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RE: [Revlist] issued mittens

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  • Steve Rayner
    Hi John & ‘Liste; Mittens appear sporadically during the AWI in lists of ‘donation stores’ for the British troops. These stores began to arrive with some
    Message 1 of 24 , Jul 2, 2005
      Hi John & �Liste;

      Mittens appear sporadically during the AWI in lists of �donation stores� for
      the British troops.

      These stores began to arrive with some fanfare in the winter of 1775-76.

      Prominent in sending donations was a society for �Relief� of Soldiers,
      Women/Widows, Children/Orphans (various wording, spelling and punctuation
      leave some doubts as to who was included) This society sent items ranging
      from soap and tobacco to flannel for underwaistcoats, legging cloth, shoes,
      stockings, caps and mitts or mittens. Some evidence suggests that supplies
      were distributed to both Soldiers and Women.

      As the war continued, mentions of donation stores continue but with less
      evidence of their origin.

      There are some suggestions that some of these donation stores came from the
      Quakers in Britain. I find traces of the Quakers assisting the British Army
      at least as far back as the 1745 rebellion. In the eyes of many Quakers,
      providing support and comfort to the Soldier did not contradict their
      pacifist beliefs.

      Donation stores may have come from other sources too, but the above appear
      most prominent.

      In Neumann & Kravic�s �Collector�s Illustrated Encyclopedia� on p. 189, is a
      photo of a mittlen with the following description:

      �(1) A light brown knit wool mitten recovered from a clay bog next to
      buttons of the 23rd, 27th and 40th regiment; 12� long.�

      It is plain knit throughout, no ribbing at all, surprisingly fine yarn, and
      appears in the photo to be ambidextrous.

      I recall hearing that one of our knitting scholars had made a pattern for
      this item - just a rumor that I hope is true.

      I am not sure if more recent findings have prompted any change in the
      identification of the artifact.

      Knitting of mittens and hose appears to have been common cottage industry in
      the 18th century, followed by both men and women.

      I apologize for such a short treatment of a very interesting subject.

      Best Regards,

      Steve Rayner

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    • Neal Hurst
      Hello Sorry for the late coming on this post but here is my two cents on this discussion. On Orginal coats from the period made in Broad Cloth, it is pretty
      Message 2 of 24 , Jul 3, 2005
        Hello

        Sorry for the late coming on this post but here is my two cents on this discussion.

        On Orginal coats from the period made in Broad Cloth, it is pretty uncommon to find any type of buttonhole stitch to bind the buttonhole closed when cut. It is really defeating the purpose of the lace. If the lace is put on with a spaced back stitched or a running stitch close enough to the edge its going to hold the hole in place. On Silk however it is very common to find buttnholes being buttonholed first and then lace applied to it. But your dealing with another beast then broad cloth.

        Even if your doing bastion lace. (Radford unfortunately their are no survivng bastioned lace weskits or frocks from the period that I know of, their is a great Copley image of a guy in a bastion laced weskit so it is in civlian usage) I doubt that you are even going to do any type of buttonholeing around it. Maybe a Bar tack to hold the lace in place at the point where it flares out. I don tthink the British Army Taylors are goign to be making wonderful specimins of 18th C. Coats.

        Cheers
        Neal

        Radford Polinsky <rpolinsky@...> wrote:
        Dear Dave, Don, and List-

        > We don't use colored thread on our uniforms. All the sewing is down
        > with natural linen thread. Is there any evidence that coats used
        > colored thread in their construction?

        Why do you choose to use un-dyed thread?

        A browse through Strachan shows various quantities of "brown
        and coloured thread" issued to the 9th, 20th, 21st, 47th, and
        62nd Foot for the Convention troops at Cambridge.

        While it is reasonable to interpret "brown" as un-dyed thread,
        "coloured" is self explanatory.

        In the tailoring article in the Winter 2001 issue of the Brigade
        Despatch, Anthony Wayne is quoted under a soldier's
        necessaries: "Six needles," "Two Oz. Blue Thread," and "Two Oz.
        White" thread, all "Enclosed in a Leather case".

        It's clear that both sides of the conflict were familiar with the
        use of colored thread in their military garments. Indigo and
        madder are both cheap enough dyes that even the most penny-
        pinching Regimental Agent could see fit to get uniforms made of
        thread which matched the coat color!

        > Now, button-holes for officer's coats are a different matter.

        But what about button holes for unlaced Continental uniform coats?
        Don't they use red thread for red faced coats, buff thread for buff
        faced &c?

        > If the coat has laced button holes, there is no need for button
        > hole thread. The lace reinforces the button hole instead of
        > stitching - that's why it's there.

        I am not entirely comfortable with this idea. Open bastion looped
        coats (such as the 22nd and 33rd use) expose almost half of the
        buttonhole with no reinforcing lace. Further, regardless of
        whatever reinforcing effect the lace may have on the front side,
        the back side of the lappels and cuffs has no lace, and therefore
        no reinforcing. Regardless how well fulled your wool is, if your
        lads are letting their cuffs down and buttoning their lappels
        over in cold weather, the buttonholes are going to suffer a lot of
        wear if they are not worked. I work our buttonholes with a widely
        spaced "lowest bidder" quality buttonhole stitch before adding the
        bastion loops.

        Are there any extant laced or looped period coats (military, civil,
        livery) with functional buttonholes which may give us a clue what
        the real answer is? The 1st Guards coat which is the model for
        bastion looping does not have functional buttonholes.

        Cheers!

        Radford Polinsky
        (Sjt. John Savage, Col's. Coy. HM 33rd Foot)




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      • Steve Rayner
        Dear Liste; The following are some notes on the use of the “Grenadier’s March” at the September 11 1777 battle of Brandywine. The following questions
        Message 3 of 24 , Jul 4, 2005
          Dear 'Liste;

          The following are some notes on the use of the �Grenadier�s March� at the
          September 11 1777 battle of Brandywine.

          The following questions will be addressed:

          1. How does it relate to Howe�s General Order?

          �-Tuesday.-
          Head Quarters Boston 6 Feby. 1776.
          Regiments going to the field for Exercise, are to March from the Center by
          Companys or Divisions and are not to use the Drum or fife for Marching or
          Signals when in the field.� Stevens, p. 209

          2. How does it relate to marching in cadence?

          3. What is the best interpretation of it�s use overall?

          Accounts follow:

          Lieutenant William Hale, Grenadier Company, 45th Regiment of Foot, 2nd
          Battalion of Grenadiers, to his father:

          �Camp at Philadelphia
          21st Oct., 1777�
          Nothing could be more dreadfully pleasing than the line moving on to the
          attack; the Grenadiers put on their Caps and struck up their march, believe
          me, I would not exchange those three minutes of rapture to avoid ten
          thousand times the danger...� Hale, p. 231.

          An anonymous British Officer�s account of the battle of Brandywine:

          �The Line moving on Exhibited the most Grand & Noble Sight imaginable. The
          Grenadiers beating their March as they advanc�d contributed greatly to the
          Dignity of the Approach.� Item 409, p. 30.

          Surgeon Ebenezer Elmer of New Jersey also noted the use of this march:

          �Presently a large column came in front, playing the Grenadiers March, and
          now the battle became excessive severe. The enemy came on with fury. Our men
          stood firing on them most amazingly, killing almost all before them for near
          an hour till they got within six rods of each other, when a column of the
          enemy came upon our right flank which caused them to give way...� Rankin, p.
          155, citing �Extracts from the Journal of Surgeon Ebenezer Elmer of the New
          Jersey Continental Line,� Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography,
          XXXV (1911), p. 104-05.

          Surgeon Elmer�s location might be very important. I regret that at the time
          I did not more carefully note where the New Jersey troops were posted and
          where he was assigned, in case it was elsewhere for some reason such as a
          staff appointment, not with his brigade. I wonder if he was with the
          American first line, or in the lines behind. He does describe observing a
          column, so he might have been in the first line.

          The anonymous account continues:

          ��The whole Rebel Line presented itself to View & so close that those who
          compos�d this spirited Attack had nothing to expect but Slaughter. The
          yagers and 2nd L. I. having swampy & broken Ground to go over and besides
          oppos�d with great Number retarded their Advance. The British Grenadiers
          were Likewise strongly oppos�d, & impeded by Sev�ral Rail Fences. The fire
          of Musketry all this time was so Incessant & Tremendous as ever had been
          remember�d. But the Ardour & Intrepidity of the Troops overcoming ev�ry
          Opposition & pressing on with an Impetuosity not to be resisted. The Rebel
          Line incapable of further Resistance gave way in ev�ry part & fled with the
          utmost disorder. They were pursued closely, but the fatigue of the day
          having been very great & the Men encumber�d with their Blankets &c. it soon
          became necessary to halt & Rally Form during the Pursuit five pieces of
          Cannon were taken by the 1st L. I. two by the 2nd L. I. & two by the Grens.
          besides Artillery Waggons &ca. - a considerable Body which form�d part of
          the Rebels second Line & which remain�d in order to cover their Retreat
          being perceiv�d by the 4th Brigade they advanc�d with great Spirit in the
          Attack assisted by the 2nd L. I., part of the 1st L. I. & 2nd Grens. the
          heat of the Action fell chiefly on the 64th Regt. who suffer�d considerably
          enduring with the utmost steadiness a very heavy fire, which lasted till
          Dark, when the Rebels retreated in great panick taking the Road to Chester.�
          Item 409, p. 30-32.

          This accounts adds some interesting details. One is that the troops were
          carrying their blankets, which appear to have served in lieu of knapsacks
          during much of the 1776 campaign and almost the whole 1777 campaign. Another
          is the term �halt & Rally Form� which sounds as though related to the
          purpose of parade-ground practice of �Dispersing and Reforming.�

          It is interesting too, that there were regular Infantry Brigades assigned
          to the detachment. According to Captain Levin Friedrich Ernst von
          Muenchausen, Aid-de-Camp to General Howe, the 4th Brigade at Head of Elk on
          August 25, 1777 consisted of the 33rd, 37th, 46th and 64th under General
          Agnew. The 3rd Brigade was apparently in reserve. It consisted of the 15th,
          42nd, 44th and 17th under General Grey. [Muenchhausen, p. 76.]

          Lieutenant John Peebles, Grenadier Company, 42nd (Royal Highland) Regiment
          of Foot:

          �Thursday 11th Septr. Kennett�s Square in ye morng. the army put in motion
          by break of day - Genl. Kniphausens division (reinforced with two Brigades
          British, 1st & 2d.) moved on to the lower or right hand road to Brandywine
          to Shade�s ford with the spare Artillery & all the Baggage & Provision - The
          other division of the army march�d by the upper roads & crossed both
          branches of the Brandywine, by the road leading to Dilworth making two short
          halts[;] the 2d Light Infantry had a skirmish in the morng. about 9 by the
          way, the last about a mile from Dilworth Village After having march�d, 15 or
          16 miles; here the General refresh�d & getting some recent intelligence of
          the enemy he put the troops in motion & made a quick disposition of those in
          front - The 1st. & 2d. Light Infantry & some Yaugers on the left the Guards
          on the right, 1st. Grrs. on the left of the Guards, 2d. Grrs. on the left of
          the 1st. & the 4th. Brigade on the left of the 2d. Grrs.; these moved in
          Columns for near half a mile when the Rebels were discover�d drawn up on an
          advantageous ground forming an extensive line, with Cannon on several
          hills[.] The British Troops form�d their respective Corps & moved up to the
          Enemy under a heavy fire mostly from behind fences, & after giving them a
          few rounds charged ym. with such spirit that they immediately fled in
          confusion leaving several pieces of Cannon in the field & playing those that
          were more distant. Our Troops pursued the fugitives thro� the woods & over
          fences for about 3 miles, when they came upon a second & more extensive line
          of the Enemys best Troops drawn up & posted to great advantage, here they
          sustained a warm attack for some time & pour�d a heavy fire on the British
          Troops as they came up, who were by this time much fatigued with a long
          march & a rapid pursuit, notwithstanding these disadvantages we briskly
          attack�d ye enemy & after a close fire for some minutes charged them again &
          drove them into the woods in the greatest confusion; when the weariness of
          the Troops & the night coming on prevented any further pursuit & saved
          thousands of the Rebels�� Peebles, p. 132-33.

          Muenchausen�s account is possibly the most precise description of Howe�s
          deployment:

          �-September 11.-�
          We crossed the Brandywine seven miles up from Chad�s Ford, where the river
          is divided into two branches; the branches; the bridges were destroyed. The
          men had to cross these two branches in up to three feet of water. We then
          continued our march a short distance straight ahead, and then suddenly to
          the right down along the Brandywine toward the region of Chads Ford.

          After a march of 17 miles we finally arrived on a steep, barren height,
          where we formed into lines by brigades. We were now on the other side of
          Chads Ford, although it was three miles to the left. Here we paused for a
          long hour to give the men some rest and to enable the last of the battalions
          to come up.

          We noticed some movements from the rebels� right wings to their left ones.
          They formed two lines in good order along their heights; we could see this
          because there were some barren places here and there on the hills, which
          they occupied.

