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Questions arising from Kit and Caboodle

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  • R. Feltoe
    Dear All, Since a number of points were raised by different individuals on the items I put up recently, I m going to take the liberty of covering the points in
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2000
      Dear All,
      Since a number of points were raised by different individuals on the items I
      put up recently, I'm going to take the liberty of covering the points in a
      single mail, so here goes.

      (Forage Caps)
      The question of forage caps, or lack thereof in the list is simply that they
      were in short supply as issue items and had been approved of for being made
      locally or by the men themselves. As a result, it is possible they were
      retained by the men as part of their de-mob outfit to wear home in 1815.
      the quote I have on this is as follows
      Lt Col Nichols to Lt Col Robinson (June 21, 1814, Kingston)
      "...we have neither canteens, haversacks, or forage caps for you, but they
      have been asked for. In the mean time, the General ...will authorise his
      Commissary to pay for the stuff if it can be had and the men can get it made
      up themselves..."

      (Coat Slings)
      I believe the coat slings could refer to the long strap used to carry the
      coat across the back; but as the list also includes a knapsack I conclude it
      refers to leather straps used to tie a rolled up Greatcoat to the Envelope
      type Knapsack (Which, unlike the later Trotter version did not have a
      permanent tie-down strap as part of the pack) In my case I loop the sling
      around the top of the shoulderstrap, at the point where it attaches to the
      pack. When worn with a full pack, the coat sits snug to the curve of the
      neck and is quite comfy

      The only references I have to mittens comes in a list of lost and damaged
      articles and dated February 1814
      Lost - 88 pairs, fur mittens 4/- each pair
      Damaged - 124 pairs, fur mittens 4/- each pair

      I've got no pattern or source for an original but I doubt there is anything
      too complicated on this matter. On the other hand, I have something along
      similar lines that came down to me via an old WW1 vet I used to know in
      England. We've all seen the fingerless gloves but this is a very
      interesting design for a pair of complete woollen gloves that incorporated a
      buttonhole type of opening in the right hand thumb, forefinger, and middle
      finger. This allowed the wearer to grip the tip of the three fingers in the
      teeth and slip the fingers out for working on the rifle, without exposing
      the rest of the hand to the cold. He told me this type of glove was popular
      in the trenches and had been used for years previously in the Territorials.

      (Turnkeys and Worms)
      Separate or linked? I've absolutely no idea

      You asked "...I'm wondering whether the Canteens and Haversacks Needed to
      Complete (etc.) show up under the Company, or individuals. ..." and "...I
      thought the list included a Fatigue Jacket...",

      The answer is the lists were by individual. Each and every item is
      identifiable by the man to whom it was issued, which makes for interesting
      reading when one sees who had extra shirts, shoes, trousers,gaiters, razors
      and brushes. In addition, depending on the company there are mutually
      exclusive references to waistcoats or jackets (which I take to be the same
      thing, as there is a separate line for Regimental coats, which would
      therefore not be a jacket )
      For the canteens, haversacks and waistcoats/Jackets, the 7 companies I have
      references for read as follows:

      Kerby's Coy (1): 13 men listed: 2 canteens, 5 haversacks, 2 waistcoats
      Washburn's Coy (4): 39 men listed: 11 canteens, 10 haversacks, 15 jackets
      McLean's Coy (6): 23 men listed: 2 canteens, 1 haversack, 6 jackets
      Fraser's Coy (7): 27 men listed: 15 canteens, 10 haversacks, 17 waistcoats
      Kerr's Coy (8): 35 men listed, 21 canteens, 16 haversacks, 3 waistcoats
      McDonell's Coy (9): 31 men listed, 18 canteens, 18 haversacks, 32 waistcoats
      H. Walker's Coy (10) 26 men listed: 11 canteens, 10 haversacks, 13

      The frills question is an interesting little item as the official issue
      shirts have references to shirt frills being attached and not separate. We
      have other references of a similar nature and have interpreted this separate
      listing as being a "dickie" affair that buttoned on at front of the neck and
      tucks under the stock, leaving the remainder to be pushed out at the front
      of the coat to create a little "show" upon formal occasions. It also means
      that you can wash the 'frill' without having to wash the entire shirt.
      Karen Posner (Past Reflections)makes these, as well as wrist ruffles to
      allow even the Rankest of File to attend a dance at a reenactment with at
      least some semblance of 'Gentlemanly' appearance.

      As to the collarless flannel shirt they definitely had collars. The
      reference this and for flannel shirts is as follows
      April 1813
      "... 15 yards, white cotton for collars and wristbands for 24 flannel shirts
      made up with part of the flannel drawn from Government at 2/6 per. &~ 1/17
      /6..." (I can't find a Pounds sign on the Email)

      We use this to produce flannel shirts in several different colours with
      white cuff and collars. As a result, once you wear the regimental coat, the
      only thing you see are the plain white cotton edges.

      Did I cover everyone? If not then more later. In the mean time
      Regards Richard
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