Okay, what does this uniform adjustment mean?

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Brokennock

50 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
2,670
Reaction score
1,210
Location
North Central Connecticut
Reading from the file available here, https://www.scribd.com/document/340889214/An-Account-of-some-things-I-carried-in-my-Pack-The-Continental-Soldier-s-Burden-in-the-American-War-for-Independence
I find this quote,
"
By midpoint of that earlier war British commanders had begun a program of altering their troops’ clothing and equipment to match conditions in the North American wilderness. Perhaps the best-known was Sir Jeffrey Amherst’s 1759 directive, as reiterated by Gen. James Wolfe on 30 May 1759:
The following order for the dress of the light infantry, as approved by his excellency General Amherst: Major-General Wolfe desires the same may be exactly conformed to by the light troops under his command: the sleeves of the coat are put on the waistcoat and, instead of coat-sleeves, he has two wings like the grenadiers, but fuller; and a round slope reaching about half-way down his arm; which makes his coat of no incumbrance to him, but can be slipt off with pleasure; he has no lace, but the lapels remain: besides the usual pockets, he has two, not quite so high as his breast, made of leather, for ball and flints; and a flap of red cloth on the inside, which secures the ball from rolling out, if he should fall."

What the heck does the underlined and italicized (I underlined it and added the italics) part about sleeves that aren't sleeves, but are like "wings" mean?
 

58 Caliber

58 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jan 3, 2012
Messages
1,158
Reaction score
364
Location
Owego, NY
Interesting.....following is a cut and paste from my family tree. My 5th great grandfather to be specific is John Crozier, Jr.

Page 343 Arthur Crozier and John Crozier Jr. are listed as responding to Fort William Henry in 1757.
Page 344 John Crozier and Arthur Crozier are noted as enlisting in April 2,1759 with Jeffery Amherst for the invasion of Canada.


Will be curious to see any information posted. Thanks.

Dave
 

Zonie

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 4, 2003
Messages
30,794
Reaction score
3,405
Location
Phoenix, AZ
...

What the heck does the underlined and italicized (I underlined it and added the italics) part about sleeves that aren't sleeves, but are like "wings" mean?
If I had to guess, wings would be like sleeves that instead of being basically tubes, were left open down the front, side or rear. Kinda like being a sleeve that was cut from the wrist to the shoulder.

That sort of thing would provide the protection of a sleeve but also allow the wearer to move their arm out of it exposing the interior.

Like I say, it's just a guess. :)
 

Stophel

75 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
5,785
Reaction score
489
The waistcoat was turned into a jacket... a "sleeved waistcoat". The coat then was turned into a vest...without sleeves, but with the wings added. A pretty bizarre thing, and I can only imagine that the advantage would be that the troops could toss their coats off and it still looked like they were wearing coats.... I always thought it was kinda stupid, but that's what they did.
 

Brokennock

50 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
2,670
Reaction score
1,210
Location
North Central Connecticut
The waistcoat was turned into a jacket... a "sleeved waistcoat". The coat then was turned into a vest...without sleeves, but with the wings added. A pretty bizarre thing, and I can only imagine that the advantage would be that the troops could toss their coats off and it still looked like they were wearing coats.... I always thought it was kinda stupid, but that's what they did.
Thanks,,,,, I think. Actually, now I'm more confused. What is the difference between the sleeves waistcoat, that is now a jacket, and the coat while it still had it's sleeves?

Who's on 1st.

Some pictures would probably help.


Feeling like a dunce.
 

Stophel

75 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
5,785
Reaction score
489
It is pretty goofy. Basically, you end up with a jacket with a sleeveless coat on over top of it. Don't ask me why.

In the book "Military Uniforms in America: The Era of the American Revolution", there is an excerpt from the 1759 journal of Captain John Knox in Nova Scotia, saying that the Rangers "have got a new uniform clothing; the ground is black ratteen or frize, lapelled and cuffed with blue; here follows a description of their dress; a waistcoat with sleeves; a short jacket without sleeves; only armholes and wings to the shoulders (in like manner as the Grenadiers and Drummers of the army) white metail buttons, linen or canvas drawers, with a blue skirt or petticoat of stuff, made with a waistband and one button; this open before and does not quite extend to their knees; a pair of leggins of the same colour with their coat, which reach up to the middle of their thigh (without flaps) and from the calf of the leg downward they button like spatterdashes; with this active dress they wear blue bonnets, and I think, in great measure resemble our Highlanders."

There is an artist's depiction matching the description, which I can't copy, but suffice to say, if you think Amherst's light infantry uniform was odd, imagine the same sort of thing in black and blue with the addition of a truly bizarre split front petticoat...

The book says that the skirt must have been for warmth on boat expeditions or while waiting in ambush... I can't fathom any other reason for it.
 

ugly old guy

40 Cal
Joined
Feb 18, 2019
Messages
287
Reaction score
127
The cut of the sleeves. either open like seen on a frock/or poncho, perhaps? or very baggy.

My guess is frock or poncho style "sleeves" that just drape over the shoulders. (As Clint Eastwood was known to wear in his cowboy movies …. more of a short cape or poncho than anything …)

The "wings" might be like you find on the shoulders of an oilskin coat or duster?
 

