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THE ROMAN ARMY OF THE LATE REPUBLIC

Republican Romans

GERMANIC WARRIORS

Following two decades of Roman occupation, Germania Magna erupted into revolt in AD 9, resulting in the stunning loss of three Roman legions to an alliance of Germanic nations at Teutoburg. The Battle of the Teutoburg Fores, described as the Varian Disaster by Roman historians, took place in the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE, when an alliance of Germanic tribes ambushed and decisively destroyed three Roman legions and their auxiliaries, led by Publius Quinctilius Varus.

The alliance was led by Arminius, a Germanic officer of Varus’ auxilia. Arminius had acquired Roman citizenship and had received a Roman military education, which enabled him to deceive the Roman commander methodically and anticipate the Roman army’s tactical responses.

Despite several successful campaigns and raids by the Romans in the years after the battle, they never again attempted to conquer the Germanic territories east of the Rhine river. The victory of the Germanic tribes against Rome’s legions in the Teutoburg Forest would have far-reaching effects on the subsequent history of both the ancient Germanic peoples and the Roman Empire. Contemporary and modern

historians have generally regarded Arminius’ victory over Varus as “Rome’s greatest defeat”, one of the most decisive battles recorded in military history, and as “a turning-point in world history”

The Cherusci nation, was a Germanic tribe that fought at the Teutoburg Pass, Weser River, Idistaviso and the Agrivarian Wall under its war chief Arminius. These warriors were perfectly equipped for the Germanic landscape of open fields, forests and swamps. The weapons which were used included the long lance or Framea, which could be swung, thrust or thrown at an opponent.

Hair was grown long and often tied up in a figure of eight or “Suebian” knot.

In the Cherusci warrior the Roman Legionary met a formidable opponent. The Germanic warrior was a well trained, battle-hardened, combat ready and motivated fighter, who excelled in irregular warfare, ambushes, raids and petty warfare. In an ambush the lightly armed Germanic fighter could decisively defeat a heavily equipped legionary by using surprise and the terrain to his advantage.

In a set-piece battle the German could stand up to the Roman Leginary discipline and formations for a while, but in close quarters combat the advantage eventually shifted to the legionary, as at the Battle of Idistaviso, and the Angrivarian Wall.

Enemies of Rome

THRACIANS

Thracians

THE AZTEC EMPIRE

This Aztec chieftain wears a sleeveless corselet called an “ehuatl”, which was a garment of feather-covered cloth worn over cotton armour. Senior chieftains are described as wearing a “ehuatl” of blue feathers. Junior chieftains are described as wearing a “ehuatl” of red feathers.

Additional armour was provided by greaves, armbands and wristlets, and a helmet made from wood, and bone which was ornately decorated with feathers.

The greaves and armbands were generally made of gilded leather, bark or thin gold.

This figure does not carry a standard on the back, instead has a “skin drum”. These drums were used to transmit certain orders on the battlefield.

Aztec Empire

THE TLAXCALTECS

The Tlaxcalans, or Talaxcaltecs, are an indigenous group of Nahua ethnicity who inhabited the republic of Tlaxcala and present-day Mexican state of Tlaxcala.

Despite early attempts by the Mexica, the Tlaxcalteca were never conquered by the Aztec Triple Alliance. The Aztecs allowed them to maintain their independence so that they could participate in the xochiyaoyatl (flower wars) with them to facilitate human sacrifice

The Tlaxcaltecs served as allies to Hernán Cortés and his fellow Spanish conquistadors, and were instrumental in the invasion of Tenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec empire, helping the Spanish reach the Valley of Anahuac and providing a key contingent of the invasion force

A flower war or flowery war (Nahuatl languages: xōchiyāōyōtl, Spanish: guerra florida) was a ritual war fought intermittently between the Aztec Triple Alliance and its enemies from the “mid-1450s to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1519.

The Aztecs practiced human sacrifice. Most of the people sacrificed were not residents of the Aztec’s major cities, rather they were captured in wars, both wars of conquest and “wars of the flowers”. The Aztec term for wars for captives was Xochiyayoyotl.

The Xochiyayoyotl came about after a long famine, from 1450 to 1454. Crops failed all over the Valley of Mexico due to bad weather. To the Aztecs, it showed the gods were displeased; they needed more blood and human hearts. Montezuma I reigned during the great famine. His brother Tlacaelel was Montezuma’s Snake Woman or first adviser, a general in the Aztec army and of the highest warrior order, the Shorn Ones.

When bad weather continued the famine, Tlacaelel suggested a ritual or ceremonial war to provide captives for sacrifice for the Aztecs and their enemies. The nearby Tlaxcala were the Triple Alliance’s main enemy. They had also experienced the famine. Through human sacrifice, the gods would be assuaged for both sides.

