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"AWI converged battalions" Topic

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maciek7223 Aug 2010 9:45 a.m. PST

Currently I'm serching through the OOB's to determine the composition of British converged battalions in AWI.
Only few gaps remained, and I need your help.

Do you know which companies made up 1st and 2nd Grenadiers, and 1st and 2nd Light Infantry at Long Island ?

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP23 Aug 2010 10:22 a.m. PST

Get a copy of the Greg Novak book, covering the American Revolution in the northern theatre, from On Military Matters. All of the information that you seek is there.

Doc Ord23 Aug 2010 11:17 a.m. PST

I'll second that-great books.

Supercilius Maximus23 Aug 2010 12:04 p.m. PST

Yes, indispensible.

They were the same as they had been during the siege of Boston (ie post-Bunker Hill when all the reinforcements arrived), so if you already have those you're sorted.

Happy Little Trees23 Aug 2010 12:32 p.m. PST

Novak lists for the New York Campaign August-November 1776

1st Grenadiers-Companies from 4,5,10,17,22,23,27,35,38 & 40th Regiments of foot
2nd grenadiers – Companies from 43,44,45,49,52,55,63 & 64th R. of Foot and 1st & 2nd Marine Battalions

1st Light Inf. – 4,5,10,17,22,23,27,35 & 38th RoF
2nd Light Inf. – 40,43,44,45,46,49,52,55,63 & 64th RoF.

maciek7223 Aug 2010 11:04 p.m. PST

Thanks guys, I'm well aware of importnacy of Novak's book, but it seems to be out of print now. Both OMM nad Amazon list it as "unavailable".

GSV, thanks for your help. Does Novak returns the strenght of those battalions (or better – all converged battalions on Long Island) in his book ?

Supercilius Maximus24 Aug 2010 6:11 a.m. PST


Unfortuntely, it is very rare to find detailed figures for the converged battalions, as the returns for grenadier and light infantry companies were usually included in those of the parent regiment. It is also difficult to "guesstimate" because whilst the accepted practice was to keep the flank companies as near to full strength as possible, some regiments were better at doing this than others; equally, some were so far below strength that they could not afford to release more men from the centre companies.

The rare occasions where you do find exact figures for the converged battalions are victualling (rations) or embarkation returns, where there is a specific need to know how many men are in the unit on a given day. Further complications include some regiments having larger establishments (eg 42nd and the batch of regiments that arrived in 1779 and 1780), and those units where the battalion companies were posted as garrisons in far flung places.

These figures below are for the embarkation returns for the landing at Kip's Bay on September 15, 1776, taken from the papers of Lord Percy. This would be the exact number of officers and men "present and fit for duty", ie exclusive of sick, men on command/detached duty, and of course any losses at Long Island:-

Grenadiers 438 (31 officers, 407 ORs), 392 (25/367), 319 (22/297), 294 (13/281)
Light Infantry 455 (26/429), 464 (30/434), 286 (24/262)
[there was no 4th Light Battalion, of course]

maciek7224 Aug 2010 7:37 a.m. PST

Thank a lot, Supercilius Maximus.
If you are so kind to give me strenght and composition of Brandywine/Germantown light battalions, my list will be complete.

BTW. Where can I buy Greg Novak's book ?

Supercilius Maximus24 Aug 2010 8:42 a.m. PST

I don't have any figures for those, I'm afraid.

Where are you based? If you are in the UK or EU, try Caliver Books (they also stock British Grenadier rules and two, soon to be three, scenario books).

AuttieCat24 Aug 2010 9:16 a.m. PST

If it is out of stock, I don't know who is carrying it. However, I do believe that I have an extra copy of the set (two books) around here someplace. If interested, email me dirrectly at: and I will try to find them.

maciek7224 Aug 2010 10:00 a.m. PST

Is there really no data for Brandywine lights ?
I managed to find composition of grenadiers for this battle, so I thought, that lights are also listed somewhere …

For Novak's books, none of internet bookshops has any copy.
I'll send you an e-mail, Tom.


Supercilius Maximus24 Aug 2010 10:17 a.m. PST

This is the campaign where the grenadier and light battalions stop roughly mirroring each other in terms of which regiments' flank companies are in which battalions.

Novak has:-

1st Light – 4/5/10/15/17/22/23/27/28/33/35/38/44
2nd Light – 37/40/43/45/46/49/52/55/57/63/64/71(1st)/71(2nd)

Stength – 70 officers and 1,052 other ranks.

RNSulentic24 Aug 2010 4:49 p.m. PST

A Hessian officer, Captain Muenchhausen, served as an aide de camp to Howe on the Philadephia campaign in 1777-78, and his letters back to Germany included a list of embarked regiments and their strengths on July 17, 1777.

He lists the following:
British Light Infantry 1424
British Grenadiers 1271

obviously aggregate numbers, but you get a sense of the size of the battalions if you compare against the earlier figures.

Looks like they tried to keep them up strength.

Personal logo Der Alte Fritz Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Aug 2010 6:37 p.m. PST

He lists the following:
British Light Infantry 1424
British Grenadiers 1271

IIRC these figures should be divided by 2 in order to estimate the average strength per battalion as there were two btns of each.

maciek7225 Aug 2010 8:37 a.m. PST

Thank you all for your help !

redcoat25 Aug 2010 9:15 a.m. PST

Spring's "With Zeal and With Bayonets Only" has the following organisation for Brandywine (credited to Stephen Gilbert, a reenactor and authority on the flank battalions):

p. 325, n.62 & n.64
1st Battalion of Light Infantry
4th, 5th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 33rd, 35th, 38th, and 42nd Regiments.
The 2nd Battalion of Light Infantry
37th, 40th, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 49th, 52nd, 55th, 57th, 63rd, 64th, and 71st Regiments.

1st Battalion of Grenadiers
4th, 5th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd, 27th, 28th, 33rd, 35th, 37th, and 38th Regiments.
2nd Battalion of Grenadiers
40th, 42nd, 43rd, 44th, 45th, 46th, 49th, Marines, 52nd, 55th, 57th, 63rd, and 64th Regiments.

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