Welcome to the August edition. Here we introduce 4 new releases, we are playing catch up due to summer vacations. We hope you enjoy!
During the early action on Henry House Hill, two batteries were ordered to advance to a position near to the Henry House. These were batteries of the regular US army, efficient and well commanded. Both these batteries had been actively engaged from the very beginning of the battle.
The batteries were commanded by Captain James Ricketts, and Captain Charles Griffin. It is believed McDowell made a serious tactical error in giving the order for the batteries to advance up the hill. They were told that the 11th New York Regiment were on their way to support the advance.
Charles Griffin (December 18th, 1825 -September 15th 1867) was a career officer in the United States Army and became an Union general during the American Civil War. He rose to command a corps in the Army of The Potomac and fought in many of the key campaigns in the Eastern Theatre.
In 1849 as a first Lieutenant, he was to serve in the New Mexico Territory against Navajo Indians until 1854. He then left the southwest frontier and taught artillery tactics at West Point.
He was to form an artillery battery from the academy's enlisted men shortly after the southern states began seceding from the Union.
Captain Griffin led the "West Point Battery", (officially designated as Battery D, 5th US Artillery) at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861.
The southern cause was helped by a case of mistaken identity. Colonel Arthur C. Cummings's 33rd Virginia Regiment wore blue uniforms. The Colonel afraid his men would break and run if they were held in their position any longer, ordered them to advance towards the guns of Ricketts and Griffin.
Griffin saw them coming and swung two of his guns round and had them loaded with cannister. Just as he was about to fire, his superior officer, Major William F. Barry, shouted , "Captain, don't fire there; those are your battery support." "They are Confederates" Griffin shouted back, as certain as the world, they are Confederates." But Barry insisted, and the guns were swung back to their original line of fire. The Virginians, meanwhile marched ever closer, halted and fired a volley. Griffin told a subsequent Board of Inquiry, "was the last of us, We were all cut down." Most of the horses and many of the gunners were killed. Ricketts was severely wounded. Griffin struggled to save what he could, but Cummings and his Virginians were among them quickly to capture the guns and much ammunition.
A typical "field piece" had an authorized crew of 12 enlisted men constituting a "gun section" led by a sergeant and assisted by one (and sometimes two) corporal. Each section consisted of one "gun," its "limber" (with one ammunition chest also serving as a seat) and (nominally) six horses (but often only four) to pull it, and a "caisson" (with two ammunition chests/ seats, a spare wheel, tools, and crew baggage) with its own limber pulled by another six horses, and two "spare" horses (when available) tethered to the rear of the caisson. Each "vehicle" was known as a "half section." Two sections under the command of a second lieutenant constituted a platoon. While the platoon commander and the two section sergeants (there were no "platoon sergeants" at that time) rode their own assigned horses, six artillerymen rode the three left-side horses in each half section, while the remaining six privates either rode on the three ammunition chests (two to three per chest/seat) or walked alongside. Three platoons (sometimes only two, especially in Confederate units), plus a small headquarters, under a captain, assisted by a first lieutenant and a first sergeant, constituted a "battery."
The first of the Union artillery battery will be available early in 2023.
The 33rd Virginia Infantry Regiment was raised in the commonwealth of Virginia for service in the Confederate States Army and was part of the famed "Stonewall Brigade".
When the Union and Confederate armies engaged near Manassas Junction, Virginia, on July 21st 1861, General Jackson and his brigade earned the nickname "Stonewall". Eight of the ten companies in the 33rd were present.
By late May 1861, the regiment was placed under the command of Col. Arthur C. Cummings, who was a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute who practiced law in Abington, Virginia at the far southernmost end of the valley and would twice represent Washington County, Virginia in the Virginia House of Delegates (first beginning in 1863 and again in 1871)
At the height of the battle, it was Jackson's first brigade, and more specifically, the undersized regiment of Colonel Cummings that turned the tide of battle with a well-timed charge against an exposed artillery battery.
The successful capture of the guns is thought to be largely because, due to the lack of formality in early war uniforms, Jackson's men were dressed in blue, just like their Federal counterparts. Though the 33rd Virginia succeeded in capturing the guns, the number of men that made the charge (only about 250) were unable to maintain possession and were forced to retreat. The charge had halted the steady advance of the Union Army up to that point, and precipitated further charges by Jackson's other regiments. By day's end, the actions of the 33rd led to the complete rout of the Union Army, and played a major role in immortalizing the brigade. The cost of immortality for Cummings' regiment was high. Of the 450 men who were present at the battle, the 33rd would suffer 43 killed and 140 wounded.
