During the American Revolution armies fought in long, close-ranked lines. The flanks, or ends, of these formations were the most vulnerable positions. A successful enemy flank attack could be devastating. For this reason, the flank companies of each battalion or regiment had to have the most disciplined and dependable soldiers in the unit.
Flank companies drew personnel from the regular line companies. They were the elite, and included only the best and the brightest. These men were already the tactically smartest soldiers in the regiment. They typically underwent additional specialized light infantry training to hone their skills.
A flank company filled many demanding roles and was the commander’s best tool for responding to fluid situations on the battlefield. They were variously tasked to serve as advance skirmishers, assault troops on fortified positions, and as rear guards to protect a retreat. Individual flank companies were often detached for special operations, such as raiding, surprise attacks, and intelligence gathering.
We see ourselves in this tradition. Military related history projects can pose the greatest challenges in cultural resource management. Each project is unique, and a well developed knowledge of historic events, military tactics, and technological innovations is necessary from the outset. Our historians are skilled researchers and are familiar with military related record groups at all the major archival repositories. Facts gleaned from these research centers are used to compile exciting and dynamic historic contexts. The contexts, in turn, often drive the research focus during the fieldwork.
Archaeological investigations have resolved many long standing debates among military historians. To determine the true locations of forts, bivouac areas, and battlefields, our archaeologists use remote sensing technologies, GIS mapping techniques, and computer modeling, along with standard archaeological methods. We draw together the talents of all Brockington’s historians, archaeologists, cartographic artists, and artifact specialists, as needed. This truly multi-disciplinary approach is necessary for documenting and protecting our rapidly disappearing forts and battlefields.