Help support TMP


"Which French regiment attacked Redoubt 9?" Topic


43 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please don't call someone a Nazi unless they really are a Nazi.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the American Revolution Message Board


Areas of Interest

18th Century

Featured Hobby News Article


Featured Link


Top-Rated Ruleset


Featured Showcase Article

28mm Acolyte Vampires - Based

The Acolyte Vampires return - based, now, and ready for the game table.


Featured Profile Article

Council of Five Nations 2010

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian is back from Council of Five Nations.


Featured Book Review


577 hits since 13 Oct 2021
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?


TMP logo

Zardoz

Please sign in to your membership account, or, if you are not yet a member, please sign up for your free membership account.
Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2021 9:40 p.m. PST

It may have been noticed that I'm planning a siege game based on the Franco American assaults on Redoubts 9 and 10 at Yorktown.

I just have a difficult time figuring if the Gatinois Regiment, or Royal Deux Pont were the main French assault troops. I've seen both.
Now, it just so happens that I have RDP 3/4 painted.
However, this is a Bucket List game, so I wanna be 110% accurate. Up to a point. grin
And…. Gatinois is rather boring, with only piping instead of solid facings. (Why couldn't it be Dillon? Now, that's a solid fine looking regiment!)

42flanker13 Oct 2021 10:50 p.m. PST

Where is Supercilius Maximus when you need him?
I think he wrote a book though…

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2021 10:52 p.m. PST

I thought it was the Deux-Ponts Regiment

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian13 Oct 2021 11:05 p.m. PST

On the night of October 14th, the Gâtinais and les Deux-Ponts Regiments were ordered to capture English redoubt 9 and the American troops to capture Redoubt 10…

All Things Liberty: link

Seems equal. Grenadiers and chasseurs.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 2:23 a.m. PST

Ah. Good. Thanks.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 4:24 a.m. PST

To amplify the responses, there is an excellent account of the French assault on Redoubt Number 9 in The Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781 by Jerome Greene, pages 247-253.

Both regiments, Gatinois and Deux Ponts, participated in the assault with 400 men (grenadiers and chasseurs). They were supported by grenadiers and chasseurs from the regimens Boubonnois and Agenois as well as the 2d Battalion of the Regiment Gatenois.

The French assault was led by two sergeants, eight 'carpenters' with axes, and 50 chasseurs of the Gatinois, 'most of the latter armed with fascines to aid in crossing the ditch. Eight chasseurs carried scaling ladders to get over the redoubt's parapet.

'The bravery exhibited by the attacking troops was emulous and praise worthy. Few cases have exhibited stronger proofs of intrepidity, coolness and firmness that were shown upon this occasion.-George Washington.

historygamer14 Oct 2021 4:58 a.m. PST

And a good choice it was to choose German troops to assault…. German troops. Not like everyone was wearing a blue coat (of varying shades) and speaking German. IIRC, at least one author postulated the idea of friend fire occurring because of this situation.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 6:10 a.m. PST

Thanks for the book recommendation. Luckily it's still on Amazon at a reasonable price. It's in my cart.

I believe they were assaulting the German regiment Anspach. That's good, because one or my gaming buddies has an ancestor from that regiment. One of those who kind of "wandered off" as a PoW.
While the uniform is vanilla dark blue "Hessian" with red or black facings, the flag is totally different.

Royal Deux Ponts (called Zweibrucken in some accounts) had a robin's egg blue with canary yellow facings, and two simply mahvelous flags.

If friendly fire did occur, it could be because although the coat colors were quite different shades of blue, neither dye was color-fast in 1781. My painted troops won't have that problem.

42flanker14 Oct 2021 6:29 a.m. PST

It's perhaps worth bearing in mind how those coat colours would be perceived in a night assault.

historygamer14 Oct 2021 8:01 a.m. PST

Spot on 42nd.

John – Do you really think those picked companies took colours with them? If so, I have a bridge to sell you. LoL

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 8:21 a.m. PST

Oh, no.
But if I'm going to paint the regiments, there will be a "command stand". I've learned the hard way that you don't stop painting a regiment simply because I have what I need for one particular battle. "I'll finish them later" just does not happen.

The RDP flags can stay at the baseline, those of the Anspach regiments can be at the rear of the redoubt.

As an aside, how many times do we read the phrase "The gallant lads from Pennsylvania planted their colors in the works of the hated foe!" I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand. However, if the assault party consists of the Grenadiers and Chasseurs, probably not.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian14 Oct 2021 8:35 a.m. PST

The uniform colors were a problem. From same link I gave above:

…People of four nations were thrown together: Frenchmen, English, Scots, and Germans… the soldiers… were so furious that our people were killing one another… The French were striking down everyone in a blue coat. Since the Deux-Ponts wore blue, many of us were stabbed to death… One screamed here, the other there, that for the grace of God we should kill him off completely. The whole redoubt was so full of dead and wounded that one had to walk on top of them.

