Okay, what does this uniform adjustment mean?

Discussion in 'Revolutionary War' started by Brokennock, Jan 15, 2020.

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  1. Jan 15, 2020 #1

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    Reading from the file available here, https://www.scribd.com/document/340...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?
     
  2. Jan 15, 2020 #2

    58 Caliber

    58 Caliber

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    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
     
  3. Jan 15, 2020 #3

    Zonie

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    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. :)
     
  4. Jan 16, 2020 #4

    Stophel

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    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.
     
  5. Jan 16, 2020 #5

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    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.
     
  6. Jan 16, 2020 #6

    Stophel

    Stophel

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    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.
     
  7. Jan 16, 2020 #7

    ugly old guy

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    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?
     
  8. Jan 16, 2020 #8

    Stophel

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    Here you see the wings on drummers' uniforms.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Jan 16, 2020 #9

    Brokennock

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    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.
     
  10. Jan 16, 2020 #10

    Loyalist Dave

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    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
     
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  11. Jan 16, 2020 #11

    Brokennock

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    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.
     
  12. Jan 16, 2020 #12

    Loyalist Dave

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    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
     
  13. Jan 16, 2020 #13

    Stophel

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    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.
     
  14. Jan 17, 2020 #14

    Stophel

    Stophel

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    Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think that it wasn't really a bad idea.
     
  15. Jan 22, 2020 at 10:46 PM #15

    Beau Robbins

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    Jacket is a basically a sleeved weskit with facings or short coat (short jacket). Like a light infantry regimental.
     

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