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Guardsman Journal

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The Battle of Mount Vernon

On April 30th, the Crown Forces arrived at the estate of General George Washington and soon brought his Continental and allied forces to battle as the clouds gathered on an ominous spring day.  The Guards comprised the Third Platoon of the First Battalion, led by Colonel Eric Schnitzer of the 62nd Regiment of Foot.  Others joined under the Colonel's command included:

 First Battalion assembles to the southeast of Washington's Lower Garden.

First Battalion assembles to the southeast of Washington's Lower Garden.

 The Coldstream, veterans of many prior engagements, show no concern for the enemy rabble on the far side of the estate.

The Coldstream, veterans of many prior engagements, show no concern for the enemy rabble on the far side of the estate.

The battalion first engaged Rebel skirmishers along the fence line of the Lower Garden.  Advancing step by step with several guns of the Royal Artillery, the enemy was beaten back volley by volley.  Yet, we were not without our own casualties, as several of the honoured dead fell among Washington's fruit trees.

 After pushing through the Lower Garden, First Battalion advances beyond the Royal Artillery guns to engage the enemy on open ground.

After pushing through the Lower Garden, First Battalion advances beyond the Royal Artillery guns to engage the enemy on open ground.

Emerging from the garden and onto flat ground, First Battalion linked up with Second Battalion to squeeze the remaining Rebel forces.  With the enemy surrounded and pressed on two sides, Colonel Schnitzer ordered the First Battalion to fix bayonets and drive them from the field.  The Continentals shortly withdrew into the woodline, giving the day's victory to the Crown Forces.

 4th Company retired to camp for a delicious "victory meal", hoping the weather would hold off for the evening.

4th Company retired to camp for a delicious "victory meal", hoping the weather would hold off for the evening.

As night fell, Serjeant Theis ordered a small raiding party depart to obtain some of Washington's finest ale (generously provided by Mount Vernon staff). A good time was had by all, as said party returned to camp (careful to offer the parole when challenged by the pickets) with quite the cast of characters: a Continental prisoner, a Hessian ally, but most shockingly - Private Sean Wallis, formerly of the 4th Company.  Having deserted the British Army nearly ten years ago, Private Wallis had turned privateer and joined up with the North Carolina militia to fight for the Rebel Army! Luckily, all was soon forgiven as the Company discovered the Captain's secret stash of rum - to be joined by several troublemakers of the 42nd Highlanders.

Sadly by the morning, as many of us were nursing the effects of the night's ribaldry, the weather turned for the worse.  Rather than risk destruction of valuable powder in what surely would rival the Battle of the Clouds of several years prior, much of the Crown Forces (including the 4th Company) chose to cede the grounds to the Rebel Army and beat a tactical retreat....to regroup and fight another day...

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235th Battle of Guilford Court House

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Last weekend, the Company began our spring campaign with the annual engagement of rebel forces in the vicinity of the Guilford Court House in the Province of North Carolina.  Having set up camp the night prior, the Guards marched several miles on empty stomachs to form up with the body of Crown Forces, which by then included the 71st Regiment of Foot (Fraser's Highlanders) and the 23rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Welsh Fusiliers), among others.  Unfortunately, the Captain and his lovely wife were detained in the northern colonies, but Serjeant Theis ensured we were in proper battle order prior to the day's engagement.

 Crown Forces arrive and prepare to form the first line.

Crown Forces arrive and prepare to form the first line.

 Brigadier General Charles O'Hara of the Coldstream Guards assumes command of the advance.

Brigadier General Charles O'Hara of the Coldstream Guards assumes command of the advance.

Maneuvering through dense brush and wooded terrain, Crown Forces engaged the enemy's first line - then comprised of local North Carolinian militia. Without suffering heavy casualties, and after a brief artillery barrages, the company continued its advance - pushing the militia out of the woods and fixing bayonets to drive up into the second line of Continentals.  It was here where we suffered significant casualties as Lt. Colonel William Washington's light dragoons and the First Maryland Regiment eventually repulsed the Company's progress.

 The Brigade of Guards holds the left flank as Crown Forces advance in open order through wooded terrain to engage the North Carolina militia.

The Brigade of Guards holds the left flank as Crown Forces advance in open order through wooded terrain to engage the North Carolina militia.

We managed to withdraw under fire successfully without excessive casualties, and engaged the enemy once more on Sunday.  By then the weather had turned sour, and by the end of the day many of our own wounded were left to suffer as the storm rolled in.  In the end, and while we did suffer heavy casualties, the British Army and its allies held the field.

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Occupation of Annapolis

By late October, the Brigade had regained its strength and was on the move to Annapolis, the capital of His Majesty's rebellious colony of Maryland.  Our orders were to occupy the home and grounds of William Paca, signer of the so-called Declaration of Independence, and general rabble rouser.

After arriving in town, a detachment of Guardsmen led by Captain Sheffer conducted regular patrols to ensure the colonists did not rise above their average level of agitation.

 The estate and grounds of William Paca, traitor to the King.

The estate and grounds of William Paca, traitor to the King.

Those present for garrison duty include Serjeant Theis and Guardsman Patchak, as well as a detachment of His Majesty's Marines.

 The Captain, enjoying a brief respite from harassing local troublemakers. An ensign and private from His Majesty's Marines were also stationed in the area.

The Captain, enjoying a brief respite from harassing local troublemakers. An ensign and private from His Majesty's Marines were also stationed in the area.

Following several hours of manning our designated post, as well as enjoying our fair share of rum punch absconded from Mr. Paca's kitchen, the Brigade retired to a nearby tavern.

 The Captain and Serjeant confer on how best to put down the incitement of a local rally against the King.

The Captain and Serjeant confer on how best to put down the incitement of a local rally against the King.

Unfortunately, said tavern was owned and operated by a known rebel sympathizer (and Irishman). As we concluded our meal and exited the premise, the good Serjeant was sure to make clear to the local crowd that the long hand of the British Empire would be there to stay in Annapolis, at least for the time being.

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