42flanker14 Oct 2021 9:41 a.m. PST

"The French were striking down everyone in a blue coat"

Just so as I understand correctly : that is because the only blue coats les troupes Francais expected to find in the redoubt would be of the 'Hessian' persuasion, rather than those of their American allies or Sa Majesté's troupes Allemands. Have I got that right?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 10:16 a.m. PST

Considering that the two regiments taking part in the assault, Gâtinais (Gatinois?) and Royal Deux Ponts were gathered together before the assault, this seems bizarre.
Gâtinais had white uniforms with lavender lapels and piping. RDP had light blue coats with yellow facings.
TBH, this is the first time I've read about this. I better order that book toot sweet!

Were there any Scots in the redoubt? I thought it was only Anspach. I thought the Highlanders were in the main line. These redoubts were 200 yards in advance of the main line.
Or English for that matter.

The "English" would have been in Redoubt 10.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 12:57 p.m. PST

Did the Musketeer Regiment von Bose participate in the defense of #9? I ask this because the NPS website said they did.

link

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 1:30 p.m. PST

Von Bose was at Yorktown. So we're a lot of other units. But that redoubt is getting pretty crowded with all the contingents that are claimed to have been there. Anspach is the most consistent, so I'm sticking with them.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 1:32 p.m. PST

I'm now finding that the redoubts were several hundred yards in front of the main line, that's making my job a lot easier regarding terrain. grin

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2021 11:42 p.m. PST

I want to see photos of this when your done.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2021 6:07 a.m. PST

Sadly, I'm unable to post pictures here.
I don't have a blog or any other source to link to.
I can't just "put some pictures up."

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2021 3:23 p.m. PST

So, I just got Greene's book on the siege.
Yes, indeed, the redoubts were indeed in advance of the main line. Well, that's what redoubts are for, n'est ce pas?

An interesting note on the map shows Lauren's cutting off the retreat of the garrison of #10.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 5:48 a.m. PST

Troiani's new book on the Revolution has an excellent painting of the Gatinois Regiment.

historygamer20 Oct 2021 7:18 a.m. PST

Given the small garrisons and lack of artillery in those works (#9 and 10), you have to wonder what the thought process was even maintaining them? They seemed like pawns easily taken.

There is some thought that Cornwallis kind of already gave up, or just expected to be evacuated by the RN regardless. Still, made no sense to dangle those small outposts for the taking.

42flanker20 Oct 2021 3:34 p.m. PST

As outposts they provided advance warning for attacks on the left flank, although the garrisons were at risk should the enemy make a resolute attack. In day time they were covered by artillery…

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 5:08 p.m. PST

Their purpose was to prolong the siege, and making the besieged have to take time to take them.
The final siege line was not able to be completed until the outer works were taken.

By the "gentlemanly" customs of siege warfare, taking them was a "signal" that this had taken long enough.
There were all sorts of unwritten rules.
I think Vauban said that a well defended siege should last for 30 days, or some number like that.
It had something to do with the fact that if you weren't relieved in that amount of time, you weren't going to be.
So, outer works, or redoubts, were intended to prolong the time.

Besides, if they weren't there, the besiegers could sap right up to the main lines in little time.

I've never played in a siege game in all my decades and centuries of gaming. It's been on my to-do list for ages. I won't call it "Bucket List", because once you complete your list ….. you die. grin

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 5:11 p.m. PST

"Les enfants perdus" we're not just on attack. Maybe Cornwallis didn't really like the Anspach lads. grin

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 5:51 p.m. PST

Clinton gets some of the blame but Cornwallis chose to disobey orders and march into Virginia. He was suppose to stay in the Carolinas and chase Greene. He had ample time to break out before the main allied army arrived. Disobeying Clinton and then waiting for him to rescue you is not a winning strategy.

Although I think the Americans and French had something to do with it.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP20 Oct 2021 7:47 p.m. PST

Although I think the Americans and French had something to do with it.

Channeling Pickett? LOL

historygamer21 Oct 2021 5:29 a.m. PST

IIRC, Redoubts #9 and 10 were kind of the left-overs from an advance line of works Cornwallis abandoned prior. It made no sense to leave them out there, poorly garrisoned, and as they should have known, could not cover at night. I am generally a Cornwallis fan, but find his conduct in this portion of the campaign, at best – disengaged. It is almost like he gave up psychologically.

He was ordered to provide a naval post by Clinton. He had already dismissed Yorktown that April, but reversed himself in an almost "I give up, good enough" moment later.

The works were not particularly strong, nor well manned. As it proved, they gave no warning of anything and only served to slightly slow down the siege.

Cornwallis was correct that he could not hold the Carolinas as long as Virginia could keep feeding troops and supplies to the south, while supporting the war effort with tobacco sales. That said, the Crown had nowhere near enough troops to really have any hope of holding onto the South.

A surprisingly good book addressing all this is the Osprey Camden book – which deals with much more than the Camden battle. Of course, there are many good books dealing with the Yorktown campaign as well – a campaign Admiral Rodney blew counting his loot instead of tracking the French fleet in the Caribbean.

Like so many of the battles over time in North America, this battle was lost at sea, not on land – thought he siege itself was pretty conclusive.

