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"Converged Command" Topic

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nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 1:54 a.m. PST

In a converged unit like the Guards or Grens what would the Command staff be wearing? Would the Officers and Musicians be picked from the same color faced unit, or would the command staff be converged also?
For instance, would the Major be from the 23 rd with blue facings and the LT be from the 33 rd wearing red facings and the drummer wearing green. Or was the command chosen from one unit?

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 1:55 a.m. PST

More fun with TMP TIMELOCK…

Brechtel19827 Mar 2017 2:24 a.m. PST

I'm sure that you mean provisional unit. The term 'converged' is not a military term; provisional is.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 2:50 a.m. PST

No, Kevin. I meant what I wrote. This is a hobby site, not a military tribunal.
"Converged" is what we commoners refer to a mixed unit as.

Do you know the answer to the original question?

42flanker27 Mar 2017 2:54 a.m. PST

"For instance, would the Major be from the 23 rd with blue facings and the LT be from the 33 rd wearing red facings and the drummer wearing green."

Yes. Although Flank Battalion COs might order the battalion to dress uniformly in certain aspects, members of flank battalions would have worn the facings of their own regiment, as long as facings were worn.

Each company commander was responsible for clothing his men through the parent regiment but it is possible that, as the war went on, it mights not always have been possible to include regimental facings on replacement clothing for the Flank companies. In general though, we would expect to see regimental distinctions maintained.

With regard to Battalion HQs, the only system in evidence was that, in general, senior officers would be drawn from the regiments represented in each battalion, and that, until 1778, companies of Royal regiments tended to be placed in the 1st Battalions of Grenadiers and Light Infantry. There were exceptions, most notably Major Hon.John Maitland, OC 2nd Light Infantry Battalion, 1776-78, who was a Marine.

Officers might either wear regimentals adapted for the field, or plainer frocks and jackets. The latter might not always have had facings. Again, in general we would expect to see them.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 3:17 a.m. PST

Thanks Flanker. I am working on the two Gren Battalions at Bunker Hill.
What should the two command stands look like?

I use 6 figure Command stands.
Usually 2 Flagbearers, a Drummer, a Senior Officer, a Sgt or Ensign and a Fifer or a Marching figure.

The Grens won't have flagbearers, so I'll add the fifer and
maybe a Junior Officer.

So, what facings should I use? A mixture of colors?

42flanker27 Mar 2017 4:15 a.m. PST

I confess, nevinsrip, Bunker Hill is an action of which I have but superficial knowledge.

Until Supercilius Maximus weighs in, let me quote from a post of his here:
TMP link
(scroll to the bottom) All within square brackets [my comments].

"Bunker Hill [Grenadier Battalion- only one but see below]
4th, 5th, 10th, 18th/65th, 23rd, 38th, 43rd, 47th, 52nd, 59th.
(The grenadiers of the 35th, 1/Marines, 2/Marines and 63rd were also present, but served in a small "flank" battalion of converged grenadier and light companies under Clinton; the 35th's grenadiers were parcelled out to the Royal Artillery as mattrosses.)

When basing your figures, if you want to consider seniority then the lowest numbered regiment went on the right, second lowest on the left, third lowest inside the lowest, fourth lowest inside the second lowest, and so on moving in towards the centre. So the Bunker Hill battalion would line up thus (assuming the enemy at the top of the page):-

5th, 18th/65th, 38th, 47th, 59th, 52nd, 43rd, 23rd, 10th, 4th."

He knows his stuff, old SM, so I'd say-

-in terms of facings in the main Gren bn, you have:

4th, 18th & 23rd, all Royal regts- blue [3]
43rd & 47th -white [2]
10th & 38th yellow (varying) [2]
52nd buff
5th- gosling green
59th- [?purple ?white- conflicting information CHECK]

In the other 'flank battalion/
35th- orange
65th white

Check facings here-

Over to you

Strange, I never came upon the term 'converged' till I joined TMP. Is it an American term? I could never quite work out from what it derived. 'Composite battalon' seemed to me to be a better description. Duck and cover.

historygamer27 Mar 2017 4:57 a.m. PST


I'm curious about the comment you made:

"Each company commander was responsible for clothing his men through the parent regiment but it is possible that, as the war went on, it mights not always have been possible to include regimental facings on replacement clothing for the Flank companies."

