Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Continental in hunting shirt 1780-1781

I think I'm going to call this study done. Though I could add maybe a little shading here and there on the musket, it would not hurt to leave it alone. The next painting will be an 8 X 10 landscape with a historic structure as the central focus.


DeWolfe said...

I just found your blog and I love your stuff. This piece is the best of a very good bunch in my opinion, I also particularly like the barn. Do you sell prints of this Continental? And do you do British soldiers too or just the rebels? I'd be interested to see how you depicted a Black Watch highlander or a Queen's Ranger.

John Rees said...

Hi Gary,

I'm writing about the 1780-81 Continental soldier in the hunting shirt wearing a cap with horsehair or cowtail crest made from a cut-down hat. Beautiful rendering! Except for one exception, this is exactly how the light infantry battalions looked that went south with Lafayette in March 1781, and faced Cornwallis in the field the summer before Yorktown. The exception is that the fellow is a bit rotund for a Continental soldier, especially Lafayette's 1781 light troops. Lt. Col. Francis Barber, commander of one of the three light battalions, decribed the men's condition in July 1781:

"The campaign in this quarter has been much the most severe that I ever experienced from the warmness of the climate & our almost incessant marching – marching almost day & night. Altho we are perfectly healthy, yet we do not look like the same men. Our flesh & colour have gradually wast’d away. Three of my captains are, as we say, totally knocked up; one of them John Holmes is obliged to quit the department & return to New Jersey to be relieved by another officer. I am leaner than ever I was in my life; but I do assure you, I am very healthy. Billy is also much reduced, but enjoys his health & spirits."

My article on those light battalions is slated for posting online at www.revwar75.com/library/rees sometime this winter or spring. If you wish a copy I can email you one.

Cheers, John Rees

John Rees said...

By the way, you can contact me via email using a link at the weblink I gave you. John Rees