Wargaming the English Civil War, American War of Independence and Sudanese campaigns in 28mm

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Bunker Hill Terrain Project

As I'll eventually be re-fighting the battle of Bunker Hill, I'll need some terrain. I've decided to try and recreate the battlefield as closely to how it originally looked as I can. I've done a bit of research and found a couple of images of what the redoubt and battlefield looked like at the time. Hopefully this will aid you if you want to recreate it too and may save you some time! Any posts with anything to do with the terrain project will be tagged the same, making it easier to find related posts. Each image is annotated below.

This image supposedly shows the layout of the redoubt which sat on Bunker Hill (it's unclear whether they actually mean Breed's Hill as they were often confused with each other as the fighting actually look place here and not on Bunker Hill). From all other sources I've read, this looks a little too elaborate for the earthworks which topped Breed's Hill. The redoubt and other defences were hastily erected and seem to consist of a mostly square redoubt with fleches so I'm inclined to ignore this image as it doesn't seem to fit the accounts.

This image is the most interesting and arguably the most historically accurate. Whilst showing the positioning of all the units and location of key features such as roads, the militia's defenses, brick kilns and marsh, it also shows where the British artillery was located and on which areas of the battlefield they were firing. This is represented by the lines which cross the map. It shows the cannon on Copps Hill across the river firing on the Redoubt and the 12 pdrs on Morton's Hill firing on the rail fence and the breastwork. You can also see the ships of the Navy and where they shelled. This image also gives a clear view of the defenses and redoubt, clearly showing the fleches on one side of the redoubt. This is probably how I will recreate the battlefield.

This image shows the possible shape of the defenses but doesn't show any fleches. It does however show the first attack and initial battle plan which was to try and flank the defenders and envelop them.

This image shows more of the same; the location of the forces and the relation of each terrain piece to the other (I didn't realise quite how far back the rail fence was from the redoubt!). The numbers of troops involved and each side's losses and included at the bottom of the map.

I want to include as much detail as I can in regards to the specific location of certain terrain pieces in relation to the others and make sure I include things like the roads, brick works, marsh and elevation as well of the most important terrain piece - the redoubt! I bought Paul Darnell's Touching History terrain-making guides which will prove very useful when starting out and I look forward to getting underway with this! I hope this post has been useful to you and has provided you with some interesting reading material!


AD said...

Some time ago the boston1775 blog took up the topic of the redoubt shape at Bunker Hill. Sorry I don't have a link, but he made a good case that it wasn't the image shown at top.

Anonymous said...

thank you this helped!!!

J. L. Bell said...

Here’s the link for my discussion of that first diagram of the redoubt. Among Bunker Hill maps and descriptions it is, let’s say, sui generis.