Work in Progress

Antietam 17th September 1862

Posted by C M Dodson on 26 May 2020, 09:22

1st U.S. Sharpshooters.

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Hiram C. Berdan was a mechanical engineer and inventor born in 1824.

He was also an expert shot and an amateur US champion who proposed raising a regiment of expert riflemen for the union army.

On the 30th November 1861 he was made Colonel of the first and second regiments of sharpshooters.

The prospective recruits had to put ten rounds into a ten inch circle at two hundred yards and demonstrate an ability to judge distances, calculate wind effect and trajectories.

By Antietam the units had gained a formidable reputation and were armed with the Sharps breach loading rifle ( as opposed to the Sharps carbine).

They were recruited from all the Union states ( as opposed to the normal style of a state regiment) and were dressed in a green uniform. However, some men used the blue jackets both because of a lack of replacements but also that they stood out from the rank and file, thus becoming targets of value themselves.

I wanted to have a small unit of these fellows and initially was drawn to the excellent Speira offerings.

However, as usual, I wish to have something a bit more dynamic and trawled the bits box.

Chopping and Greenstuff along with Brunswick back packs have resulted in a motley crew which will allow movement and firing poses for the upcoming action.

The running bugler I am pleased with. A chop of an Imex artilleryman with Itallieri head and cavalry bugle arm.

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The Stretlets bases are usually quite large but by slicing them in half the figures become more homogenous.

I found various sites of interest but this one is very educational.

http://www.berdansharpshooters.com/tactics.html

Lots to do,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 27 May 2020, 02:08

Very busy and hard fighting unit , genuinely feared and respected by their opposition - where were Berdan's men at Antietam?
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 27 May 2020, 07:10

Hello Mr B and thank you for your question.

I thought I had entitled the section 1st and 2nd Sharpshooters, whoops.

However, the 2nd US Sharpshooters at Antietam were attached to the first brigade, first Division of Hooker’s First Army Corps.

Their Colonel, Henry A V Post was wounded in the original action.

My understanding is that the First US Sharpshooters were with First Division Fifth Corps, although Carmen lists them as the Massachusetts Sharpshooters.

As this Division was not engaged at the original event I have ignored it

There were other various sharpshooter companies posted to other Corps but I do not want a lot of these guys as pro rata their effectiveness will be out of proportion.

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 31 May 2020, 20:01

On to Richmond!

I have finished a Union Brigade of approximately fifty figures.

These are Stretlets with a converted commanding officer.

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The good news is that unlike Napoleonics there was a lot of uniformity so marching and combat units can be interchanged without the need to do extra poses once they go into action.

Lots to do.

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by lobo on 01 Jun 2020, 08:17

Ohh¡ what a great amount of ideas¡
Chris, I can imagine the way are you enjoying this work…
Congratulations¡
lobo  Spain
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 03 Jun 2020, 17:58

Reinforcements

I have been busy conversing and adapting Union and Confederate forces.

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The Zevada Russian Guard artillery men worked out reasonably well and has given some nice poses.

Stretlets, chopped and with new heads also worked out well.

The Revell No.4 gunners have benefitted by removing the original lanyard and replacing it with it with a horsehair one.

I quite like my Confederate Revell chap with a coiled prologue rope.

I have a few Kennington figures involved here which are very nice. Unfortunately however, the company through SHQ miniatures has been sold and this source, at least for the moment has closed.

I found that Newline troops mounted on Itallieri and aimed horses compensate for the smaller size of their figure quite well.

I also had the opportunity of tickling up some very old Airfix chaps from my youth.

It was especially pleasing to re activate my ADC conversion holding his map from some forty five years plus ago. However a new Itallieri head and horse have helped the update.

Lots to do.
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 05 Jun 2020, 15:17

Sharpshooters part 2

I have completed my sharpshooters in a variety of green and also blue uniforms.

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I particularly like the Stretlets crawling and cocking lying down figures even though they are not so ‘clean’ as some of their other sets.