          At four in the afternoon our two battalions of light infantry and the
          Hessian jagers marched down the hill. They marched first in a column, but
          later, when they approached the enemy, in line formation, deploying to the
          left. Soon after this the English grenadiers did the same in the center,
          almost at the same time; just a little later, the English Guards formed the
          right wing. Behind the English grenadiers were the Hessian grenadiers;
          behind the light infantry and the jagers was the 4th English brigade. The
          3rd English Brigade was in reserve at the top of the hill. The two squadrons
          of dragoons, who were close to us [Howe and his staff] halted behind the
          left wing of the Hessian grenadiers�

          [Mentions making a map, which is reproduced in this volume.]

          As soon as the third column had formed, the signal to march was drummed
          everywhere. When we got close to the rebels, they fired their cannon; they
          did not fire their small arms till we were within forty paces of them, at
          which time they fired whole volleys and sustained a very heavy fire. The
          English, and especially the English grenadiers, advance fearlessly and very
          quickly; fired a volley, and then ran furiously at the rebels with fixed
          bayonets. They drove them back three miles with their bayonets without
          firing a shot, in spite of the fact that their fire was heavy.� Muenchausen,
          p. 31.

          Apparently Howe�s troops arrived in column, formed into line and paused.
          They then again formed columns of corps and advanced. As Peebles suggests,
          �these moved in Columns for near half a mile� before deploying into line.

          But where does Hale�s �three minutes of rapture� come into the picture?

          Elmer�s and Muenchausen�s accounts of the range at which the Continentals
          opened fire are about as close as they get. Elmer estimated �6 rods�, which
          is equal to 99 feet, Muenchausen estimated 40 paces, or 100 feet. I am sure
          that this is due to their use of relatively large units of measure, but the
          coincidence is uncanny unless the Americans had by some means given orders
          for, or marked the range to open fire. Elmer would otherwise have to
          estimate, while Muenchausen could later see where British casualties first
          occurred.

          Memoirs of Captain Martin Hunter, Light Infantry Company, 52nd Regiment of
          Foot, 2nd Battalion of Light Infantry:

          �The night before the battle twenty empty waggons were ordered to attend
          each battalion of Grenadiers and Light Infantry, to carry the wounded, which
          was always a preparation for battle. We were then within twelve miles of the
          fords of Brandywine river.� Hunter, p. 28.

          �The army marched, (September 11th, 1777) in two columns at daybreak. The
          British under General Howe, and the Hessians commanded by General
          Knyphausen, took different roads, and the two columns marched so as to
          arrive at the lower fords at the same time. They were distant from each
          other three miles. I fancy it was the intention of General Washington to
          have disputed our crossing at both had he arrived in time. On our arrival at
          the ford we saw the whole of the America army advancing on the road towards
          it, but on finding that we had possession of the heights above the ford he
          immediately formed his army on some very strong ground about a mile on the
          opposite side of the river. We waited to refresh our men until we heard the
          firing from Knyphausen�s column, that was opposed at the lower ford by a
          very strong detachment from Washington�s army, and lost a great number of
          men. Indeed it was some time a doubt whether they were to cross or not, the
          ford was so well disputed by the Americans.� Hunter, p. 28-29.

          �It was here, before we attacked General Washington, that Colonel Meadows
          made the famous speech to the 1st Battalion of Grenadiers, which he
          commanded: �Grenadiers, put on your caps; for d----d fighting and drinking
          I�ll match you against the world.� We marched to the attack in two columns,
          the Grenadiers at the head of one, playing �The Grenadier�s March,� and the
          Light Infantry at the head of the other. The action began by a cannonade
          from the enemy, while our army was forming in line from column.�

          Hunter adds a little depth to General Meadows� battle speech.

          At this point Hunter�s account appears more in tune with those of other
          Light Infantry Officers:

          �The position the enemy had taken was very strong indeed - very commanding
          ground, a wood on their rear and flanks, a ravine and strong paling in
          front. The fields in America are all fenced by paling. In this situation
          they allowed us to advance till within one hundred and fifty yards of their
          line, when they gave us a volley, which we returned, and immediately
          charged. They stood the charge until we came to the last paling. Their line
          then began to break, and a general retreat took place soon after, except
          from their guns, many of which were defended to the last; indeed, several
          officers were cut down at the guns. The Americans never fought so well
          before, and they fought to great advantage, as our army had made a march of
          fourteen miles before the action, and the ground was much in their favour.
          At this time the whole army was so inveterate against the Americans that we
          seldom gave any quarter, and desertion from us was scarcely known. The
          action commenced at three o�clock, and we were in full possession of the
          field by four. Both armies had a number of men killed and wounded.� Hunter,
          p. 29.

          �A very considerable body of the enemy formed in a wood to cover their
          retreat, but were immediately attacked by the 33rd Regiment and Light
          Infantry, and totally defeated. It was now near dark, and our army so very
          much fatigued that we could not follow up our victory; indeed, it could not
          have been attended with much success in a country so much intersected with
          rivers and woods, and it is always very difficult to come up with a
          retreating army with infantry.� Hunter, p. 30.

          Here is an interesting note on the 33rd. It was a regular Infantry regiment,
          but it�s Colonel, Lord Cornwallis, showed an interest in irregular tactics
          in the early 1770�s and does appear to have been among a few that were
          actually trained in Howe�s Light Infantry Exercises -before- they came to
          America. Therefore it is less than surprising that they deployed for a time
          side-by-side with the Light Infantry.

          Hale, writing of the battle of Brandywine in a letter from Philadelphia on
          March 23rd, 1778:

          �...the Hessians, who are allowed to be the best of the German troops, are
          by no means equal to the British in any respect. I believe them steady, but
          their slowness is of the greatest disadvantage in a country almost covered
          with woods, and against an Enemy whose chief qualification is agility in
          running from fence to fence and thence keeping up an irregular, but galling
          fire on troops who advance with the same pace as at their exercise... At
          Brandywine, when the line first formed, the Hessian Grenadiers were close in
          our rear, and began beating their march at the same time with us; from that
          minute we saw them no more till the action was over, and only one man of
          them was wounded by a random shot which went over us... should they ever be
          in ground that will allow the Hessians to display their skill in
          manoeuvering, they themselves make no scruple of owning our superiority over
          them, but palliate their confession by saying �Englishmen be the Divel for
          going on, but Hesse men be soldier.� They will not fight without being
          supported by their cannon which we think an useless incumbrance...� Hale, p.
          245-46.

          Hale states that the British marched much more rapidly than the Hessian
          Grenadiers.

          Hale�s comment brings up an interesting point. A lead that I would like to
          follow up on suggests that the Hessian troops had and adhered to a
          regulation. The British did not have a uniform regulation, but allowed it to
          evolve, until around 1788. The regulation was adopted in 1792.

          This lead is as I understand in a book by a Mr. Atwood called �The
          Hessians.� It either mentions or quotes a letter from a senior Hessian
          Officer who says that his troops lagged behind the British and states how
          many steps they lose compared to the British. If this be so, comparing the
          Hessian regulation with the difference in the two would give us another
          figure for the British rate of march. If anyone has and would contribute
          this information I would be very grateful.

          Muenchausen: �As soon as the third column had formed, the signal to march
          was drummed everywhere.�

          Hunter: �We marched to the attack in two columns, the Grenadiers at the head
          of one, playing �The Grenadier�s March���

          Elmer: �Presently a large column came in front, playing the Grenadiers
          March��

          The anonymous British Officer: �The Line moving on Exhibited the most Grand
          & Noble Sight imaginable. The Grenadiers beating their March as they
          advanc�d��

          Hale: �Nothing could be more dreadfully pleasing than the line moving on to
          the attack; the Grenadiers put on their Caps and struck up their march��

          A system of drum signals published in England in 1779 includes:

          �Drum.
          Signals by the drum, made use of in exercise, instead of the word of
          command, viz�
          The grenadier march To form the column�
          The grenadier march To reduce the square to the column.�
          Smith 1779, p. 313.

          Lt. Col. Henry Hope�s orders for the 1st Battalion of British Grenadiers,
          ca. August 21, 1780:

          �General Rules for Manouvouring the Battn. by the Commanding Officer�

          Signals by Drum -�

          Grenadrs. March - - to advance in Line�� Peebles Diary.

          Conclusions:

          1. How does the use of the �Grenadier�s March� relate to Howe�s General
          Order?

          Howe�s order specifies a ban on using drums or fifes for marching or
          maneuvering. It does not affect normal parade duties, normal camp duties,
          nor does it specifically affect the use of music for entertainment or
          morale-raising.

          The use of the �Grenadier�s March� at Brandywine does not conform to either
          system of signals for marching and maneuvering.

          Therefore it does not appear that the �Grenadier�s March� was being used as
          a signal either to march or to maneuver, so it does not appear to contradict
          or violate Howe�s order.

          2. How does it relate to marching in cadence?

          First, to summarize, the drum was used on the parade ground since at least
          the close of the 17th century to signal the beginning and end of marching
          and periodically on the march to signal any alteration in the rate of march.
          But the Soldiers did not use the cadence to march in step. Throughout the
          course of the 18th century the use of marching in step was debated. There
          was no regulation to require it. The addition of the fife to the drum
          beginning in the mid-1740�s was considered to be a great aid in training
          Soldiers to keep in step. By the close of the 1760�s marching in step had
          been adopted by some of the British Infantry and some of those had also
          adopted a version of the �Prussian� step for parade marching. This was
          apparently performed both correctly and incorrectly. But yet, marching in
          step was promoted as an attractive, useful practice, not yet universal. The
          clearest opinion appears to have been that of the Earl of Cavan. Cavan
          weighed the pros and cons and concluded that marching in step on parade
          duties trained the Soldier to better keep his place among his comrades,
          which held the unit together better in battle, when marching in step was not
          practical.

          On this basis we cannot suppose that all British Infantry regiments marched
          in step by the beginning of the AWI. A system for the Infantry that included
          marching in step was introduced in 1788 and made regulation in 1792.

          If we do suppose that all the British Infantry in America had adopted
          marching in step by 1776 the use of the drum or fife to regulate it on the
          exercise field was forbidden by a General Order given by General Howe.

          This might add weight to the theory I proposed that Howe�s General Order was
          to prepare the army to operate without the aid of fife or drum, as part of
          his battle tactics.

          Based on the above, is there anything in the accounts of Brandywine to
          suggest that the British marched in step? To this, the answer is �no�.

          Is there anything in the accounts of Brandywine to suggest that marching in
          step was impractical? To this, the accounts of the terrain and method of
          attack strongly suggest �yes�.

          3. What is the best interpretation of it�s use overall?

          It does appear that the �Grenadier�s March� was used as an accompaniment and
          a morale-raiser on this occasion.

          Future contributors may find accounts that either tend to confirm or
          contradict these conclusions. If anyone has evidence either way, I encourage
          them to post it.

          Some further questions regarding the �Grenadier�s March:�

          Was the use of the �Grenadier�s March� exclusive to the Grenadiers?

          When the �Grenadier�s March� was played on either the parade or the field,
          what rate of march did it indicate?

          I would like to thank Mr. Dillon for suggesting a very useful format for
          examination of findings. I regret the delay, but re-formatting the original
          submission took longer than it did to transcribe the documents.

          Humbly Submitted,

          Steve Rayner

          Hale, William; �Some British Soldiers in America.� Wilkin, Captain W. H.,
          ed., London, 1914.

          Hunter, Martin; �The Journal of General Sir Martin Hunter.� Hunter, Anne,
          and Bell, Elizabeth, eds. Edinburgh, The Edinburgh Press, 1894.

          Item 409. �Guide to the Microfilm Edition.� [Diary and Papers of an
          Anonymous British Officer.] David Library, Wahington�s Crossing, PA. Sol
          Feinstone Collection of the American Revolution. Rhistoric Publications,
          Philadelphia, PA, 1969. My thanks for this transcription by Steve Gilbert,
          March 19, 1985.

          Muenchausen, Friedrich von. �At General Howe�s Side, 1776-1778.� Kipping,
          Ernst, transl. Smith, Samuel Stelle, ed. Freneau Press, Monmouth Beach, NJ,
          1974.

          Peebles Diary, GD 21/492, 11 SRO. Notebook 11. circa. 21 August, 1780. My
          thanks to Ian Burns for this transcription.

          Peebles, John; �John Peebles� American War, 1776-1782.� Gruber, Ira, ed.
          Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA 1998.

          Rankin, Hugh F.; �The American Revolution...� G. P. Putnam�s Sons, NY, 1964.

          Stevens, Benjamin F., ed, �General Sir William Howe�s Orderly Book - at
          Charlestown, Boston and Halifax, June 17, 1775 to 1776 16 May.� Published,
          1890, reprint, Kennicat Press, NY 1970.

          _________________________________________________________________
          Express yourself instantly with MSN Messenger! Download today - it's FREE!
          http://messenger.msn.click-url.com/go/onm00200471ave/direct/01/
        • Steve Dillon
          Dear Mr. Rayner, A very well researched and interesting post, thank you. I agree with you that we must research this more, and look at the language with an
          Message 4 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
            Dear Mr. Rayner,

            A very well researched and interesting post, thank you.

