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Infantry equipment, lotsa questions

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  • mmathews@xxxx.xxxxxx.xxxx.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    As I begin to look at options for new uniforms, always the bane of reenactor types, I had some questions regarding the stardardization of gear. In no
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 2 9:18 AM
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      As I begin to look at options for new uniforms, always the bane of
      reenactor types, I had some questions regarding the stardardization of
      gear. In no particular order they are:

      Did all Crown forces use the 60 round cartouche box? This excludest the
      issue of captured gear, but would extend to "regulars," lights and
      fencibles.

      How does the box and it's capacity differ with the American issue? Was
      there a standard issue for American regulars and the militia/volunteer
      units?

      British belting seems to be white for most and black for the Glengarrys.
      Any other Crown units wear black belts?

      Americans started with white? And moved to black? When and how universally?

      Did the light units on both sides have any unique cartridge boxes or gear?
      The 95th carried a small horm of fine priming powder, but did the US Rifle
      Regiment? Anyone still using belly boxes?

      Were there many cases on either side of an individual, as opposed to a
      city, raising a "corps" to fight and equiping them at his expense as we
      find in other times? If so, would they attempt to draw from army stores,
      or be creative in design and execution of uniform and gear?

      Did the American army have a standard issue canteen?

      Was a breadbag or havresac a standard issue, or something the men acquired?

      A specific unit question: The Michigan Fencibles are described in a couple
      of sources as having a plain pewter button on their coats. In your
      collective opinion, would that be a flat button or slightly domed?

      Did US forces have different weight and perhaps color trousers for winter
      vs. summer wear?

      British forces had the infamous trotter backpack, what did the Americans
      use and was it any better?

      Thanks in advance better stop now before you go on system overload. I also
      welcome book suggestions on these sorts of specifics. I have a few general
      works like the Osprey books, but they rarely go into the kinds of specifics
      I want.

      Happy holidays,

      Michael

      Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
      Voice: (507) 285-7585 Fax: (507) 280-5568
      ------------------------------
      "Wit is educated insolence." -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
    • Robert Van Patten
      Dear Mr. Matthews: With reference to Regulations for the field exercise, maneuvers, and conduct of the infantry of the United States by Alexander Smyth,
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 2 10:29 AM
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        Dear Mr. Matthews:

        With reference to "Regulations for the field exercise, maneuvers, and
        conduct of the infantry of the United States" by Alexander Smyth, 1812,
        then officer commanding the 1st US Rifle Regt one finds no reference
        whatsoever to the use of a powder horn in the loading drill. Loading was
        accomplished from a cartridge.

        I have never seen an American cartridge box of the early 19th century with
        provision for more than 24 cartridges.

        I suspect that the use of black leather was common among American Ranger
        and Rifle units from very early on but cannot cite an authoity for it.

        Regular US units did have different uniforms for winter and summer and I
        refer you here to the authority of the Company of Military Historians at
        the United States Military Academy. See their volumes dealing with the
        uniforms of the post Revolutionary War period and the Period of Expansion
        circa 1812 and on.

        Haversack is a German word meaning feed bag. I can speak only for
        volunteer militia units, specifically my own company of frontier riflemen
        in which the haversack was a normal piece of civilian hunting gear, usually
        made out of canvas with three pewter or wooden buttons.

        On the question of ad lib uniforms: The Ohio militia law of 1809 clearly
        states (see Chartrand) that the uniform of the militia shall be whatever a
        majority of the company agrees upon. Typically this consisted of one or
        another types of hat (not cocked, bras, or tricorn) bearing the Ohio
        militia rosette and cockade, an off white longsleeved shirt, straight leg
        narrow fall cotton canvas trousers, a caped and fringed hunting frock (in
        our case dark green), black shoes, a black leather neck stock - more or
        less the usual civilian hunting garb. Weapons would have been a mixed bag
        - we carry Charlevilles (2) and all the rest are 45 or 50 caliber rifled
        flintlocks of the Pennsylvania variety.

        Regular troops had designated canteens with designated markings. Agains see
        Co. Mil. Hist. illustrations. Irregular troops such as we are carry a
        variety of the wooden (drum, not barrel) types and a few carry the Ft
        Ligonier metal canteens.

