, 69th Foot (1803-1816)
Raised under the Additional Forces Act, July 1803, the battalion took part in the disastrous assault on Bergen op Zoom in March 1814. Later, as part of Halkett's 5th British Brigade, the battalion was badly cut up at Quatre Bras due to mishandling by the Prince of Orange and lost its King's Colour. The three battalions of the brigade were caught in line formation by the Cuirassiers of Kellermans command and the 69th were the hardest hit.
On 18th June 1815 the battalion fought again at Waterloo and with that service added the battle honour 'Waterloo' to the colour of the 69th Regiment. During the battle the 5th Brigade were heavily engaged by French cavalry and artillery and were subsequently among the first to be hit and overwhelmed by the advance of the Middle Guard whilst in the process of changing from square to line. The battalion once again took heavy casualties and along with other units of Halketts brigade they broke.  The battalion was disbanded in 1816 as part of a general plan of demobilisation and its remaining personnel absorbed into the 1/69th Foot, then serving in India.