            I agree with you that we must research this more, and look at the
            language with an 18th century view.

            I do agree that there, most likely, was not a host of musicians on
            the field, playing the commands. It, most likely, was as Dewees
            states, just a "field" drummer and fifer, playing a few commands, as
            Dewees states.

            I have 2 questions that I would like to bring up.

            One is:

            What was the term "field" officer used for? I see this term in many
            of the orderly books.

            Another question is:

            What is your opinion,(and the lists opinions) regarding the previous
            post I had made, stating the following:

            "The British had a small fort or redoubt directly under the muzzles
            of our cannon, with which we saluted them, and poured in shot so
            thick upon them that they were compelled to BEAT UP A RETREAT."

            If Howe ordered no drums to be used as signals, why would this have
            happened? (remember, the wording "beat up", in 18th century, military
            lingo, means the drums/drum/fife to be played)

            Thank you again for an excellent post.

            Sincerely,
            Steve Dillon
            Fife, 2nd VA Reg
            www.dillonmusic.com
          • rgrokelley
            Howdy, ... There are four levels of officers. Company, staff, field and general. Company officers command the companies. So this would include all the ranks
            Message 5 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
              Howdy,

              > What was the term "field" officer used for?
              >I see this term in many
              > of the orderly books.

              There are four levels of officers. Company, staff, field and
              general. Company officers command the companies. So this would
              include all the ranks below a captain. Staff officers do the dirty
              work of the logistics. This is almost always the majors. Field grade
              officers then (and now) are the guys who command the major manuever
              units. This would be guys who would command a series of company level
              units. Ranks in this group would be the colonels and lieutenant
              colonels. General officers would be just that, generals. They would
              also command on the field, but they are not known as field officers,
              since they are more on the "big" picture, and also have to determine
              the strategic picture of moving armies around. Brigadier generals in
              the 18th century commanded brigades, but over the years this rank has
              devolved to the colonels, and you don't start seeing a general until
              you get at a division level.
              THE manuever unit in the 18th century was the company. Almost
              everything happened at that level. In reenacting we tend to have folks
              who want to do huge regimental volleys and wheels and such when they
              have the ability to get that many folks on the field, but everything
              happened at a much smaller level. A colonel would not be concerned
              with whether or not his 500 man unit could wheel or fire all at the
              same time. He would be trying to figure out how to win the field, and
              he would be giving "directives" and not commands. In other words he
              would say "Captain Smith, take your company and flank that unit"
              or "Take care to form column of platoons by the right, the right in
              front!". He would not be giving the commands for each company.
              This is what actually started my questions on drummers on the
              field, since the field commanders were on horseback. We don't portray
              that in reenacting, since there is a lack of horses. If a field
              commander is on horse, and he have to give commands, he did so by
              riding over and telling the unit what he wanted to do. Examples of
              this would be Morgan at Cowpens (who was everywhere on the field) or
              Cornwallis at Guilford (also everywhere on that field). So this is
              where I started doubting the existence of a "duty drummer" who would
              stand beside the field commander. This drummer would have to be on
              horseback to keep up.

              Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
              Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War in
              the Carolinas
              Available at Volume One 1771-1779
              http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
              Volume Two 1780
              http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
              Volume Three 1781
              http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html
            • Steve Dillon
              Mr. O Kelley Thank you for your answer. Dewees does not state that the field drummer and fifer stood next to the commander, all he says is that they were sent
              Message 6 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
                Mr. O'Kelley

                Thank you for your answer.

                Dewees does not state that the field drummer and fifer stood next to
                the commander, all he says is that they were sent into battle.

                I am sure, that when researched more, someone will find other
                accounts as I have posted before, showing that music has been used as
                a signal in battle, but how it was communicated from the commander to
                the drummer and fifer, I have no idea.

                Now, since you are the expert on the Battles in the South, please
                explain the quote (roll of the drum) in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.
                Maybe you can bring more light on this for us. It was not from a
                primary source, but I will restate the quote, and the reference I
                took it from:

                "The Battle of Eutaw, South Carolina.
                Account furnished by Col. Otho Williams, with additions by Cols. W.
                Hampton, Polk, Howard and Watt. (Documentary History of the American
                Revolution, consisting of letters and papers Relating to the Contest
                for Liberty, Chiefly in South Carolina, in 1781 and 1782, From
                Originals in the Possession of the Editor and from Other Sources, By
                R. W Gibbs, M.D. Banner Steam Power Press, Columbia, SC, 1853)

                "The British left, elated at the prospect, sprang forward as to
                certain conquest, and their line became deranged. This was exactly
                the incident for which the American commander was anxiously watching,
                and the next moment preceded the movement for availing himself of
                it. Col. Williams now remained in command of the second line. "Let
                Williams advance and sweep the field with his bayonets," was the
                order delivered to a gentleman of medical staff, who acted the
                surgeon, the aid, and the soldier, indifferently, as occasion
                required.

                No order was obeyed with more alacrity; the two Brigades received it
                with a shout; emulous to wipe away the recollections of Hobkirk's
                Hill, they advanced with a spirit expressive of the impatience with
                which they had hitherto been passive spectators of the action. When
                approached within forty yards of the enemy, the Virginians delivered
                a destructive fire, and the whole second line, with trailed arms, and
                an animated pace, advanced to the charge. Until this period their
                progress had been in the midst of showers of grape, and under a
                stream of fire from the line opposed to them. But eye-witnesses have
                asserted, that the ROLL OF THE DRUM, and the shouts which followed
                it, drew every eye upon them alone; and a momentary pause in the
                action, a suspension by mutual consent, appeared to withdraw both
                armies from a sense of personal danger, to fix their attention upon
                this impending conflict."

                How was the field commander able to communicate the order, and get
                the drum to play?

                I look forward to your reply.

                Sincerely,
                Steve Dillon
                Fife, 2nd VA Reg
                www.dillonmusic.com

                --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "rgrokelley" <goober.com@j...> wrote:
                > Howdy,
                >
                > > What was the term "field" officer used for?
                > >I see this term in many
                > > of the orderly books.
                >
                > There are four levels of officers. Company, staff, field and
                > general. Company officers command the companies. So this would
                > include all the ranks below a captain. Staff officers do the dirty
                > work of the logistics. This is almost always the majors. Field
                grade
                > officers then (and now) are the guys who command the major manuever
                > units. This would be guys who would command a series of company
                level
                > units. Ranks in this group would be the colonels and lieutenant
                > colonels. General officers would be just that, generals. They
                would
                > also command on the field, but they are not known as field
                officers,
                > since they are more on the "big" picture, and also have to
                determine
                > the strategic picture of moving armies around. Brigadier generals
                in
                > the 18th century commanded brigades, but over the years this rank
                has
                > devolved to the colonels, and you don't start seeing a general
                until
                > you get at a division level.
                > THE manuever unit in the 18th century was the company. Almost
                > everything happened at that level. In reenacting we tend to have
                folks
                > who want to do huge regimental volleys and wheels and such when
                they
                > have the ability to get that many folks on the field, but
                everything
                > happened at a much smaller level. A colonel would not be concerned
                > with whether or not his 500 man unit could wheel or fire all at the
                > same time. He would be trying to figure out how to win the field,
                and
                > he would be giving "directives" and not commands. In other words
                he
                > would say "Captain Smith, take your company and flank that unit"
                > or "Take care to form column of platoons by the right, the right in
                > front!". He would not be giving the commands for each company.
                > This is what actually started my questions on drummers on the
                > field, since the field commanders were on horseback. We don't
                portray
                > that in reenacting, since there is a lack of horses. If a field
                > commander is on horse, and he have to give commands, he did so by
                > riding over and telling the unit what he wanted to do. Examples of
                > this would be Morgan at Cowpens (who was everywhere on the field)
                or
                > Cornwallis at Guilford (also everywhere on that field). So this is
                > where I started doubting the existence of a "duty drummer" who
                would
                > stand beside the field commander. This drummer would have to be on
                > horseback to keep up.
                >
                > Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
                > Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War
                in
                > the Carolinas
                > Available at Volume One 1771-1779
                > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
                > Volume Two 1780
                > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
                > Volume Three 1781
                > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html
              • donhagist
                While most of what is written below is succinct and accurate, I must take issue with two points: The Major was a field officer along with the Lt. Colonel and
                Message 7 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
                  While most of what is written below is succinct and accurate, I must
                  take issue with two points:
                  The Major was a field officer along with the Lt. Colonel and the
                  Colonel. Although the Major did indeed have many administrative
                  duties, he was nonetheless a field officer (in British parlance,
                  anyway). Staff officers were the aides-de-camp, adjutants and such.
                  "The field commanders were on horseback" is one of those dangerous
                  generalities that we must avoid. There are many examples of field
                  officers and general officers being on foot during battle. An
                  excellent example is Bunker Hill, where Major Pitcairn was the only
                  British officer on horseback; the others from General Howe on down
                  were all on foot. Granted, Bunker Hill was an amphibious operation,
                  but we also have documentation to show Clinton and his entire staff on
                  foot at Monmouth (see page 404 of "Travels Through the Interior Parts
                  of America, by an Officer" by Thomas Anbury (London, 1789; reprinted
                  in New York circa 1970). There are probably many other examples; the
                  point is that we must not generalize this, any more than we can
                  generalize any other details.
                  Don N. Hagist
                  22d Regt. F.
                  Author of "A British Soldier's Story: Roger Lamb's Narrative of the
                  American Revolution" Available from
                  http://www.willowbendbooks.com

                  --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "rgrokelley" <goober.com@j...> wrote:
                  > Howdy,
                  >
                  > > What was the term "field" officer used for?
                  > >I see this term in many
                  > > of the orderly books.
                  >
                  > There are four levels of officers. Company, staff, field and
                  > general. Company officers command the companies. So this would
                  > include all the ranks below a captain. Staff officers do the dirty
                  > work of the logistics. This is almost always the majors. Field grade
                  > officers then (and now) are the guys who command the major manuever
                  > units. This would be guys who would command a series of company level
                  > units. Ranks in this group would be the colonels and lieutenant
                  > colonels. General officers would be just that, generals. They would
                  > also command on the field, but they are not known as field officers,
                  > since they are more on the "big" picture, and also have to determine
                  > the strategic picture of moving armies around. Brigadier generals in
                  > the 18th century commanded brigades, but over the years this rank has
                  > devolved to the colonels, and you don't start seeing a general until
                  > you get at a division level.
                  > THE manuever unit in the 18th century was the company. Almost
                  > everything happened at that level. In reenacting we tend to have folks
                  > who want to do huge regimental volleys and wheels and such when they
                  > have the ability to get that many folks on the field, but everything
                  > happened at a much smaller level. A colonel would not be concerned
                  > with whether or not his 500 man unit could wheel or fire all at the
                  > same time. He would be trying to figure out how to win the field, and
                  > he would be giving "directives" and not commands. In other words he
                  > would say "Captain Smith, take your company and flank that unit"
                  > or "Take care to form column of platoons by the right, the right in
                  > front!". He would not be giving the commands for each company.
                  > This is what actually started my questions on drummers on the
                  > field, since the field commanders were on horseback. We don't portray
                  > that in reenacting, since there is a lack of horses. If a field
                  > commander is on horse, and he have to give commands, he did so by
                  > riding over and telling the unit what he wanted to do. Examples of
                  > this would be Morgan at Cowpens (who was everywhere on the field) or
                  > Cornwallis at Guilford (also everywhere on that field). So this is
                  > where I started doubting the existence of a "duty drummer" who would
                  > stand beside the field commander. This drummer would have to be on
                  > horseback to keep up.
                  >
                  > Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
                  > Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War in
                  > the Carolinas
                  > Available at Volume One 1771-1779
                  > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
                  > Volume Two 1780
                  > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
                  > Volume Three 1781
                  > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html
                • rgrokelley
                  Howdy, ... I m not going to beat the Dewees dead horse anymore. He was a fifer who never played in a battle. At Brandywine he was in a hospital type area,
                  Message 8 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
                    Howdy,

                    > Dewees does not state that the field drummer and fifer stood next
                    >to
                    > the commander, all he says is that they were sent into battle.

                    I'm not going to beat the Dewees dead horse anymore. He was a
                    fifer who never played in a battle. At Brandywine he was in a
                    hospital type area, hauling in the dead and wounded. At Stony Point
                    he was left behind. So his account of battles are only from
                    a "behind the lines" perspective since he was not in them.

