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Author Topic: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI  (Read 1143 times)

Offline WillieB

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Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« on: April 22, 2021, 08:42:54 AM »
Companies of 'riflemen', grenadiers and light companies, but I suppose they were all musket armed? No actual riflemen involved?
Another stab at a 'small' Sharp Practice 'army" so should be manageable.
And that green makes a nice change from red and blue.... :D
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Offline vtsaogames

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 10:41:03 AM »
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And a glorious clank of his tin-plated pants. - Dr. Seuss


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Offline georgec

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 12:57:42 PM »
You can read Simcoe's own account here

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iUNHAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR1&source=gbs_selected_pages&cad=2#v=onepage&q&f=false

Page 20 refers to a Highland company on the left flank and '8 battalions (sic), a grenadier and light company.' Simcoe's account makes much of effective outposts and sentries and the use of the bayonet (and thus musket).  Mollo and MacGregor's Uniforms of the American Revolution refers to the battalion companies as 'eight companies of riflemen' which might be where the rifle companies comes from, and there are drawings of Rangers with rifles.  Rifles were issues, 5 per company, to light companies in the composite Light Battalions.

From that one might deduce the majority of the infantry were armed with musket and bayonet with a few rifle-armed sharpshooters, and mostly performing a similar combination of outpost and 'petite guerre' duties between the armies along with a bayonet -armed shock role in more formal encounters.  Quite similar to the activities of  the red-coated amalgamted Light Battalions   

     

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 03:29:38 PM »
OK, the starting point for confusion over the QRs is Lefferts, who mis-identified them as the same unit that was raised in the 1790s in Canada; this latter unit WAS entirely rifle-armed and many, many authors (and figure manufacturers) have followed this error since the Bicentennial in 1976, including Mollo/McGregor (and even Alan Perry until I wrote to him and put him right!).

The QRs were raised early on in the war as a straightforward infantry battalion, with the usual two flank companies (grenadiers and lights) and eight centre companies.  At this time, the whole battalion seems to have worn the normal hat.  Rogers' general flakiness and a  collapse of discipline among the other officers, led to a mass clear-out (I think only one of the original set survived) and the unit's command was given to a Regular officer named Weymss.  He was wounded and command then devolved to Simcoe, who had previously commanded the grenadier company of the 40th Foot.

By this stage, a small "hussar" detachment had been added to the infantry battalion and the whole unit had taken on something of a "light infantry" status.  Under Simcoe's leadership, it expanded into a legionary corps of considerable renown, numbering, by the end of the war:-
- One hussar troop
- Three light dragoon troops
- An artillery detachment with a 3-pdr and an "amusette" (1- or 2-pdr)
- A grenadier company
- A light company
- A "highland" company (which apparently often functioned as a second light company and also as Simcoe's personal bodyguard on the battlefield)
- A rifle detachment of 12-16 men under a sergeant, which was occasionally mounted and served with the hussar troop (these were the ONLY QR rifle-armed troops in the entire war)
- Eight centre companies

The iconic leather caps were only issued in 1780; prior to that, the bulk of the corps wore "miserable contract hats" as they were described by Simcoe himself (ie the same sort of headgear that the Regular line infantry wore).  Also, probably from the Philadelphia campaign onwards, up to the end of the war, only the light troops wore the single-breasted jacket, as seen on the light infantryman and the rifleman in the Murray watercolours.  I strongly suspect that these were made in the same way as the "roundabout" jackets of the Regular light infantry (but in green instead of red) by detaching the sleeves of the regimental coat and sewing them onto the light company waistcoat.  The grenadiers and centre companies all wore green regimental coats with green facings, throughout the war.  Broadly speaking, you thus have two "looks" for the bulk of the QR infantry - up to 1780, much like a Regular line battalion, but in green instead of red and with the light infantry in jackets (and quite possibly both flank companies in hats rather than specialist caps); from 1780 onwards, the "popular" look beloved of figure manufacturers.

The three light dragoon troops were formed by consolidating several mounted Loyalist units; they never served together during any periods of fighting, but one troop served alongside the hussars in the Southern campaigns and was captured with it at Yorktown.

The highland company initially wore kilts and kilmarnock bonnets, but almost certainly reverted to overalls in the South (I like to think they retained the bonnets though - mine do, anyway); they also had a company piper.  You will occasionally see people state that they wore the McNab(b) tartan - unfortunately, such a sett did not exist at the time (so no, they almost certainly didn't - McNab was the name of one of the company's officers who fled to Canada at the end of the war, and formed a unit there that might possibly have done so).