        I hope some of this is helpful.

        van
        ----------
        > From: Michael Mathews <mmathews@...>
        > To: WarOf1812@onelist.com
        > Subject: [WarOf1812] Infantry equipment, lotsa questions
        > Date: Friday, July 02, 1999 12:18 PM
        >
        > From: mmathews@... (Michael Mathews)
        >
        > As I begin to look at options for new uniforms, always the bane of
        > reenactor types, I had some questions regarding the stardardization of
        > gear. In no particular order they are:
        >
        > Did all Crown forces use the 60 round cartouche box? This excludest the
        > issue of captured gear, but would extend to "regulars," lights and
        > fencibles.
        >
        > How does the box and it's capacity differ with the American issue? Was
        > there a standard issue for American regulars and the militia/volunteer
        > units?
        >
        > British belting seems to be white for most and black for the Glengarrys.
        > Any other Crown units wear black belts?
        >
        > Americans started with white? And moved to black? When and how
        universally?
        >
        > Did the light units on both sides have any unique cartridge boxes or
        gear?
        > The 95th carried a small horm of fine priming powder, but did the US
        Rifle
        > Regiment? Anyone still using belly boxes?
        >
        > Were there many cases on either side of an individual, as opposed to a
        > city, raising a "corps" to fight and equiping them at his expense as we
        > find in other times? If so, would they attempt to draw from army stores,
        > or be creative in design and execution of uniform and gear?
        >
        > Did the American army have a standard issue canteen?
        >
        > Was a breadbag or havresac a standard issue, or something the men
        acquired?
        >
        > A specific unit question: The Michigan Fencibles are described in a
        couple
        > of sources as having a plain pewter button on their coats. In your
        > collective opinion, would that be a flat button or slightly domed?
        >
        > Did US forces have different weight and perhaps color trousers for winter
        > vs. summer wear?
        >
        > British forces had the infamous trotter backpack, what did the Americans
        > use and was it any better?
        >
        > Thanks in advance better stop now before you go on system overload. I
        also
        > welcome book suggestions on these sorts of specifics. I have a few
        general
        > works like the Osprey books, but they rarely go into the kinds of
        specifics
        > I want.
        >
        > Happy holidays,
        >
        > Michael
        >
        > Michael Mathews -- Winona State University
        > Voice: (507) 285-7585 Fax: (507) 280-5568
        > ------------------------------
        > "Wit is educated insolence." -- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
        >
        >
        >
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        > Attention ONElist list owners.
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        square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS
        of square miles...
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      • Paul W. Schulz
        Mike, Let me see if I can answer at least some of the questions you have on the US stuff, one of the more informed members of the Crown forces will have to
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 2 3:54 PM
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          Mike,
          Let me see if I can answer at least some of the questions you have on
          the US stuff, one of the more informed members of the Crown forces will have
          to step in on behalf of the King.

          How does the box and it's capacity differ with the American issue? Was
          > there a standard issue for American regulars and the militia/volunteer
          > units?

          Yes the US used the 1808 style over the shoulder box which was drilled
          for 24 rounds in the block. Under the block was a three sectioned tin tray
          accessible through a flap in the front which held tools and spare flints in
          the middle and up to twelve extra rounds on their sides in the two side
          sections.

          > Americans started with white? And moved to black? When and how
          universally

          The US was regulated white belting. Very rarely was this ever managed.
          Saddle leather was common from as far back as the 1790's. The only regiments
          during the war that achieved the "desired" look enmass did so by white
          washing the leather.

          > Did the light units on both sides have any unique cartridge boxes or gear?
          > The 95th carried a small horn of fine priming powder, but did the US Rifle
          > Regiment? Anyone still using belly boxes?

          Question 1: Despite my college's devotion to the regulations of General
          Smyth there were actually four sets or regs that governed US troops during
          the War. Von Stuben's, Duane's, Smyth's and the French 1791 Manual. All were
          used by various units until about 1816 until the whole thing was totally
          standardized by the War Department. While Smyth's does not call for the use
          of a powder horn during loading it is mentioned in Duane's manual for
          riflemen. Equipment records of the day indicate that the Rifle Rt.s in the
          Army were issued a bullet bag a powder horn and a patch knife. They did also
          carry a SOFT cartridge box on the belly for about ten to twenty pre-rolled
          rounds (in tin tubes) of smaller caliber than their weapon for emergencies.
          They were admonished not to use them as using the rifle as a musket fouled
          it to the point of being unusable as as rifle until after cleaning.
          Question 2: Yes, in addition to the Rifles the 4th was equipped with a belly
          box from 1808 until about mid 1813. This was a personal quirk of the
          Colonel's and not Army standard. The pattern was based on the Wayne's Legion
          Box and may have even been surplus from 1794.

          > Did the American army have a standard issue canteen?

          Yes and no. The US put about four types of canteens into the field and which
          part of the country you were in influenced which type of canteen that was
          issued. Some, such as the NW Army's tin canteens dated back to the Rev-War.

          > Were there many cases on either side of an individual, as opposed to a
          > city, raising a "corps" to fight and equipping them at his expense as we
          > find in other times

          This was a more English practice than an American one, US Militia units did
          as a rule draw from Federal Stores to make up for what the States did not
          provide.

          > Was a breadbag or haversack a standard issue, or something the men
          acquired?

