Revised June 2011

Battalion Men's Cocked Hats

Pte. Thomas Atkins - Winter - 1776

"Hats of the Whole.

The hats of the Serjeants to be laced with silver. Those of the Corporals and Private Men, to have a white tape binding. The breadth of the whole to be one inch and a quarter; and no more to be on the back part of the brim, than what is necessary to sew it down. To have black cockades." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

This rather sparse description is fleshed out for us by Bennett Cuthbertson's 1768 edition of A System for the Complete Interior Management and Oeconomy of a Battalion of Infantry, hereafter referred to as "Cuthbertson":

"Article XXVI. ...The cocking a soldier's hat in a becoming manner, being a principal ornament to his appearance, should be very much attended to: the short, smart cock is certainly most adapted to a military man, as it always gives a sort of martial air, adds to his height, and always fits firm on his head: four inches and a half are enough for the breadth of the leaves, as any thing above that size, drowns the face, unless it be remarkably full and broad: the utmost exactness must be observed, in reducing all the hats of a Regiment to this dimension, and fixing such an uniformity to the cocking of the whole, that the nicest eye may not be able to perceive a difference"

Cuthbertson's 1778 edition shows a 5 1/2 inch rear leaf. This dimension is used in all new hat construction as of January 2003.

The hat blanks are made of black wool felt.

The white worsted tape edging on the hats is as specified in the 1768 Royal Warrant. It is stitched one eighth inch from the edge of the top side of the hat body, then whipstitched to the bottom of the hat body. The seam is hidden because it is located behind the cockade.

Black mohair 1/4 inch tape is used to hold fast the leaves of the hats. Its use is depicted in the Minorca paintings of the 25th Foot, John Singleton Copley's painting of The Death of Major Pierson, and deLoutherbourg's sketches and studies of British Soldiers, particularly the Warley Camp paintings.

The lining of the hat is of the same natural grey linen we use to line our coats. It is a band four inches deep with a drawstring in a tunnel in the top edge. The bottom edge is whipstitched to the hat body.

The hat cords are functional, and are constructed of a hard white linen cord. Hat cords were in general use in European military hats of the period, as they appear in many contemporary drawings and paintings. The arrangement of these cords and tassels seems to have differed from unit to unit, as they are shown in various style and configurations; some show the tassels hanging out over the edges on both sides, some show the tassels only on one side, and some seem to have only one tassel. We decided to have our hat cords with a tassel lying on either side, without it hanging over the edge.

The cockades are constructed of black horsehair, as per Cuthbertson:

"Article XXXII.

Hair cockades are strongest, and of course fittest for soldiers: they should be of a fixed pattern, with the edges as plain as possible, that they may be the less liable to retain dust, and thereby be the easier cleaned with oil, which nourishes the hair, and always given them a black and glossy look."

They are of a cylindrical construction, compressed to give them enough bulk to be held on to the hat by a loop of 1/4 inch white mohair tape. Cuthbertson's suggestion that they be cleaned with oil indicates that they are removable, but we find it useful to tack it to the hat brim to keep it from falling out accidentally.

The use of regimentally marked buttons on British military hats may be inferred from the information contained in the following letter from Benedict Arnold to Horatio Gates, dated September 7, 1776:

Lake Champlain:

"..they were attacked by a party of savages, who pursued them into the water...the party was headed by a regular officer, who called to our people to resign themselves; on our firing a few shot amongst them they immediately dispersed. A party was sent on shore who found a laced beaver hat, the button marked 47th Regiment."

(from Naval Documents of the American Revolution, volume 6, page 734; letter in the Gates papers in the collection of the New York Historical Society)

Our unit's choice of a coat sized regimental button rather than a waistcoat sized one is based on the fact that the larger of the two presents a better appearance, and shows the number of the regiment more legibly.

We wear our hats as Cuthbertson describes:

"Article VII.
A soldier should never be permitted to wear his hat improperly, therefore at all times, as well off, as on a parade, Officers and Non-commission-officers (without considering whether or not he belongs to their particular company) ought to take notice, that it is quite pressed down on the right brow, the left one just uncovered, and the front cock pointing exactly over the outside corner of the left eye;...this position of the hat, besides adding a becoming smartness to the air of a soldier, places the left cock of it in such a direction as to not interfere with his firelock, in the motion of shouldering."