                    >Now, since you are the expert on the Battles in the South, please
                    >explain the quote (roll of the drum) in the Battle of Eutaw Springs.
                    >Maybe you can bring more light on this for us. It was not from a
                    >primary source, but I will restate the quote, and the reference I
                    >took it from:
                    >
                    >"The Battle of Eutaw, South Carolina.
                    >Account furnished by Col. Otho Williams, with additions by Cols. W.
                    >Hampton, Polk, Howard and Watt. (Documentary History of the American
                    >Revolution, consisting of letters and papers Relating to the Contest
                    >for Liberty, Chiefly in South Carolina, in 1781 and 1782, From
                    >Originals in the Possession of the Editor and from Other Sources, By
                    >R. W Gibbs, M.D. Banner Steam Power Press, Columbia, SC, 1853)

                    Unfortunately that was a book written in the 19th century, and
                    though it says that it is from accounts by Williams, and others, I
                    have the primary accounts of those men, and they don't quite tell the
                    battle the same way. For example, in one paragraph it says:

                    >No order was obeyed with more alacrity; the two Brigades received it
                    >with a shout; emulous to wipe away the recollections of Hobkirk's
                    >Hill,

                    However one of those two brigades had not been at Hobkirk's Hill.
                    This was Sumner's North Carolinians. Also Sumner's North
                    Carolinians, under the command of Williams, had been shot to pieces
                    at that point and had to stop. The North Carolina Brigade suffered
                    the worst losses with 154 killed or wounded, so I doubt if they
                    received the order "with a shout". They were out of the battle. The
                    19th century account also says:

                    >But eye-witnesses have
                    >asserted, that the ROLL OF THE DRUM, and the
                    >shouts which followed
                    >it, drew every eye upon them alone;

                    I have read many eyewitness accounts on this battle and I have not
                    come across a single one mentioning the roll of the drum. This is
                    the retelling of a battle, 70 years or so after it happened. Unless
                    this book is footnoted, those "eyewitness accounts" have not
                    surfaced.
                    Here is what Greene himself wrote about the charge of Williams:

                    "In this stage of the action the Virginians under Lieut. Col.
                    Campbell, and the Maryland troops under Col. Williams, were led on to
                    a brisk charge with trailed arms, through a heavy cannonade and a
                    shower of musquet balls. Nothing could exceed the gallantry and
                    firmness of both officers and soldiers upon this occasion --- they
                    preserved their order, and pushed on with such unshaken resolution,
                    that they bore down all before them. The enemy were routed in all
                    quarters."

                    > How was the field commander able to communicate the order, and get
                    > the drum to play?

                    According to this account it says:

                    >Col. Williams now remained in command of the second line. "Let
                    >Williams advance and sweep the field with his bayonets," was the
                    >order delivered to a gentleman of medical staff, who acted the
                    >surgeon, the aid, and the soldier, indifferently, as occasion
                    >required.

                    So according to this account the order was delivered by some
                    medical person. Who this guy was, and where is that primary account
                    of that medical guy is the question though.
                    The field commander was Greene. Williams was in command of the
                    second line consisting of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina
                    Troops. To get orders from to the different units they rode about
                    everywhere, telling them what to do. Greene tended to do this in all
                    of the battles, many times almost getting captured, or ending up in
                    the fight.
                    Chaos reigned more than order at Eutaw Springs, so most of the
                    time orders were not relayed, or they were relayed incorrectly.
                    If you do come across the primary accounts of that medical person,
                    or of the eyewitnesses to the battle that mention drums, post them
                    here.

                    Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
                    Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War in
                    the Carolinas
                    Available at Volume One 1771-1779
                    http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
                    Volume Two 1780
                    http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
                    Volume Three 1781
                    http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html
                  • Steve Dillon
                    Mr. O Kelley, Thank you for your answer, it has been quite informative. You encourage me to spend another day at the David Library. Sincerely, Steve Dillon
                    Message 9 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
                      Mr. O'Kelley,

                      Thank you for your answer, it has been quite informative.

                      You encourage me to spend another day at the David Library.

                      Sincerely,
                      Steve Dillon
                      Fife, 2nd VA Reg
                      www.dillonmusic.com

                      --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "rgrokelley" <goober.com@j...> wrote:
                      > Howdy,
                      >
                      > > Dewees does not state that the field drummer and fifer stood next
                      > >to
                      > > the commander, all he says is that they were sent into battle.
                      >
                      > I'm not going to beat the Dewees dead horse anymore. He was a
                      > fifer who never played in a battle. At Brandywine he was in a
                      > hospital type area, hauling in the dead and wounded. At Stony
                      Point
                      > he was left behind. So his account of battles are only from
                      > a "behind the lines" perspective since he was not in them.
                      >
                      > >Now, since you are the expert on the Battles in the South, please
                      > >explain the quote (roll of the drum) in the Battle of Eutaw
                      Springs.
                      > >Maybe you can bring more light on this for us. It was not from a
                      > >primary source, but I will restate the quote, and the reference I
                      > >took it from:
                      > >
                      > >"The Battle of Eutaw, South Carolina.
                      > >Account furnished by Col. Otho Williams, with additions by Cols. W.
                      > >Hampton, Polk, Howard and Watt. (Documentary History of the
                      American
                      > >Revolution, consisting of letters and papers Relating to the
                      Contest
                      > >for Liberty, Chiefly in South Carolina, in 1781 and 1782, From
                      > >Originals in the Possession of the Editor and from Other Sources,
                      By
                      > >R. W Gibbs, M.D. Banner Steam Power Press, Columbia, SC, 1853)
                      >
                      > Unfortunately that was a book written in the 19th century, and
                      > though it says that it is from accounts by Williams, and others, I
                      > have the primary accounts of those men, and they don't quite tell
                      the
                      > battle the same way. For example, in one paragraph it says:
                      >
                      > >No order was obeyed with more alacrity; the two Brigades received
                      it
                      > >with a shout; emulous to wipe away the recollections of Hobkirk's
                      > >Hill,
                      >
                      > However one of those two brigades had not been at Hobkirk's
                      Hill.
                      > This was Sumner's North Carolinians. Also Sumner's North
                      > Carolinians, under the command of Williams, had been shot to pieces
                      > at that point and had to stop. The North Carolina Brigade suffered
                      > the worst losses with 154 killed or wounded, so I doubt if they
                      > received the order "with a shout". They were out of the battle.
                      The
                      > 19th century account also says:
                      >
                      > >But eye-witnesses have
                      > >asserted, that the ROLL OF THE DRUM, and the
                      > >shouts which followed
                      > >it, drew every eye upon them alone;
                      >
                      > I have read many eyewitness accounts on this battle and I have
                      not
                      > come across a single one mentioning the roll of the drum. This is
                      > the retelling of a battle, 70 years or so after it happened.
                      Unless
                      > this book is footnoted, those "eyewitness accounts" have not
                      > surfaced.
                      > Here is what Greene himself wrote about the charge of Williams:
                      >
                      > "In this stage of the action the Virginians under Lieut. Col.
                      > Campbell, and the Maryland troops under Col. Williams, were led on
                      to
                      > a brisk charge with trailed arms, through a heavy cannonade and a
                      > shower of musquet balls. Nothing could exceed the gallantry and
                      > firmness of both officers and soldiers upon this occasion --- they
                      > preserved their order, and pushed on with such unshaken resolution,
                      > that they bore down all before them. The enemy were routed in all
                      > quarters."
                      >
                      > > How was the field commander able to communicate the order, and
                      get
                      > > the drum to play?
                      >
                      > According to this account it says:
                      >
                      > >Col. Williams now remained in command of the second line. "Let
                      > >Williams advance and sweep the field with his bayonets," was the
                      > >order delivered to a gentleman of medical staff, who acted the
                      > >surgeon, the aid, and the soldier, indifferently, as occasion
                      > >required.
                      >
                      > So according to this account the order was delivered by some
                      > medical person. Who this guy was, and where is that primary
                      account
                      > of that medical guy is the question though.
                      > The field commander was Greene. Williams was in command of the
                      > second line consisting of Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina
                      > Troops. To get orders from to the different units they rode about
                      > everywhere, telling them what to do. Greene tended to do this in
                      all
                      > of the battles, many times almost getting captured, or ending up in
                      > the fight.
                      > Chaos reigned more than order at Eutaw Springs, so most of the
                      > time orders were not relayed, or they were relayed incorrectly.
                      > If you do come across the primary accounts of that medical
                      person,
                      > or of the eyewitnesses to the battle that mention drums, post them
                      > here.
                      >
                      > Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
                      > Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War
                      in
                      > the Carolinas
                      > Available at Volume One 1771-1779
                      > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
                      > Volume Two 1780
                      > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
                      > Volume Three 1781
                      > http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html
                    • rgrokelley
                      Howdy, ... You are correct. The Major rank is also a field officer. I mentioned staff officers (who could be anything from lieutenants to generals, depending
                      Message 10 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
                        Howdy,

                        > While most of what is written below is succinct and accurate, I must
                        > take issue with two points:
                        > The Major was a field officer along with the Lt. Colonel and the
                        > Colonel.

                        You are correct. The Major rank is also a field officer. I
                        mentioned staff officers (who could be anything from lieutenants to
                        generals, depending on the staff) just so that question wouldn't come
                        up. Within a regiment the main staff officer usually was a major.

                        > "The field commanders were on horseback" is one of those dangerous
                        > generalities that we must avoid. There are many examples of field
                        > officers and general officers being on foot during battle. An
                        > excellent example is Bunker Hill

                        Also true, but in most the battles they are not. In the battles
                        that I reasearch (Southern) they are mounted. Down here you had to
                        be on horse, or you were not going to lead much and you wouldn't get
                        the "big picture". Actually down here the militia in 1780-1782
                        arrived to the battles on horse, and then left on horse (usually in a
                        quick manner). About the only folks on foot was the Continentals.
                        The British learned this, and adapted, and it seemed like every unit
                        eventually ended up on a horse.
                        Bunker Hill was a static position, and in those situations you
                        wouldn't want to be on a horse. This wouldn't matter if you were
                        attacking or defending. You would literally stand head and shoulders
                        above everyone else and end up getting that head shot off. Your
                        horse would also not make it through the abatis, wolf pits, etc. In
                        the static positions down here, such as Savannah or Charleston, the
                        commanders were not on horse.

                        Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
                        Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War in
                        the Carolinas
                        Available at Volume One 1771-1779
                        http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
                        Volume Two 1780
                        http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
                        Volume Three 1781
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                      • ww2gamergm
                        ... Don: I would be curious to find out what your reference for Pitcairn riding a horse at Breed s Hill would be. The Trubmall painting shows him on foot, and
                        Message 11 of 24 , Jul 7, 2005
                          --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "donhagist" <dhagist@e...> wrote:

                          ...... There are many examples of field
                          > officers and general officers being on foot during battle. An
                          > excellent example is Bunker Hill, where Major Pitcairn was the only
                          > British officer on horseback; ....

                          > Don N. Hagist
                          > 22d Regt. F.
                          > Author of "A British Soldier's Story: Roger Lamb's Narrative of the
                          > American Revolution" Available from
                          > http://www.willowbendbooks.com
                          >


                          Don:

                          I would be curious to find out what your reference for Pitcairn
                          riding a horse at Breed's Hill would be. The Trubmall painting
                          shows him on foot, and I am not aware of any British officer in that
                          engagement riding a horse. He did ride one on his April jaunt
                          through the country though. Why would he be the only one to
                          transport such an animal there too? Just curious for obvious
                          reasons.

                          Jim McGaughey
                          HM Marines
                        • donhagist
                          ... The events that Joseph Durfee describes occurred during the August 1778 seige of Rhode Island. The ground on which the events occurred is only a few miles
                          Message 12 of 24 , Jul 8, 2005
                            --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "Steve Dillon" <steve@d...> wrote:
                            > What is your opinion,(and the lists opinions) regarding the previous
                            > post I had made, stating the following:
                            >
                            > "The British had a small fort or redoubt directly under the muzzles
                            > of our cannon, with which we saluted them, and poured in shot so
                            > thick upon them that they were compelled to BEAT UP A RETREAT."

