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"Basic US organization??" Topic

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huevans01101 May 2019 3:21 p.m. PST

Just deciding whether to get into the period. I have been gaming and collecting Peninsular War for a long, long time….

What is the basic organization for US infantry? – i.e. how many companies in a battalion? Average strength of a battalion, etc?

Also how large was a cavalry squadron and how many guns in an artillery battery?

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP01 May 2019 3:52 p.m. PST

Infantry battalions had 10 companies, and an official strength of 1094
Cavalry regiments ha eight troops, with 981 men
Light Artillery regiments had ten troops, and about 963 men
Strengths in the field were significantly less,
Here's a link to a genealogical site with information: link


huevans01101 May 2019 4:40 p.m. PST

Much obliged!

How many guns in an artillery battery?

RudyNelson01 May 2019 6:48 p.m. PST

Rarely was an entire battery used together. In most cases they were deployed as two gun sections. In the south both the GA and TENN divisions had two gun sections. They were not of the same caliber The GA guns were mounted on naval trucks and hauled around in wagons being unloaded each night. The units in the south were volunteer or State units so were never at full strength with all of the scout, patrol/guard and garrison duty.were never full strength.

Redblack01 May 2019 10:06 p.m. PST

As a newcomer to 1812 you will find that there is a great difference between paper organizations and what exactly showed up on the battlefield . For example the quoted strength of a US Battalion of 1094 was very rarely met in reality. In most 1812 battles a US Battalion was lucky to field 250 men.

I would recommend that you take a look at an excellent blog that covers 1812 in depth. You will find information on battles, uniforms and organization as well as reviews on available figures. More importantly it has battle reports that give suggested strengths for various battles so all in a ll a great place to start


A uniform print example



Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2019 9:08 a.m. PST

Here is a link to an earlier discussion:

TMP link

with several links I provided and a lot of informed commentary by Rudy Nelson. Rudy is probably the most knowledgeable TMP contributor for the War of 1812 and its associated Indian wars.

Also, some of the links have further links. If you drill down, there iss a good discussion about the US light infantry units. (Here, if you want to skip to it directly: TMP link.)


huevans01102 May 2019 11:31 a.m. PST

Thanks, guys. You have given me a lot to read and think about!

Not my first rodeo as a gamer. So I was already planning to work from OOB's, when available. I was just wrestling with how to sub-divide the units.

I am thinking of doing some sub-unit skirmish gaming companies and attachments. The most accessible campaign seems to be Niagara 1814.

1 quick question. What skirmishers did the US use in that campaign? Surprisingly their Rifle Regt was left behind as a garrison force which is pretty weird to say the least!

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP02 May 2019 11:48 a.m. PST

Quick answer – Porter's Brigade (3rd Brigade/Left Division) were used in that role, skirmishing in the woods during the Battle of Chippewa/Chippawa.


huevans01102 May 2019 12:59 p.m. PST

Quick answer Porter's Brigade (3rd Brigade/Left Division) were used in that role, skirmishing in the woods during the Battle of Chippewa/Chippawa.


i should go do some reading and get up to speed before chatting anymore. But the topic of militia skirmishing (on both sides) and their abilities is something that is probably worth its own thread!

Eagle7604 May 2019 4:46 p.m. PST

Fredriksen has a great book on the topic

huevans01105 May 2019 5:19 a.m. PST

Fredriksen has a great book on the topic

I was just reading stuff about militia skirmishing in Donald Graves' Lundy's Lane book, specifically the PA Vols vs UC sedentary militia on the west flank at Chippewa. Aside from tactical interest, both sides' militia units seemed to be un-uniformed, even as late as 1814.

Can you give me a full link for Fredriksen, or at least his first name so I can look him up?

Personal logo Florida Tory Supporting Member of TMP05 May 2019 1:26 p.m. PST

You can follow my first link above to get the full citation.


huevans01105 May 2019 6:07 p.m. PST

You can follow my first link above to get the full citation.


Thanks. Will get on it. A lot more out there to read than I thought!

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