Our Serjeant's hats are identical with the Battalion Men's Hats, with the exception that they are silver laced, as quoted above in the Royal Warrant.

Forage Caps

Our forage caps are based on an extant example of a forage cap for the 10th Foot ca. 1814. It is a nightcap style forage cap of madder wool with a piping made of white wool serge, a one inch stripe of white wool serge. Whipstitched to the front is a numeral "33" made of white wool. Nightcap style forage caps bracket the American War for Independence. The Pioneer in Hogarth's "March to Finchley" is wearing one, and the off duty soldiers in Pyne's camp scenes of the 1790's and early 1800's wear them.


Enlisted men's neckstocks are made of black horsehair, stiffened with buckram, lined with black linen, and have black leather tabs as illustrated by George Woodbridge in the The Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, by Neumann and Kravic. Cuthbertson describes them as follows:

"Article XXXV.

Black stocks, besides having a more soldierly appearance than white ones, are a saving to the men in point of washing, and do not shew the dirt of a shirt, so much, after a day's wear: two will be necessary for each man; one of horse-hair for common use; the other of Manchester velvet for dress: and it will contribute much to the smartness of both, to edge them with scarlet cloth: the ends for the clasps to fix in, are best of leather, as that will last while the stocks do."

The buckle or clasp used is a replica of the brass clasp illustrated by a photograph on page 54 of the "Collector's Encyclopedia. It has studs as described by Cuthbertson:

"Article XLII.

Uniformity should be particularly observed, in the stock-clasps, and the shoe and garter buckles, which may be got of any pattern, extremely cheap at Birmingham: shoe buckles of a roundish form are to be preferred to square ones, as they never cut the tongue of the gaiter: and it will be more convenient to have the studs for fixing the stock to the clasp, on the inside, rather than the outside, as they are otherwise perpetually catching, either in the ribband of the hair, or in the lining of the collar of the coat: the buckles used for the black garters, will also answer for the leather-tops worn with long gaiters, as they cannot interfere with one another, being never used at the same time."

In the "Collector's Encyclopedia", it is described as being a popular British military clasp.

For dress occasions, we wear a black velvet stock edged with scarlet cloth, as mentioned above by Cuthbertson, and illustrated by George Woodbridge in the Collector's Encyclopedia.

Enlisted Men's Shirts

Our enlisted men's shirts are made of a variety of linen known as "holland" Holland is not as fine as cambric, which would have been used for officer's shirts, nor as coarse as dowlas, which would be better suited to common laborers. Cuthbertson warns against the use of too coarse a linen:

"It is mistaken oeconomy in Officers, to buy very coarse linen for their soldier's shirts; that of one shilling and four-pence a yard is the cheapest, from which any material service can be expected: four shirts (three of which should be perfectly good) are as few as a soldier can dispense with, to support that neatness, which at all times should distinguish him: less than three yards and a half ought never to be put in one, unless the man, for which it is designed, is extremely low and thin, as it is a certainty, that the longer and larger they are made, the greater service may be expected from them: care must be taken, that they are worked both neat and strong, with buttons at the collar, which should not be allowed to turn over the stock, above an inch, to prevent its being entirely hid: the ruffle at the bosom, need not exceed two inches in breadth,..."

The collar and cuffs are fastened with plain thread or "Dorset" buttons.

Our "bosomed" shirts have ruffles at the throat, as mentioned by Cuthbertson in the above quote. These ruffles were apparently in use by the enlisted men of many British Regiments, as soldiers wearing them are illustrated in sketches and paintings of the period. For example, von German's watercolors of Burgoyne's soldiers show an enlisted man of the 62nd Foot wearing ruffles on his shirt, as does a sketch by deLoutherbourg of a private man of the 25th Foot at Warley Camp. In addition to the pictorial sources, there are references to shirt ruffles in official writings of the period, such as the following excerpt from orders issued in 1776 to the 1st Battalion of Marines in Halifax:

August 7th

"The Commanding Officer desires that those men who have not frills to their shirts may have them put on immediately, and that every man may be completed with the following articles, viz: short gaiters, uniform greatcoat, sling, brush, wire, worm, and turnkey."

