Friday, May 16, 2008

1:1 Civil War Regiment

I'm a high school History and English teacher, and for the past four years I've taught a semester long class on the Civil War. The students always struggle to understand WHY Civil War formations were so difficult to manage. After all, a kid can walk four miles in an hour pretty easily. Why, he might wonder, did it take an hour for a Civil War regiment in line of battle to cover a mile? Why is a flank attack so devastating? Can't the regiment just turn to face its attackers? The many documentaries on the battles don't help. Without fail, a regiment is depicted by 12 reenactors and a flag.

I built this 415 man Union regiment to illustrate just how large these regiments were and, consequently, just how difficult it was to maneuver them around the battlefield. The riflemen are all from Old Glory's 10mm line, as is the color party, but the company commanders are GHQ. There are 40 men in each of the ten companies.

This was a success as a teaching tool, but a failure as a diorama. I never got the terrain to look right. Now that I'm not teaching, I'm going to cut these figures off the diorama and base them up for Fire and Fury.

Click on the pictures to get larger images.


  1. Hello, I just came across your blog, and I very much like your project of a 1:1 battalion. I also believe it is an excellent way of understanding military history, in many aspects better than reanactment as you say. I have myself led a similar project for the napoleonic period, which you can see on this page
    Again, congratulations for this great achievement !

  2. Very enjoyable! And Emmanuel, I found your site some years ago, and couldn't find it again; I am very glad to have found it again! Great stuff!

  3. Yeah, nice site Emmanuel! I think I had seen your figures a couple years ago. That's some inspiring stuff!

  4. Hi Scott

    The other thing that this shows is that this diarama prepresents an understrength regiment.