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Re: Sharpe's Trifles

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  • Roger Fuller
    Jim and List, I agree with much of what has been said on this topic. But.... ... From: yawors1@uwindsor.ca To: WarOf1812@onelist.com
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 3, 1998
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      Jim and List, I agree with much of what has been said on this topic. But....
      -----Original Message-----
      From: yawors1@... <yawors1@...>
      To: WarOf1812@onelist.com <WarOf1812@onelist.com>
      Date: Monday, November 02, 1998 11:45 PM
      Subject: [WarOf1812] Sharpie


      >From: yawors1@...
      >
      >I would agree with most of what has been posted re: Sharpe series, but
      must, just must, get my two cents worth in!
      >First of all, I think Sean Hirst's comment about Sharpie doing us some good
      if 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.
      >
      >Personally, I think the books are far superior to the shows - but this is,
      >actually, because of budget limitations

      Excuses, excuses- if you're gonna do it, do it right!

      >i.e. I really believe what I tell
      >our neophyte on this score!

      It is a question of is a Yugo better than a Corvair? (Sorry, non-North
      Americans- please insert the names of defective auotomobiles known in your
      areas here...<GG>)
      >
      >In addition to Obidiah, I personally find Frederickson quite amusing: "Men
      are dirty, guns are clean": isn't this the essence of the Peninsular army?

      That's right- well said! I had forgotten Frederickson- in the books he's
      quite a
      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
      worst...
      >
      >Best: the congreve rocket battery scene: uniforms are nice, rockets are
      neat.

      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
      forfend!!

      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
      think.

      >Worst: the chosen men are carousing in a tavern as Sgt. Harper goes to talk
      them 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
      Sharpie.

      Boh-gass...

      >God, to describe this scene actually HURTS!

      Downright root-canal!!

      >As if any british soldier of
      >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...
      It'll
      >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
      shots!

      I'll bet this thread is NOT going to go away....

      YMH&OS
      Roger
      3/95th Foot
      >
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    • NINETY3RD@xxx.xxx
      ... Oh joy! MY favourite topic! New Orleans! (oh no, everyone says, don t get him started...) Roger s bit above is quite true though, and I always like to add
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 3, 1998
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        In a message dated 03/11/1998 7:58:44 AM, fullerfamily@... wrote:

        >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
        >
        >shots!


        Oh joy! MY favourite topic! New Orleans! (oh no, everyone says, don't get him
        started...)
        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
        and enlarged.
        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!

        Cheers!
        Benton
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