There are many good patterns for shirts; we use any that show the characteristics of the AWI period; narrow cuff bands and shoulder reinforces, no higher than a four inch collar, mid-thigh lengh. The Kanniks' Korner "Man's Shirt 1750-1800" has worked well, although the collar height must be adjusted to 4 imches.

Enlisted Men's Regimental Coat

"Private Men's Coats.

The Men's coats to be looped with worsted lace, but no border. The ground of the lace to be white, with coloured stripes. To have white buttons. The breadth of the lace which is to make the loop round the buttonhole, to be about half an inch. Four loops to be on the sleeves, and four on the pockets, with two on each side of the slit behind.

Lappels, Sleeves and Pockets.

The breadth of all the lappels to be three inches, to reach down to the waist, and not to be wider at the top than at the bottom. The sleeves of the coats to have a small round cuff without any slit, and to be made so that they may be unbuttoned and let down. The whole to have cross pockets, but no flaps to those of the waistcoat. The cuffs of the sleeve which turns up, to be three inches and a half deep. The flap on the pocket of the coat to be sewed down, and the pocket to be cut in the lining of the coat." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

Bennett Cuthbertson has a great deal to say about the cut and fit of a regimental coat:

Article V.

When the coats of a Company are altered, the Officer commanding it must carefully examine, if every man is exactly fitted, without wrinkles in any part, at the same time that he is not confined, either in his arms or shoulders; he also to insist on the lining, lapells, cuffs and seams being worked in the strongest manner: that the lace be well sewed on, the collar high and tight about the neck, and the cuffs be in length, just to the joint of the wrist: it will also require a very nice inspection, to be assured, that a just proportion, agreeable to the pattern, is observed in the lapells, cuffs, and loops of the lace, which otherwise will be very irregular.

Article VI.

Long skirts to a soldier's coat are extremely inconvenient and tiresome upon a march, especially through dirty roads; besides they drown his size, and take from his appearance that sort of smartness, which is generally admired: shewing two of the lower buttons of the breeches knee, exclusive of that upon the band, allows as great a length to the skirt, as ought to be, and will, by answering all the necessary purposes of keeping the soldiers' thighs sufficiently warm upon service, obviate the objections usually made against short coats.

Article VII. A soldier's coat should always be tight over the breast (without restraint) for the sake of shewing his figure to more advantage; on which account, and to prevent that part from flying back, and being thereby troublesome in the performance of the exercise, cloth loops, with a small button and hole to them, should be fixed upon the inside of the coat, about an inch from the edge of each lapel, and just above the pit of the stomach.

Article VIII.

Pockets in the side plaits of a soldier's coat must always make the skirts swell out, and hang in an aukward manner, whenever any thing is carried in them, therefore should be fixed where pockets usually are in a full skirted coat, with the difference of being on the inside, instead of the outside of it.

Article IX.

As the tucking back the skirts of a soldier's coat, contributes to his marching light, and adds considerably to the smartness of his air, he should be obliged to keep them always in that position, which may readily be done, by sewing the binding lace of the front and back part of the skirts, upon the lining, instead of the cloth; this will also be an ornament to the coat, as that lace must otherwise be hid: and to render it still more out of his power to let them down (a kind of slovenlyness, in which soldiers are happy to indulge themselves, when from under the immediate eye of their Officers) the corners of the skirts should be closed by a laced cloth-loop, or some other fancied* ornament, firmly sewed across them; unless a Regiment be on service, in which case, that must be changed for a hook and eye, occasionally to let loose the skirts upon the thighs, for the sake of warmth to the soldiers in their tents, and on all night-duties, which are the only times, they should ever be allowed to unhook them.

One small granade, with a neat fuse of a different colour, fixed upright on the joining of the skirts, is a proper distinction for the coats of Grenadiers, and has a pretty effect.

Article X.

Capes, besides being ornamental to a soldier's coat, are beyond a doubt extremely useful, in defending his neck from rain and cold, when on centry on an exposed and bleak post: they however should not be broader than three fingers; and to prevent their rising, when not required, ought to button upon the upper buttons of the lapells.

Article XII.