          The Haversack for US regulars was a personally acquired item as the issue
          back pack was designed to fill the role of the traditional "feedbag"
          Soldiers however continued to "acquire" them as they began to be used more
          for personal items.
          The US issued the Lhebrette Style Back Pack which was a sectioned off canvas
          envelope with storage in the flap and a blanket carried under the flap. It
          was painted blue to waterproof it. As far as it being better than the
          Trotter, well it is a damned site more comfortable. Other than that there is
          no qualitative difference.

          > Did US forces have different weight and perhaps color trousers for winter
          > vs. summer wear?

          Yes again Blue wool overalls (Green for Rifles) with black short gaiters
          (overalls had a bit of white or yellow cord down the outside seam). White
          linen trousers or overalls in the summer.

          Lt. Paul W. Schulz
          Snelling's Co., 4th USI
        • Robert Van Patten
          What Paul says, as far as I know, is true although Duane s work is pure crap - radically deficient in Winfield Scott s opinion. Neither von Steuben nor
          Message 4 of 8 , Jul 2 4:10 PM
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            What Paul says, as far as I know, is true although Duane's work is pure
            crap - "radically deficient" in Winfield Scott's opinion. Neither von
            Steuben nor Smyth, nor Potter mention powder horns nor do any mandate
            marching with the rifle at advance arms as does Duane. One must remember
            that Duane was a political appointee and crony of Jefferson's with
            absolutely no military experience.

            From a practical standpoint we have been advised by those far more
            experienced than we not to show up at a tactical using powder horns for
            obvious safety reasons. You chaps worry about a triple charged musket.
            Try thinking about a powder horn, forgetfully uncapped, drizzling a stream
            of powder to the ground in the spark-filled environment of a tactical. No
            thank you, thank you very much. Looks as if you have two votes for 24 round
            cartouches on the US side.

            van

            ----------
            > From: Paul W. Schulz <pwschulz@...>
            > To: WarOf1812@onelist.com
            > Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] Infantry equipment, lotsa questions
            > Date: Friday, July 02, 1999 6:54 PM
            >
            > From: "Paul W. Schulz" <pwschulz@...>
            >
            > Mike,
            > Let me see if I can answer at least some of the questions you have on
            > the US stuff, one of the more informed members of the Crown forces will
            have
            > to step in on behalf of the King.
            >
            > How does the box and it's capacity differ with the American issue? Was
            > > there a standard issue for American regulars and the militia/volunteer
            > > units?
            >
            > Yes the US used the 1808 style over the shoulder box which was
            drilled
            > for 24 rounds in the block. Under the block was a three sectioned tin
            tray
            > accessible through a flap in the front which held tools and spare flints
            in
            > the middle and up to twelve extra rounds on their sides in the two side
            > sections.
            >
            > > Americans started with white? And moved to black? When and how
            > universally
            >
            > The US was regulated white belting. Very rarely was this ever managed.
            > Saddle leather was common from as far back as the 1790's. The only
            regiments
            > during the war that achieved the "desired" look enmass did so by white
            > washing the leather.
            >
            > > Did the light units on both sides have any unique cartridge boxes or
            gear?
            > > The 95th carried a small horn of fine priming powder, but did the US
            Rifle
            > > Regiment? Anyone still using belly boxes?
            >
            > Question 1: Despite my college's devotion to the regulations of General
            > Smyth there were actually four sets or regs that governed US troops
            during
            > the War. Von Stuben's, Duane's, Smyth's and the French 1791 Manual. All
            were
            > used by various units until about 1816 until the whole thing was totally
            > standardized by the War Department. While Smyth's does not call for the
            use
            > of a powder horn during loading it is mentioned in Duane's manual for
            > riflemen. Equipment records of the day indicate that the Rifle Rt.s in
            the
            > Army were issued a bullet bag a powder horn and a patch knife. They did
            also
            > carry a SOFT cartridge box on the belly for about ten to twenty
            pre-rolled
            > rounds (in tin tubes) of smaller caliber than their weapon for
            emergencies.
            > They were admonished not to use them as using the rifle as a musket
            fouled
            > it to the point of being unusable as as rifle until after cleaning.
            > Question 2: Yes, in addition to the Rifles the 4th was equipped with a
            belly
            > box from 1808 until about mid 1813. This was a personal quirk of the
            > Colonel's and not Army standard. The pattern was based on the Wayne's
            Legion
            > Box and may have even been surplus from 1794.
            >
            > > Did the American army have a standard issue canteen?
            >
            > Yes and no. The US put about four types of canteens into the field and
            which
            > part of the country you were in influenced which type of canteen that was
            > issued. Some, such as the NW Army's tin canteens dated back to the
            Rev-War.
            >
            > > Were there many cases on either side of an individual, as opposed to a
            > > city, raising a "corps" to fight and equipping them at his expense as
            we
            > > find in other times
            >
            > This was a more English practice than an American one, US Militia units
            did
            > as a rule draw from Federal Stores to make up for what the States did not
            > provide.
            >
            > > Was a breadbag or haversack a standard issue, or something the men
            > acquired?
            >
            > The Haversack for US regulars was a personally acquired item as the issue
            > back pack was designed to fill the role of the traditional "feedbag"
            > Soldiers however continued to "acquire" them as they began to be used
            more
            > for personal items.
            > The US issued the Lhebrette Style Back Pack which was a sectioned off
            canvas
            > envelope with storage in the flap and a blanket carried under the flap.
            It
            > was painted blue to waterproof it. As far as it being better than the
            > Trotter, well it is a damned site more comfortable. Other than that there
            is
            > no qualitative difference.
            >
            > > Did US forces have different weight and perhaps color trousers for
            winter
            > > vs. summer wear?
            >
            > Yes again Blue wool overalls (Green for Rifles) with black short gaiters
            > (overalls had a bit of white or yellow cord down the outside seam). White
            > linen trousers or overalls in the summer.
            >
            > Lt. Paul W. Schulz
            > Snelling's Co., 4th USI
            >
            >
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            square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate of THOUSANDS
            of square miles...
            >
          • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
            In a message dated 7/2/99 11:18:00 AM Central Daylight Time, mmathews@VAX2.WINONA.MSUS.EDU writes:
            Message 5 of 8 , Jul 2 4:11 PM
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              In a message dated 7/2/99 11:18:00 AM Central Daylight Time,
              mmathews@... writes:

