Friday 13 December 2013

Scanian War Danes

Dronningens Livregiment (Queen's Guard)

Using a batch of Warefare Miniatures I've put together this Danish unit for our Scanian War skirmish game "Snapphanar".

The Scanian War 1675-79 was fought mainly due to Denmark contesting the recent Swedish conquest of the eastern Danish provinces, what is today southern Sweden.
After a Danish invasion force of some 15.000 troops of all weapons landed on the Swedish coast 1676, the main battles were fought in the region of Skåne or "Scania - hence the name of the conflict".

Jyske Nationale Rytterregiment (Jutland Cavalry Reg.)  

Battles like Lund, Halmstad and Landskrona were fought out with both the Danish and Swedish kings present on the battlefields. The stakes were high, and the young Swedish king would win his fame (and consolidate his crown and heritage land) by time and again leading from the very front, taking his guard cavalry units into the midst of the fighting.

The Queen's Guard - uniforms then and more recent.

Uniformation was still in it's infancy, leading to confusion as many Swedish and Danish units would look alike. However, many units got more conformed as the conflict went on.

Monday 2 December 2013

Cobb’s Legion – Battle of Fredericksburg

The Georgians on Mary's Heights

Christmas is nearing, and so is the 151st anniversary of the Battle of Fredericksburg. Fought mainly on the 13th December 1862, this battle was one of the mayor victories achieved by the Army of Northern Virginia.  The ponderous Lee was afforded the chance of a defensive style battle, which he so relished. 

The Rebs securely entrenched on Mary's Heights - picking their targets

With both Longstreet and the charismatic Stonewall Jackson at his disposal, it is perhaps fair to say that the South was at an advantage when it comes to competent leaders at this particular battle. I’ve chosen to paint one of Longstreet's units from Lafayette McLaw’s Brigade of Cobb’s Georgian Legion. They were at the receiving end of a series of futile but heroic Union attacks on the Rebel position atop Mary’s Heights.  

Time and again the Union charged uphill in the open

At the cost of tremendous casualties the Union troops showed both defiance and valour, as they were bid to charge again and again, marching into the hail storm of fire served by the Rebs securely entrenched behind a stone wall. 

For those with further interest in the Battle of Fredericksburg, I can recommend the movie "Gods and Generals", were the battle and the valor of the Union troops is well captured.
God & Generals

Wednesday 27 November 2013

The Civil War Podcast

Here is a recommendation for all of you, who like me, enjoy listening to either historic Podcasts or audiobooks while painting miniatures.

I’ve been painting a lot of ACW this last year. When mapping out the project, I also scouted Itunes for a good Civil War Podcast, to accompany me through the many hours of work, and kind of set the background with a nice 1860’ies atmosphere.

The Civil War Podcast, by Colorado based Rich & Tracy, quickly became my favorite.
This Podcast is delivered in weekly slices of about 45 min, a very suitable bite in terms of processing and thinking about the information received.

The show runs with historical chronology of the war (We are about to touch on First Manassas!) and is presented in a very humble and respectful ambiance, with a clear feeling of well prepared story telling spiced up with anecdotes and quotes from actual soldiers and battles.

Each show deals with a particular subject, and is always wrapped up with a book recommendation for the particular subject of that week. So I also find it very giving in the sense of getting inspired to great books on the period.

Give them a listen, they have been the back drop to a lot of my recent painting.


Monday 25 November 2013

Gettysburg - Pickett’s Charge

The Virginians press forward under heavy fire

In the wake of almost unbroken success against the yanks, Lee endeavored to risk it all in a gamble to finally beat the Union Army on it’s own ground, and a chance at gaining the recognition of foreign powers, that could lead to Southern independence.

His idea was, after the previous days focus on Little Round Top, Devil’s den on the right flank, to break what now was presumed to be the weakened Union line in the center, and roll up their formations as he did with Jackson at Chancellorsville.

Many regiments would suffer unrepairable casualties of +50%

This fatal charge would be carried out over open ground, affording the Union guns and units under General Hancock excellent aim at the approaching rebels.
The ”honor” was given some of the South’s most valiant warriors – the Virginians of Pettigrew, Trimble, and Pickett.

From their position on Cemetery Ridge, the 12.500 Virginians rose up, and to the words ”Forward, you free men of old Virginia”, they started this suicidal march over open ground straight at loaded guns and prepared positions. 

"Lo" Armistead with the iconic hat on the point of his saber

Suffering more than 50% casualties, the Virginians almost took the position on what was to be remembered as “The Angle”. The Union line wavered for a few minutes, but reinforcements was pouring in, and casualties on the rebel side was too high to sustain momentum. Terrible casualties were suffered. Among the dead or dying was the brigadier general Lewis Armistead, who lead the final closing charge at the head of the 57th Virginia. Armistead has been depicted many times over (personal favorite is the paintings of Don Troiani), and even portrayed on film, gallantly carrying out this charge with his hat on his saber. 

After the failed charge, Lee is said to have asked Pickett's to gather his division in case of a Union counter attack - to which Pickett, allegedly all teary eyed, replied: "Sir, I have no division".

 For those interested in the battle of Gettysburg I can really recommend the visually impressive “Gettysburg”, starring among others Tom Berenger as Longstreet and Martin Sheen as R.E. Lee.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

The Scanian War 1675 – 1679: ”Snapphanar”

"Snapphanar" defending Scanian village

Here is my first batch of the illustrious Snapphanar Guerrilla warriors, to be used in coherence with a rule adaption of the skirmish game Muskets & Tomahawks.

In the service of the Danish King, these local recruits set out to assist in the ”liberation” of the lost eastern Danish provinces from Swedish occupation. 
The war was bitterly contested, with atrocities common on both sides, so the Snapphanar guerilla really lived in extreme danger, as they faced certain torture and painful execution through empalement, if ever captured by the Swedes.

Svend "Gønge" Poulsen - infamous guerrilla leader

More in depth information is available at co-project organizer, Michael ”Dalauppror’s” blog:

Tuesday 19 November 2013

95th New York State Volunteers

The 95th based and ready for Black Powder

First recruited in March of 1862 as part of the 1st Division of 1st Corps, the 95th NY saw action in such notorious battles as Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and most significantly at Gettysburg under Gen. Reynolds. After Gettysburg some veterans reenlisted for a second run along with new recruits, which saw the 95th in action all the way to the Appomattox Campaign. At muster out in New York only 70 soldiers remained of the 1749 totally enlisted during the war.

I've painted the unit in winter uniform with a reference to their engagement at Fredericksburg.
Coat colors are a mix of sky blue and dark union blue, to give that unique civil war feeling.

Detail: Superb flags by GMB.