The cuff of a soldier's coat should never be wider, than just to admit his hand with ease: laying aside the superior look of it above a large one, it certainly, from being close about the wrist, is infinitely warmer, and enables a man to handle his firelock with greater dexterity, as he meets with nothing to entangle in the lock of it, or in any particular to incommode his performance."

Our coats conform closely to Mr. Cuthbertson's suggestions, with a few exceptions; unlike the loops and buttons mentioned in Article VII (quoted above), we use four hooks and eyes (Dritz #95 painted black) spaced even with the top four buttonholes to hold the coats closed over the breast. Private soldier's coats do not have the binding lace in the skirts mentioned in Article IX (quoted above), and as we represent a Regiment on active service, we use hooks and eyes to hold our turnbacks together. The heart shaped woolen devices on the inside lining are our interpretation of the "fancied ornament" described in the article

The proportions of our Regimental coats conform to the suggestions of H. Charles McBarron, Jr. in his illustrated explanation of the fit of 18th Century military dress in Chapter 11 of The Book of the Continental Soldier by Harold L. Peterson.

The capes (collars) of the coats conform to Article X (quoted above), in that they are nor more than three fingers in width, and that they button upon the topmost buttons of the lapels. It is interesting to note that Mr. Cuthbertson's comments on coats seem to be a result of experience with the capeless, large cuffed coats of the French and Indian War period.

The cuffs on the coats turn up, as per the Royal Warrant (quoted above), and are three and a half inches deep, as the Warrant specifies. They are made just wide enough to admit the soldier's hand with ease, as per Article XII (quoted above).

The breadth of the lapels is three inches, as quoted above in the Royal Warrant, and they extend down to the natural waist. The pocket flaps are sewn down on the outside of the coats, and the pockets are located inside, also as quoted in the Royal Warrant, just above where the linen coat lining meets the shalloon tail linings. The edges of the lapels, collar, cuffs, and bottom hem are left raw.

The coat is made to the specifications set forth in the Royal Warrant in all aspects save one. When the Regiment was inspected at Cork, Ireland on 31st March 1774, it was noted in the Inspection Report:

"Clothing according to regulation, except additional shoulder strap on right shoulder"

It was further noted in the Inspection Report that it was useful for securing the wasitbelt over the shoulder, which demonstrates that the 33rd was wearing the bayonet belt over the shulder before coming to North America in 1776.

All buttonholes and bastion loops are hand worked, and the lining is sewn in by hand. In order to limit the construction time of the coats, we permit that all the interior seams may machine stitched. All visible exterior stitching must be by hand.

Although we previoulsy used the Woorich madder wool (some of the older coats are still in service), the wool used in all our Private's coats made since 2009 is the magificent reproduction madder coating wool developed by James Kochan and Sean Phillips. It was so well known that red is the color of the Foot soldier's coat, that it does not even deserve mention in the Royal Warrant, however Cuthbertson mentions several uses an old coat can be put to:

"Every soldier should be provided with a red cap....made up from the remains of the old cloth." (Article XXIII)

"the old coats should be turned into waistcoats" (Article XVII)

"it contrived, to avoid cutting up the old coats at the usual time, by making the red waistcoats serve two years" (Article XX)

This indicates that the coats being cut up to make caps and waistcoats were made out of red cloth. The most casual observation of any color image of British Foot Soldiers of the 1775-1783 indicates that they are wearing red coats. The nickname "Redcoat" also suggests that red is the color of the coat. The exact shade of red is can vary, however the color of our cloth compares favorably with the facing color on the sample loop for the 33rd Foot in the "Lace Book", which is a book containing actual specimens of looped Regimental lace mounted on pieces of facing cloth, which is in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle.

The material lining our coats is 7 ounce grey linen. It matches exactly the lining in a British Regimental coat in the collection of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum. Half lining the coats in linen was common practice when a Regiment was to be shipped to warmer climes. Half lining our coats is a concession to the fact that our duty post here in Southern California has higher mean temperatures than is comfortable when wearing the fully wool lined winter service uniform. Those of our members who wish to fully line their coats with bay lining material may do so.

Our turnbacks are lined with natural white bay. The raw edge is turned and half back-stitched by hand one quarter inch from the coat edge. All exposed edges on the coat are left raw.

