Re: Some were short ........
- Generally it seems to me that the doorway lintels at Ft York and Ft
Henry (with which I am most familiar) are designed to facilitate the
passage of shorter men than those which have been discussed. Could
this be because the engineers who designed and built these were
primarily from the UK where apparently stature was less than in the
colonies? Just a thought for discussion. Doug
--- In WarOf1812@y..., "ebclemson" <ebclemson@w...> wrote:
> Len, I agree that Americans were generally taller than most
Europeans. I've researched the height of soldiers in the 1st U.
States Infantry. For example: Captain John Cleeves Symmes company at
the battle of Lundys lane was 65 men strong. The Mode height was 5'
10", and the Median height was 5'9", and the Mean average was 5'
9". Of the 65 men, five were over six foot. Their origins of birth
were: North Carolina, Maryland, New York, Philadelphia and
Massachuetts.The average height of thos of foreign born is 5' 7
1/2". Research into
other companies of the 1st Infantry revealed that the average height
was universlly 5'9" to 5'9 1/2".
> Also........The average age in 1812 was 32, by 1814 the average age
was 30. Adiue, Dave
Bennett 1st U.S. Infantry & Missouri Rangers.
> --- In WarOf1812@y..., "lenthecooper" <lheidebrecht@L...> wrote:
> > Hi Kev,
> > Of the 124 men in the sample, 21 were 5'10" and the majority of
> > heights were 5'5" to 6' tall (109).
> > This is the breakdown
> > 5'0" x 1 5'9" x 15
> > 5'2" x 1 5'10"x 15
> > 5'3" x 2 5'11"x 9
> > 5'4" x 2 6'0" x 11
> > 5'5" x 8 6'1" x 4
> > 5'6" x 15 6'2" x 4
> > 5'7" x 16 6'3" x 1
> > 5'8" x 14
> > Total 124
> > Shortest man came from Hamburg Germany and the tallest from
> > the 'Province' of New Jersey. So there may be some truth in the
> > diet/height comments though this isn't always the only factor as
> > tallest German was 6' and the shortest American 5'2".
> > I've got lots more on these fellows, but has anyone wanted to
> > it....
> > Cheers,
> > Len
----- Original Message -----
From: "Raymond Hobbs" <ray.hobbs@...>
> Did not the Army regulations state that the tallest soldiers
> were to stand in the centre of a line, and the shorter ones on the ends
> - or was it the other way round?
Good question. Different armies do it differently. In American Civil War
drill (where most of the manuals were plagiarized from the French, the
acknowledged innovators in the period from Waterloo to the Franco-Prussian
War, when world opinion suddenly changed and Napoleon III-style frock coats
and kepis were ditched for spiked helmets and Prussian-style tunics!), the
tallest men in each company go on the right and the shortest on the left.
In the modern Canadian army, IIRC after 15 years, the soldiers initially
line up in a single rank with the tallest on the right and shortest on the
left and count off. The right marker stands fast, the odd numbers turn
right while the even numbers take one step back and turn left, then the
whole line countermarches and each soldier falls in as they arrive on the
right. The result is that the tallest soldiers end up on the ends of the
company and the shortest end up in the middle.
I'm aware that in a battalion of our period the tallest men were chosen for
the Grenadier company (on the right of the line) and the shortest and most
agile for the Light company (left of the line), but what about sizing within
a company? My hunch would be tallest on the ends and shortest in the middle
(as per the modern Canadian drill, since we learned our earliest military
traditions from the British) but my incomplete drill manual (copied from the
Parks Canada instructional materials for the interpreters at Ft. George)
does not go into that much detail. Anybody have something more complete?
Andrew Bateman, 41st Foot
- In a message dated 4/12/2002 7:13:06 PM Central Daylight Time,
> I'm aware that in a battalion of our period the tallest men were chosen forThe company was dressed tallest to shortest on what ever was the dressing
> the Grenadier company (on the right of the line) and the shortest and most
> agile for the Light company (left of the line), but what about sizing within
> a company? My hunch would be tallest on the ends and shortest in the middle
> (as per the modern Canadian drill, since we learned our earliest military
> traditions from the British) but my incomplete drill manual (copied from the
> Parks Canada instructional materials for the interpreters at Ft. George)
> does not go into that much detail. Anybody have something more complete?
flank or for some purposes by the centre. which ends up with the tallest in
the middle. This designation is still used and is usually also the directing
flank indicated in the order to march which is proceeded by the dressing
position and pace thus "By the right/left/centre quick/slow march!"