                            The events that Joseph Durfee describes occurred during the August
                            1778 seige of Rhode Island. The ground on which the events occurred is
                            only a few miles from me, and I go there often. The 22nd Regiment of
                            Foot was among the British troops that Durfee opposed.
                            The entirety of Durfee's writing can be found at
                            http://www.frpd.org/historical/revolution.htm; there is also a .pdf
                            version on the web which you can find by searching for "beat up a
                            retreat".
                            His account correlates fairly well with the most detailed British
                            accounts of the event, written by Frederick Mackenzie (The Diary of
                            Frederick Mackenzie, Harvard University Press (Cambridge) 1930;
                            reprinted Ayer Publishing, New York, 1969). Mackenzie was a staff
                            officer called the Extra Major of Brigade, in Lt. Col. Francis Smith's
                            brigade (yes, the same guy who commanded the British expedition to
                            Concord in 1775) consisting of the 22nd, 38th, 43rd and 54th
                            Regiments. Mackenzie was in the British positions that faced Durfee's,
                            and Mackenzie kept a detailed diary of the events, much too long to
                            transcribe here. While Durfee's account was written in 1834,
                            Mackenzie's was written as the events happened. Mackenzie also made a
                            sketch of the works that Durfee was involved in building.
                            To put Durfee's account into context:
                            British forces occupied the two largest islands in Narragansett bay,
                            which are called Rhode Island and Connonicut (Rhode Island is the real
                            name, but the alternative name of Aquidneck is widely used, and most
                            people call the island Newport after the largest of the three towns on
                            it; the other island is popularly called Jamestown after the town on
                            it). When French ships entered the bay in August of 1778, the British
                            withdrew to the southern part of Rhode Island in order to concentrate
                            their forces. On the southern part of the island, just north of the
                            town of Newport, is a valley that stretches across the island from
                            east to west; this also happens to be a narrow point, about a mile and
                            a quarter from coast to coast, so it makes the town naturally defensible.
                            The British (and German and loyalist) forces built a chain of redoubts
                            along the southern side of this valley, and encamped just behind them.
                            American forces came onto the island at the north end, made their way
                            south, and encamped a mile or so north of the valley. Forces,
                            including Durfee, were sent to Honeyman's Hill on the north east side
                            of the valley and began building a redoubt. Mackenzie describes this
                            redoubt as No. 1, and also notes the ditch or covered way that Durfee
                            describes. The British had two batteries, Green End redoubt and the 10
                            Gun Battery, which fired on the Americans and caused them to
                            withdrawl. The Americans returned during the night, and during the
                            course of a few nights completed No. 1 and a couple of additional
                            works. They then mounted guns which could easily fire into the British
                            encampments. Because of this, the British were forced to move their
                            encampments farther back away from their lines. But they maintained
                            fire on the American works from the 10 Gun Battery, even though it
                            mounted only 12-pounders compared to the Americans' 18 pounders.
                            When Durfee says that the British "beat up a retreat", it appears that
                            he is talking about the removal of the camps to positions farther
                            behind British lines. This was not a "battlefield" type of retreat,
                            but rather a methodical breaking and re-pitching of camps which
                            occurred over the course of several hours. Mackenzie does not mention
                            any drum beatings, but he wouldn't be likely to for an evolution of
                            this sort.
                            Mackenzie computed the distance from the redoubts on Honeyman's hill
                            to the British positions at about 1200 yards, based on the sight of
                            guns firing and the time that it took the sound to reach him; he says
                            that he used a stopwatch to measure the time, suggesting that he was
                            fairly careful about it. If Durfee heard any British drums at all,
                            they were more likely camp duties than any specific "retreat" signal.
                            With all of that in mind, I wonder if Durfee meant "beat up a retreat"
                            in the same way that we'd say "beat a hasty retreat".
                            In any event, Durfee's account of the British "retreat" during the
                            siege of Rhode Island in 1778 does not provide us with a clear example
                            of drums being used to send signals during battle. The British troops
                            were not formed for battle, but were encamped behind fixed works, the
                            "retreat" was the removal of an encampment to a safer position, and
                            Durfee himself was pretty far away to be able to interpret any British
                            drum beatings that he may have been able to hear.
                            Durfee's account is nonetheless interesting, and in spite of a few
                            disagreements of detail it correlates well with a contemporary British
                            account.
                            Don N. Hagist
                            22d Regt. F.
                            Author of "A British Soldier's Story: Roger Lamb's Narrative of the
                            American Revolution" available from http://www.willowbendbooks.com
                          • Glenn Williams
                            Back to the discussion about field officers: I would like to add that the terms field, and company, officers are peculiar to the line units, or what we
                            Message 13 of 24 , Jul 14, 2005
                              Back to the discussion about field officers:

                              I would like to add that the terms "field, and "company," officers are peculiar to the "line" units, or what we would now the "combat arms." Also, by definition, "field officers" were commanders and line officers, although they may have had some staff responsibilities.

                              A regiment of infantry, for example, was usually commanded by a colonel (although in the British regular army and for a while in the Continental Army, the rank was replaced by lieutenant colonel-commandant - ranking higher than a lieutenant colonel, but lower than a colonel), assisted by a lieutenant colonel (unless the commander were a lieutenant colonel-commandant) and a major. These were the "field officers."

                              When the unit took the field, the lieutenant colonel was second-in-command, followed by the major. After that, the senior captain from the line, the "first captain," was next in the chain of command. If the colonel were absent, on furlough, incapacitated, killed, wounded, captured, or sent on detached service, or assumed command of the brigade - since a colonel can not command both a brigade and a regiment at the same time - the lieutenant colonel assumed command of the regiment, the major became 2-i-c, and so forth.

                              If the regiment divided into divisions, the colonel commanded one, the lieutenant colonel the second, and major the third, if necessary. If the regiment detached one or more companies, that battalion was commanded by one of the field officers (other than the colonel). If a regiment detached one or more companies that joined with companies from other regiments, one or more field officers would be included to "properly officer" the detachment, according to its size.

                              If the senior field grade officer in command of a independent battalion were a major, he was listed as a "major-commandant." If the independent command belonged to a captain, he would be a "captain-commandant," ranking higher than other company officers, but lower than a field officer.

                              Each field officer in a regiment, including the colonel, also technically commanded a company in the line. Because this is cumbersome in practice, the rank of "captain-lieutenant" was instituted, so the colonel could concentrate on commanding the regiment, leaving the captain-lieutenant" as the de facto company commander.

                              Staff officers are another kettle of fish. Depending on whether we're talking Continental or militia, or at which stage of the war, staff functions could either be filled by staff officers assigned specifically to perform those duties, or by company officers detailed from the line to perform them. Also, the officers in the non-fighting departments were all considered staff officers. A captain or lieutenant in such service, however, was not considered a "company officer," since he was not assigned to a company in the line.

                              The difference between "line" and "staff" officers was a matter of pride for the line officers. I can remember reading numerous accounts of excellent line officers being asked to serve on a general's staff, and the first response was usually, "will I retain my status as an officer of the line?" or words to that effect (James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, Nathanael Greene all come immediately to mind).

                              There were also "civil officers" such as physicians, chaplains and attorneys, serving with the army, who were neither line nor staff, nor company and field.

                              Glenn

                              rgrokelley <goober.com@...> wrote:
                              Howdy,

                              > What was the term "field" officer used for?
                              >I see this term in many
                              > of the orderly books.

                              There are four levels of officers. Company, staff, field and
                              general. Company officers command the companies. So this would
                              include all the ranks below a captain. Staff officers do the dirty
                              work of the logistics. This is almost always the majors. Field grade
                              officers then (and now) are the guys who command the major manuever
                              units. This would be guys who would command a series of company level
                              units. Ranks in this group would be the colonels and lieutenant
                              colonels. General officers would be just that, generals. They would
                              also command on the field, but they are not known as field officers,
                              since they are more on the "big" picture, and also have to determine
                              the strategic picture of moving armies around. Brigadier generals in
                              the 18th century commanded brigades, but over the years this rank has
                              devolved to the colonels, and you don't start seeing a general until
                              you get at a division level.
                              THE manuever unit in the 18th century was the company. Almost
                              everything happened at that level. In reenacting we tend to have folks
                              who want to do huge regimental volleys and wheels and such when they
                              have the ability to get that many folks on the field, but everything
                              happened at a much smaller level. A colonel would not be concerned
                              with whether or not his 500 man unit could wheel or fire all at the
                              same time. He would be trying to figure out how to win the field, and
                              he would be giving "directives" and not commands. In other words he
                              would say "Captain Smith, take your company and flank that unit"
                              or "Take care to form column of platoons by the right, the right in
                              front!". He would not be giving the commands for each company.
                              This is what actually started my questions on drummers on the
                              field, since the field commanders were on horseback. We don't portray
                              that in reenacting, since there is a lack of horses. If a field
                              commander is on horse, and he have to give commands, he did so by
                              riding over and telling the unit what he wanted to do. Examples of
                              this would be Morgan at Cowpens (who was everywhere on the field) or
                              Cornwallis at Guilford (also everywhere on that field). So this is
                              where I started doubting the existence of a "duty drummer" who would
                              stand beside the field commander. This drummer would have to be on
                              horseback to keep up.

                              Patrick O'Kelley http://www.2nc.org/
                              Author of "Nothing but Blood and Slaughter" The Revolutionary War in
                              the Carolinas
                              Available at Volume One 1771-1779
                              http://www.booklocker.com/books/1469.html
                              Volume Two 1780
                              http://www.booklocker.com/books/1707.html
                              Volume Three 1781
                              http://www.booklocker.com/books/1965.html






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                            • Steve Rayner
                              Dear Mr. Dillon & ‘Liste; Thank you very kindly for your post regarding the use of the ‘Grenadier’s March’ at Brandywine. Mr. Hagist has done such an
                              Message 14 of 24 , Jul 17, 2005
                                Dear Mr. Dillon & �Liste;

                                Thank you very kindly for your post regarding the use of the �Grenadier�s
                                March� at Brandywine.

                                Mr. Hagist has done such an excellent job of summarizing the British side of
                                the action described by Col. Durfee that not only are most of my questions
                                answered, but most of the notes I collected are superfluous. Being
                                unfamiliar with the geography of Rhode Island, I needed to locate a good map
                                of the area during the seige to begin with.

                                Below are a few notes that might help our readers to identify accounts of
                                this action for future comparison.

                                Frederick Mackenzie�s diary entries do indeed appear to be a key source from
                                the British side of the lines. Although I took copious notes from Mackenzie,
                                I found to my dismay that I did not have a note on the most likely date of
                                the action Col. Durfee describes.

                                I was looking for more information on the date, location or further
                                eyewitness accounts of this action on the internet and was also pleased and
                                to find that Col. Durfee�s account is also viewable on-line, from the
                                �History of Bristol County� of 1883. (If I had a dollar for every time I�ve
                                had that happen to me, after previously transcribing from hard copy...)

                                At:

                                Fall River Police Department.

                                http://www.frpd.org/historical/revolution.htm

                                The context surrounding this action is:

                                "In the forepart of August, 1778, the American troops embarked in the boats
                                and scows prepared for them and landed on Rhode Island, where I joined them,
                                having been appointed a major in Col. Whitney's regiment. Our troops were
                                then marched to a spot but a short distance to the north of what is called
                                Butts' Hill, where they encamped for the night...�

                                �A tremendous storm came on, long remembered as the August storm, in which
                                the two fleets were separated, and many who had escaped the cannon's mouth
                                found a watery grave. The French fleet, or so much of it as survived the
                                storm, went into Boston to repair, and the remnant of the British fleet went
                                into New York.�

                                �Soon after this storm our troops marched in three divisions towards
                                Newport,�one on the East road so called, one on the West road, and the
                                brigade commanded by Gen. Titcomb moved in the centre,� until we came in
                                sight of Newport, when orders were given to halt, erect a marquee, and pitch
                                our tents. General orders were issued for a detachment from the army of
                                three thousand men, our number being too small to risk a general engagement
                                with the great body of British troops then quartered on the south end of the
                                island. Early on the next morning a detachment of troops, of which I was
                                one, was ordered to proceed forthwith and take possession of what was called
                                Hullneman's Hill.�

                                [�Hullneman�s Hill� appears to be the location. At the time, Col. Durfee
                                appears to have been Major in Colonel Whitney�s Regiment and assigned to the
                                brigade under the command of Geberal Titcomb. Col. Durfee then describes the
                                action and the British beating the 'Retreat'. I hope that this might help
                                other readers to identify additional accounts.]

                                "The morning was foggy, and enabled us to advance some distance unobserved
                                by the enemy, but the fog clearing away before we reached the hill, we were
                                discovered by the British and Tory troops, who commenced such a heavy
                                cannonade upon us that it was deemed expedient by the commanding officers,
                                to prevent the destruction of many of our brave troops, that we should fall
                                back and advance under the cover of night. Accordingly, when night came, we
                                marched to the hill undiscovered by the enemy. We immediately commenced
                                throwing up a breastwork and building a fort. When daylight appeared we had
                                two cannon mounted,�one twenty-four pounder and one eighteen,�and with our
                                breastwork we had completed a covered way, to pass and repass without being
                                seen by the enemy. The British had a small fort or redoubt directly under
                                the muzzles of our cannon, with which we saluted them, and poured in shot so
                                thick upon them that they were compelled to beat up a retreat. But they
                                returned again at night to repair their fort, when they commenced throwing
                                bombshells into our fort, which, however, did but little damage. I saw
                                several of them flying over our heads, and one, bursting in the air, a
                                fragment fell upon the shoulder of a soldier and killed him.�

                                [Following the account of the action...]

                                �Accordingly, on the 29th day of August, early in the morning, we struck our
                                marquee and tents and commenced a retreat. The British troops followed, and
                                soon came up with our rear-guard and commenced firing upon them.�

                                [Mentions the battle of Quaker Hill. It appears then that this action
                                occurred in August 1778 in the neighborhood of Newport, Rhode Island - after
                                the great storm, of the 12-13th, but prior to the 29th.]

                                Location?

                                From Marshall & Peckham�s �Campaigns of the American Revolution - an Atlas
                                of Manuscript Maps,� some information that might help readers to get a
                                geographical fix on the location. It contains numerous facsimiles of maps
                                made during the AWI:

                                On the pages between p. 71 - 74, the detailed map shows a �Honeyman�s Hill�
                                which seems to be the likely alternate of Col. Durfee�s spelling.

                                From the bottom of the page, looking upward, to view the field from the
                                American and Colonel Durfee�s point-of-view:

                                �Honeyman�s Hill,� with zig-zag approaches extending down the hill toward
                                the British lines. The left of the American lines here extends just across a
                                road leading down the hill.