The facing color of our regiment is red, the same as the coat color. This is verified by several sources. The cloth sample in the "Lace Book" is a close match to our coat color. The illustration of a grenadier of the 33rd in the "Grenadier Book" in the Prince Consort's Library in Aldershot shows the facings and the color of the coat to be identical. In the collection of the New York Historical Society is a copy of James Rivington's A List of the Officers of the Army, Serving in North-America, Under the Command of His Excellency General Sir Guy Carleton, K.B., for the year 1783. This copy has on it's margins the pencilled inscriptions of some unknown observer who made notes on the uniform details of all the regiments listed in this work. His description of the 33rd is as follows:

"33RD REGIMENT OF FOOT: Lapel same as coat, with variety binding around buttonholes."

We are also in possession of a photograph of a portrait of an officer of the regiment, circa 1780. The facings and the fabric of the coat are an identical scarlet color.

W.O. 30/13B, 19th December 1768, Miscellany Books: clothing correspondence General view of the facings etc. of the several Marching Regiments of Foot, states that the color of our regimental lace is:

"white with a red stripe in the middle"

Our regimental lace is a worsted tape with a single red stripe, matching both that description and the specimen in the "Lace Book". The lace is sewn on the coats in an open ended bastion loop pattern.

The regimental lace is sewn on by hand over hand worked buttonholes. It is attached by means of a half-backstitch of white thread around both the inner and outer edges, and a running stitch of red thread down the center of the red stripe. There is a right and left to the lace, so the loops on either side of the coat are mirror images of each other.

The Royal Warrant (quoted above), describes the requirement for lace on the buttonholes, sleeves, pockets, and rear vent.

The buttons on our coats are copied from specimens excavated by members of the New York Historical Society from British campsites in New York City. They are illustrated on pages 100, 112, and 118 of History Written with a Pick and Shovel by Calver and Bolton Cuthbertson suggests:

Article XIII.

"The buttons on the cloathing of a Regiment (if white) should always be made of good metal, and never of pewter, as it otherwise will be impossible for soldiers to preserve them in that state of brightness, which at all times must be insisted on, particularly, if they are figured with the number of the Corps"

Our buttons are made of a high tin alloy that holds a shine, and will not soil the lace by rubbing off on it. We cast the buttons ourselves, using a steel gang mold we had engraved for the purpose. In order that our buttons not be mistaken by our descendants as originals, we cast the shanks integral with the button, rather than casting in a separate iron shank as was period practice.

We have two sizes of button, one 11/16th inch, which we call a "waistcoat button", and a larger one 15/16th inch, which we call a "coat button".

On our Regimental Coats, each shoulder strap is buttoned with a waistcoat button. We have no direct reference for this practice, but as the shoulder straps must be buttoned down, using the smaller sized buttons makes sense because they match the larger ones used on the rest of the coat.

Our coat pattern is based on the pattern drawn by Henry Cooke for the Brigade of the American Revolution. The changes we make to this pattern are the addition of the shoulder strap to the right shoulder; and the narrowing of both shoulder straps to 1 1/4 inches; and the addition of a seam to the cuff, so that there are two cuff seams - each lined up with a sleeve seam.

Corporal's Coats

"Corporals Coats.

The coats of the Corporals to have a silk epaulette on the right shoulder." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

Our Corporal's coats are identical to the Battalion Men's coats in all respects, the only distinction being a white silk epaulet worn on the right shoulder as a badge of rank. Our Corproal's epaulet is made of hand woven silk, with an integrated woven buttonhole, and one end fringed.

Serjeant's Coats

"Serjeants Coats.

The coats of the Serjeants to be lappelled to the waist, with the colour of the facing of the Regiment. The button-holes of the coat to be of white braid. Those on the waistcoats to be plain. The Serjeants of Grenadiers to have fuzils, pouches, and caps. Those of the Battalion to have halberts, and no pouches." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

Our Serjeant's coats are identical in pattern, fit, and quality of workmanship to the men's coats. The main differences are in the quality of the cloth from which it is made, and the fact that plain white worsted lace is used to lace the coat.

Our Serjeant's coats are made of Serjeant's quality scarlet wool. Although not as finely woven as an Officer's superfine fabric, the Serjeant's grade wool is scarlet, whereas the rank and file coats are madder red.

