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"Saratoga Questions" Topic

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95thBeef12 Sep 2022 2:08 p.m. PST

I'm fairly new to the period and I've decided on making a force that represents some of the units present during the battles of Saratoga but in my research I've run into a couple of problems that I hope you guys might be able to help me with.

Reading about the "Company of Selected Marksmen" or Frasers Rangers it sounds like these were men taken from center companies. If this is the case would they be dressed just like their parent unit?

If outfitted as their parent unit does this mean that this company would have a range of different colors depending on the facings of their parent unit?

Another question I have is about flank companies. I'm trying to get as much as I can out of the beautiful Perry Miniatures plastic boxes and I've read somewhere that grenadiers within Frasers advanced corp would be dressed similarly to center companies due to them putting certain dress items in storage.

Any help with these questions is greatly appreciated!

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2022 3:07 p.m. PST

Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research Volume sixty-three-1985

Mentioned in part II – AUG and SEPT 1776 and

Part III for SEPT 1777

By Burgoyne's General Order of September 2nd, 1777 issued at headquarters near Fort Miller (Duer's House):

"Captain Fraser's Marksmen are to be augmented with Non Commission Officer and sixteen men from each British Regiment of the Line88 (the 53rd excepted); they are to take two from each Company, and chosen according to the Orders of last year, dated the 6th Sept., viz, men of good character, sober, active, robust and healthy; they are to be provided with a very good firelock and to be in every respect proper to form a Body of Marksmen, &c. &c. &c. Brigadier-General Hamilton will see this Order complied with."89

Following Burgoyne's Order was one that was issued by Brigadier-General Hamilton the same day:

"The Non Commissioned Officer from Each Regiment for the Marksmen is to be a Seargeant and 2 of the 16 privates to be Recommended as Lance Corporals, the Non Commissioned Officers and Men fit for Service formerly With Captain Fraser, this year are to Join him again and Not to be Included in the Present Order. The Regt. Will therefore Account for 2 Sergeants one Corporal and 24 Privates in their Weekly States on that Duty. The Non Commissioned Officers and Men are Immediately to be appointed by the Different Commanding Officers. Those belonging to the 3 Regts. here 90 to Parade tomorrow Morning at 10 o'Clock where the Piquetts assemble For Brigadiers Inspection. The 62nd and 47th are to send theirs to Headquarters with all Haste as the Whole will Parade at the Head of the 20th Regt. tomorrow Afternoon at 4o'Clock in Order to be Delivered over to Captain Fraser. The Regts. -Will Recollect to send Tents & Ca. (Camp Equipage) according to the Orders of Last Year."91

By the above order it would appear that a great number of the men and non-commissioned officers that had belonged to the original Company of Marksmen formed during the Campaign of 1776 had not rejoined the new Company reformed in May-June of 1777. The statement that only two seargeants, one corporal, and twenty-four privates were needed in addition supports this. The men and non-commissioned officers were drawn from the Battalion Companies only but, as in the former two Companies of Marksmen, this seems not to have been strictly adhered to. The small evidence that exists concerning the internal organization of the Marksmen suggests that men were also drafted or volunteered from the Grenadier and Light Infantry Companies. With the arrival of Battalion recruits from Canada on September 3rd, the matter of organizing a new Company of Marksmen was simplified. The drain on Burgoyne's British Line Regiments was already strained and vacancies in the ranks were being temporarily filled with recruits from Provincial Regiments. The formation of the new Company of Marksmen caused a further but necessary drain on the under-strength British Regiments. Further, the new Company of Marksmen seems not to have ever reached its prescribed complement of men and officers. By mid-September, the Company only numbered about fifty to seventy officers and men instead of the one hundred or more that had been planned. During the remainder of the Campaign of 1777 the Company never achieved a strength beyond that reached at this time.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP12 Sep 2022 9:25 p.m. PST
95thBeef14 Sep 2022 10:16 a.m. PST

Disaster, thank you for that info! It sounds like a mix of flank companies with center companies would be the way to go, I'm running into something similar on the side of the table putting together Dearborns light infantry for the continentals and it seems to be made up of different groups in various uniforms

Old Contemptible: thank you for your links too, not sure what I think about the ETW description of them though, those games aren't great when it comes to historical accuracy in the details

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