Sunday, September 2, 2018

W. Britain17156 24th Michigan - Iron Brigade flagbearer

Now that I'm getting Social Security  (thank you FDR) I'm budgeting a few dollars each month to collect W. Britians American Civil War figures.  I've been focusing on Federal artillery, and now, toy soldiers of the "Iron Brigade" - specifically the 24th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment of my home state.

I find myself surprised at the paucity of information that is available for toy soldiers of such a venerated (deservedly) company as W. Britain.  So to bridge the gap, in hopes of being helpful to you, my fellow toy soldier collectors and player-withers, I thought I'd provide a detailed walk-around of each soldier, or set of soldiers, that I acquire, to provide at least a little more visual information about each.  I hope you find it helpful.

The epic fight of the 24th Michigan at Gettysburg depicted by artist Don Troiani.

Regimental flags were about more than instilling esprit de corps or unit pride, they also served a very practical function.  Often when a regiment was engaged in battle, in the welter of smoke, noise, danger, and utterly confusion terrain, a soldier, or group of soldiers could become disoriented as to where they were in respect to the rest of their unit.  The regimental colors, held aloft in the center of the battle line, gave those men something to look for as an indication of where they were relative to the center...a way to get their bearings as to which way the advance was moving.

Here's a little video I did many years ago when I was working as a park ranger at Antietam National Battlefield, that illustrates, to a small degree, the confusion that enveloped a battlefield:  

Gosh, I loved working at that park.  

Now for the walk-around:

Nearly all Union troops were attired in four-button sack coats and forage caps,  but in addition to their legendary fighting abilities,  the regiments of the storied Iron Brigade were distinguished by their regulation frock-coats and black, plumed Hardee hats The regiments of the Iron Brigade were famously referred to by Confederates as: 
"Those damned black hats."

The tattered remains of one of the flags of the 24th following the Battle of Gettysburg.

The flag as it is preserved today at the state capitol building in Lansing Michigan.

This toy soldier is from 1999, and for as nice as it is, the subsequent editions of Britian's soldiers have reached even higher degrees of detail and sculpting.


See you next time.  Until then...

Soldier On!


1 comment:

Mike said...

I truly appreciate both the walk-around, with it's information, and that very nice video. I imagine lucky visitors had a fine experience with you as a guide, Mannie.

The comment about Social Security is dead-on, as well.