Friday, March 30, 2012


A selected pose from Knuckleduster's US Infantry in Linen Roundabouts;
a 360-degree view. Note the black belts used widely in the US Army;
white was generally worn only by the first seven regiments.
Painted and sculpted by Forrest Harris
The US Army had issued summer "jackets" (linen roundabouts) since 1802, and continued to use them during the War of 1812. They were routinely issued to troops in Southern posts, but they were also used widely in the North during the first two years of the war. In fact, due to clothing shortages, the winter of 1812-1813 was borne in linen coats by many regiments in Northern posts, including Harrison's 17th, 19th, and 24th US infantry, and the 12th and 14th US near Buffalo, New York. When the British captured the 17th Infantry at Frenchtown on January 22nd, they were still wearing tatters of their summer uniforms.

As easy as Austrians!

In 1813, Commissary General Irvine produced 10,000 linen jackets for that year's operations, and Wade Hampton's Canadian expedition wore them as late as October.

When the plain, blue coatee of 1813-1814, and the grey wool roundabout were available in reliable quantities, the use of the linen roundabout was relegated to the South, and extremely hot weather in the North.

The same figures may be just as easily used for the militia of the Northwest Army, who wore drab (dark grey wool) roundabouts in 1812-1813; some of these garments also made their way into the hands of US regulars. An illustration of the 19th Infantry exists in which a drab round jacket is worn.

Knuckleduster has represented this uniform with a unit of regulars marching in roundabouts and packs. Command figures in laced coatees may be used to command them, but as time allows, NCOs  and drummers in linen coats will become available wearing the early war shako, as well as militia in round hats and roundabouts.


Renee Chartrand, Uniforms and Equipment of the United States Forces in the War of 1812, Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., 1992.

James Kochan, The United States Army, 1812-1815; Osprey Men-At-Arms 345, Osprey Publishing, 2000.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Drummond and Riall placing bets on the Congreve rocket's trajectory as the 89th stands behind them in terror. (Perry command figures, Front Rank sergeant,  Victrix artillerymen, and Knuckleduster line infantry)
The most furious battle ever fought between Canada and the United States, Lundy's Lane is a large battle featuring most, if not all, of the troop types present in the Niagara campaing of 1814. The time is drawing near when I will have sculpted everything necessary to fight this battle; as it stands at the present, I have the American forces covered handily, but still have British artillerymen, Congreve rockets, and mounted command to complete, as well as Native Americans (more a factor at Chippewa than Lundy's Lane).

In the months ahead, I'll be highlighting various units in the War of 1812 with photos, descriptions, and painting guides in order to encourage your own projects and entice you into buying more Knuckleduster miniatures! (Should have known there was a catch). By way of a preview, here are some photos of the Battle of Lundy's Lane on my own wargame table, soon to be descended upon by a half-dozen middle-aged men grasping copies of Black Powder in chubby hands, cuticles still bearing unmanly traces of craft paints; a phenomenon you're all undoubtedly familiar with.

First off, here's a look at the British center, situated in and around a graveyard at the top of the battlefield's prominent hill. Since this photo was taken, the British colours were affixed to their pikes. The center-front unit, the 89th, was one of only three units carrying colours that day. The others were the 1st Royal Scots and the 103rd :

 Here's a view of the British right, giving a bit of a panorama of their line:

 Hercules Scott hastens forward with a relief column. One benefit of making your own soldiers is the length of said column. Notice the meeting house and British center on the top of the hill.

 The sedentary militia trying to think of a way to impress Drummond  in order to avoid having their ammunition taken away and distributed among the regulars. Notice they were not one of the three units carrying colours that day.

 The Yanks come on in serried ranks, and head straight for the dubious cover of a split rail fence. Since this photo was taken, Porter's militia (top left) have gotten flags for their poles.

I will be adding more photos and more information about units, their uniforms, and other bits of trivia next time . . .