Congress created the regiment in December of 1775 and Colonel John Haslet assembled it in January 1776. The Delaware Regiment, which was actually a battalion, was organized by recruiting from the lower three counties of Pennsylvania. These three counties are known today as Delaware. The Delaware Regiment was noted as having the best uniforms and equipment. A deep blue coat trimmed in red with brass buttons for officers and pewter for enlisted, and belt buckles cast with "DB" for Delaware Battalion. Trousers of buckskin flared for the boot with leggings were custom fit to each soldier. The headgear was just as dashing. High peaked front caps with the Delaware crest were made of leather. In some instances tri-corners of leather and wool were worn. The uniform was patterned after one of the elite British "Foot" units. This uniform would later become standard for the Continental Army.
The Regiment was assigned to the Middle Department to protect the mid-Atlantic region of the 13 colonies. Eight companies were formed to defend this region. Six of these were stationed in Dover, while the remaining two were sent to garrison Lewes. Unfortunately there were problems obtaining enough weapons for the men. Even at full strength, many in Dover had no weapons. If attacked they were ordered to pick up a fallen man's musket and powder. Fortunately, many would have arms by the time of conflict. One particular battle proved that the Delaware could hold their own in the face of overwhelming odds.
At the battle of Long Island, the Delaware Regiment was positioned to the right of Washington's line of defense. They were to defend the most direct route from the British landing site at south Brooklyn, to the American fortifications in Brooklyn Heights. Out numbered and out gunned, Washington began to withdraw his force to the safety of the fortifications. The Delaware, feeling the pressure and the heat, held their ground until Washington's forces were completely gone. It was at this point that they were outflanked and forced to retreat. The Regiment, keeping composure, professionalism, and organization conducted an orderly retreat through thick marshland and across the Gowanus Creek. With them they managed to recover all of their wounded men and about 20 prisoners. A few days later Washington embraced his Delaware to protect the rear of his force as they withdrew from Brooklyn Heights to Manhattan.
SURPRISE! 6 months later,, after the withdrawal from Brooklyn and the battles of White Plains and Trenton, Washington was now faced with Princeton. His face-to-face engagement with Cornwallis was going well until British reinforcements arrived unexpectedly at Washington's jump point. In the fierce and violent battle that followed, Gen.eral Hugh Mercer was killed by British bayonets while defending a bridge. Within minutes, the Delaware's Col. John Haslet was shot through the head and died instantly. With that came a rally, and the British were driven from the field leaving some 350 of their own dead and wounded. The colonial forces were lucky that day with minimal loses that numbered only about 40 including Generals Mercer and Haslet.
1780 joined the Delaware with the Maryland Regiment to form a full brigade. They were moved to the south to join the southern army. The unit's highest praise comes from this joining. Their most famous battles include: Cowpens, Guilford Court House, Camden, Eutaw Springs, and Hobkirks Hill. At the end of it all, the Delaware was present for Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783 the Delawares were officially disbanded and sent back to their families and homes.
Today the Delaware Regiment still lives in the form of the Delaware National Guard, which was formed after the war. These men and women, to this day, carry on the dedication and commitment to their country in time of war and in case of natural and man made disasters.
The soldier encased in this boxed set is a Private or other enlisted type. His pewter buttons give him away. Flared pants representative of the buckskin pants worn by the Delawares have flared boot bottoms to fit over the half gaiters or splatterdashers. The coat is a nice and accurate recreation of the original. The coat was lined with red and then over cut to form fold-overs for added decoration. The Uniform on this soldier was later made mandatory as the Continental Army's first full time uniform. The tri-corner is a very nicely done headpiece though I would have liked to see them do the mitered hat as well. The white shirt lined with pewter buttons is part of the uniform. This uniform was hand cut and sewn to fit each soldier. The uniform provided with this figure is, in my opinion, a true recreation. Sideshow's historical department did their work with this one.
The soldier of this time period carried everything on his back. You have to remember that this was a different time all together. There were no camelbacks, load bearing vests, rucksacks with frames and so on. A bag with sewn straps and a cover to keep the rain out was what he carried his extras in. Some of these extras might be: stockings, shirts, personal hygiene gear and so on. The knapsack included is flapped with three plastic buckles. Enclosed in it is a checked blanket. The haversack was used to carry the food that kept the men going. The one enclosed is similar in appearance to several found in a local museum. The tin canteen is an accurate model of the original. The bayonet is a perfect addition to this set and fits the Musket nicely as well as correctly!
The Head Sculpt
The eyes of a man in pain as his farmland and country are burned. This head sculpt is a very poignant one. His full face and dark sunken eyes put this man in a world he never thought he would be in. Mat Falls brings the warrior out in this man. The depiction of a troubled man is either accidentally or skillfully crafted, but either way its one of the best. When I look at this soldier sitting on my shelf I see a lot of pain as he watches his crops burn or over looks the harbor as the British transports begin to dock. My personal opinion is that with a small-embedded lock of hair or a kite tail the head would be prefect.
The French musket was supplied to the colonies in large numbers. The .69 caliber musket fired a 64 to 69 caliber ball. They were about 42 inches in length and with the 24-inch triangular type spike bayonet made an intimidating weapon. The bayonet was an important part of the infantry fighting system. The length of the musket coupled with the length of the bayonet helped defend against Dragoons and other cavalry type troops. The musket included in this set a very nice recreation of the Charleyville. It comes with a cloth sling with sling rings, a movable hammer, and a bayonet. The bayonet fits great too!
I have to say that Sideshow tends to travel the path that very few figure makers tend to follow. Sideshow continually sells out of figures and this should be a hint to the rest of the market that these particular military figures sell, and sell well. The reason why I have never been able to pan a figure is because they are done well. Every different figure has a different head sculpt. This personality, so to speak, is why I believe that Sideshow is No. 1 in the business of "collectible" action figures, especially of this era. If you would like to purchase this figure click the link below.