The corps in its entirety is the perfect basis for an SP2 force - nice mix of foot and horse, some light guns, and both musket- and rifle-armed skirmishers.

Hope that helps.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 03:38:46 PM by Baron von Wreckedoften »
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Offline Gangleri

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 04:45:35 PM »
OK, the starting point for confusion over the QRs is Lefferts, who mis-identified them as the same unit that was raised in the 1790s in Canada; this latter unit WAS entirely rifle-armed and many, many authors (and figure manufacturers) have followed this error since the Bicentennial in 1976, including Mollo/McGregor (and even Alan Perry until I wrote to him and put him right!)...

Hope that helps.

This was very thorough and helpful, much obliged.  Will incorporate this information into my AWI plans.
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Offline WillieB

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 07:12:56 PM »
Thank you very much!



Offline Ceeteegee

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 09:04:41 PM »
Thanks indeed for that information.  I've some unpainted minis on my desk ready for painting and this makes figure selection far easier.
The Highland companies tartan question has been kicked around a few times. I'll probably plump for a simple green/blue.

Offline vtsaogames

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 09:07:25 PM »
Right then, paint up bog standard British infantry with green coats and facings and Bob's your uncle. Thanks, Baron.

Offline Extrabio1947

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2021, 12:06:56 AM »
Marvelous stuff Brendan, as we have come to expect from you.  Very informative, and extremely helpful.

Thank you for sharing.

William19

Online commissarmoody

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2021, 12:18:04 AM »
So from this, If I were to build a force of Queens Rangers using Perry figs. I would use the my box of plastics for the center companies. And the QR light, and grenadiers fig for the flanks companies and picks up some of the highlanders in kilts for Simcoe's bodyguard/ directly commanded company?
"Peace" is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

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Offline WillieB

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 09:16:24 PM »
So from this, If I were to build a force of Queens Rangers using Perry figs. I would use the my box of plastics for the center companies. And the QR light, and grenadiers fig for the flanks companies and picks up some of the highlanders in kilts for Simcoe's bodyguard/ directly commanded company?

Would you use the Continental plastics for these centre companies? (no lace) or the British ones?

Online commissarmoody

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2021, 05:16:45 AM »
Hmm I'll have to think about that.

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2021, 04:10:15 PM »
So from this, If I were to build a force of Queens Rangers using Perry figs. I would use the my box of plastics for the center companies. And the QR light, and grenadiers fig for the flanks companies and picks up some of the highlanders in kilts for Simcoe's bodyguard/ directly commanded company?

Spot on for the centre and flank companies.  Re. the highland company, unfortunately the Perry AWI highlanders in kilts are a bit of a FIW/AWI hybrid, as they have the flat bonnet rather than the kilmarnock (not quite sure why Alan did that).  Personally, I would use the highlanders in overalls (they also come in the same advancing pose as the QR metal figures) which I suspect they would have adopted like almost all of the Regular highland units from 1777 onwards.

Offline Goliad

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2021, 08:53:44 PM »
If using plastics for the centre companies, what are the best options for heads with caps? All the Perry options seem shorter than the one used by QRs. Though if ever get around to a skirmish force I suppose just using metal lights, rifles and hussars/dragoons would be legit.

Offline Baron von Wreckedoften

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Re: Queens Rangers ( Simcoe's) during the AWI
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 11:22:08 PM »
Goliad - It depends which period of the QR history you are trying to replicate.

From memory, the most suitable - or least unsuitable - caps are the peaked light infantry caps in the Continental Infantry plastics set.  You could snip the peaks off, but they would still be a little too low in terms of the front plate, and quite probably the crown as well - however, if you are happy to live with that, then fair enough.  You would also need to use the Continental bodies and arms, as the QRs had no buttonhole lace, as was typical (though not universal) with Loyalist corps.

I think metals for the light company would be fine, as the grenadier company bearskins suggest that the flank companies did have the usual distinctive headgear, even before the adoption of caps by the entire infantry component in 1780.  The section of riflemen, I think, post-dates the introduction of the caps (could be wrong on that, though).  Certainly use the QR hussars and BL dragoons for the respective troops of mounted men, as the light dragoon uniforms of the two corps were practically identical - as indeed they were, to a lesser extent, with Lee's Legion on the other side!!!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 11:34:41 PM by Baron von Wreckedoften »

 

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