Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Florida Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia

This excellent book details the service of the Florida Brigade in Lee's army. Very little has been written on this formation, and the records are scant. Robert K. Krick's Foreword states that the authors "have resurrected the Florida brigade...from oblivion. Nearly a century and a half after their campaigns, the Florida men who fought under Perry, Lang, and Finegan on the battlefields of Virginia and Maryland and Pennsylvania emerge from the shadows in the pages of this book."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Henri de Schomberg (3)

Above: Schomberg's victory over the English on the Isle de Re

At the epic Siege of La Rochelle (Aug. 15, 1627-Oct. 28, 1628), Schomberg was one of the commanders of the Royal Army and led the force that relieved the citadel of St. Martin on the Isle de Ré, which was besieged by the English under Buckingham. Schomberg’s relief force landed on the island on Nov. 7, 1627, and drove the English off with great slaughter the next day.

Schomberg next served in Italy, at the Pass of Susa (1629), and in Languedoc in the war against the Huguenots. There he besieged and took Privas (May 19-27, 1629), a success that led directly to the triumph of the Royalist cause and the Edict of Grace or Peace of Alais (June 28, 1629). In 1630, he was again in Italy, serving as one of the commanders of the French forces that moved to the relief of the fortress of Casale, besieged by Spinola. Following the conclusion of peace, he became embroiled in the political crisis that culminated in the Day of Dupes (Nov. 11, 1630). A firm supporter of the king and Richelieu, he was called upon to arrest Marshal Marillac, one of the conspirators. He accomplished this, and Marillac was executed for his role in the plot. Later, he commanded the Royal Army at Castelnaudary (Sept. 1, 1632), defeating the rebel Duke Henry II de Montmorency, who too was condemned and executed.

A distinguished soldier, who was invariably successful, Schomberg’s outstanding virtues were loyalty, industry, and thoroughness. His son, Charles de Schomberg, duc de Hallwin (1601-1656), also attained the dignity of mdF.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Henri de Schomberg (2)

Trust but verify: The image used to illustrate our first post on Schomberg was taken from Wikimedia Commons, which in turn attributes it to a book by F. de Vaux de Foletier titled Le Siège de La Rochelle (Paris, 1931). After I uploaded the image, I noticed that the label “Dvc d’Allvyn” was on the pedestal supporting the bust of Henri de Schomberg, and having completed the biographical sketch, I knew that the subject was never a duke. In fact, the duc d’Hallwin (or Halluin) alluded to in the image, was Henri de Schomberg’s son, Charles. So, whoever created the image conflated the two.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Henri de Schomberg

Schomberg [Schonberg], Henri de, comte de Nanteuil-le-Haudouin (1575-1632). French grandmaster of the artillery; mdF; superintendent of finances.

Known in his youth as the Count of Nanteuil, he was the son of Gaspard de Schomberg, a distinguished German officer who had served King Henry III as a captain of reiters and had risen to the grade of colonel general of the German cavalry in the king’s service. (These were the bandes noires or “black bands,” so called from their practice of painting their armor black and, some say, blackening their faces in a diabolical manner.) His first military service was under King Henry IV at the Siege of Amiens (1597). In 1599, he was appointed governor of La Marche, and in 1601, he performed distinguished service against the Turks while serving as a volunteer with the Duke of Mercoeur in Hungary.

He subsequently held a number of important civil and military positions. These included: councilor of State (1607); lieutenant-general of Limousin (1608); mestre de camp of IR Piedmont and captain of 100 gendarmes (1614); special ambassador to England (1615); maréchal de camp and maréchal de camp général of German troops (1616); special ambassador to Germany (1617); superintendent of finances and chevalier des ordres du Roi (1619). In 1625, he was created a marshal of France. To be continued ...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Russian Pandours, Seven Years' War

These figures are old Minifigs 25mm depicting grenadiers of Russian Pandour regiments of the Seven Years’ War period. There were two such regiments, each consisting of 20 companies, 15 of musketeers and 5 of grenadiers. They were formed from Serbian refugees who had been displaced by the Turks from the Austrian-Turkish frontier and settled in a region of Ukraine designated as “New Serbia.” The yellow boots were worn only on parade. There were also light cavalry (hussar) regiments. The uniform is depicted in Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour and Mollo and McGregor’s Uniforms of the Seven Years War, 1756-63.

There is a full description of the Pandours in this excellent article by Vlad Gromoboy on Jean-Louis Vial‘s splendid NPI site:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Breitenfeld I (September 17, 1631)

Recently, Stephane at "De Rohan a Turenne" posted a couple maps of the Thirty Years' War Battle of Breitenfeld I (1631) from Grimoard's Essai theorique ... (1775). My attempt to comment on the maps was effectively trashed by Google for some reason, but Stephane's post prompted me to pull my file on the battle and revisit the musings of contemporaries and others on the orders of battle of the opposing armies in this great battle -- a triumph of the Swedes (and, I suppose, their Saxon allies) over the combined armies of Imperial Austria and the Catholic League. Look for more on this in coming days or weeks.