Saturday, 14 April 2012

Plauche's Battalion "disbanded"

In what may be described as a wonderfully usual cockeyed move by a wargamer, I have "disbanded" my painted unit of Plauche's 'Uniformed' Militia unit of New Orleans (War of 1812) and transfered it to my Napoleonic collection to become several units within the French army-- for which the figures were originally designed . 
 Plauche's battalion - my version (now "disbanded")
To describe somewhat, I had used Victrix plastics to create this unique formation which fought during the New Orleans campaign of the War of 1812.  However, as most of my 1812 collection is Old Glory and Knuckleduster, the sculpting of the plastics felt, at least to me, very different and thus out of place.  The orderly Virgo-ness impulses in me felt this unacceptable (only a wargamer can be this anal!).

However another project of mine is a Napoleonic army of French which is using only plastics on very large stands.  This is in conjunction with a fellow wargamer.  Thus the 1812 unit has been transformed into French units [not as difficult as one may suspect as I believe only minor uniform changes are required! <grin>]

My decision is somewhat tragic in that I have ordered other units for the New Orleans battles and have already made ready to paint up some many others. So this move has created an gap in my War of 1812 collection which I will 'need' to fill. 

oh, well, in due course, perhaps....

For those interested-- here is a bit of information on this unit (sorry I did not note from where I got it - my apologies)

The Battalion d'Orleans or Plauche's Battalion was one of the most colorful units in the American army of the War of 1812. The Battalion participated in the defeat of the British forces at the Battle of New Orleans. The Battalion was a continuation of units which had existed under the French and Spanish regimes and were reorganized by the territorial act of January, 1805. Napoleon had raised and equipped three companies of French Creoles in New Orleans in 1803 after losing Santo Domingo. It is probable that these companies became the core of the Battalion d'Orleans. New Orleans remained very pro-Bonapartist during
this period. They felt a special connection to him because the Empress
Josephine was a French Creole. Also, many high ranking Napoleonic exiles 
fled to New Orleans after the Bourbon regime was restored in France.

After "the Battle" as New Orleanians called it, the Battalion changed it's name to the Louisiana Legion and remained in service until after the Civil War. Throughout its history, the Battalion was known for its resplendent, colorful uniforms of French design. The Battalion was modeled on the Imperial French army of the Emperor Napoleon I. They used the same drill manual and closely approximated the French uniform. Indeed, many members of the Battalion were veteran soldats and officers who had served with Napoleon before moving to New Orleans.

The Battalion consisted of two centre companies (Francs and Blues, an
Irish company), two flank companies (Carabiners and Chasseurs) and a
company of Dragoons. The flank companies had uniforms based on those of the French Imperial Guard. The centre companies were dressed as the line. The Battalion also had its own flag, adjutant, surgeons, fouriers, and band. A description of the unit's flag in the 1820's describes it as having the words 'Honneur, Patrie, Discipline, Valor' embroidered on it.

Today, the Battalion is a group of 1812 re-enactors who recreate one of 
the most unusual units in the American Army of the War of 1812. They currently have a Carabiner company and a centre company (les Francs). The recreated Carabiners are based in New Orleans and take part in events in the Southern theatre. Their  uniforms are based upon the Grenadiers a Pied of Napoleon's Imperial Guard. The Francs are mostly members of the 21eme de Ligne, 3e compagnie.


  1. Replies
    1. Ray, please be comforted that it has gone to a better place...

      Unlike real armies who, having decided some units are no longer useful, grab the weapons and uniform and merely wave the devoted soldiers goodbye; these boys are still employed and hopefully happy in their new role. Photos of these new units will follow in due course.