Monday, June 11, 2012

Planning for Bladensburg: American Order of Battle

I've been able to stay away from TMP for 24 hours.

I am actually trying to plan for my summer painting and I've pretty much settled on the two areas I'll be painting.  Once I clear my painting table of  a few extraneous units I'm working on, I'll focus on two projects.  The first is the Battle of Bladensburg in 1814, and the second is the Battle of Poitiers in 1356.

Bladensburg is the battle outside Washington D.C. in 1814.  There is a simple synopsis.  The Americans, with a superiority in numbers opposed the crossing of what is now the Anacostia River by a British force.  The British fired some Congreve rockets at them and the Americans fled.  Though some units in the American third line resisted heroically, they were outnumbered by the advancing British, were overwhelmed and the Brits marched on to Washington. 
Lossing's map shows the deployments of the Americans.

Doug and I have run Bladensburg before, but I've decided to paint all the units actually at the battle.  We will use Regimental Fire and Fury with the War of 1812 modifications.  Each four man stand represents 50 men.  I'm working in 28mm, but there are certainly some fine 15mm War of 1812 ranges from Old Glory and Blue Moon. I'll be using Old Glory and Knuckleduster miniatures for my Americans, and Victrix and Old Glory for the British. The source is Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812.

American Order of Battle  under command of General Winder

American First Line-Pinkney
Pinkney's Maryland Riflemen           three stands                raw militia
Maryland Militia Artillery                 three sections 6 pdrs. raw militia
Sterret's 5th Maryland eventually broke after its supporting units dissolved.  But it regained its reputation as a fighting militia unit as depicted by Troiani fighting at North Point.

The first line is entrenched, facing the bridge the British will cross over the Anacostia River. Unfortunately the embrasures for the guns are designed for larger guns, and the gunners are forced to scrape out new ones.

American Second Line--Stansbury
Sterret's 5th Maryland Battalion        nine stands                   trained militia
Schurz's Maryland Militia                  seven stands                raw militia
Raglan's Maryland Militia                 seven stands                 raw militia

These troops, together with Pinkney's small corps form the volunteers from Baltimore.  Their original position, supporting Pinkney was changed by James Monroe, Secretary of State.  Monroe sent them up the hill to the rear, to far away to be a support to Pinkney and exposed to fire from the British rocket batteries and musket fire.

American Third Line-General Winder.
Joshua Barney led his mixed force of green regulars, Marines and bluejackets to the battlefield at Bladensburg.  His naval gunners did great execution among the British, but their resistance collapsed when Barney fell wounded.
This line begins arriving on turn 1 and includes the following troops:
Scott’s Regulars                                              six stands                    raw regulars
Marines                                                           three stands                 veterans
Barney’s Flotillamen                                       six stands                   veterans
Barney’s Naval Artillery                                 two sections                naval guns

The next group begins arriving on Turn 4 and includes the following troops:

Beal’s Annapolis Militia                                 six stands        raw militia
Morrison’s Annapolis Militia                         six stands        raw militia
Wadsworth’s Militia Artillery                         two sections    raw militia artillery

The final groups begins arriving on Turn 7 and includes the following units: 
Three Units of District Militia                        Four stands each         raw militia

The Americans mustered about 6,900 men for the battle.  Of those troops, about 700 or so were regulars.  The rest were militia.  Of the militia, only the 5th Maryland had a reputation for being well drilled, and well trained.  The rest were raw.


Dave S. said...

You can borrow my copy of "Flotilla" to get a little more background on the British approach and battle. Although it sounds like you've got all the information you need (even though you could use "flotilla" to name each of the Flotillamen).

Tim G. said...

Sounds like a great project. My 1812 forces are made up of Old Glory and Knuckleduster as well. I've never seen Victrix miniatures in person. I take it they go well with Old Glory and Knuckleduster?

RodFleck said...

So,will you have a command set of the President and his colleague who have to rush into hiding? This sounds like a great event. May need to preregister and hope to get in!