The Serjeant's coats are laced with plain white lace, as quoted above in the Royal Warrant.

Enlisted Men's Waistcoats


The waistcoats to be plain, without either embroidery or lace." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

Our waistcoats are made of white woolen cloth (Kochan-Phillips since 2009), and half lined with the same grey linen we use to line our coats. We use the pattern produced by the BAR, which compares favorably with those visible in The Cut of Men's Clothes, and the Sketchbook '76.

The Royal Warrant says in it's section on Lappels, Sleeves, and Pockets;

..."The whole to have cross pockets, but no flaps to those of the waistcoat."

We have modified the BAR pattern in two ways; we use one inch welt pockets where pockets are indicated on the pattern. Welt pockets are visible in many period images. Our other modification is to half line the waistcoat as illustrated in the Sketchbook '76, half lining the rear lining panels as well as the front.

Thomas Simes, in his Military Course for the Government and Conduct of a Battalion says that:

"All waistcoats must cover the soldier well, and to be made full in every part: they are to be cut square at the bottom, and open back from the lowermost buttonhole to the point: which lower button and hole are to cover the lower part of the waistband of the breeches, and to be strengthened at the bottom of the side seam..."

Our waistcoats have natural white linen tape adjusting ties in the back, above the waist.

They are buttoned with the waistcoat buttons mentioned above, and we use ten, eleven, or twelve buttonholes, depending on the height of the wearer.

Serjeant's Waistcoat

The Royal Warrant does not mention Serjeant's waistcoats, but it can be shown that they were of a better quality fabric than the men's because they were frequently listed separately in inspection returns:

21st August 1782.Treasury out letters, Ireland. Supplies to the 5th Foot

"...Waistcoat cloth for Privates 212 3/4yards; ditto for Serjeants 5 6/8 yards; red waistcoat cloth 29 1/8 yards; scarlet waistcoat cloth 11/16 yards; green waistcoat cloth 9/16 yard"

The red waistcoat cloth was for the Light Infantry company men, the scarlet waistcoat cloth was for the Light Infantry company Serjeants (this also demonstrates that Serjeants wore scarlet while the rank and file wore red), and the green waistcoat cloth was for the Light Infantry company drummer.

28th August 1770. Letter Book of the Board of General Officers on Clothing. Secretary at War to Thomas Fauquier Esqre.

"...Serjeants. New clothing, two waistcoats... Private Men's new clothing...135 waistcoats..."

24th May 1776. Treasury out letters, Ireland. Supplies to the 36th Foot.

...For waistcoats: 231 13/16 yards white Privates cloth, 9 13/16 yards white Serjeant's cloth...

The pattern and construction of our Serjeant's waistcoat is the same as that for the rank and file.

Enlisted Men's Breeches

Our breeches are constructed of the same white wool we make our waistcoats out of, to the BAR pattern, and lined with the same grey linen we use to line our coats. We know our breeches are white because;

2nd August 1768. Commander-in-Chief out letter. Adjutant General to Colonel Cunningham.

"...All other Regiments, let them be faced with blue, green, white, red, orange, yellow, or black are to have white waistcoats; the breeches and linning of the coats are to be of the same colour as that of the waistcoats."

We use waistcoat sized regimental buttons to fasten the fall, waistband, knees, and kneebands. Regimental buttons on breeches are mentioned in many deserter descrptions:

A Deserter from His Majesty's 61st Regiment, Jonathan Buckley, aged 22 Years, 5 Feet 9 Inches high, fresh Complexion, light Brown Hair, which is short and thin, grey Eyes, by Trade a Woollen Weaver, born at Ashton in the County of Lancaster, stoops a little in his Shoulders, and has a strong Voice. Deserted from Wolston, in the County of Warwick, on Sunday the 22d Day of August last. It is supposed he went off in a Flannel Waistcoat with a narrow Stripe, as he sold a Blue Coat the Day before; he also carried away his Regimental Breeches, which are Buff, the Number on the Buttons 61.
Eight Dollars Reward.
Deserted from Capt. John Burrowes's company, in Col. David Forman's regiment, now stationed at Freehold, a certain William Davison, a native of America, aged about twenty-eight years, five feet eight inches high, has sandy hair, blue eyes, sharp nose, red face, a large scar on one of his legs, is much given to drink; had on when he deserted, a red coat with buff coloured facings, white woolen jacket, buff breeches, (the buttons of his coat and breeches numbered thirty one) and a wool hat cocked up.

