Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Christmas From M'Uedail

Beannachtaí an tSéasúir - Season's Greetings, in Gaelic of course!

"Twas the Night Before Christmas, And all through the land,
We all give thought, To what shall come from Per Noel's hand.

For me it's a battalion, Or even two or three,
For the Lady Katherine, Some new French finery for me to see.

For all of the children, I'm sure it's toys or sweets,
But as we all well know, There will be joy regardless of the treats.

I do give a prayer, One that I hope you all share,
For the fine boys and girls, In uniform everywhere.

They're all so young and so fine, And so far from home,
I pray you Father Christmas, Make them your own.

As we all share our Holiday, With the ones that we love,
Let them share it too, With help from Above.

As they can't be re-painted, Or re-based as our toys,
Let them all take care, Those fine girls and boys.

As for all of us, For you and for me,
I'm sure we'll eat too much, with perhaps a little grog, We'll just have to see.

For all of you My Friends, Wherever you are,
A Joyous Season be upon you, Under the Guiding Star."

Sir William

Saturday, October 13, 2007

For Jean-Louis of Monte-Cristo, After the Style of Rousselot (Crudely!)

The other Musician's would, of course, dispense with the false "hanging sleeves" in the back, as these were worn only by the timbaliers a cheval, and with the Tiger skin saddle cover.

Respectfully, Sir William

Thursday, October 11, 2007

An Updated Dispatch Regarding The Regiments of Horse

Kind Sirs;

It is with great excitement that We here in M'Uedail make the announcement that two of Our fine new Regiments of Horse have now been designated Cuirassiers, after the Prussian style. Revised uniform plates have been substituted for those previously displayed to reflect this change. It is with equal excitement, and pride, that we announce that The Lady Katherine's Guard Caribiniers, one of our new armoured Regiments, shall now be granted a full and proper standard. Herr Rommel has assured me that he has personally recruited these lads from only the finest of the available German Cavalry volunteers, with every man having served under previous colours and in previous campaigns, and being descendant of fine, noble families. Further, both he and young Mr. Shaw's agents have personally vetted each of these men, and have sworn to their ancestry, courage under fire, and have provided recommendations from previous Commanders. In this, they are not unlike the famed Musquetaires du Roi who served Louis' ancestors so valiantly in many a storied campaign. The Lady Katherine's lads shall wear a polished cuirass of the best gun metal, to reflect their status as a "Household" Regiment.

The other new Cuirassier Regiment is that of Don Alberto Pacino. He has similarly pledged the quality and integrity of this group of volunteers, has selected only the finest and hardiest physical specimens from among the many who volunteered for this service, and is off-setting the cost of the upgraded equipment through his own financial means. Don Pacino's Regiment shall wear the more traditional "blackened" cuirass, as do the Prussians under Frederick.

Respectfully, Sir William

Friday, October 5, 2007

Your Pardon, Kind Sirs, for an Omission

I do kindly beg Your pardon Dear Reader, for l'erreur d'omission on my part. Young Shaw and Guderian reminded me that two "Administrative" bodies of troops had been created as well. These units were put together of only highly-qualified and selected individuals, and are for the security and comfort of the gentle citizenry of M'Uedail.
The first of these unusual units is the Compagnie Les Gardiens de la Foret, or in proper English, the "Company of the Keepers of the Forest". These hardy woodsmen and hunters, under the able command of Sous-Leiutenant Jean Reneau (a crack marksman and quite ruthless hunter I'm told), will be in full regimental strength and will patrol not only our forested areas, but the more wild and remote parts of our border as well. However, since their duties often require a certain amount of stealth and discretion, they will typically operate in patrols of half-companies, each commanded by a trusted sergeant, and will patrol in a looser order than our line regiments of Cavalry, much like small patrols of skirmisher's. I'm told that the Prussians and Austrians have similar units and, indeed, I did have a quarrel with Guderian, who wished to call them "Jagers zum Wald". However, I must be somewhat sensitive to the feelings of my gentle people, who are already having a difficult time adapting to the profusion of strange new accents and languages. The observant Reader will no doubt notice that these lads have very little gilt or fine lace, preferring instead to blacken their lace and buttons so as to increase their ability to be assimilated into their surroundings. Indeed, I'm told that in practice, Mssr. Reneau plans to either operate in chapeau du forage instead of his mirlitons, or blacken the unit's badge on the front of the mirlitons. And I'm told that they will typically wear deerskin gauntlets that cover their bright cuffs and leave their sabretache with their horse when functioning in a dismounted role. Their final distinctive item of notice is the fur trimming their pelisse, which is of dark wolf's fur. Apparently, Mssr. Reneau has made it a requirement that each recruit must stalk and take a male wolf armed only with the simplest of primitive weapons and provide his own fur as a matter of honour!
The second of our "Administrative Units" is the Compagnie Les Gardienes de la Frontiere, or the Keepers of the Border, commanded by that able young man Sous-Lieutenant Jacques Clouseau. I'm told that Mssr. Clouseau was a former Inspecteur Principale, or Chief Inspector, with the local Constabulary and is on quite intimate terms with every rogue, scoundrel, smuggler and ne'er-do-well in the Duchy. His unit will be similarly organized and function much like Mssr. Reneau's, except that it will focus its attentions on our chief river ports, formal border crossings and primary roadways. This unit consists of, or so young Shaw tells me, every over-zealous former constable and smuggler within our Duchy, and some from the surrounding areas as well. I do hope that young Mssr. Clouseau can maintain order within this group, but I'm told that he's quite the able administrator, and a crack investigator as well. Although I do have to confess Dear Reader, upon meeting the man for the first time, I'm damned if he didn't trip over his own boots and take a serving wench and footman down with him! I trust that this was caused by his understandable apprehension at meeting Myself and the lovely Lady Katherine for the first time. As always, time will reveal all to the patient man. I do believe that I will be comforted while on campaign and will not fear for Lady Katherine's safety with Mssr's. Reneau and Clouseau on patrol though.
Respectfully, Sir William

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Final Installment of the Uniform Series

That scamp Shaw! He allowed me to believe for a full day that he and Guderian had neglected to complete the necessary instructions for the various supernumary units of my Guard to provide to the Brothers Knotel. And yet, here they are! He must always have his little jests with me, that one. I must say that I am quite delighted with them. The Artillery presents the proper, somber attitude that most valuable arm of the service must have to perform their required duties, yet still retains that certain aura of panache that suits me so well. And as to my personal Guard, this was a complete suprise to me. I was so busy concocting my own little suprise for my bride, that I quite failed to discerne that the Lady Katherine and young Shaw had been entertaining one of my late, Sainted Mother's kinsman, the Honourable Joseph Henry MacKibben.

This gentleman is a "salty" veteran of many a campaign, both under the flag of the Stuart's and that of Louis. I had hoped that I might entice the man to join me, along with his twin sons Joseph and Henry, but never imagined he would command my personal Guard. I am disappointed to not have his son's join us, but those two fine young Scots are off to the America's to seek their fortune in an area called "The Western Reserve", apparently an unexplored wild portion of the English colony of Connecticut overrun with wild Red Indians and all sorts of game. They have promised to write to us and I shall look forward to following their adventures as well. I have often thought that, if Destiny had not chosen the path that She has for me, I too might have been such a "colonist", or other such adventurer. The Lady Katherine simply says that I wanted to be a Pirate or Buccaneer, and ravage and plunder, which I think scandalous from a noble-born Lady such as herself. Besides, I'm told that a Duke has more than enough "plundering and ravaging" to do in his own right! At least all that I have known or served have done so.

Respecfully, Sir William