                                A rivulet runs through the low ground, emptying into Easton�s Pond to the
                                left.

                                At this rivulet, the road jogs about and crosses, and a feature is
                                identified as �Green - end�.

                                The ground rises out of this valley, where slightly to the right, there is a
                                �[illegible] Redoubt.�

                                This redoubt is probably the British position Col. Durfee refers to - it is
                                in the valley, below his cannon.

                                As the ground then rises beyond, there is a ridge. The road passes to the
                                left of the British lines. Adjacent and to the right of the road is �Fort
                                Percy,� a line of entrenchments, then �Fort Clinton,� and a continuation of
                                the lines to �Fort Fanning.�

                                Forts Percy and Clinton are the closest to the field of action described by
                                Colonel Durfee.

                                Far behind this feature are Newport on the left, and Tomini Hill on the
                                right.

                                The edge of this valley forms the line of the British outer entrenchments.
                                The British position in the valley seems to cover the road approaching the
                                British lines. Up until Col. Durfee�s party brought up heavy guns to a
                                position overlooking this post, it appears to have served to secure the
                                valley and the lines behind from American American parties.

                                Date?

                                Frederick Mackenzie did cover this period. My notes however, are from
                                specific pages of interest to me at the time. I have a note from Mackenzie
                                mentioning the British General�s intent:

                                �13th Augt...
                                The General having determined on constructing a line along our whole front,
                                from the 10 Gun Battery above Green-end, to Tomini-hill, ordered a
                                proportion of tools...� p. 350-51.

                                The account of the action described by Col. Durfee would occur in
                                Mackenzie�s diaries between this date and the August 28 battle of Quaker
                                Hill.

                                It is easy to see from the map how Col. Durfee�s party with artillery would
                                make it necessary to evacuate the post.

                                Colonel Durfee�s account is clear in the beating of the �Retreat.�

                                The military environment is that of a garrsion camp under seige, rather than
                                an open field battle where the troops were deploying and maneuvering. Howe�s
                                orders did not touch on the use of the drum for camp or garrison use.

                                This is in itself interesting and while looking for clues I will definitely
                                be on the lookout for any other cases especially any under Howe�s command,
                                that might have similarities.

                                Again, Thank You and

                                Best Regards,

                                Steve Rayner

                                _________________________________________________________________
                                On the road to retirement? Check out MSN Life Events for advice on how to
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                              • Steve Rayner
                                Dear Mr. Whitney & ‘Liste; I believe that what is in question here is what constitute relevant benchmarks for the use of drums and fifes in the operation of
                                Message 15 of 24 , Jul 20, 2005
                                  Dear Mr. Whitney & �Liste;

                                  I believe that what is in question here is what constitute relevant
                                  benchmarks for the use of drums and fifes in the operation of the British
                                  Army in battle in the AWI.

                                  Unfortunately, several deeper underlying myths and stereotypes have to be
                                  addressed before we can even begin to see the matter in question clearly. We
                                  are all victims of myth and sterotype.

                                  Everything that follows has an effect on the way music is used in AWI
                                  re-enacting:

                                  Myth #1.
                                  The British Army was the greatest/finest/most powerful/professional/best
                                  trained army in the world.

                                  The British Army was arguably one of if not the smallest, most poorly
                                  organized, under-funded armies of the major European powers. At the end of
                                  the 7YW is was something to behold, but peacetime budget cuts had reduced it
                                  to a shell by 1775. The reason for this was cyclical peactime neglect. The
                                  British Parliament had a longstanding resentment for having/paying
                                  for/�being oppressed by� a �standing army in time of peace.�

                                  The British Infantry regiments existing prior to 1775 operated in peacetime
                                  more or less as 70 small franchises of a loosely-run corporation turning out
                                  slightly different versions of a similar product, varying widely in quality.
                                  Although a regiment conformed to some broad regulations and financial
                                  accounting standards, the British could not do much more than maintain a
                                  moth-balled state due to lack of funding. Some regiments hibernated, others
                                  indulged in fashionable refinements (initially at the cost and discretion of
                                  the Colonel, but increasingly at the cost of the Soldier) but fortunately
                                  there were also some forward-thinking elements who developed a plans for the
                                  next war.

                                  Myth #2.
                                  The British were rigidly insistent on formality and stubbornly addicted to
                                  European customs.

                                  This is one of the silliest ideas ever. The armies of the European powers
                                  regarded the British as brash, fortunate newcomers. The Germans thought the
                                  British would be good, if they�d only behave more professionally. The
                                  British had only made a mark on the European battlefield as recently as the
                                  War of the Spanish Succession under the Duke of Marlborough, which won a
                                  long peace. In the War of the Austrian Succession of the latter part of the
                                  1740�s the British re-entered European war to find that they had a lot to
                                  learn. In the late 1750�s the entered the Seven Years War and again found
                                  that they had a lot to learn.

                                  The only wars the British really succeeded at without European allies were
                                  the Jacobite Rebellions and the French and Indian Wars, which were by all
                                  accounts, hard-fought and a lot of dirty fighting by both sides.

                                  In fact, it was the lack of formal, systematic operations that made it both
                                  necessary and possible for the British Commanders-in-Chief to adapt.

                                  Myth #3.
                                  The British were unwilling/inept/incapable of coping with American war
                                  conditions.

                                  The British won the F&I war. Before the British could enter the American
                                  frontier, they had first to adapt their operations. Before they could
                                  operate against the French, they had to counter and nullify the threat of
                                  French-allied Native Americans. In order to do so, they stripped down their
                                  baggage, and adapted their tactics, uniforms and equipment to suit the
                                  conditions. This record of adaptation began with the Braddock expedition of
                                  1755 and continued through the Bouquet campaigns of 1764 and 1765. In fact,
                                  Bouquet succeeded with tactics very similar to those introduced by Braddock.
                                  The big difference was that Braddock had experienced troops and an adequate
                                  supply system. Braddock had neither.

                                  The British Commander-in-Chief in America during the French and Indian War
                                  was Sir Jeffrey Amherst from 1758. Future Generals Gage and Howe served in
                                  America under him. During the AWI, Amherst was the C-in-C of the whole
                                  British Army. Gage, Howe, Carleton and Burgoyne served under his command.

                                  The outbreak of the AWI found the British in their customary understrength,
                                  under-equipped, under-financed state. The British in Boston fared poorly.
                                  But by the time the British re-entered the Colonies at New York in the
                                  summer of 1776, they did so with adapted uniforms, stripped-down baggage and
                                  importantly, adapted battle tactics. One interesting sidelight regarding
                                  light baggage is that there are references to the British landing with only
                                  a shirt and a pair of socks rolled in their blankets. Tents, if they were
                                  landed were sent back aboard ship, and the British operated that way for
                                  much of this and the 1777 campaign. Therefore the Soldier did not have his
                                  black ball, or his pipeclay, and lived virtually exposed to the elements.
                                  That should put an end to the ridiculous myth that the British intended to
                                  impress the Yankee Doodles with an immaculate uniform and shiny metal, or
                                  the even more preposterous idea that the American Soldier might have been
                                  intimidated by it if they had.

                                  I believe that we busted the myth that the British carried vast amounts of
                                  unneccessary baggage earlier this year.

                                  Howe�s General Order regarding the use of the drum and fife is part of the
                                  process of adaptation from peacetime to wartime.

                                  About tactics.

                                  The tactics used by Howe in the 1776 New York campaign included discarding
                                  or adapting the following main points of the 1764 regulations:

                                  1. Three ranks were reduced to two.

                                  2. The 4� (for marching) to 6� (for drill) interval between Soldiers was
                                  increased to 18.

                                  3. The practice of wheeling was being gradually abandoned in favor of
                                  �marching by files,� an alternate in the 1764.

                                  4. More complex marching evolutions were replaced by �dispersing and
                                  reforming,� which had actually been practiced for rallying since at least
                                  1727, but it now became more customary. By the end of the AWI this method
                                  had crossed back to England.

                                  5. The rate of march increased. Maneuvers were performed at what was
                                  formerly charging time and charging became an increasingly common manner of
                                  forming and attack during the course of the war.

                                  6. Charging with the bayonet became increasingly the primary form of attack.
                                  Fire became secondary.

                                  7. A matter for further study is that it appears that regulated, systematic
                                  sequences of �platoon firing� were largely if not entirely abandoned in
                                  favor of each unit firing independently of the other.

                                  8. The use of the drum to regulate a marching or maneuvering was banned.

                                  The 1764 was therefore not used as written in the land campaigns of the AWI.

                                  Nevertheless, the -best- credit that popular history, Hollywood and
                                  recently, the media give the British is that they were some kind of
                                  ridiculous gallant morons.

                                  About marching in step.

                                  Marching in step is so naturally associated with the military by today that
                                  it is difficult to imagine a time when it was in its infancy.

                                  I believe we have already presented that marching in step was not regulation
                                  in the British Infantry until the period of 1788 to 1792, when a regulation
                                  was finally authorized. Through the 1760�s it was found to add to regularity
                                  on the parade ground, but it�s utility on the battlefield was questioned. It
                                  was proposed that troops who marched well in step on the parade might hold
                                  together better in battle when they could not march in step.

                                  I would accept that marching in step might have been virtually universal by
                                  1775, but without a 100% guarantee. But it was not a hallowed military
                                  institution and there was that question about utility in battle.

                                  Howe removed the device used to regulate the step in the field. Marching in
                                  step was easily undone.

                                  The sum total of the tactics adopted, the marching pace and the accounts of
                                  the terrain, plus the ban on using the drum for marching, makes it clear
                                  that the British Army did not bother at all with marching in step in battle
                                  during the AWI.

                                  About drum signals.

                                  There appears to have been a core of a half dozen or so drum signals used
                                  from at least the late 17th century up until about the time the Norfolk
                                  Militia Discipline was published in 1759. These were general signals for
                                  troop movement, not regulating cadenced step.

                                  These core commands were expanded to two dozen or so for much more specific
                                  purposes. A good example are those in the Norfolk. But they were not
                                  official, nor can they be said to have been widely adopted. The Norfolk was
                                  a manual for training the British Militia that was adopted by a couple of
                                  newly-raised British Infantry regiments. It cannot be said to represent the
                                  practices of the whole British Infantry at that or any other time.

                                  Closer to the era of the AWI several systems of drum signals were published,
                                  notably by Thomas Simes, a prolific unofficial writer. Unofficial writers
                                  can be very useful when we find evidence of practice in actual use that
                                  might be explained by the unofficial author. But we cannot assume that if it
                                  was suggested it was the rule.

                                  To this date I have found no evidence and to my knowledge no one else has
                                  published any finding that the British military endorsed or encouraged the
                                  use of these systems of drum signals.

                                  The drum signals that appear in British official regulations such as the
                                  1764 Review and Field Day consist primarily of simple timing aids such as
                                  flams and ruffles. These constituted the British Infantry�s routine
                                  peacetime, continuing �basic training� ritual. But it was noted at the time
                                  that although the elaborate ritual looked good and instilled basic
                                  compentency, it was unrealistic. Programmed field days acquired the derisive
                                  epithets �the 1, 2,� and �Hyde Park� for their narrow focus on basics and
                                  showmanship, to the exclusion of practicality.

                                  The mention of the 1764 begs the question of how drum signals were actually
                                  used in it. It consists of three main sections: The manual exercise and
                                  platoon drill, the battalion firings and the evolutions or marching
                                  maneuvers. Since it was established in peacetime and was an official manual,
                                  it might give us an idea of how drum signals were used in that environment.
                                  Did the drum -regulate- the action of the troops (as it was employed on the
                                  parade ground) or was it a backup communication device, or was it primarily
                                  a timing aid? The 1764 might provide some answers.

                                  But this elaborate peacetime basic training ritual was not intended to be
                                  used as written in wartime and decorative peacetime refinements were likely
                                  to be stuck off the list of priorities. Versions of the 1764 published in
                                  British garrisons during the AWI in fact, note that several maneuvers are
                                  omitted because they were so useless in America.

                                  The European wars of the 18th century show that the British, when they were
                                  collected into a wartime army, adapted their field practices to suit the
                                  local environment, the methods of their allies and the tactics of the enemy.
                                  This was done at the discretion of the Commander-in-Chief as he saw fit.

                                  This was no less true of the British Army of the AWI.

                                  Peacetime regulations and practices have their place in history. But when
                                  they are shown to have little or nothing to do with wartime practices they
                                  are of very little value in re-enacting the AWI. In fact, to do so heedless
                                  of them being contradicted by those who were in the battles we depict, is
                                  directly contrary to the purpose of re-enacting.

                                  This is why Howe�s General Order is crucial to understanding the role of the
                                  Drummer and Fifer in the battle tactics of the main British Army in North
                                  America.

                                  The question of how music was actually used on the battlfields of the AWI is
                                  inseparable from how it fit into British tactics. British tactics had an
                                  effect on the course of the war - at least on its duration of seven years.

                                  About drum signals other than on the field.

                                  The use of the drum to beat a �Parley� in a seige operation, or in routine
                                  communication between the opposing forces is unrelated to the use of a
                                  signal for marching or maneuvering troops in the field. It does not fall
                                  under Howe�s General Order.