As an aside, I like Cornwallis' remark to Washington when the two dined together later. I believe he said something like, while many will remark upon the recent events in Virginia Washington really won the war in New Jersey – a reference to the 1776/77 Trenton and Princeton battles. Good Osprey book on Princeton too, by David Bonk.

Bill N21 Oct 2021 10:55 a.m. PST

As a general comment I think disease and logistics problems can explain some of Cornwallis's actions in the late stages of the Virginia campaign.

I have not read anything about why Cornwallis wanted to hold the posts. One perceived benefit to holding them though was that it might make it harder for Franco-American forces to establish a battery to control the sea approach to Yorktown.

42flanker21 Oct 2021 11:04 a.m. PST

Did the redoubts house any guns? I'm thinking not.

historygamer21 Oct 2021 11:26 a.m. PST

I do not think so. Cornwallis really didn't have a siege train, so to speak, and I believe many of his fortification guns came from the sunken ships. I believe the most/all of the guns facing the river were manned by sailors.

Bill N – I believe, in part, you are correct. He had orders to fortify up a naval base for the RN. Odd that after so many years using Portsmouth, they went to Yorktown. Maybe to be nearer Busch Gardens. LoL

Bill N21 Oct 2021 4:53 p.m. PST

I can think of several reasons why Cornwallis might have chosen not to remain in Portsmouth. I have no knowledge why he did make that decision.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2021 5:09 p.m. PST

Cornwallis may have had no siege train, but he did have the normal field artillery.

I'll check Greene later tonight.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2021 9:31 p.m. PST

Did the redoubts house any guns? I'm thinking not.

According to Greene, p 60, "There is evidence that 2 howitzers were mounted in Redoubt 9, and some accounts claim approaching Allied troops in that quarter were greeted by grapeshot fired by guns in the work."

So, yeah. And I already have a ton of artillery, including 3 howitzers.

Moral of the story is that before you design a scenario, you do the research….

Oh, who am I trying to kid. grin I had an old foam redoubt from ages ago. Epturner gave me 2 more. I had a box full of gabions. So a lightbulb went off over my head (Yorktown!) and I started buying stuff. Way too much stuff. But, hey. I now have 4 25-pdrs! And more lovely gabions from Acheson Creations!
So I bought all this cool stuff first, thinking the research could be back burner.
Then Kevin steered me in the right direction with Greene. I may have to turn my scenario 90degrees on my table and come down the length, rather than the width of the table.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2021 9:36 p.m. PST

Again, according to Greene, the Redoubts covered the weakest section of the line. Time was of the essence. The infamous "Hold until relieved."
So the Redoubts were supposed to buy time.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2021 9:39 p.m. PST

Oh, and the cover of Greene shows a flag (sadly, a Betsy Ross flag) being planted on the works of Redoubt 10. grin
So, yeah. Ditto the Royal Deux Ponts will have both Colors.

42flanker21 Oct 2021 11:30 p.m. PST

"According to Greene, p 60, "There is evidence that 2 howitzers were mounted in Redoubt 9, and some accounts claim approaching Allied troops in that quarter were greeted by grapeshot fired by guns in the work."

In which case, as well as providing point defence against any coup de main assault, guns in the redoubts could enfilade the allied second parallel somewhat, and a third if dug.

historygamer22 Oct 2021 5:55 a.m. PST

So, the way that is written (evidence?) seems a bit uncertain if the gun was fired. Regardless, a howitzer is an indirect fire weapon, and not the gun you would really want firing canister. Having just witnessed 3lbs guns firing both solid shot and canister this past weekend, I can tell you it is way cool and very frightening to be on the receiving end. But, back to my point. If howitzers were present, they were likely there to harass approaching saps and workers, not really repel infantry. Their effectiveness in doing so speaks for itself.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2021 7:36 a.m. PST

a howitzer is an indirect fire weapon, and not the gun you would really want firing canister.

The artillery of the period was all direct fire weapons, in that you had to see your target to hit it.

And howitzers firing canister was common for battery defense or close in fire support.

Bill N22 Oct 2021 7:57 a.m. PST

Any explanation as to why they thought the eastern end of the line was the weakest section of the line? Was it perhaps just because that was where the line anchored on the river? That explanation would also apply to the Fusilier redoubt on the other end of the line.

Separate question-Could grapeshot be used to help clear gaps in abatis?

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2021 8:07 a.m. PST

Grapeshot has been compared to a shotgun.
Consider a howitzer a sawed off shotgun.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2021 8:16 a.m. PST

One of the survivors in Royal Deux-Ponts of the assault on Redoubt 9 mentioned in his memoirs how the abatis and chevaux de fris were virtually untouched by the siege bombardment. For that matter, he said the redoubt itself was virtually undamaged.
That's why the assault party had axemen to the fore. They cleared away what the artillery did not. Or at least, they cleared the gaps.

Abatis are trees. Grape might nip off a branch, but that would not really solve the problem. It would just make another sharp point. That and chevaux de fris really have to be man-handled out of the way. Washington commended the courage of the men assaulting.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Oct 2021 8:21 a.m. PST

So, the way that is written (evidence?) seems a bit uncertain if the gun was fired

In the quote I gave, some of the assaulters mentioned grapeshot.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.