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Gaiters and spatterdashers

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  • KILTONE@aol.com
    Sirs, Might i ask if there are any precise specifications for high gaiters and spatterdashers ie. material, height, number of buttons, material of buttons,
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 29, 2008
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      Sirs,

      Might i ask if there are any precise specifications for high gaiters and
      spatterdashers ie. material, height, number of buttons, material of buttons,
      and configuration on shoe,, covers mid shoe, covers buckle or some such.
      Method of attaching to shoe.

      Alos did certain units wear certain colors. Was white reserved for
      parade, review, gurad mount?

      Curious noob wants to know.

      YHS
      Michael
      HM's Vth Regt of Foot ( Rev War ) venturing into Vth Regt Napoleonic
      /1812



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    • Richard Feltoe
      Dear Michael, As to your enquiry on the matter of British-style Gaiters for the War of 1812, In my researches of original materials, artifacts, and
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 2, 2008
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        Dear Michael,
        As to your enquiry on the matter of British-style Gaiters for the War of 1812, In my researches of original materials, artifacts, and illustrations, I have come across a variety of options. And depending on the regiment concerned, the fact that patterns changed during the course of the Napoleonic Wars and subsidiary orders from different or local suppliers in North America created even more variety, means that there are several options for you to choose from.

        To begin with, there is the old-style, just-below-the-knee version you are already familiar with. Made from black heavy coating wool, with a leather instep strap and tiny half-ball or high-domed round buttons (24-30 I believe) on each gaiter. (I have seen literally hundreds of original buttons of this type, both plain and with regimental numbering on, (specifically the 41st Rgt) dug-up from locations around the Lundy's Lane battlefield)

        Next in line are the "half-gaiters", which come in two main variants, depending on what supplier you are dealing with and the part of the war being considered.

        In general these gaiters maintain the foot style of the older long-gaiters (being tight to the boot and leg), but terminate on the leg, mid-way between the ankle joint and the knee.
        The top edge at the rear of the gaiter can be slightly upwards-pointed or flat, while the front centre seam can either terminate at the hinge of the foot (in the 3-piece version using a V- shaped inset cap over the foot, or continue in a tight curve right down to the bottom-front edge, just behind the line of the toes, for the version made of only two pieces of material. They are again made of heavy dark-grey or black coating wool (I have numerous supply records for both colours) but I have seen absolutely no reference to white being used.

        The leather instep strap can either be attached at both ends to the wool (for the version that has the wearer sliding the gaiter on over the toe) or fixed at the inside of the leg and buttonholed at the outside to allow for undoing from the bottom button of the closure or sliding off over the heel (The version I much prefer and make for our group). Original buttons that I have handled (that are tentatively identified as being for the gaiters) are made of either of cast pewter or pressed sheet brass, ranging from around 3/8 to 1/2 inch in diameter, flat or slightly raised in the centre with either a cast-on or inset shank and are either plain or with regimental insignia (examples seen for 41st, 49th, and Royal Artillery, again from the Lundys Lane battlefield).
        Allowing for a wider spacing (from that seen on the older-style gaiters with domed micro-buttons) 8 -10 buttons would suffice for each half-gaiter, for a maximum total of 20 per pair.

        I hope this gives you enough to get started upon. If you wish more detailed information, I would be happy to provide you with what I have.

        Richard Feltoe

        "Haway the Lads"




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Chris McKay
        Richard, I m a little confused. You distinguish between the old-style and the new-style, but both styles continued to be worn throughout the Napoleonic
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 2, 2008
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          Richard,
          I'm a little confused. You distinguish between the "old-style" and
          the "new-style," but both styles continued to be worn throughout the
          Napoleonic Wars. The taller, black gaiters were for wear in the
          British Isles, while the shorter, half-gaiters were for foreign
          service. My question concerns the material of the new-style. You
          state that there are supply records for black and grey gaiters, but
          wouldn't the black wool be for the taller (home) version and the
          shorter version made soley in grey, therefore? After all, the orders
          did state that the half gaiters should be grey (see Elegance or
          Comfort: Breeches and Trousers in the British Army, 1803-1815 by
          Robert Henderson).

