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43787Re: 1812 Belgic and Stovepipe

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  • James Yaworsky
    May 9, 2011
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      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Forrest Harris" <forrestharris@...> wrote:
      > Right you are--I confused the 41st with the either the 51st or 43rd--don't know why. So Belgic caps with a green plume?
      > --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "shayna121" <PrivateCannon@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Tom and Ray would have more details than I would on the 41st, but I'm confused by your theory that the 41st would have had stovepipes.

      I don't think it is that simple for the 41st. There is no doubt that they *should* have had Belgics. However, the situation is complicated by a number of factors.

      First, the 41st light company in the 1814 campaign was an amalgam of members of the 2nd battalion and the 1st.

      The 2nd battalion members came over in 1813 right from Britain so undoubtedly had Belgic shakos.

      The 2nd battalion only had 500 men in it, and 100 were kept back at Quebec because they were judged to be "boys". So the 2nd battalion's light company was probably fairly small.

      Meanwhile, the 1st battalion's light company was sent to the Right Division and participated in Frenchtown, Fort Meigs, Fort Stephenson, and Moraviantown. Lots of casualties and hard service. Did they have Belgics? No direct evidence on this that I'm aware of, though there might be something buried in the routine paperwork of the QM department. We believe they started the war in stovepipes.

      The thing is, the Right Division suffered from serious supply issues. There wasn't enough "lift" available to satisfy all its needs for food (along with those of the Native Allies at Fort Amherstburg), let alone less vital items.

      It is conceivable that the 1st battalion companies didn't get belgic shakos when on the Detroit frontier. It is conceivable that they didn't get belgic shakos in time for the 1814 campaign. It is conceivable that the amalgamated Light Company of the 41st at Lundy's Lane had men with belgic shakos, and men still in stovepipes.

      It seems more likely, though, that over the winter of 1813-14, the survivors of the 1st battalion were issued new regulation gear, which would presumably have included belgic shakos.

      Unfortunately, Shadrach Byfield, of the 1st battalion's Light Company, who served at Lundy's Lane with the amalgamated Light Company of Captain Glew, doesn't provide uniform details in his account.

      Jim Yaworsky
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