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The Light Infantry
The Light Infantry was the guerilla force in the British Army. They held the left flank of the regiment. The other flank company. This company was first used by the British in the Seven Years' War. They were known as Light Bobs. Their job required much agility and solo reliability skills. They would be known today as Lone Wolves, or something to that extent. During the Seven Years' War they were usually used in flying columns much like at the Battle of Oswego. They were considered a necessity in the American Wars, because of the dense woodlands, stone walls, and other natural and or man made distractions. Eventually most troops became light infantry-style soldiers. It is apparent in Burgoyne's campaign when Battalion soldiers were trained and re-uniformed to appear more like Light Infantry. It proved to be a useful tactic in America , but it was too little, too late.
If you noticed the Light company had a different uniform fro that of the Battalion and Grenadiers. First their uniform coat was shortened. This was to prevent uniforms snagging on brush and dense forest. Their belting was different, it was black. Their waistcoats were also different. They were red. This and the belting was meant to camouflage them in the woods. You may laugh at the thought of Bright red camouflaging, but you would be incorrect. It is quite harder to notice red in a dimly lit forest than a white waistcoat in the same forest. Try it some time. You will agree. Also their caps were different. They were black leather skull caps with a chain twisting round the cap three times. This was done so the cap would not get snagged on trees and the chain was attached so it would repel a saber blow to the head. Occasional their musket would be shorter. Some believe this, but others are skeptic and say it is just an officers fusel. The uniform was completely meant for a soldier to stay mobilized and not be seen.
I'm sure you have All heard the stories of Lexington and Concord of how barbaric it was to fire behind trees and stone walls. It destroys the European concept of war. Well the Light Infantry and the Grenadiers were the ones sent out to go to the powder houses in Concord and retrieve powder. You may say to yourself... "Hmmm, If the Lights were sent out, why would they complain of how the rebels fought it's the same as theirs." That would make you incorrect. The ones complaining would be the Battalion officers of Lord Percy's relief column complaining. And it was the Lights taking the brunt of the damage during the skirmishes. So if you think your self agile enough. Join Our great Light Infantry Company and become a redcoat. Please e-mail Paul O'Shaugnessy at mailto:frommage @mediaone.com or Captain Lincoln Clark III at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
The Light Infantry Takes the Field and awaits further orders at a reenactment in Andover, Massachusetts
(Photo, Courtesy of Jerry Robbins)
Pte. Charles Ziniti of the Light Infantry Company performs the search arms drill at the Lexington Alarm Memorial, Oct. 14, 2001. (pic courtesy of Don Gelinas)
Bugler Brennan and Pte. Frank Spano of the Light Company. Bunker hill reenactment, Durham NH
(pic courtesy of Matt Gelinas)
Bugler Brennan and Pte. Spano. Bunker Hill Reenactment, Durham NH.
(courtesy of Matt Gelinas)
Captain Lincoln Clark III, Commanding Officer.
The Light Infantry under the command of Capt. Lincoln Clark III.
Major O'Shuagnessy as he would have appeared during te bicentennial as a lowly Private. Next to him is Leo Lycnh, evntually a colonel of the regiment for 10 or 12 years.
(Be patient, More pictures to be posted within the next week.)