          Chris McKay


          --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Richard Feltoe" <feltoe@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dear Michael,
          > As to your enquiry on the matter of British-style Gaiters for the
          War of 1812, In my researches of original materials, artifacts, and
          illustrations, I have come across a variety of options. And depending
          on the regiment concerned, the fact that patterns changed during the
          course of the Napoleonic Wars and subsidiary orders from different or
          local suppliers in North America created even more variety, means
          that there are several options for you to choose from.
          >
          > To begin with, there is the old-style, just-below-the-knee version
          you are already familiar with. Made from black heavy coating wool,
          with a leather instep strap and tiny half-ball or high-domed round
          buttons (24-30 I believe) on each gaiter. (I have seen literally
          hundreds of original buttons of this type, both plain and with
          regimental numbering on, (specifically the 41st Rgt) dug-up from
          locations around the Lundy's Lane battlefield)
          >
          > Next in line are the "half-gaiters", which come in two main
          variants, depending on what supplier you are dealing with and the
          part of the war being considered.
          >
          > In general these gaiters maintain the foot style of the older long-
          gaiters (being tight to the boot and leg), but terminate on the leg,
          mid-way between the ankle joint and the knee.
          > The top edge at the rear of the gaiter can be slightly upwards-
          pointed or flat, while the front centre seam can either terminate at
          the hinge of the foot (in the 3-piece version using a V- shaped inset
          cap over the foot, or continue in a tight curve right down to the
          bottom-front edge, just behind the line of the toes, for the version
          made of only two pieces of material. They are again made of heavy
          dark-grey or black coating wool (I have numerous supply records for
          both colours) but I have seen absolutely no reference to white being
          used.
          >
          > The leather instep strap can either be attached at both ends to the
          wool (for the version that has the wearer sliding the gaiter on over
          the toe) or fixed at the inside of the leg and buttonholed at the
          outside to allow for undoing from the bottom button of the closure or
          sliding off over the heel (The version I much prefer and make for our
          group). Original buttons that I have handled (that are tentatively
          identified as being for the gaiters) are made of either of cast
          pewter or pressed sheet brass, ranging from around 3/8 to 1/2 inch in
          diameter, flat or slightly raised in the centre with either a cast-on
          or inset shank and are either plain or with regimental insignia
          (examples seen for 41st, 49th, and Royal Artillery, again from the
          Lundys Lane battlefield).
          > Allowing for a wider spacing (from that seen on the older-style
          gaiters with domed micro-buttons) 8 -10 buttons would suffice for
          each half-gaiter, for a maximum total of 20 per pair.
          >
          > I hope this gives you enough to get started upon. If you wish more
          detailed information, I would be happy to provide you with what I
          have.
          >
          > Richard Feltoe
          >
          > "Haway the Lads"
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
        • Richard Feltoe
          Dear Chris, Your confusion is perfectly natural, after all we are talking history here. I think the best answer lies in the fact that when studying the lists
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 2, 2008
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            Dear Chris,
            Your confusion is perfectly natural, after all we are talking history here. I think the best answer lies in the fact that when studying the lists of British Army military clothing and accoutrements there can sometimes be a world of difference between what the official regulations stipulate on paper from the comfort of Whitehall and what the troops receive in the field, half a world away. Especially when one takes into account variations between regiments, recycling,recutting and retailoring old stocks of clothing and supplies to conform to the newer regulations, variations in supply quantities and qualities from different contracted suppliers, items made up locally when supply shortages prevented home-country suppliers from providing needed items, shortages of supply, etc etc etc. These "gaiters" are simply a case in point.

            First a clarification, I have regularly seen in reference books the use of the term gaiter and half-gaiter and referred to the items as such in my earlier message; and you are quite correct in saying that the regulation specifies black "long" for home and grey "short" for abroad and that both types were used throughout the Wars . I simply used the terms that I believed a Rev War reenactor would easily comprehend based on their own kit. However, based upon your raising this point I have gone back to my actual records to quote chapter and verse to prove I'm not making it up.