              << Were there many cases on either side of an individual, as opposed to a
              city, raising a "corps" to fight and equipping them at his expense as we
              find in other times? If so, would they attempt to draw from army stores,
              or be creative in design and execution of uniform and gear? >>

              In England this happened with the Yeomanry (cavalry) and Volunteers
              (Infantry), they enlisted as a 'home guard' and supplied their own uniform
              and, in the case of the Yeomanry, horses. The Government furnished weapons
              and accouterments. The disbanding of these corps led to the early Victorian
              fashion of the families of their old Colonels of making large displays of the
              now obsolete arms on the walls of the ancestral home. (Which is doubtless
              where Williamsburg got the idea!)

              Cheers

              Tim
            • BritcomHMP@aol.com
              In a message dated 7/2/99 6:18:25 PM Central Daylight Time, orville@erinet.com writes:
              Message 6 of 8 , Jul 2 6:40 PM
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                In a message dated 7/2/99 6:18:25 PM Central Daylight Time,
                orville@... writes:

                << You chaps worry about a triple charged musket.
                Try thinking about a powder horn, forgetfully uncapped, drizzling a stream
                of powder to the ground in the spark-filled environment of a tactical. >>

                Actually the correct type of military powder horn has a spring loaded stopper
                that dispenses the correct priming charge and automatically closes when
                released (a simple yet ingenious device.

                Cheers

                Tim
              • Robert Van Patten
                Pray, where does one obtain the correct type of military powder horn? ... stream ... stopper ... square miles: in North America, hundreds determined the fate
                Message 7 of 8 , Jul 2 6:57 PM
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                  Pray, where does one obtain the correct type of military powder horn?

                  ----------
                  > From: BritcomHMP@...
                  > To: WarOf1812@onelist.com
                  > Subject: Re: [WarOf1812] Infantry equipment, lotsa questions
                  > Date: Friday, July 02, 1999 9:40 PM
                  >
                  > From: BritcomHMP@...
                  >
                  > In a message dated 7/2/99 6:18:25 PM Central Daylight Time,
                  > orville@... writes:
                  >
                  > << You chaps worry about a triple charged musket.
                  > Try thinking about a powder horn, forgetfully uncapped, drizzling a
                  stream
                  > of powder to the ground in the spark-filled environment of a tactical.
                  >>
                  >
                  > Actually the correct type of military powder horn has a spring loaded
                  stopper
                  > that dispenses the correct priming charge and automatically closes when
                  > released (a simple yet ingenious device.
                  >
                  > Cheers
                  >
                  > Tim
                  >
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                  > 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 square miles...
                  >
                • BritcomHMP@xxx.xxx
                  In a message dated 7/2/99 9:05:17 PM Central Daylight Time, orville@erinet.com writes:
                  Message 8 of 8 , Jul 3 6:21 AM
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                    In a message dated 7/2/99 9:05:17 PM Central Daylight Time,
                    orville@... writes:

                    << Pray, where does one obtain the correct type of military powder horn? >>

                    Dear Robert:
                    I don't know that they are made commercially. In the UK the 95th, who had
                    several gunsmiths in their ranks in the early days, used to make their own.
                    However the mechanism is not overly complicated.

                    Cheers

                    Tim
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