Wednesday, February 4, 2015
British Legion Cavalry
My first miniature post of the year begins with AWI in the form of the British Legion cavalry. The British Legion otherwise known as Tarleton's Legion or Tarleton's Raiders is an American Loyalist formation that is a combined force of both infantry, cavalry and light artillery. The Strength of the legion varied but at full strength it stood at 250 Cavalry and 200 Infantry. The Legion fought in numerous engagements, anti- guerilla missions and punishment raides to include the siege of Charleston, Monck's Corner, Lenud's Ferry, Waxhaws, Camden, Fishing Creek, Wahab's Plantation, Fishdam Ford, Blackstock's, Cowpens(Losing all their infantry here), Cowan's Ford, Tarrant's Tavern, Guilford Courthouse, Francisco's Fight, Gloucester. The British Legion was disbanded on October 10, 1783 with most of it's members settling in Nova Scotia Canada.
Banastre Tarleton is probably one of the most controversial figures in the war with many believing him to be a murderous commander while others think he is a victim of propaganda. Just to give you an idea of some people's opinion of him think of Mel Gibson's The Patriot and the brutal British commander in the movie is supposed to be based on Tarleton. A lot of this stems from what is reported to have happened at the Battle of Waxhaws. This engagement resulted in the catch phrase Tarleton's Quarter. My personal opinion is that it was a civil war of sorts especially in the south with a lot of bad blood so I think both were pretty ruthless in dealing with each other and atrocities were likely committed on both sides, but I think Waxhaws either through fact of events or propaganda ramped things up a few notches and both sides took revenge killings on each other when the mood and opportunity struck. I feel I need to add that as the commanding officer Tarleton is responsible for his troops as he instilled both discipline and code of conduct. One must say Banastre Tarleton was a very effective cavalry commander either through tactics or ruthlessness or a combination of both. Whatever your opinion on Banastre Tarleton from murderous thug to brilliant cavalry officer you have to admit the man could design an excellent hat! He designed the Tarleton featured on these gents and as a matter of fact everyone liked it so much all light cavalry adopted it in the British forces.
As a Southern Campaign enthusiast this unit was a pretty much a must do as the Legion was so active in the war there plus my collection is in desperate need of cavalry to run some particular battles. When painting the unit I pretty much used Don Troiani's painting and description of the regiment down to the horses being a mixed lot of what they could get their hands on. Equipment I kept as uniformed as possible as I feel cavalry were better equipped and found it easier to maintain it. I enjoyed painting their simple, but rather elegant uniform and of course the Tarleton hat's which are my favourites of the war. As you may have noticed I couldn't resist playing up the bad guy image and mounted the commander(perhaps Tarelton?) on a black stallion.:-)
Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company- Perry Miniatures