What is that based on? It is my understanding that the clothing arrived unfinished, but certainly with facings, cuffs, etc., attached to the roughed-out coats. But I could be wrong in that assumption.

Also, I seem to recall some frustration on the part of the converged Gren commanders in that they could not make any uniform changes to their attached companies as the units still belonged to their colonel as far as uniforms were concerned.

But I am certainly open to finding out new things. :-)

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 6:56 a.m. PST

1) The 59th changed from purple to white facings after being sent home from American at the end of 1775.

2) It was the 63rd in the junior flank battalion green facings; the 65th's grenadier company was paired off with the 18th's grenadier company (neither's light company was present).

3) I think what nevinsrip is asking for are details of the uniforms of the battalion staff in this case, the junior officer on the command stand would be the adjutant, who was usually a former sergeant as he was required to perfect the drill of the unit. The staff (typically adjutant, chaplain [often absent], quartermaster [usually also an ex-sergeant considered competent – and honest – with money], surgeon and surgeon's mate) would come from the various regiments whose grenadier companies made up the battalion; it was not a given that they all came from the same unit as the CO, but they could. There would also be a sergeant-major (RSM in today's parlance), who would either be an existing SM in a line battalion, or a deserving sergeant promoted for the purpose. The battalion drum-major would normally be the senior drummer per se, but could equally come from the CO's own company. Also, bear in mind that a typical grenadier battalion of, say, 10 companies, would have 20 fifers.

Thus, your grenadier battalion command stand could have a rainbow assortment of facing colours.

42flanker27 Mar 2017 6:57 a.m. PST

On occasion clothing for the year didn't arrive as was the case with the army preparing to sail/march on Philadelphia in summer 1777. We might conclude from the della Gatta and St George paintings that the jackets worn by 2nd LI in 1777- however they were made up- had facings and wings but those images still represent snapshots of varying reliability.

When the army finally occupied Philadephia in October 1777 it took a long time for supply lines to be secured. Local supplies with which to repair, make good, or replace were scarce and expensive. Circumstances in the Carolinas after the capture of Charleston, despite the city being a major seaport, seem to have been equally difficult at times. We hear of officers virtually dressed in rags by the end of their service in the south, unable to afford to re-clothe themselves in-country.

All of which informed my tentative suggestion of exceptions to the general rule- "it might not always have been possible to include regimental facings on replacement clothing." I didn't mean to suggest this was the case with regulation clothing when it arrived.

As for the tension between Flank battalion C.O.'s wishing to impose their requirements, as much for operational purposes as from a mere wish for uniformity, and flank company OCs maintaining the relationship with their parent regiments, the Flank Bn C.O.'s seemed to have had a fairly free hand as regards netherwear, at least.

John Peebles of the 42nd Grenadiers records in his journal , successive orders (1776-77 and 1778 onwards) to acquire cloth 'britches' and leggings, canvas 'summer trowsers', and brown 'donation cloth' trousers, as the seasons changed.

At Charleston in April 1780 he noted that his men were to receive "- a whole set of trousers for the Summer, but our Coats* are very ragged."(*NB)

He recorded at Brooklyn in March 1781 "The Lt Col recommends it to us to buy our summer things… express'd a wish to see the Battn uniform in their dress about the legs & thighs Vizt: Linnen breeches, & black Cloth gaiters.

There seems to have been little difficulty in principle with complying with the battalion CO's wishes. Replacement clothing, suitable for the season, was always welcome. For the detached flank companies, though, it always seems to have been something of a slog to get materials and then have them made up in good time while both the men and the CO grumbled.

With the company summer trousers beginning to go already at the end of August 1779, in mid-November Peebles finally managed to acquire the donation cloth due his company from the Regiment at New York and get the tailors to work making winter trousers. A fortnight later, during one of the coldest winters on record, he was fretting:

"The mens brown trowzers are almost finish'd, the Taylors a cursed plague…" (Brooklyn, 3 Dec 1779)

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 7:05 a.m. PST

We might conclude from the della Gatta and St George paintings that the jackets worn by 2nd LI in 1777- however they were made up- had facings and wings but those images still represent snapshots of varying reliability.

Worth bearing in mind that, in one of the St George images, he shows a fellow-officer from a grenadier battalion meeting the wagon on which he is being taken into Philadelphia. The other officer looks precisely the same as a light infantry officer. Obviously we have to remember that St George was shot in the head, but even so……

Brechtel19827 Mar 2017 7:50 a.m. PST

This is a hobby site, not a military tribunal.