Stretlets seem to have gone for a Vuvuzelas ‘look’ for their buglers as of late.

I chopped the bugle and hand off an Italieri Confederate bugler and replaced it.

Lots to do.

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Jaques on 06 Jun 2020, 17:57

Very impressive all the great work of historical research, construction and painting of the figures. :love: :love: :love:
Jaques  Brazil
 
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Posted by Graeme on 07 Jun 2020, 05:03

It's well worth zooming these pictures, you've got a terrific collection of poses here.

I see the ADC with his map, that is a really nice figure.
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Graeme  Australia
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 07 Jun 2020, 11:03

Thank you to everyone for their kind comments and support.

1841 Model 6Pdr cannon

Designed by the USA Department of ordinance and used successfully during the Mexican war this cannon was effectively obsolete by the time of the Civil War.

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Whilst capable of firing solid, Spherical case, common shell and cannister it was super ceded by the more powerful Napoleon 12Pdr ( licensed in the US in 1857) and as a result, was being phased out.

However, research shows that 56 of these cannons were in service with the Army of Northern Virginia. Reference to ‘Antietam the soldiers battle’ and this fascinating link,
has allowed me to place the various cannons used to the unit that used them, fantastic news!

http://antietam.aotw.org/weapons.php?weapon_id=all

Pro rata I will need seven of these cannons for the refight. Two will be with AP Hills Division which did not arrive until late in the day.

I have therefore decided to build five and then ‘pinch’ them if necessary.

I have used the Italieri Napoleon carriage with my rope coil attached. A piece of copper with twisted picture wire makes up the elevating screw.

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The barrel is constructed from the Revell British Artillery set. I have carved the barrel rings off as per the US barrel and with a soldering iron made a muzzle hole.

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Tissue paper is used for the trunnions.

A piece of chain makes up the braking chain.

I am quite pleased by the way my cannons have turned out.

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Incidently, with my new reference source, I have discovered that not all US batteries had six guns.

Many had only four, although of the same type, unlike some of the Confederate mixed batteries.

Fascinating stuff.
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 17 Jun 2020, 09:10

The Iron Brigade

This brigade formed from Wisconsin and an Indiana regiment was commanded by Brigadier General John Gibbon.

It served at Antietam in the first Division, First Army Corps.

The brigade was drilled and disciplined, forming a formidable fighting unit.

Gibbons saw to it that the Brigade wore the ‘Old army ‘ uniform of frock coats and distinctive black hats.

White canvas leggings were also issued but were at least initially, not popular.

Apparently Gibbon’s horse was attired as a prank with the said leggings, but he seems to have been universally respected as a commander.

I was initially going to use the Kennington troops and indeed purchased a sample to begin building the unit.

Then the business was sold and they are currently unavailable. However, the Call to Arms set has Iron Brigade figures but unfortunately only four of them.

I therefore decided to swap heads onto Stretlets figures to get a more interesting unit.

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The Kennington figures are a little larger but perspective will help them mingle I am sure.

Lots to do.

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Bessiere on 17 Jun 2020, 17:09

Very nice conversions of both cannon and Iron Brigade. if I may suggest instead of a soldering iron get a woodburning kit with a variable temperature control. I've used both and found the soldering iron too difficult to control easily. i got one from Amazon for $30 and it's still working a year later. Mine also came with a variety of tips including an exacto blade.
Those Wisconsin boys were frontiersmen, very able to shoot and hard as nails. A unique thing about them was their eagle mascot who would fly over the field when the unit was fighting. Extra props if you can sneak him in the unit! Anyhow just following your work with intense interest knowing the end result will be orders of magnitude above the collected parts you are kind enough to share with us. Thanks as always for the tips and pics Mr. Dodson.
Bessiere  United States of America
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 17 Jun 2020, 19:21

Hello Mr B and thank you for kind comments which are always appreciated.

Old Abe the battle eagle ( a real bald eagle) was the mascot of the 8th Wisconsin which saw service in the Western theatre particularly at Vicksburg.

