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"Officer Down!" Legion of the United States Soldier Helping Wounded Officer, 1794--two figures, sword, hat, & musket

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W. Britain

Item Number: 16141

"Officer Down!" Legion of the United States Soldier Helping Wounded Officer, 1794

From 1792 to 1796, the United States Army was officially reorganized into combined arms units inspired by the classic Roman legions.  The Secretary of War, Henry Knox, and Major General Anthony Wayne, the commander of the Legion, had both begun their military educations with Julius Caesar’s Commentaries.  The parallels between the Roman Army’s campaigns in Gaul and the warfare on the North American frontier were significant.  With the recent disasters of 1790-91, an overhaul of the conventional organization of the small Federal army was thought to be best implemented with an increase in manpower.  Each regiment, now designated as a sub-legion, included infantry, riflemen, light dragoons, and artillery.

During the battle of Fallen Timbers in August of 1794, Anthony Wayne’s army had lost 33 men and had about 100 wounded.  Early in the fighting, a company officer was wounded, possibly a target because of his conspicuous officer’s dress.  In the long chain of conflicts with Europeans during the 18th and 19th centuries, Native warriors learned early on the importance of targeting officers to cripple command and control.  Training of the period did not encourage independent action.  As a matter of fact, the organized use of the bayonet and firepower en masse often made the difference--when properly employed.

Released in DECEMBER 2022.