Company E, The Emerald Guard, having participated in the battle, suffered 15 casualties including most of the company officers and NCO's. Captain Sibert was shot through both legs; Lt. Thomas C. Fitzgerald and 2d Lt. John Ireland were also wounded; in addition, Sgt. Michael Gavagan was wounded and Corp. John O. Sullivan was killed.
The first of the 33rd Virginia Regiment will be available from October 2022.
Spain, Portugal, and France moved quickly to establish a presence in the New World. The English did not attempt to establish colonies until many decades after their explorations of John Cabot, with early efforts proving to be failures, most notably the Roanoke Colony which vanished around 1590.
The Jamestown settlement in the colony of Virginia was the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. It was located on the northwest bank of the James (powhatan) river, about 2 1/2 miles southwest of the centre of modern Williamsburg.
It was established by the Virginia Company of London, as James Fort on May 4th 1607.
After several years of strained co-existence, Chief Opechancanough and his Powhatan Confederacy attempted to eliminate the English colony. This was the start of the second war which was to last from 1622 to 1626. On the morning of March 22, 1622, the confederacy attacked outlying plantations and communities along the James River in what became known as the Indian Massacre of 1622. More than 300 settlers were killed in the attack, which was about a third of the colony's English speaking population. Jamestown was spared only through a timely warning by a Virginia Indian employee.
Powhatan war practice was to wait and see what would happen after inflicting such a blow, in hopes that the settlement would simply abandon their homeland and move on elsewhere. However, English military doctrine called for a strong response, and the colonial militia marched out nearly every summer for the next 10 years and made assaults on Powhatan settlements. Opechancanough was to sue for peace in 1623.
The war lasted until Samuel Argall captured Wahunsenacawh's daughter Matoaka, better known by her nickname Pocahontas, after which the chief accepted a treaty of peace.
The third war lasted from 1644 until 1646 and ended when Opechancanough was captured and killed. The war resulted in a defined boundary between the Indians and colonial lands that could only be crossed for official business with a special pass.
This situation lasted until 1677 and the Treaty of Middle Plantation which established Indian Reservations following Bacon's Rebellion.
After some requests from collectors, I decided to paint a couple of the Jamestown militia as Maltese militia..... and liked them so much I decided to start work on a Siege of Malta series.
The Great Siege of Malta occurred in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire attempted to conquer the Island of Malta, then held by the Knights Hospitaller.
The siege lasted nearly four months, from 18th May to 11th September 1565.
The Knights Hospitaller had been headquartered in Malta since 1530, after being driven out of Rhodes, also by the Ottomans, in 1522, following the Siege of Rhodes.
The Ottomans first attempted to take Malta in 1551 but failed. In 1565, Suleiman The Magnificent, the Ottoman Sultan, made a second attempt to take Malta.
The Knights, who numbered around 500 together with approximately 6,000 footsoldiers, withstood the siege and repelled the invaders. This victory became one of the most celebrated events of Sixteenth Century Europe, to the point that Voltaire said,
"Nothing is better known than the Siege of Malta".
It undoubtedly contributed to the eventual erosion of the European perception of Ottoman invincibility, although the Mediterranean continued to be contested between Christian coalitions and the Muslim Turks for many years.
The Jamestown and Siege of Malta series should be available in early 2023
A shield -Maiden was a female warrior from Scandinavian folklore and mythology. They are often mentioned in Viking Sagas, and also in Germanic stories of the Goths, Cimbri and Marcomanni. The mythical Valkyries may have been based on such shield maidens.
There is little actual historical evidence for Viking female warriors, although there are graves of female settlers which have contained weapons.
The historical evidence that Viking Age women took part in warfare, are based on a Byzantine historian's records that women fought in battle when Sviatoslav I of Kiev attacked the Byzantines in Bulgaria in 971 AD. In the Siege of Dorostolon, the Varangians suffered a devastating defeat. The victors were stunned to discover armed women among the fallen warriors.
The Saxo Grammaticus, reports that shield maidens fought on the side of Danes at the Battle of Bravellir in the year 750 AD
Examples of shield maidens mentioned by name in the Norse Sagas include Brynhildr in the Volsunga Saga.
Two shield maidens appear in certain translations of the Hervarar Saga. The first of these, whose name was Hervor, was known to have taken up typically masculine roles early in her childhood and often raided travelers in the woods dressed as a man. Later in her life, she claimed the cursed sword "Tyrfing" from her father's burial site and became a seafaring raider. She was eventually to marry and settle down. Her granddaughter was also named Hervor and commanded forces against the attacking Huns. Although the Saga remarks on her bravery, she was mortally wounded and dies on the battlefield.