Stophel

75 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
5,785
Reaction score
489
Here you see the wings on drummers' uniforms.

 

Brokennock

50 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
2,670
Reaction score
1,210
Location
North Central Connecticut
Thanks. I think I kind of get it now, and, now it seems even more ridiculous. Except for the part about the leather pocket for spare roundballs and flints, that makes sense, kind of, I can think of better places.
 

Loyalist Dave

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
9,067
Reaction score
1,777
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
Here is a shot of a light infantryman's shoulder next to a regular private's shoulder on their coats...,

What they did in the F&I was take the sleeves off the exterior Light Infantry coat, and sew them onto the waistcoat (vest underneath), which of course was a red waistcoat.

The outer regimental coat then became a larger thicker vest while as mentioned in some of the replies, the interior waistcoat became a short jacket. When worn together, the military appearance would not be "lost" as the light infantryman would have red wool sleeves showing and his red wool coat with the contrasting lapels (called "facings"). When it got warmer he could then doff his outer "vest" and still be all red, sleeves and torso, when fighting.

By the AWI the "wings" were still there but they didn't do the combo-coat-sleeve thing any more, and in fact it was only a North American thing during the F&I.

LIGHT SHOULDER V REGULAR SHOULDER.JPG

LD
 

Brokennock

50 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
2,670
Reaction score
1,210
Location
North Central Connecticut
Thank you. The description I quoted makes more sense now.
But some of the terminology still seems silly. Difference between a jacket and coat? Only thing I can determine is that maybe the jacket is shorter and closer fitting. ??
Why call a waistcoat with sleeves a "sleeved waistcoat"? It's a jacket now. What seems to make a waistcoat a waistcoat is the lack of sleeves.

This all must have been drummed up by officers.
 

Loyalist Dave

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
9,067
Reaction score
1,777
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
Well there is a variation on "sleeved waistcoats" where the sleeves are held on by ties, so you can wear them as a jacket, or remove the sleeves in warmer weather...

LD
 

Stophel

75 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
5,785
Reaction score
489
It seems to have basically been an experiment (which, I suppose I can understand). The same book I quoted earlier says that by 1761, the Rangers were wearing normal red and brown uniforms.

Clothing terms were not all that precise... and still aren't. For many people today "coat" and "jacket" are totally interchangeable terms.
 

Stophel

75 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
5,785
Reaction score
489
Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think that it wasn't really a bad idea.
 

Beau Robbins

32 Cal
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
Messages
22
Reaction score
9
Location
Albemarle
Jacket is a basically a sleeved weskit with facings or short coat (short jacket). Like a light infantry regimental.
 

Loyalist Dave

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
9,067
Reaction score
1,777
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
Clothing terms were not all that precise... and still aren't. For many people today "coat" and "jacket" are totally interchangeable terms .
A good example is "waistcoat"...when the term comes into use, the coat goes about half way down the thigh? So why waist-coat. Why not thigh coat? By the time waistcoats stopped right at the waist, the term vest was also being used.

LD
 

dgracia

54 Cal.
Joined
Nov 28, 2004
Messages
1,695
Reaction score
74
Location
Duvall, WA
A good example is "waistcoat"...when the term comes into use, the coat goes about half way down the thigh? So why waist-coat. Why not thigh coat? By the time waistcoats stopped right at the waist, the term vest was also being used.

LD
You'll see that same name applied to both versions. It's also sometimes referred to as a weskit. Basically the long ones were F&I War era and the shorter ones were Rev War era. You could use a long one for Rev War era, but you'd probably be wearing Dad or Grandpa's hand-me-down...

Twisted_1in66 :thumb:
Dan
 

Stophel

75 Cal.
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
5,785
Reaction score
489
"Weskit" is a thoroughly modern thing... an attempt to sound "English", when the English weren't speaking like that then.
 

Loyalist Dave

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 22, 2011
Messages
9,067
Reaction score
1,777
Location
People's Republic of Maryland
You'll see that same name applied to both versions. It's also sometimes referred to as a weskit. Basically the long ones were F&I War era and the shorter ones were Rev War era. You could use a long one for Rev War era, but you'd probably be wearing Dad or Grandpa's hand-me-down...
Yes but first, weskit is consonantail shift....it went from waistcoat, to "wais-cut" to " weskit"...
My point was when either version came about, it reached to half way down the thigh...so why "waist coat" instead of "thigh coat". The weren't waist length until after the AWI.

LD
 

Artificer

Cannon
MLF Supporter
Joined
May 6, 2014
Messages
9,814
Reaction score
1,170
Yes but first, weskit is consonantail shift....it went from waistcoat, to "wais-cut" to " weskit"...
My point was when either version came about, it reached to half way down the thigh...so why "waist coat" instead of "thigh coat". The weren't waist length until after the AWI.

LD
Hmmm....methinks the Serjeant Major is putting us on the spot to test our practical military knowledge?

The Serjeant Major knows the waist coat is placed directly over the shirt closest to the waist and the Regimental Coat goes over that.

Only Awkward Soldiers would not know this and try to put the Waist Coat on over the Regimental....:p:D

Gus

P.S. "Awkward Soldiers" was the period term for what we today would call raw or incompletely trained recruits.
 
Top