            According to the wording of the Infantry Clothing Regulations for 1802
            "21 July 1784: Black Woolen Long Gaiters to be worn by Non-Commissioned Officers, Drummers, Fifers, and Private Men of the Guards and Regiments or Corps of Infantry serving in Europe, N. America (excepting by the Highland Corps, the Rifle Corps, and the Royal Staff Corps)... the Gaiter Buttons to be small, of White Metal and set on at Equal Distances..."

            "Half Boots...9 April 1800, 20 May 1801... The Non-Commissioned Officers, Drummers, and Private Men of the Royal Staff Corps are to wear Half Boots, which are to come up sufficiently high above the Ankle as to prevent any opening from appearing between them and the Pantaloons..."
            "...Short Gaiters... 1802...The Sergeants of the Rifle Corps are to wear Half Boots and the Rank and File, Buglers, and Armourers are to wear Black Woollen Cloth short Gaiters, with small White Metal Buttons, and to come up sufficiently high above the Ankles to prevent any Oprning from appearing between them and the Pantaloons..."


            Here we see the initial use of Half boots and in the latter case a black short or half gaiter that must, by description come up at least as high as the boot to be of any use. So the items existed early on and the Half Boot and Half Gaiter then spread into wider usage by 1812

            In the original General Order of 12 March 1812, the actual wording reads
            "... All units on service abroad to be supplied with pantaloons and gaiters, according to regulation, instead of breeches and leggings, as worn by the troops at home..."

            Thus, if we are to trust the wording of this General Order, by 1812 the "long" items are properly referred to as leggings, and it is only the "short" ones that are classified as gaiters. But note that no specific colour is defined. That being the case, then the following references can be interpreted as applying to the "Gaiters"

            (18 April 1813 ,York, Issue of materials to Captain Jarvie's Company (No2) of Incorporated Militia)
            6 Yards of fine dark-grey cloth for gaiters at 11/3d per yard
            2 gross (288) plated buttons at 11/3d per gross
            1/4 lb thread at 10/- per lb

            Since the reference uses plated buttons, they must be referring to the flat disc-shaped buttons and not the tiny cast half-ball buttons used on the long "leggings". At 8 buttons per gaiter (16 per pair), this would make 18 pairs an easy number to make from 6 yards of material. Coincidentally 18 is also the exact number of men in the company at that time! Hence my presumption that it is the "short" gaiter we are seeing here.

            (27 May 1813, Clothing, Material and supplies lost at the Battle of Fort George)
            22 pairs, Privates Leggings at 6/3d per pair
            50 3/4 Yards black cloth for leggings at 8/2d per yard

            This shows that the blacl "long" leggings were definitely used in Canada and were not just in England. It would also correspond to the use of long leggings (and by inference breeches) by the 41st on campaign on the Niagara in 1812-1814 as they were at Fort George at the time and I have I seen literally hundreds of the tiny buttons associated with the long leggings and marked "41" from Lundys Lane.

            (6 February 1814, York. Inventory of articles lost and damaged from Fort York depot)
            211 pairs, black gaiters 2/9 per pair

            (16 July 1814. Price List of Military Equipment)
            Gaiters, (Sergeants) 2/6d pair
            Gaiters, (Privates) 2/3d pair
            Half Boots 6/8d pair

            (March 1814, York, Storelists of clothing, accoutrements and issue material returned into depot upun the demobilisation of the IMUC)
            6 company listings referring to Gaiters-black and Gaiters-dark grey, with a decided majority in favour of the dark grey.

            I hope this confirms my original outline for you and clears your confusion.
            Regards
            Richard Feltoe



























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          • KILTONE@aol.com
            Sirs, Many thanks for the information regarding leggings, gaiters, and spatterdashers. YHS Michael HM s Vth Regt ( in America Rev War ) ( Vth Northumberlands
            Message 5 of 5 , Aug 2, 2008
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              Sirs,

              Many thanks for the information regarding leggings, gaiters, and
              spatterdashers.

              YHS
              Michael
              HM's Vth Regt ( in America Rev War ) ( Vth Northumberlands Napoleonic )



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