Freydis Eiriksdottir (born c.970) was a Norse woman said to be the daughter of Eric The Red, who figured preminently in the Norse exploration of North America as an early colonist of Vinland, while her brother, Leif Erikson, is credited in early histories of the region with the first European contact.
The medieval and primary sources that mention Freydis are the two Vinland sagas. The Saga of the Greenlanders and the Saga of EriK The Red. The two sagas offer differing accounts though Freydis is portrayed in both as a strong willed woman who would defy the odds of her society.
The most famous account we have of Freyd's, describes the following native attack on the expedition camp.
The natives, equipped with "war slings" or catapults, stealthily attacked the expedition's camp at night and shot at the Norse settlers. Many of the Nordic invaders panicked, having never seen such weapons.
Freydis calls out, "Why you run away from such worthless creatures, stout men that ye are, when, as seems to me likely, you might slaughter them like so many cattle? Let me have a weapon, I think I could fight better than any of you". They give no heed to what she says. Freydis is eight months pregnant at the time, but this does not stop her from running out of her tent and grabbing the sword from her fallen brother in arms, Thorbrand, Snorri's son. Then come the Skraelingiar upon her. She lets down her sark so that one breast is exposed, and stikes her breast with the sword, letting out a furious battle cry. At this the Skraelingiar are frightened and rush off to their boats, and flee away. Karlsefni and the other settlers come up to her, and instead of praise, rebuffs her behaviour.
The first of the Viking Shield maidens should be available early next year.
The Amazons were a race of female warriors in Greek mythology, who dwelt in the region of modern-day Ukraine. Two of the Amazon queens were Penthesilea, who took part in the Trojan War, and her sister Hippolyta, who was the owner of a magical girdle, given to her by the god of war Ares.
PENTHESILEA was an Amazonian queen in Greek Mythology, who was the daughter of Ares and Otrera and the sister of Hippolyta, Antiope and Melanippe.
She assisted Troy in the Trojan War, where she was killed by Achilles.
The arrival of Penthesilea to Troy is described in the five book epic Aethiopis which was part of the "Cycle of Troy" on the Trojan War. It was published in the 8th Century BC and is attributed to Arctinus of Miletus. Although the Aethiopis has been lost, the epic cycle had been adapted and recycled during different periods of the classical age. In the Aethiopis, Penthesilea is a Thracian woman warrior. An Amazon and daughter of Ares, who comes to help the Trojans. She arrives with twelve other Amazon warriors. After a day of distinguishing herself on the battlefield, Penthesilea confronts Achilles, who kills her.
HIPPOLYTA was a daughter of Ares and Otrera, queen of the Amazons and a sister of Antiope , Melanippe, and Penthesilea. She wore her fathers' ZOSTER, the Greek word found in the Iliad and elsewhere meaning "war belt". This "war belt" or magical girdle was the object that Heracles had to recover to complete the fourth task given to him during the myth of the Labours of Heracles.
There were no men allowed to live together with the Amazons. However, in order to continue their race, once a year, the Amazons would visit a nearby tribe called Gargareans. After having sexual intercourse with them, the Amazons would return home; they would keep all baby girls that were born, but the male babies were either killed, sent to their fathers, or left in a forest to die of exposure to the elements.
The Amazons appeared in various Greek myths. In one of them, they attacked the region of Lycia, but were fended off by Bellerophon. They later attacked Phrygia, but were also defeated by the defending army, led by a young Priam, who later became the king of Troy.
According to Homer, the Trojan king Priam had fought the Amazons in his youth on the Sangarius river in Phrygia, some 350 miles east of Troy. Later writers of the antiquity located Amazons geographically in Anatolia and started an epic tradition where Greek heroes, such as Heracles and Theseus, fought an Amazon warrior of distinction.
Courageous and fiercely independent, the Amazons, commanded by their queen, regularly undertook extensive military expeditions into the far corners of the world, from Scythia to Thrace, Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands, reaching as far as Arabia and Egypt. Besides military raids, the Amazons are also associated with the foundation of temples and the establishment of numerous ancient cities, such as Ephesos, Cyme, Smyrna, Sinope, Myrina, Magnesia , and Pygela.
Archaeological discoveries of burial sites of female warriors, in the Eurasian Steppes suggest that the horse cultures of Scythian, Sarmation, and Hittites likely inspired the Amazon myth. In 2019, a grave with multiple generations of female Scythian warriors, armed and in golden headdresses, was found near Russia's Voronezh.
The first of the Amazons will be available in December.