William Davison above, was wearing captured British clothing, but he retained the 31st Regiment buttons on his breeches!

Cuthbertson recommends buttons rather than buckles for the kneebands:

"Article XV.

Buckles to the knee bands of a soldier's breeches are improper, both on account of the expence, and because their tongues are perpetually wearing out the straps: a button answers every purpose of keeping the knee-band tight; five therfore (including that upon the band) are sufficient for each knee, as a greater number looks to crouded; a falling flap to the breeches, with two large buttons to fix it to the waist-band, appears always tight and smooth, and is to be preferred to any other: one cross pocket of moderate depth, is all a soldier need desire in his breeches, as it will answer any purpose he can want."

Serjeant's Breeches

Our Serjeant's breeches are made from the same cloth as the Serjeant's waistcoats. They are made to the same pattern as the rank and file, with one exception, the kneebands, rather than being buttoned, are buckled with the same buckles that are used for the black leather gaiter tops. Cuthbertson's objections notwithstanding, knee buckles are visible on many period images of British enlisted men, and it can be demonstrated that Serjeant's breeches are different from the rank and file by the price difference charged for making or altering them: (from Cuthbertson, Article XXV.) We also put pockets in our Serjeant's breeches, to differentiate them from the pocketless Private's breeches.

Pte. Thomas Atkins - Summer - 1776

Linen Breeches

"Article XXII. One pair of cloth breeches being insufficient to serve a soldier for a year, he should be furnished with another of white, soft ticking, of about two shillings and six-pence value, to be made exactly after the form of the cloth ones: in the summer months, and on marches at all seasons, the coolness of these breeches will be very convenient and pleasing to the men, and, besides the neatness of their appearance, are the cheapest that can be made of new materials..." Cuthbertson

"...It is necessary that the Non-Commissioned Officers and Private Men should be furnished with a pair of white ticken breeches of about two shillings and nine-pence per pair, to be made exactly as the breeches before recited, to wear in the summer time on marches, and if ordered to be stationed in a warm climate, the coolness of them will be very acceptable." 1777 Thomas Simes A military Course for the Government and Conduct of a Battalion

We have adopted a summer uniform which consists of the substitution of linen breeches and short gaiters for the cloth breeches and full gaiters of our standard winter uniform.

Our linen breeches are cut the same as the cloth ones. We use Linen twill #9466T from Ulster Weaving. Because the linen is thinner than the wool we use for our breeches, we use a thinner plain white metal button (Fugawee #127) with a shorter shank. We figure that the linen breeches have plain buttons because they were made "in theater" in North America, rather than being made and shipped from England as the wool cloth breeches were.

Our Serjeant's linen breeches are made of the same linen, and have knee buckles.

Overalls/Gaiter Trousers/Trowsers

No matter what you call them, it is plain that the 33rd was making and wearing Trowsers as early as the 1777 campaign. From a British deserter interview included among the George Washington Papers April 16, 1777. Joseph Drever of the 33rd Regiment stated that "Old tents cut to make Trowsers. No new ones yet come from York." We make our trowsers from 14 oz. hemp linen canvas using a pattern we developed from the BAR breeches pattern. They are fastened with the same flat white metal buttons as the linen breeches.


"Article XXXVIII. The greatest uniformity should be observed, in the colour of the stockings, through a Regiment, as nothing more offends the eye, than a variety in this particular: white, besides being most showy, is the readiest colour to be obtained in all places; nor will they be found so difficult to keep clean, as those of a greyish kind (which next to white, are the only coloured stockings that can decently be admitted for a soldier's wear) because the smallest application of the pipe-clay, used for the accoutrements, effectually cleans them, unless they are too far gone in dirt: four pair of stockings should at least be each soldier's stock, three of which to be of fine yarn, eighteen-pence a pair, and the fourth of thread, worth about two shillings and four pence, to wear on Sundays and other particular occasions: all these stockings should be knit, being stronger by many degree than woven ones; they must also be well shaped, long enough both in the feet and legs, and full large in every part : running them in the heels will strengthen them exceedingly, therefore every soldier should learn that piece of oeconomy, as well as to mend his stockings, it being very praise worthy, besides saving him a constant expence." Cuthbertson

1772 Thomas Simes. The Military Guide for Young Officers

"Compliment of necessaries to be furnished each Soldier. ...3 pair of white yarn stockings;..."