                                  >I wasn't speaking about either myths or stereotypes, having never
                                  >personally heard neither on this issue in the past, I'm not subject
                                  >to influence by them.

                                  We are all influenced by myth and stereotype wherever they might persist in
                                  AWI re-enacting and whether or not we are aware of it. In fact, the less we
                                  are aware of them, the more insidious and detrimental they are. In most
                                  cases they pass unquestioned as �accepted fact.� As such they are seldom
                                  studied.

                                  This is where not only the AWI music community, but the British and to a
                                  great extent the whole AWI community are the victim of myth and stereotype.

                                  In this case the myth is that the British Army marched in step to the drum
                                  anf fife and used drum signals everywhere they went, including battle. AWI
                                  re-enactors have unfortunately been unable to dispel this myth, or the myth
                                  that they were slow, or the myth that they marched �shoulder-to-shoulder.�

                                  All of these myths are utterly baseless, yet were force-fed to generations
                                  of Americans through every means possible. So, as I said, it�s not wonder
                                  that early re-enactors failed to question these erroneous beliefs.

                                  The current approach to the use of the Drum and Fife by British AWI
                                  re-enactors is unfortunately, a huge obstacle to the use of correct tactics
                                  by the whole British AWI re-enacting community. This is not the fault of our
                                  Drummers and Fifers as I will point out below.

                                  Taken as a whole, the myth is �If it�s British it must be formal and
                                  by-the-numbers.�
                                  The effect on British re-enacting is an often desperate search for a rigid,
                                  formal way of behavior, even if it means reaching into the future of British
                                  military history to find it. It is good to see that there are some British
                                  units that are making great efforts to avoid failling into this trap through
                                  good scholarship - but they are still unfortunately in the minority, and
                                  affected by the mythical stereotypes around them.

                                  The unfortunate thing is that this myth is so pervasive that many British
                                  re-enactors use it as the base point of reference for everything they do,
                                  convinced that it�s the dignified way to pay tribute to him. Considering the
                                  sum total of evidence, it�s not at all the way the British Officer, the
                                  British Soldier or the British Army of the AWI really was.

                                  So any re-enactor at any AWI re-enactment anywhere, whether they have heard
                                  of these myths or not, IS affected by them - even if one happens to be on
                                  the Continental side of the line.

                                  To be continued.... (apparently too long)...

                                  Steve Rayner

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                                • Steve Rayner
                                  Continued from Part 1. ... Howe was the Commander-in-Chief in America. A General Order issued to an army is significant. The order is specific and focused on
                                  Message 16 of 24 , Jul 20, 2005
                                    Continued from Part 1.

                                    Howe�s General Order:

                                    >"Head Quarters Boston 6 Feby. 1776.
                                    >Regiments going to the field for Exercise, are to March from the
                                    >Center by Companys or Divisions and are not to use the Drum or fife
                                    >for Marching or Signals when in the field." Gage and Howe Orderly
                                    >Book, Stevens, ed; p. 209."

                                    Howe was the Commander-in-Chief in America. A General Order issued to an
                                    army is significant.

                                    The order is specific and focused on two musical functions (marching and
                                    signals) and in one setting (in the field).

                                    The accompanying order is evidently a change from the common practice.
                                    Marching from the center is performed by forming a column of files, which is
                                    a method emphasized by Howe. The two together strongly suggest that they
                                    were both intended for future use in field operations. The British had been
                                    in Boston since 1768. Suddenly the Commander-in-Chief sees fit to order a
                                    change in marching formation. perhaps this had something to do with it now
                                    being wartime.

                                    The dual mention of �Marching or Signals� links them together. The Drum was
                                    not to be used for marching, which I suggest means the beating of a cadence.
                                    Hence Howe was not interested in marching in step - the means of regulating
                                    the cadence was removed. This is linked to a ban on the use of drum signals.
                                    To suggest that one or the other was not seriously intended to be used in
                                    battle equally suggests that Howe did intend to allow the use the drum to
                                    march in cadenced step in battle. This in turn suggests that Howe issued
                                    superfluous, meaningless orders and excercised no control over the actions
                                    of his troops.

                                    That is the micro-analysis.

                                    If we consider the bigger picture of what Howe was sent to America to do and
                                    how he accomplished it we see where this order fits in.

                                    If we consider that systems of drum signals were being published in
                                    unofficial manuals, we may consider that they might have been in actual use
                                    on the parade ground. The British had, after all, a full decade of pecatime
                                    service between the close of the 7YW / F&I Wars and the beginning of the
                                    AWI. But we must also consider that they were unofficial and that their
                                    usefulness in wartime was not generally accepted at the time.

                                    If we consider that there were in the first half of the 18th century a small
                                    core of basic customary drum signals that had expanded in unofficial manuals
                                    to include drumbeats for actions such as facing or wheeling and many other
                                    purposes, we should consider too, that these unofficial systems contain
                                    variations. This might be fine when a regiment was stationed by itself in
                                    peacetime Britain, as aids at Field Days. But when a regiment operated as
                                    part of an army, attached to and doing duty with a Brigade formation it
                                    would be necessary to establish a uniform system of signals for the Brigade.
                                    Otherwise it would invite confusion on the parade ground when a Drummer beat
                                    a signal not recognized by other regiments in the Brigade, or when it was
                                    the same as used for a different function by another regiment. In battle it
                                    would invite disaster. I find nothing to suggest that any uniform systems
                                    were established.

                                    Howe pre-empted the need for it.

                                    If we consider the opinions of Howe�s subordinates and Soldiers, we find
                                    little dissent to Howe�s methods. In fact, most opinion is of support. Under
                                    Howe�s tenure of command, especially in the field campaigns of 1776, 1777
                                    and 1778, morale was remarkably high. Under Lord Cornwallis, who was a
                                    primary field General throughout the AWI, morale was also high - and
                                    Cornwallis was with the program of adaptation even before the AWI.

                                    The few significant voices of dissent are from figures such as Sir Henry
                                    Clinton; apparently a (military/political?) rival who thought Howe�s tactics
                                    were militarily unsound - but he didn�t have a better plan, and the Germanic
                                    troops, who considered British methods to be militarily reckless and
                                    unprofessional.

                                    >We should probably not make the asssumption that orders given
                                    >regarding drill practices are the same ones that would have applied
                                    >during battle. Often in later time periods, admonitions against the
                                    >use of music in drill appeared. An example is Scott's US Infantry
                                    >Tactics, which stated "the use of music in elementary instruction is
                                    >forbidden, except as a recreation at halts".

                                    This is not an assumption. It is based on the direct order of the British
                                    Commander-in-Chief in North America. The evidence shows direct links between
                                    the abolition of parade-ground practices, the substitution of practical
                                    wartime methods and proof of their actual use on the battlefield.

                                    Military manuals of post-1782 vintage are of limited relevance at best. They
                                    might provide evidence of the continuance of a practice, or an indication of
                                    change. Sometimes this is helpful. But they are at best among the least
                                    relevant of sources.

                                    Reliance on post-1782 source material further neglects the decades of
                                    evolution in military methods leading up to the AWI, especially those proven
                                    effective in the F&I Wars. These are the methods represent the actual career
                                    experience of the Officers and Soldiers of the British Army (in some cases
                                    service records spanning thirty years or more) and IMHO, make a much better
                                    resource than those pulled theoretically from the future, and an entirely
                                    different British Army. It is those evolutionary methods that provide the
                                    successive benchmarks forming the customs of the AWI era.

                                    In fact, it was political disappointment at the AWI, warranted or not, that
                                    prompted the radical reforms in administration and methods of the late
                                    1780�s. The British Army had to remodel in order to fight the armies of
                                    Revolutionary France on European battlefields. That srmy did not exist in
                                    the AWI.

                                    There is not in the decades before the AWI any evidence that use of drum
                                    signals for marching maneuvers was generally adopted during peacetime
                                    service in England. So the use of them in battle in America is rather a
                                    broad assumption to begin with.

                                    That drum signals would be adopted when the emphasis of training, and the
                                    subsequent practice in battle was faster, looser and less formal than
                                    European fashion is equally so.

                                    That Howe would accept the use of drum signals in his army, when his career
                                    had been founded on use of skirmishing tactics in America against
                                    French-allied Native Americans and Canadian irregulars, which methods formed
                                    the basis of his tactical planning, is even more so.

                                    Therefore the only basis for the idea that drum signals were used by the
                                    British in the AWI to regulate marching and maneuvers is myth and sterotype.

                                    >I don't think that specifying which unit would be the unit of
                                    >direction in large movements, whether from the left, center or right,
                                    >neither supports nor undermines the use of signals. It could have
                                    >been implicit in the orders that the field drummers would follow the
                                    >lead of the field drummer for the right hand unit. Washington used
                                    >this practice in the camp duties, specifying in his orders that the
                                    >beats would start on the right, and repeated along the line.
                                    >
                                    >"No fifing or Drumming but when order'd".

                                    Signals for the camp duties are not in question. They were specified, or
                                    subject to subject to suspension at the discretion of the
                                    Commander-in-Chief. There are good examples of this in Howe�s Orderly Books.

                                    As I mentioned in previous posts, the use of drum signals by the Continental
                                    Army may and probably will turn out to be on an entirely different principle
                                    than that applied by the British. As I said, the Coninentals were forming an
                                    army from scratch with basic tools. The British were discarding unnecessary
                                    procedural baggage to create a more mobile, agile force. Again, we are
                                    conditioned to consider the British as being strictly bound by rigid
                                    methods. That is utter nonsense on any level.

                                    The 4th Brigade exercise is clearly linked to Howe�s General Order. There
                                    has thus far been no evidence produced of drum signals or marching in
                                    cadence being used in the field between the two dates, in Howe�s army.

                                    The use of vocal orders and �follow-the-leader� in the exercises is at least
                                    partly due to the variety of configurations a Brigade could march in.

                                    If for instance, the Brigade (in this case four regiments) formed in line
                                    was ordered to advance in columns, it could form on the center of the
                                    Brigade, on the center of the wings of the Brigade, on the center of the
                                    regiments (of eight Companies each), or on units down to the Company (two
                                    Platoons). If drum signals were used by the Brigade to order the formation
                                    of a column, there would need to be a specific drum signal for each specific
                                    unit. This is reason enough for drum signals to be discarded as the primary
                                    means of communication. It is obviously too complex.

                                    The British deployment in use was in two ranks, with a front of three feet
                                    per Soldier. This essentially doubled the length of the front of a regiment
                                    in line, whatever its field strength might have been. Thus, perhaps, visual
                                    cues and follow the leader became key to communication, with vocal orders
                                    second and relayed signals by drum third.

                                    We are most likely to find evidence of basic signals such as Advance.
                                    Retreat and Rally, when vocal or visual communication was impossible, such
                                    as when troops had become widely dispersed during rapid movement over broken
                                    terrain.

                                    I wouldn�t be surprized if for instance, the British Grenadiers at
                                    Brandywine, when it was found necessary to �halt and rally form,� used a
                                    drum signal such as �To Arms� as well as vocal command and visual cues to do
                                    so. It is unfortunate that we don�t have an account to tell us either way,
                                    yet - but I will be looking for it.

                                    But by the same token, the accounts seem to agree that the �Grenadier�s
                                    March� was played during the march both in column and in line, not only
                                    precluding it�s use as a specific signal for either, but virtually
                                    precluding the use of the drum for any other signals also.

                                    The idea of �could have� seems to be based on the assumption that drum
                                    signals were part of �standard� British practices to begin with. There is no
                                    real basis for that assumption.

                                    The various myths attached to ideas of what the British Army was and how it
                                    operated generated newer myths based on erroneous pre-suppositions. The idea
                                    that drum signals were used in battle (by the British) is based on little
                                    more than the point that drum signals were published. It�s an assumption
                                    with no basis in fact, and a direct order from the British C-in-C in America
                                    against it.

                                    The first evidence located so far that the influence of Howe�s Order was
                                    beginning to lapse is the exercise for the 1st Battalion of Grenadiers in
                                    the August of 1780. Unfortunately, it does not appear that the 1st
                                    Grenadiers went into battle after that time. We cannot therefore judge the
                                    intent or effect of the signals, except to note that:

                                    �When the Line is order�d to charge, either by word of Command from the
                                    Commanding officer or by Signal of Drum, each officer will repeat the word
                                    to his own Company...� Peebles Diary, Notebook 11.

                                    Col. Hope used the drum as an alternate method of ordering the �Charge�
                                    suggesting that he did not need to go to the Drummer to give the order.
                                    Further, if the order was sounded by drum, the Officers relayed the order to
                                    their own troops, making it unnecessary, perhaps obstructive, to have
                                    Company Drummers in turn beat the signal. Emphasis remains on vocal control,
                                    with the drum as a backup.

                                    Overall the suggestion of British methods is that the troops responded more
                                    rapidly and with more spirit to a direct vocal order from their own Company
                                    Commanding Officers than they did to the beat of a drum signal.