You are correct-this is a hobby site.

No one said anything about a 'military tribunal.'

However, that being said, the use of correct military and period terms is important. The use of incorrect ones, such as the use of the term 'converged' instead of 'provisional' is bad example for those new to the hobby and are interested in learning, and some of that learning is on the military history side of the hobby.

Just as the use of the term 'Byzantine' instead of 'Eastern Roman Empire' is incorrect, as they called themselves Romans, not Byzantines. And their laws, traditions, and practices were distinctly Roman.

The term 'Byzantine' to describe the Eastern Roman Empire was made up by a German historian in the 16th century 100 years after the empire fell.

42flanker27 Mar 2017 9:07 a.m. PST


1) 59th change of facings. Roger that. Thanks

2) 63rd not 65th- my apologies. Over-excitement and bad glasses, coupled with perennial number blindness. Thanks

3) St George. Yes, Captain West, of the 4th King's Own grenadier coy, 1st Grenadier Battalion, in uncocked hat (Black feather, as with St George and his servant), lapelled jacket (silver wings + blue facings),trousers tucked into short gaiters, coupled with what appears to be a black LI sword/bayonet belt. What these details have to tell us about either the Flank battalions field uniforms or those of the British force as a whole during the Philadelphia campaign, is a subject we can chew on round the camp fire for a good long while. Add to the mix the 40th Regt Bn coys in della Gatta's Germantown painting- hours of endless fun. Sadly, Peebles was not with the Black Watch Grenadiers for the Philadelphia campaign.

advocate27 Mar 2017 9:25 a.m. PST

A truly Byzantine argument, Brechtel.

I've always used the term 'converged grenadier battalion, and while I'm happy to admit to being inaccurate, I'm too old to worry about changing now.

Good information, Flanker.

historygamer27 Mar 2017 9:54 a.m. PST


Any thoughts on why the 59th changed facings? Was that the colonel's decision?

Unrelated – what do you have regarding the 17th regt's facing colors at this time period? I have a report of gray during the F&I period, it seems more muddled in the AWI period.

If you can post any links to photos of the paintings referred to that would be great.

Enjoying all the posts, thanks guys.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 9:54 a.m. PST

The companies in a converged battalion were the property of the parent battalion/regiment. Converged battalions were never meant to be permanent formations.
Any and all officers came from the converged companies, with very few exceptions.

Toronto48 Inactive Member27 Mar 2017 10:43 a.m. PST

I hate to be a grammar fanatic but the word "converged" is actually a verb and refers to the process of combining various elements
From Dictionary .com
link tend to meet in a point or line; incline toward each other, as lines that are not parallel. tend to a common result, conclusion, etc.

I would suggest that the term used to describe a unit made up of different elements would be "Composite"

In composite units the tradition was that unit command would fall to the senior major or captain from the officers of the separate units At times an overall commander could also fill the position with an aide or staff officer

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 10:47 a.m. PST

"Converged" is the past participle of a verb, used as an adjective.

Brechtel19827 Mar 2017 11:13 a.m. PST

Composite was used from time to time for a temporary unit. The more common terms was 'provisional' for a temporary unit.

Converged was not, at least not in any reference that I've seen over the last fifty years or so, unless it was used improperly as it is on this forum from time to time.

vtsaogames Inactive Member27 Mar 2017 11:44 a.m. PST

Gerunds at 10 paces!

42flanker27 Mar 2017 12:28 p.m. PST

Boy, oh boy. And it was going so well.

Moving on.

Historygamer, I am unable to say why the 59th changed their facings on returning to Britain. They acquired a new Colonel
in January 1776 , Gen. Sir David Lindsay, Bt.. That might possibly be the reason. I imagine white facings would be cheaper than purple ones, and perhaps the former colour had created difficulties with consistency or fastness, which would have been particularly unwelcome with the adoption of white waistcoats and breeches in 1768.

Perhaps SM has something more concrete to suggest.

I am pretty sure there will be links to della Gatta's paintings on a TMP thread somewhere (not relevant to grenadiers BTW). Ditto St George's 'My triummphant entry into Philadelphia.' I'll see what I can turn up but probably not until later in the day/week.

