British Units at Casa de Salinas
Division Major General Sir Alexander Mackenzie
2/24th Foot (Warwickshire Regt.)
2/31st Foot (Huntingdonshire Regt.)
1/45th Foot (Nottinghamshire Regt.)
Mackenzie's Brigade Light Battalion
2/87th Foot (Prince of Wales Own Irish Regt.)
1/88th Foot (Connaught Rangers Regt.)
Donkin's Brigade Light Battalion
23rd Light Dragoon's
1st KGL Hussars
The Casa de Salinas project nears completion with the addition of the second battalion in General Mackenzie's 1st brigade, the 2nd battalion, 31st Foot, otherwise known as the "Young Buffs".
The nickname was gained around 1760, to quote The Napoleon Series with my additions
"Because of their buff facing colour they were mistaken by George II for the 3rd Foot who greeted them with "Bravo Buffs" at Dettingen. The King, on being told that they were not the "Old Buffs", but were the 31st Foot, replied, "then bravo Young Buffs".
|2nd Regiment of Marines in the War of Spanish Succession|
Arriving too late to be part of Sir John Moore's campaign into Spain that year, the two battalions wintered in Lisbon forming part of the small British force under the command of Major General John Cradock.
Left behind by Sir Arthur Wellesley who took command of British forces in April 1809 and marched against Marshal Soult in Oporto, the 2/31st together with the 2/24th and 1/45th are put under the command of Major General Mackenzie as his 1st Brigade in his newly formed 3rd Division.
On the 25th July 1809 they were reported with a strength of 733 men all ranks.
The first taste of action for the 2/31st happened on the banks of the Alberche Stream east of Talavera
The inexperienced 1st Brigade was caught by the onrush of French voltigeurs followed by their battalion columns.
The 2/31st, falling back on their supports, re-established their order and it was then discovered that they had paid a high price for their initiation to battle with the loss of 119 of their comrades.
The casualties were 24 dead including Captain William Lodge, five officers and 88 men wounded and 2 men taken prisoner.
The 2/31st would go on to prove itself as one of Wellington's veteran second battalions that suffered, as did most second battalions, from an inability to maintain their strengths over time. Surviving the debacle of Albuera in 1811, by being able to rapidly form square and survive the destruction of the other battalions in its brigade, the 2/31st would continue to dwindle in strength.
The value Wellington placed on them was confirmed when four companies of the 2/31st , three companies of the 2/66th and three companies of the 29th Foot were combined to form The Provisional battalion in May 1811 following Albuera, later to become the 1st Provisional Battalion.
The 2/31st as part of the 1st Provisional Battalion would serve throughout the rest of the war ending its days before the walls of Toulouse in 1814.
My battalion is composed in the main with figures from the Xan range of British infantry with Colonel Campbell and his two Ensigns from the AB range. The colours are from GMB flags.
Sources consulted were:
Talavera, Wellington's First Victory in Spain - Andrew W. Field
Next up the 1/45th Foot (Nottinghamshire Regt.) or "Old Stubborns"