                                    One matter of interest besides the elapse of time is that Howe commanded the
                                    main British Army in North America, from November 1776 to May 1778. But
                                    there is also the separate command in Canada as well as an area that I am
                                    not very familiar with, which is a sort of �Southern Department� that
                                    appears to have had some autonomy. Strictly speaking we might to consider
                                    that Howe�s Orders and methods might not apply at all in other districts.
                                    They do appear however have had some lasting influence on the main British
                                    Army headquartered at New York. In other words, there were probably plenty
                                    of British commanders in the AWI, posted elsewhere than the main British
                                    Army who might say �Howe�s orders? Never heard of it!�

                                    The operations of the main armies of the AWI do appear to have become the
                                    accepted common and typical standards for re-enacting. I have from time to
                                    time found evidence of some exotic practices that do not appear to be
                                    typical of the methods of the main armies. They have their place in the
                                    history of the AWI, but do not necessarily represent the typical operation.
                                    Perhaps, when we are trying to assimilate our collected information into a
                                    practical plan, the methods of the main armies might be the strongest and
                                    best course - except for specific historical scenarios, of course.

                                    Where old myths and new folklore - or �re-enactorisms� as we like to call
                                    them come into play is this:

                                    For many years British re-enacting was based largely on the idea that the
                                    British Army of the AWI operated in the same way that it did in Britain in
                                    peacetime. Uniforms, accoutrements, camps, tactics and music, all the same -
                                    because that was what had been passed down to us and because that was what
                                    the extent of our resources (primarily written regulations and unofficial
                                    manuals from England) suggested at the time. We were heavily conditioned to
                                    think that way by the way popular history had been written for generations.
                                    Anything, however factual, that contradicted that viewpoint was likely to be
                                    dismissed as an anomaly.

                                    The use of music in battle re-enactments according to parade-ground systems
                                    was likewise based on such systems being among the very limited fund of
                                    resources available to us as the time. They were among the best tools
                                    avaliable to us.

                                    Nevertheless, there was never any evidence to support the idea that they
                                    were ever actually used as such in battle. There is now a substantial fund
                                    of evidence to suggest that they were either not used in battle by the main
                                    British Army, or reduced to a supporting role.

                                    I am as interested as anyone is in finding the exceptional instances when
                                    signals were used in the open field of battle, because it would greatly
                                    increase our understanding of what circumstances a drum signals would be
                                    necessary. At this time it looks like it would be the option in an
                                    emergency.

                                    Raoul Camus�s book on the subject too, had some influence in the early days
                                    of AWI re-enacting. At the time it represented the state-of-the-art. But in
                                    fact, some of the resources Mr. Camus was compelled to rely upon were
                                    (through no fault of his own) intrinsically and fatally flawed, resulting in
                                    erroneous extrapolated conclusions. This is not Mr. Camus� fault - he made
                                    the best interpretation of the evidence he found. Unfortunately, he does not
                                    appear to have referred to the published Howe Orderly Books.

                                    It is not just a matter of lack of evidence - it is the larger picture of
                                    how the British actually operated in the field in wartime as opposed to
                                    peacetime (throughout the wars of the 18th century and -particularly- in the
                                    wars in America), combined with Howe�s General Order, that makes the use of
                                    the drum as a means of regulating troop movements in battle not only
                                    questionable, but highly dubious.

                                    But with Howe�s General Order figured into the equation with the scarcity of
                                    evidence this is a little less of a mystery.

                                    If I had found anything in the last 32 years of study to tell me otherwise,
                                    I wouldn�t have brought it up in the first place. Howe�s General Order, in
                                    the face of substantial evidence that it was disregarded would be only a
                                    curiosity.

                                    Re-enactment culture has cultivated the use of drum signals for over forty
                                    years, so I suppose it is natural that the idea that they have no basis in
                                    fact (for the British) is hard to wrap our minds around.

                                    Whatever may come of further discussion of drum signals in battle, the most
                                    important point is the use of the drum for marking a marching cadence.
                                    Marching into battle in cadenced step was, according to the sum total of all
                                    evidence, inappropriate.

                                    These are the points where we are all victims of stereotype. Far better
                                    scholars and students than I have been poining out the inconsistency between
                                    British peacetime parade-ground and AWI wartime battlefield methods for over
                                    twenty years now. But the last twenty years have seen primarily an
                                    increasing focus on forms of pageantry - which in my humble opinion is a
                                    highly questionable use of our talents and energies.

                                    As a result the AWI music community has been investing their considerable
                                    talents, dedication and effort perfecting themselves in helping to craft a
                                    depiction that is refuted by the very people we are supposed to portray.
                                    Again, I would like to stress that this is not the fault of our Drums and
                                    Fifes.

                                    Simply put, our music community has never been given the chance to depict
                                    history accurately, because study of battlefield methods has been neglected
                                    at the national command level. How can our music turn their study to
                                    battlefield methods when they are handed a program of peacetime pageantry?

                                    I agree whole-heartedly that this subject merits further study. But we
                                    already have an extensive fund of AWI accounts to work with and implementing
                                    them won�t cost anyone a cent.

                                    It all comes down to our craft being true to it�s purpose (as I understand
                                    it, to pay tribute to those we portray and to educate the public) and being
                                    willing to use the most relevant resources to do it.

                                    I believe that given the knowledge, the re-enacting community including our
                                    music will whole-heartedly support an effort to more accurately portray
                                    those we seek to honor.

                                    I further suggest that given their record of excellence, and given the task
                                    of re-creating battlefield methods, our music community will rise to the
                                    occasion with equal if not superior effect.

                                    Mr. Dillon has presented some very useful information and I will be happy to
                                    continue to co-operate with him or anyone who can contribute documentary
                                    evidence to either side of the question.

                                    I wished to explore a further aspect here, but will only mention it: How
                                    well do drum signals and marching to a cadence work for us on the
                                    battlefield in re-enacting? Do they improve or impede performance? Is this a
                                    good laboratory that might tell us something?

                                    Respectfully Submitted,

                                    Steve Rayner

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                                  • joewhitney1
                                    Mr. Raynor, that was quite a long post, and covered a lot of ground, so unfortunately my response is a little long too: I must say I don t feel an order from
                                    Message 17 of 24 , Jul 20, 2005
                                      Mr. Raynor, that was quite a long post, and covered a lot of ground,
                                      so unfortunately my response is a little long too:

                                      I must say I don't feel an order from Howe which specifically covers
                                      only drill exercises, not parades through towns, not marches on
                                      campaign, and not actions during combat, can be used to justify
                                      arguments covering these other situations without further proof. If
                                      there is some supporting evidence that would extend the scope and
                                      influence of this one order beyond what Howe actually said, that
                                      would be helpful.

                                      The concept of not using drums in exercise but using them in battle
                                      was directly addressed in the 1763 Norfolk Militia manual:

                                      "Notwithstanding what we have said against the method of going
                                      through the exercise by beat of drum, and that we think it much
                                      better to accustom the men to be attentive to, and obey the words of
                                      command, yet, as on certain occasions, especially in action, the
                                      voice cannot be heard; the method recommended by Monsieur de Bombelles
                                      (and which we are informed is introduced into the French discipline),
                                      of having certain signals on the drum appointed which denote the
                                      nature of the motions to be performed as well as the time they are to
                                      be commenced, it is certainly a very good one; we shall therefore
                                      give a sketch of such as we have thought of, rather as a hint than
                                      anything more, being very sensible that great improvements may be
                                      made in this scheme, which we ourselves have scarce practiced, or
                                      attempted to perfect. It seems however very strange that nothing of
                                      this sort has been already done, which it has not, with us at least,
                                      that ever we heard of."

                                      Of course, one can argue that the role of the tactics manuals in
                                      actual usage (and therefore the drum signals in them) was minimal.
                                      But that would take several posts to address, and isn't really the
                                      question.

                                      But when the signals, presented in different manuals by different
                                      authors and published over quite a large span of years, are extremely
                                      similar, this means something. Why keep reprinting them if no one's
                                      using them? When other changes are made from manual to manual but the
                                      signals do not change, this also means something. And when the
                                      signals are repeated in in written orders from unit commanders on
                                      campaign, the likelihood of tactical drum signals not being used at
                                      least to some degree becomes very small.

                                      The original question, as I remember it, did not address only the use
                                      of drums by the British. I think that's a good thing, because it
                                      seems there were not many differences between the drum signals the
                                      British and the Americans were using, even decades after the war
                                      ended. That these signals originally came from the French as Windham
                                      stated further argues for some widespread usage and universality.

                                      Windham and Simes used the same twenty tactical signals. Now in all
                                      fairness, Windham felt most of the signals, other than the March,
                                      Retreat, Troop, To Arms, Preparative, Ruffles, And Flams, were "of no
                                      use but to cover the deficiencies of the officers and men, and their
                                      want of knowledge in the real grounds and principles of exercise.'

                                      But we see the same signals mentioned by actual commanders. These
                                      from the Aug. 22, 1780 entry in the hournal of Captain John Peebles,
                                      42nd Regiment of Foot, titled "General Rules for Manouvring the
                                      Battn. by the Commanding Officer":

                                      "Signals By Drum: Preparative, to begin firing by Companies, which is
                                      to go on as fast as each is loaded till the first part of the General
                                      when not a shot more is ever to be fired. Grenadrs. March to advance
                                      in line. Point of War to Charge. To Arms. to form the Battn. (whether
                                      advancing or Retreating in Column) upon the leading division. To Halt
                                      Double flam. Upon the word forward, in forming, the Divisions to run
                                      up in Order."

                                      Peebles, signal for cease fire, the first part of the General, was
                                      the same as in Windham's and Simes' systems. In fact, it continued to
                                      be the signal for cease fire in the British army at least until 1880
                                      (Tamplini, the Drum Major), and in the US Army at least until 1853
                                      (Klinehanse, Instruction for Drummers).

                                      Peebles' use of the Preparative to fire by companies was virtually
                                      the same as Windham's ans Simes' use of it to "make ready". In
                                      Hinde's 1740's dismounted light dragoon signals, which "ought to be
                                      the same as with the infantry", the Preparative was "to fire by half
                                      squadrons. Double preparative to fire by squadrons". The "Tat, rat-a-
                                      Tat, rat-a-Tat" of the Preparative continued to be the signal for
                                      commencing fire in the British army at least until 1880 (Tamplini,
                                      the Drum Major), and the US Army at least through the War of 1812
                                      (Ashworth, Complete System of Drum Beating), although the "roll" was
                                      also used.

                                      Supporting the argument that British troops might have charged by the
                                      drum, Peebles ordered the following (although no, we don't have any
                                      documented proof his drummers actually beat the charge in battle):

                                      "The Charge. When the Line is order'd to Charge, either by word of
                                      Command from the Commanding Officer or by signal of Drum, each
                                      Officer will repeat the word to his own Company & will endeavour as
                                      much as possible in rushing forward to prevent his men from breaking
                                      their Order; - that either upon being order'd to halt, or after
                                      coming up with & forcing the first Body of the Enemy, the Line may be
                                      reform'd again with as little confusion & loss of time as possible;
                                      so as to throw in a fire upon such of the broken flying Enemy as they
                                      can't come up with, or to be in order to charge any second Body that
                                      may present itself."

                                      To show that there were indeed sometimes variations in individual
                                      commands as you mentioned, this very different set of signals came
                                      from Orderly Books of the 4th New York Regiment 1778-1780 and the 2nd
                                      New York Regiment, 1780-1783, General Orders, Vanderlips farm," 4
                                      August 1779:

                                      "Colo. [Elias] Daytons [3rd New Jersey] Regt. to form the rear Guard.
                                      As there is a probability of the Enemys Making an attempt upon the
                                      Army, between this and Wyalusing - the following Order of March is to
                                      take place tomorrow - The following Signals are to be Observed Viz
                                      two Ruffles will be A Signal for the Whole to march by files one
                                      Ruffle to march by Single files three Ruffles to march by Sextions &
                                      four to Advance by Plattoons the troop beating upon the March is Ever
                                      A Signal for the troops to Close Collums and beating a march is a
                                      Signal for Displaying the Collums unless Special Orders be Given to
                                      the Contrary at the time in Order that no Mistake may take place an
                                      Orderly Drum or more to be Appointed to Each Regiment and the Signal
                                      to be taken from the front and Repeated through the whole Line."

                                      This order was reaffirmed on 24 August at Fort Sullivan, Tioga.

                                      "The army are again notified that beating the troop on a march, is
                                      ever a signal for closing column ready to display [into line], &
                                      beating to arms a signal to display & form in the common order."

                                      Thanks to all the board members who posted much of this information
                                      in the past.
                                    • BrandtH605@aol.com
                                      Steve: This is a great piece and dispells a lot of widely-held myths about the British Army in the AWI. Would you mind if I use parts of it in our regiment
                                      Message 18 of 24 , Jul 22, 2005
                                        Steve:
                                        This is a great piece and dispells a lot of widely-held myths about the
                                        British Army in the AWI. Would you mind if I use parts of it in our regiment
                                        newsletter? You will receive proper credit of course, and all the ale you can handle
                                        should we meet at a reenactment.

                                        Brandt Heatherington
                                        1 Virga. Regt.


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