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RE: Militia wear for1812

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  • Tom Hurlbut
    Dare I mention that the US rifle regiments are documented to have worn hunting frocks of a uniform cut and color? Or would that generate an unrealistic ratio
    Message 1 of 33 , Feb 3, 2010
      Dare I mention that the US rifle regiments are documented to have worn
      hunting frocks of a uniform cut and color? Or would that generate an
      unrealistic ratio of riflemen to regular infantry?



      I resist the concept of "making do", although I am guilty of employing that
      phrase, just as I have been guilty of using the 20 foot (heck, the 200
      foot!) rule on too many occasions. However, consider that to do it right is
      seldom significantly more expensive than doing it wrong. A re-enactor should
      ask himself (or herself ;-) when going trans-period, how liberal and
      accepting are they about inaccuracies at "their" events?



      I'm certain any reasonable impression will be deemed acceptable at events.
      I'm equally certain there will be some gross inaccuracies that will offend
      many.



      I really like Mark's suggestion. "My" company of the 25th Regiment now sport
      blue coatees (faced red) that are historically accurate (for 1813 anyway),
      virtually identical to Mark's 27th Infantry and has the bonus of being more
      what the public expect in a US regular (although that might be misleading
      too). We are contemplating the brown coatees (faced red) of 1812. Now that
      might show the public something!



      I wouldn't expect most re-enactors to go that far but it can be done
      relatively cheaply because of the simplicity of the US coats.



      What might be really interesting is to see a sedentary militia company made
      up of people wearing the common dress of the village they purport to come
      from. Say the owner of the local newspaper wears a tailcoat of good quality,
      the farmer's son wears trousers and worker's jacket of homespun stuff, the
      judge/magistrate is the officer and dresses as the educated fashionable
      gentleman he is, etc.. Now I'd like to see that!



      Please, no tricorns..



      "Major" Tom



      _____

      From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
      Of annbwass@...
      Sent: February 3, 2010 10:16 AM
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: Militia wear for1812






      I agree that there are probably too many militia in hunting frocks, just as
      there are too many women citizens in short gowns. I imagine, though, that
      some of said units already have hunting shirts, rather than buying new, and
      were hoping to make do.

      Ann Wass





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    • Thad Stern
      ... majority of the mounted riflemen wore wide brim hats and carried rifles. They were ordered to dismount when they attacked the Indians. The officers were
      Message 33 of 33 , Feb 5, 2010
        ---The hunting shirt or riflemans frock is probably more correct as a rule for the Militia units from the Western States. We know with out a doubt the descriptions given the men from Kentucky who fought at the Battle of Tippicanoe in 1811, quite savage in appearance wearing hunting shirts, some even leather, wide belts with knives and tomahawks etc. Then again later at the River Raisin descibed the 600 or so militia as wearing riflemans frocks of a variety of colors, well worn slouch hats, long hair and unshaven, leather belts with enormous knifes and tomahawks, RIFLES... and the officers dressed the same except some had shorter rifles and daggers of some value. When Col Johnson went up to the Thames he took one thousand of the best riders of the 3000 man force and rode ahead to engage the Indians and the 41st. They were described as in a motley garb. Some say black riflemans frocks with red trim. The dragoon units wore top hots with cockades but the
        majority of the mounted riflemen wore wide brim hats and carried rifles. They were ordered to dismount when they attacked the Indians. The officers were dressed the same.
        When the 2500 men from Kentucky marched to New Orleans they were in a ragged state. The women of the local areas scrambled to put together blankets and extra clothes. One thousand showed up with out weapons at all. Andrew Jackson was quoted to have said," I have never met a Kentuckian with out a rifle, a deck or cards and a jug of whiskey!"
         
        There has not been very much first hand descriptions of Kentucky Militia men wearing anything other than riflemans frocks... some perhaps, but not much.
         
        So if you're fighting in battles that involved some of the 22,000 men from Kentucky who fought in their States Militia from the beginning of the war to the end you would likely be seeing many riflemans frocks of a variety of colors. Not much uniformity.
         
        The terms of service for the men when they mustered up were about six months or so. The mustering papers told the men to provide their own cloths, gun and powder horns and sometimes even horses. They didn't require much because they weren't going to be gone for long. When they returned they would quite often muster back out again with the next Regiment being called out.
         
        take care,
        Thad















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