The dressing in battle at our period is usually by the colours which of
course means that the right flak dresses by the left and the left by the
right. Why do this? so that your marker is the tallest man in the line and
easier to keep an eye on. Standard way to achieve a two deep line is to dress
& number from the marker, even numbers take two paces back and re-dress on
the marker. For files more than 2 deep the men can merely be told off and
wheeled into file, normally this designation remain permanent and any gaps
caused by temporary sickness are closed up by the rear man while the rear
line is covered by the serifiles.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hi Doug,
Doorways and their surrounding furnature weren't really standardized
until the 20th Century as anyone who has tried to hang a new door on
an old frame will realize. Even today there is still quite some
variation. If you have a look at extant 18th and early 19thC
buildings you may notice that the ground floor entrances and the 1st
Floor (depending on your own terminoligy) are slightly different in
size (it also has to do with scale) and even between the front and
back of the building ie: a grand entrance way verses a servants
entrance. Some would call this a show of conspicuous consumption, or
flaunting it cuz I got it, if you wish. Cruikshank and Burton mention
this in 'Life in the Georgian City.' Twelve foot ceilings and tall
doors were owned by those who could afford them, while seven foot
ceilings and short doors which concerved heat were normal for the
rest of the world.
Dave, would you have names to go with those tall fellows from
Maryland and North Carolina? I wonder if they are Scottish desendants
as well as a better diet. Both areas were settled by huge numbers of
Scots a notibly tall race.
- --- In WarOf1812@y..., "lenthecooper"
lEN, 1) James Blackshire 6'0" 24 years old, born North Carolina and enlisted in Nashville, occupation Shoemaker. 2) Lloyd Pyatt 6'0" 29 years old, born
Philadelphia and enlisted at Fort Osage [renlisted] occupation Mason 3) Asa Pease 6'0" 45 years old, born MA. and enlisted at Newport Kentucky, occupation Cooper 4) Samuel C. Teneyck 6' 0" 34 years old born New York and enlisted at Fort Osage [reenlisted], occupation shoemaker. 5) David Creamer 6'1 1/2" 30 years old, born Maryland, occupation joiner. 6) Stephen Wallace 6' 1" 33 years old, born Virginia and enlisted in Nashville, occupation shoemaker. Pease and Teneyck were both killed in action on July 25th 1814 and Stephen Wallace was "Missing in the action of the 25th July 1813 at Bridge Water".
Dave Bennett 1st U.States Infy.
> Dave, would you have names to go with those tall fellows from
> Maryland and North Carolina? I wonder if they are Scottish desendants
> as well as a better diet. Both areas were settled by huge numbers of
> Scots a notibly tall race.
- Actually Dave...
You're correct in that you can't draw conclusions from your single example,
but your conclusion is borne out by anthropologists, geneticists,etc.
Nature is enhanced by nurture.
----- Original Message -----
From: "davebevca" <dave.bev@...>
Sent: Friday, April 12, 2002 11:43 AM
Subject: [WarOf1812] Re: Some were short ........
> Hi Len,
> I have always had difficulty with the seemingly commonly held idea
> that people, before 1900, were always smaller than we are today.
> Anything I have seen on the subject uses samples that are neither
> broad enough nor large enough to be statistically significant.
> I read an article, some years ago, which compared the average height
> and weight of American soldiers in WW1, WW2, Korea, and Vietnam.
> According to the article, on the average, each generation was 1 !/2
> inches taller and 10 pounds heavier. This type of sample could be
> considered significant from a statistical point of view since the
> U.S. Army takes soldiers from all over the U.S. and from every strata
> of society; but it is only significant for the U.S.
> There are three things which control a person's size, genetics,
> their diet both prenatal and postnatal, and their life style (air
> quality,exercise, medical care, etc.). Change any of these factors
> and you will get changes in size.
> I have a foster sister, she and her husband were raised in Vietnam.
> He is 5 ft. 3, and she is under 5 feet. Their two children were born
> and raised in Canada; the boy is almost six feet tall and the
> daughter is 5 ft. 6. It would appear obvious that the better medical
> care and diet have affected their size. However, my sample is not
> statistically significant and so I should not draw any generalized
> conclusions from this data.
> The War of 1812: In Europe, thousands fought over the fate of hundreds of
square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS of
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