Apparently, having survived the wars hazards and being retired he died from smoke inhalation from a fire in the Wisconsin capital in 1871.

You can not make this stuff up!

Best wishes,

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by OwenChpw on 18 Jun 2020, 06:27

I love the conversions, and the work in making your own cannons. Fantastic!
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OwenChpw  Australia
 
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Posted by C M Dodson on 19 Jun 2020, 13:40

Antietam casualties

The 17th of September 1862 was to be America’s bloodiest day with a total of 22,717 men killed, mutilated or ‘missing’ between the combatants.

Source..Ezra A. Carman.

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No doubt my re fight will be no less bloody and casualties in their hundreds will be required.

The Stretlets figures have some very useful poses.

Massimo’s beautiful figures are excellent and Newline, whilst a bit small are also of value.

The Speria range is fantastic, although expensive when requiring large amounts of troops.

I also have some bits from the Dioramica sale box which are useful.

I bought the Ykerol Bull Run collection which is the usual jumble of dead. However, carefully separating them from the bases provides some good casualty poses.

I have commenced a lot of chopping to keep the costs down and the Frankenstein collection is gathering pace.

My very good friend Thomas Mischak has very kindly painted up some of the Speria troops for which I am very grateful.

His skill far exceeds mine.

Lots to do

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Egbert on 20 Jun 2020, 09:07

:o :shock:
How many figures do you have to paint before you are finished?
I follow all your progress with great interest and excitement! :)
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Egbert  Germany
 
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Posted by MABO on 20 Jun 2020, 22:47

Egbert wrote::o :shock:
How many figures do you have to paint before you are finished?
I follow all your progress with great interest and excitement! :)


I do so as well! A very great project. But since we know your Napoleonic creations I can imagine what we can expect for this topic. :notworthy: :notworthy: :notworthy: :occasion: :occasion: :occasion:
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MABO  Europe
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Posted by C M Dodson on 21 Jun 2020, 08:23

Thank you once again for the nice comments which help keep me going.

Whilst I am proceeding well for my Antietam endeavour I still have a garage with Quatre Bras to finish.

Der Feldmarschall is exasperated by me not finishing one thing before starting another.

So, back to Belgium ....

However, I am using brigade units of approximately fifty troops per unit. Whilst not exactly correct as some units were smaller or larger than others I feel from past experience they work well.

The organisation and troop figures are taken from the excellent Maryland Campaign part 2, Antietam by Ezra A Carman.

Colonel Carman actually fought at Antietam and in 1864 was hired as a historical expert to investigate the campaign.

Based on his exhaustive research, edited by Thomas Clemens and based on a one to twenty representation I will need 1500 Confederate infantry and 2400 Union troops.

On top will be the artillery and associated cavalry, staff etc.

These figures represent the troops present that took an active part in the action following the actions at South Mountain etc.

One of the benefits of Civil War troops is that apart from a few select units, The Iron Brigade for example, the uniforms are simple and homogenous.

This allows troops to be painted up as firing lines, marching etc and mixed as appropriate for the situation they find themselves in.

Thank you again.

Chris
C M Dodson  United Kingdom
 
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Posted by Egbert on 21 Jun 2020, 08:32

Hey Chris,
thanks for the detailed information! :-D :yeah:
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Egbert  Germany
 
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Posted by Michael Robert on 21 Jun 2020, 19:29

Hi Mr Dodson,
true, the ACW troops are relatively easy to paint but your conversion collection and sheer mass make it a happening. Looking at your Frankenstein collection I see a lot of well known figures, now converted into dead. .. and these will transform your super dio into life.
Just read the Antietam battle account. Quite gruesome affair. Seems like it was a real chance missed to shorten that war for the Union - at least that's what today's war correspondents say. Apparently, old Abe thought the same when he dismissed McLellan shortly after.
Following your meticulous work with pleasure and interest
Keep up the splendid work
Michael
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Michael Robert  France

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