British Army Uniforms of the American Revolution 1751-1783

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The breeches or trousers, like the waistcoat, clung tightly to his body, forcing an effort with each step taken. Gaitors or splatterdashes, which were usually put on wet, would often shrink during the day and cut off circulation to the legs and feet. A large, wide leather belt ran from the left shoulder, across the chest and to the right hip. This belt supported a rectangular cartridge box that housed prepacked powder and lead shot. Note: Many drawings and media depict British soldiers of this time as wearing two such wide leather belts, one over each shoulder and crossing at the middle.

British Army Uniforms during the American Revolutionary War – Revolutionary War Journal

This is inaccurate. Only one belt was worn. Some accounts contest that the second shoulder belt held the bayonet scabbard, but as noted, the bayonet hung from the waist. It was not uncommon for those who stood in long ranks facing their enemy to be weighed down in clothing and gear totaling hundred and twenty pounds, to which was added a fourteen pound musket, a one pound bayonet and a pound or so of lead shot.


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Each soldier was required to carry the full pack on parade, during line of march and even into battle. During the Battle of Bunker Hill, it was not until after the second attack up Breeds Hill was repulsed by the rebels, that General Howe allowed his men to relinquish their hundred pound packs for the final and successful charge. Companies of light infantry and grenadiers each regiment had at least one of ten companies comprised of these special troops , carried identical packs as the rest of the regiment.

The term light infantry had nothing to do with the load of gear they carried.

British Army Uniforms of the American Revolution 1751 - 1783

The only difference were the extra braids, buttons and ornaments that adorned their uniforms. What set the grenadiers apart from others among the ranks, outside their tall stature, were the lofty, eighteen inch black bearskin caps designed to exaggerate their presence and strike fear into the enemy.

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Officers, especially generals, considered it their duty to be properly dressed at all times. Their uniforms were not as restrictive as the enlisted men. The overcoat was loose and flowing and far more comfortable.


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  6. Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. Learn how to enable JavaScript on your browser. NOOK Book. Based on contemporary records and paintings, this book identifies each cavalry and infantry regiment and illustrates changes in uniforms, their facing colors and the nature and shape of lace worn by officers, NCOs and private soldiers from to Regiments that served in the American War of Independence are noted and the book includes more than full-color plates of uniforms and distinctions.

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    British Army Uniforms of the American Revolution 1751-1783

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    British Empire Infantry Uniforms 1660 - 1897

    Overview Based on contemporary records and paintings, this book identifies each cavalry and infantry regiment and illustrates changes in uniforms, their facing colors and the nature and shape of lace worn by officers, NCOs and private soldiers from to Show More. Free delivery worldwide.

    Bestselling Series. Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Description Based on contemporary records and paintings, this book identifies each cavalry and infantry regiment and illustrates changes in uniforms, their facing colours and the nature and shape of lace worn by officers, NCOs and private soldiers from to Regiments that served in the American War of Independence are noted and the book includes more than full-colour plates of uniforms and distinctions. Divided into four sections, it not only details the cavalry and infantry uniforms of the period but also the tartans of the Highland regiments, some of which were short-lived, and the distinction of the Guards' regiments.