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 2:25 p.m. PST

Re. the 59th's facings, 42nd is correct that white was a much cheaper colour to produce than "purple". However, I was told an interesting story by Mark Urban when he was researching his book "Fusiliers" about the 59th attracting attention amongst Boston society prior to its return home. I'm going to get the details off him, as I think it had some bearing on why they were changed.

42flanker27 Mar 2017 3:11 p.m. PST

Oh-ho. A bit o' scandal?

Is it the case that the 59th had experienced heavy casualties in Boston and the officers and NCOs were sent home to recruit the regiment anew?

Sir David Lindsay of Evelick (Perthshire) Colonel 1776-97 was in fact a Captain and Lieutenant Colonel in the 3rd Regiment of Footguards in 1775, a rank he had held since 1758 but as well as being appointed Colonel of the 59th in 1776 he enjoyed rapid promotion in the next few years which saw him appointed Major General in 1777, and Lieutenant General in 1779. He made a full general in 1796, the year before he died (in Marylebone)


Dn Jackson27 Mar 2017 5:46 p.m. PST

"No, Kevin. I meant what I wrote. This is a hobby site, not a military tribunal.
"Converged" is what we commoners refer to a mixed unit as."

Good answer.

vtsaogames Inactive Member27 Mar 2017 7:13 p.m. PST

I wait anxiously for a chance to correct someone in a snippy fashion. This is TMP, after all.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 8:00 p.m. PST

You've been around for 16 years Vince.
And you still haven't been snippy?

Supercilius Maximus Supporting Member of TMP27 Mar 2017 9:57 p.m. PST

Is it the case that the 59th had experienced heavy casualties in Boston and the officers and NCOs were sent home to recruit the regiment anew?

No. The regiment had been in garrison in Nova Scotia from 1763 to 1772, then moved to Boston. Their Wikipedia site says they "suffered severe casualties", but since only the grenadier (19 April and 17 June) and light (19 April only) companies were engaged, this seems very unlikely and simple "garrison attrition" can mostly account for its weak state by the end of 1775; Bunker Hill casualties were 6 men dead, and 25 men and 2 officers wounded.

In late July, it was recorded as having 23 officers and 310 men, although its flank companies are not included in the grenadier/light battalions at that time, so perhaps it had been withdrawn from duties before it was sent home? Nine regiments had fewer men (one of which the 18th was drafted at the same time) and the 52nd had the same number, but only the 5th (Percy's regiment) had fewer officers.

I think the regiment was under a bit of a cloud and that was part, at least, of the reason it was sent home.

historygamer28 Mar 2017 4:43 a.m. PST

Well, purple facings will do that to a unit. :-)

Virginia Tory28 Mar 2017 8:59 a.m. PST

Also, no flags in flank battalions.

Hence the misreporting of what is likely a Pennsylvania Continental color as "LtCol Monckton's flag" at Monmouth.

vtsaogames Inactive Member28 Mar 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

And you still haven't been snippy?


Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

I will note without irony that George Nafziger, a retired US Navy Captain, uses the term "converged" in his orders of battle. For example, he notes a unit of Converged Grenadiers present in the Spanish Army of the Left on 14 December 1808 (#808LSCO in his numbering system), citing Gomez de Arteche Y Moro, Guerra de la Independencia, Historia Militar de Espana de l808 a l8l4. His research is hosted at the Combined Arms Research Library, US Army Combined Arms Center website:



Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 10:29 a.m. PST

I think it's very sad that a purple facings regiment can only legitimately participate at Lexington Concord and Bunker Hill. And it has such a lovely plate in Mollo, albeit just pioneers.

historygamer28 Mar 2017 10:42 a.m. PST

They were sent home in fashion shame, deemed not fit for service.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 11:00 a.m. PST

And yet they kept the Gosling Green regiment.

42flanker28 Mar 2017 11:47 a.m. PST

The Gosling Green Regiment could walk on water

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 12:02 p.m. PST

I used to use "composite" until I noticed everyone here was using "converged." I think I had it right in the first place. Now that is cleared up, what was the OP?

Bill N28 Mar 2017 1:13 p.m. PST

I am impressed that you are worried about what staff would wear. My light battalion gets one figure.

historygamer28 Mar 2017 2:42 p.m. PST

I believe Howe used the flank battalions to reward promising young officers. Likely the COs wore a cocked hat.

