Friday, December 20, 2013

British Napoleonic Infantry - 57th and 58th Line Regiments

Here are the latest additions to my Napoleonic British forces. First up is the 58th or Rutlandshire Regiment:

This line infantry regiment had black facings, the regimental lace had square ends and were grouped singly, and the officers had gold lace. 

Black wasn't deemed a suitable color for flags, so British regiments with black facings had white Regimental colors instead. Also, like regiments faced in white (and also regiments with red facings), their white flags  had a large red Cross of St George overlying the field. 

The 58th saw service in the Peninsula, fighting at Salmanca and Burgos. Earlier in the Napoleonic Wars, it fought in Egypt, Minorca, and Calabria. 

I have painted them in the more or less standard blue grey pants most often worn on campaign. 

Up until 1812, drummers in the British army usually wore reversed colors, after which the practice was forbidden (Boo, Hiss!). Once again, Black was not felt to be a suitable color for British uniforms, so the drummers of regiments with black facings wore white coats faced red instead. 

The 58th Regiment, seen here marching across the Spanish countryside.

A birds eye view of the Rutlandshire Regiment. 25/28mm Old Glory, GMB flags,

I did paint the drums of the regiment black (rather than white), figuring black *was* a proper color for drums, at least!

This next unit is the 57th or West Middlesex Infantry Regiment.

The 57th Regiment gained the proud nick name, "The Diehards"for its conduct at the Battle of Albuera (May 16, 1811). "Greatly outnumbered, the 57th withstood a terrible fire of shell and grapeshot, holding a hill which they had captured against a column four times their number. Colonel Inglis, the commanding officer was mortally wounded [hit by canister in the neck and left breast], but he rallied his regiment by calling out 'Die heard, my men, die hard!" (Rene North, Soldiers of the Peninsular War, 1808-1814. Almark Publications, London, April 1972)

By the end of the battle, 422 out of 570 enlisted men lay dead or wounded, along with 20 out of 30 officers!

Here you can see the reversed colors of the Drummer's jacket - yellow faced red, with white lace.

For the West Middlesex's facings I used Crafter's Edition Lemon Yellow; a light yellow with excellent coverage.

The 57th had square lace in pairs on the jacket; officer's lace Gold.

"Die hard, the 57th, die hard!"


  1. Nice post. I didn't realize the drummers jackets were changed in 1812. Oh well, mine suit me. Looks like you have a good start on your Spanish terrain.

    1. Well, I might be tempted to give them reversed colors anyway :-), and of course regulations hardly took effect in the field immediately... if at all!

  2. You are making quick work of the these British. Nice job!

    With mention of Albuera, which is your favorite recently published account?

    For me Demsey is solid but I prefer the maps in Oliver and Partridge. Oliver is the one I pull off the shelf more frequently. Edwards is good too!

    1. With the British, I*'m just starting out. I have limited references on the Peninsula, so I have to defer to you there! :-)

      Oddly, I've had a small Portuguese contingent of about 100 figures for 15+ years (as yet unused... I'll be inflicting them on you soon as well), and I have Spaniards planned for after July 2015!

    2. Oh, and as for quick work... you da man recently, Jon! :-)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Phil. Just about any troops look better with GMB flags! :-)

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks, Steve!

      Now I want to see some pics of your guys on the table, with dice a-rollin'.... :-)

  5. Really I preferred the color-reversed drummers...
    A great painting job

  6. Thanks, Rafa, and I'm 100% with you on the drummers!

  7. Thanks, Glenn, and a very Merry Christmas to you as well!