Though there were undoubtedly more reasons for Flower wars, such as further terrorizing the surrounding areas, they began during the great famine. Tenochtitlan reached an agreement with its enemies the Tlaxcala, Cholula and Huejotzingo, to war for captives. Their warriors would be told not to kill enemy warriors, but to capture them. Once each side had enough captives, the battle would end. The captured warriors would then be taken for sacrifice by both sides in the battle.

Thus, from time to time, Aztecs would arrange a Flower war when the need for human captives arose. In essence, these were ceremonial in nature, with all the details arranged beforehand by the leaders involved. Nevertheless, they were still a matter of life and death for the warriors; to be captured meant being sacrificed. While a sacrifice was considered an honorable death, no doubt most warriors would prefer to avoid it.

Whether a Flower war was arranged simply to satisfy religious demands for sacrificial victims, to train young warriors and to ensure social advancement for warriors or if it had underlying purposes of wearing down the enemy and terrorizing neighboring lands is still debated by scholars.

Some scholars maintain that the Flower wars were more like tournaments, with no more political purpose than to satisfy warriors in vying for advancement and provide ritual bloodletting and sacrifices. Other scholars see darker political aspects to these ritual wars: to demonstrate Aztec might, to wear down the enemy through attrition and to allow Aztec leaders to subjugate their own people through fear of losing loved ones.

The Aztecs had never managed to conquer the Tlaxcala. While the Tlaxcala were also Aztecs, they refused to pay tribute to the Triple Alliance. Montezuma might have thought that through the Flower wars, the Triple Alliance would be able to wear down the Tlaxcala and capture more of their warriors than they could afford to lose. If so, the Tlaxcala delivered the final blow: they allied with the Spanish in conquering and defeating the Aztec Empire.

Many sources depict high status warriors wearing the distinctive back ornaments of their communities. The great white heron represented the house of Tizatlan. The “Tlahuiztli” is covered in large yellow feathers, and the warrior wears the red and white headband which was an attribute of Tlaxcallan nationality.

Talaxcaltecs

SPANISH CONQUISTADORS

The Spanish were known to have had four falconets and ten brass lombards with them when they first landed in 1519. Spanish gunners had a poor reputation, and crews were mainly made up of seamen, and a mix of foreigners from Italy, Netherlands and Portugal.

Conquistadors

American Revolution – NEILSON’S FARMHOUSE.

A young and ambitious John Neilson came to this area in 1772 from just outside Elizabeth, NJ. He went to work in the village of Stillwater, two miles south of the house, on the farm of Abner Quitterfield. Only three years later, in 1775, he leased 150 acres of land, and ‘married the boss’s daughter,’ Lydia. Within a year or two, they built this small house on the lot he had leased.

In 1777, a British army was invading southward from Canada into New York. Their route would take them through the Neilsons’ back yard. John took Lydia and their possessions to the safety of her parents’ home in Stillwater. He then exchanged his home for a tent, serving with his local militia regiment—some of whom would be encamped nearby.

American army officers moved into his empty house on September 12, 1777. About ten miles north, British forces steadily descended the Hudson River Valley as American troops hastily built menacing defenses 3/4 of a mile east on Bemus Heights—a ridge of bluffs overlooking the Hudson. The American army used this house as a divisional and brigade headquarters. Ephraim Woodworth’s house, 1/2 mile south of Neilson’s, was headquarters for the American army commanding general, Horatio Gates.

The only account from the time of the battles says General Enoch Poor of New Hampshire and General Benedict Arnold of Connecticut were quartered here.

Fighting came within about one mile of this house. As Gates’ army moved on, though, they left behind a farm in near-ruins. John and Lydia returned shortly after the army’s departure and began restoring the farm. Their crops had been ravaged, and their fields torn up. John filed a damage claim in May 1778, in the amount of £100 (about three times a soldier’s annual salary), but he was not reimbursed.

The Neilsons continued with their family life, eventually having eight children. As the family grew, a small house would no longer do; the first U.S. Census from 1790 lists eleven people living here. By 1830, they had built a larger, two-story home.

By the 1890s, they had pushed back the original part of the house and added a carriage barn.

This house is based on the reproduction of Neilson,s Farmhouse, now standing in the grounds of the SARATOGA BATTLEFIELD NATIONAL PARK.

The model can be suitable for the French Indian War, American Revolution, and of course the American Civil War.

The model has a lift off roof, with basic interior detail, and a front door which can be opened or closed..

Drums along the Mohawk

MORGAN’S RIFLEMEN

Morgans Riflemen

THE 1st CANADIAN REGIMENT

1st Canadian Regiment

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