I never thought I would wargame the AWI southern theatre. A New York nut myself, I regularly drive my family bonkers while frantically looking for traces of entrenchments on Guan Heights, trying to locate the Red Lion Inn whereabouts near present day 39th Street and 4th Avenue or mapping the retreat of the ‘Maryland 400’ near the Vechte-Cortelyou House in Brooklyn. To me, as a wargamer, the AWI ended at Saratoga.
Now, due to this wild and crazy project, all has changed. I’m surprised by the wargaming opportunities and character the southern theatre has to offer. As always, I like to put some flavour into my silver legions, so I usually do quite some research. The troops which I’ll be commanding during the game - I’m also part of the Camden team - are no exception.
Hence I came upon Lieutenant Colonel Charles Armand Tuffin, Marquis de la Rouerie, who commanded a legion of untrustworthy German deserters and foreign adventurers who frightened their American comrades more than the British. Discipline was lax and Armand’s corps of sixty horse and sixty foot earned no honors at Camden.
I’ve learned of Captains Richard Dorsey and Anthony Singleton, who commanded the 1st Maryland Contintental Artillery Company and 2nd & 3rd Maryland Continental Artillery Company respectively. Both were veterans and appear on the Valley Forge muster rolls. Dorsey was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle.
And then there is poor Richard Caswell, the first Governor of North Carolina. After he stepped down in 1780 he assumed command of all of North Carolina’s militia. The disastrous defeat at Camden due to the poor performance of his men meant he lost favor with the Assembly and the public.
Of course, these are only some of the event’s prima donnas. Let’s not forget the farmers, labourers and other men and boys from Wilkes, Surry, Caswell, Warren and Craven County who make up the bulk of my command. Or the remnants of Pulaski’s Legion, who fought under command of their French captain as part of Armand’s troops. I’m facing quite an exhilarating mixture of personalities and troop types. As an extra, the uniform fuzziness allows me some artistic liberty. In all, this project makes me happier than a pig in sh*t.