Re: Sharpe's Trifles
- Jim and List, I agree with much of what has been said on this topic. But....
From: yawors1@... <yawors1@...>
To: WarOf1812@onelist.com <WarOf1812@onelist.com>
Date: Monday, November 02, 1998 11:45 PM
Subject: [WarOf1812] Sharpie
>From: yawors1@...must, just must, get my two cents worth in!
>I would agree with most of what has been posted re: Sharpe series, but
>First of all, I think Sean Hirst's comment about Sharpie doing us some goodif he raises interest in our time period is right on. When someone asks me
about the series who obviously is a big fan, I never run it down. I agree
that it's really neat. Then, I quietly start pointing out that limitations
in budget meant they had to cut a few corners - the 'real thing' is even
neater! This way, you channel the enthusiasm towards doing things more
>historically correct.Yes, I agree on that one. I would NEVER put Sharpe down to a member of the
public at an event, esp. as with a little bit of gentle correction and
encouragement, that individual could be persuaded to join us! <VBG> After
all, perhaps it was reading/watching Sharpe's that might have caused this
person to come out to see shakoes and Bakers, redcoats and Besses to begin
with! We all
started out in this hobby not only knowing less than we do now, but also we
all had to UNlearn a few misconceptions as well. Sharpe's Trifles
definitely fits the latter description.
>Excuses, excuses- if you're gonna do it, do it right!
>Personally, I think the books are far superior to the shows - but this is,
>actually, because of budget limitations
>i.e. I really believe what I tellIt is a question of is a Yugo better than a Corvair? (Sorry, non-North
>our neophyte on this score!
Americans- please insert the names of defective auotomobiles known in your
>are dirty, guns are clean": isn't this the essence of the Peninsular army?
>In addition to Obidiah, I personally find Frederickson quite amusing: "Men
That's right- well said! I had forgotten Frederickson- in the books he's
multifaceted character, more so than Sharpe. In the series, he's made
one-dimensional for the shock value of his hair, eye-patch and teeth.
>As a bit of fun, here is my vote for "best scene" from the tv series, and
>Best: the congreve rocket battery scene: uniforms are nice, rockets are
I am honestly trying to think of a best scene from the TV series....nothing
comes to mind, and I'm not trying to be uncharitable, either. The books? I
at least liked Sharpe's Regiment, in that Cornwell gives a pretty good
picture, to my
mind at least, of the recruiting methods and its accompanying corruption
(crimping) that did go on in the British Army. And I think somewhere in that
book Sharpe was to have been offered the command of a rifle unit in Canada
or the US theatres. Just think- Sharpe in the American War....heaven
I should mention that I've had a few Sharpe-heads sign on to our little
gang, and I just send 'em Kincaid, Jackets of Green, Surtees, etc., and I
rarely hear about Sharpe again. It's amazing what a little illumination
through knowledge can accomplish. Fact is more thrilling than fiction, I
>Worst: the chosen men are carousing in a tavern as Sgt. Harper goes to talkthem in to accompanying Sharpie on a dangerous mission. The Chosen men have
decided they're "out of there" and intend on going to catch a boat back home
the next day. Harper patiently talks them in to agreeing to accompany
>God, to describe this scene actually HURTS!Downright root-canal!!
>As if any british soldier ofIt'll
>our time period had these sorts of choices open to them, and as if... well,
>I could go on & on, but I'm sure you're all wincing about this one...
>be a hard one to top, I'm sure!Patently ridiculous- even at Corunna, Riflemen _as a rule_ did not desert,
esp. with Gen'l. "Black Bob" Craufurd breathing down everybody's necks. I
am reminded of the quote from Rifleman Harris (p.195) that he attributes to
Craufurd, a mean, but fair, SOB if there ever was one:
"You may think because you are Riflemen, you may do what you think proper,
but I'll teach you the difference before I am done with you."
It is true, there were many small Brigades of Detachments made up of
stragglers of Brit. troops who got left behind in Portugal after Corunna,
incl. Riflemen, but they stayed on AND fought, unlike Cornwell's depiction
of elite troops throwing in the towel and wanting to desert. Ree-
dick-you-less! From Cope's 1877 "History of the Rifle Brigade", at New
Orleans (finally an 1812 reference!!) American troops calling out in the
night tried to get the 3/95th to desert- without result, and in some cases,
with their officers' approval (esp. after they discovered how dirty the
Americans fought!!), they answered these blandishments with well-aimed rifle
I'll bet this thread is NOT going to go away....
>square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of
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>The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of
- In a message dated 03/11/1998 7:58:44 AM, fullerfamily@... wrote:
>From Cope's 1877 "History of the Rifle Brigade", at NewOh joy! MY favourite topic! New Orleans! (oh no, everyone says, don't get him
>Orleans (finally an 1812 reference!!) American troops calling out in the
>night tried to get the 3/95th to desert- without result, and in some cases,
>with their officers' approval (esp. after they discovered how dirty the
>Americans fought!!), they answered these blandishments with well-aimed rifle
Roger's bit above is quite true though, and I always like to add the 95th into
any discussion of New Orleans that pops up, as it usually includes all the old
myths and outright lies the battle and its orators immediately after spawned
Few ever seem to know about the 500 men of the 3/95th at N.O. and the role
they played. I always find it amusing to hear again and again about them thar
crack backwoods riflemen perching atop the parapet to get a better shot at the
British.....yeah right, if any such had been idiot enough to do so he was
probably one of the US casualties on Jan. 8 and probably hit by a shot from
one of the 95th, who were deployed out front in skirmish order and got into
the ditch and were digging steps into the parapet with their sword bayonets!