Brechtel19828 Mar 2017 7:05 p.m. PST

John Elting in Swords Around A Throne uses the term 'provisional' for the provisional cavalry regiments sent into Spain. For example, the 4th Squadrons of the 5th Hussars and the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 24th Chasseurs a Cheval were reorganized as two 'provisional regiments of light cavalry.

There were three 'Provisional Regiments of Heavy Cavalry' formed in 1807-1808 for service in Spain.

Provisional infantry regiments were formed initially for service in Germany in 1813.

Oudinot's elite division in 1805 was a provisional unit.

The term 'converged' is not used.

Col Elting was an army officer for over 30 years with combat service in War II.

To sum up, both terms 'provisional' and 'composite' are military terms, 'converged' is not.

grtbrt Inactive Member28 Mar 2017 7:58 p.m. PST

While I do respect Elting(and know your worship of him ) -He is not the be all and end all of military information -His not using a term in books about a different army and nation than the discussion is not proof it is not used .Merely that he did not- Unless of course I missed the publication of his book on military terms versus common usage and the application in wargaming.
If I did miss it I definitely look forward to finding a copy. might be as good as Hart's " This Side of the Hall -the role of rations in recruitment to the Armoured Service"

How does his length of service play into this ?

And since we are talking about armies and nations that have nothing to do with the original question- have you looked at the Italian usage of the word in a military context ? I gather not .

Now,If each of us is finished trying to be condescending we can go back to the original posters question.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2017 8:30 p.m. PST

Finally! The AWI board has a "bricole" argument.
We have come of age.

grtbrt Inactive Member28 Mar 2017 9:32 p.m. PST

Glad I could be of assistance . Perhaps now this board will be taken seriously by the other more popular and bigger boards and perhaps even invited to the cool board parties everyone is talking about . .LOL

Brechtel19828 Mar 2017 11:55 p.m. PST

</>and know your worship of him

You have no idea what you're talking about unless you're being purposely insulting.

I posted the material as another had posted material on George Nafziger in the same vein, nothing more, nothing less.

And, like it or not, Col Elting is still the authority on the Grande Armee in English, and if you're interested he's also written on the War of the American Revolution.

Lastly, if you disagree, then post material that supports your argument. If not, then the point is moot.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 1:03 a.m. PST

And to think, I had my answer in the second post……Sigh.

grtbrt Inactive Member29 Mar 2017 6:34 a.m. PST

I couldn't care less if he is or not (actually I could a little -his books are interesting) But the discussion was not about the GrandArmee.

And like it or not ,I have not been the first to make that observation about you and Elting nor will I be the last . If you are insulted that is up to you .

If you don't like how people respond to you then perhaps you should try to come across less condescending.

Nevinsrip ,
Did you really expect anything else ? LOL – there generally are no simple answers on TMP –
I apologize to YOU for adding to the mess ,it just irritates me when certain members go out of their way to try to look superior to people that ask a question without answering the question.

Brechtel19829 Mar 2017 11:01 a.m. PST

Col Elting also remarks on provisional units in the Continental Army, such as Morgan's Rifle Corps and the Continental Corps of Light Infantry.

They are also mentioned as provisional in Robert Wright's The Continental Army-see pages 116-117 for Morgan's Rifle Corps. Dearborn's Light Infantry is also mentioned as a provisional unit on page 117. For The Continental Corps of Light Infantry as a provisional unit, see page 149.

Further, in Col Elting's American Army Life, page 23, Morgan's Riflemen are referred to as a 'provisional Corps of Riflemen.' On the same page the light infantry companies used to form the Continental Corps of Light Infantry are referred to as 'a 'corps' of several provisional regiments.

Not once are these units referred to by the term 'converged.'

The only assumption that can be made is that 'converged' is an inaccurate, made-up term used for whatever reason.

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 11:33 a.m. PST

Spent the night pouring through tomes looking for references to "provisional" did we, Kevin?

42flanker29 Mar 2017 12:48 p.m. PST

Gentlemen, can we move on?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2017 1:51 p.m. PST

Probably not.
SOME people will never admit that the bone has been chewed enough.

Brechtel19829 Mar 2017 6:56 p.m. PST

Spent the night pouring through tomes looking for references to "provisional" did we, Kevin?

Actually, no.

I tend to remember quite a bit of what I read, and as a retired Marine Corps officer, military terms tend to become ingrained.

But thanks for asking.

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