25th September 1778. Headquarters records of the British Army in America. General return of necessarys wanted by the British Troops of the Convention at Cambridge.

c. 1775 Standing Orders of the 37th Foot.

"The necessary's every soldier is expected to have constantly are as follows: four ruffled shirts, one black stock, four pairs of good white thread stockings (not ribb'd).

Our yarn stockings are represented by natursal white woolen ribbed stockings. Our thread stockings are Mr. Godwin's #14 white cotton stockings. The men are encouraged to wear thread stockings when not on duty, however they are warned that thread stockings are not authorized to be worn with short gaiters.

Enlisted Men's Gaiters and Garters


The whole to have black linen gaiters, with black buttons, and small stiff tops, black garters, and uniform buckles."


The Serjeants, Corporals, Drummers, Fifers and Private Men, to have black gaiters of the same sort as ordered for the Officers; also black garters and uniform buckles." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

Cuthbertson gives a more detailed description:

"Article XXXIX.

Gaiters being first designed to prevent the dirt and gravel from getting into the shoes, and therby galling the soldiers feet upon a march, the greatest pains should be taken to answer thoroughly that purpose, by shaping them to the leg without wrinkles, to come down low upon the quarters of the shoe, and to have their tounges full large enough to cover the buckles, without rising from them, on every motion of the foot: stout grey linen answers best for gaiters to be blacked, and as that sort only are, with great propriety, for some time past, in general use throughout the Army (white gaiters being merely for parade and show, and by no means calculated for a soldier's convenience) they do not require being made longer, than just to meet the kneeband of the breeches, as a stiff leather top, like those to huzzar boots, is occasionally added to them, which buckles behind above the calf, entirely covers the pan of the knee, defends it when kneeling in the strings, and is a considerable a ddition to the good appearance of the leg: small horn, or metal buttons, without* shanks, are best adapted to these gaiters, as they will last for years; and it will contribute greatly to their fitting tight and smooth upon the leg, to have the buttons set on, as thick as possible, and to have a double strap of strong leather to come under the shoe, to keep the tounge from rising. *Shanks to gaiter buttons hurt the soldiers legs, when lying on the guard-bed.

Article XL.

White linen tops, like those worn by th Cavalry, preserve the breeches from being soiled, by the leather ones, and give a striking neatness to a Battalion: they must be made to button tight upon the knee, to rise four inches above the leather top, and sink about two inches under the gaiters, in order to cover the stockings, on the back of the leg, above the calf, which otherwise will not appear to any great advantage."

The full gaiter pattern is based on one researched and used by the re-created 64th Regiment of Foot. We have modified it by eliminating the front seam.

Our gaiters are constructed of 20 oz. grey linen canvas, painted black, then heavily polished with black shoe polish until they are water resistant. There are 15 black horn buttons down the side of each gaiter, and a leather strap goes under each instep to keep the gaiter from riding up. Leather cuffs are buckled on just under the knee with brass single tounged buckles. These buckles, along with separate one inch wide black leather straps, are used with the garters we wear with our short gaiters. White linen cuffs are worn under the gaiters, and they are each fastened with six white horn buttons. In order that they should stand up well, we starch them.

Wear of the 1768 Warant Full Gaiter is limited to Winter 1776 battles or events.

Enlisted Men's Short Gaiters

"Article XLI."

As long gaiters confine and heat the soldiers legs too much, upon a march, in warm weather, it will be prudent to furnish them with black short ones, to rise only to the swell of the calf, with a small peak at the top of the back seam, and made in every other particular like the long gaiters: and as they are considerably cheaper, it must be oeconomy to wear them on all occasions, when the others can be dispensed with; besides, a commanding-officer will very much consult the good appearance of his Regiment by it, as soldiers never look so tight or well prepared for any service, as when dressed in gaiters of this kind, especially, if uniformity has been established in the colour of their stockings, and that a neat black garter be buckled below the knee."

The short gaiters described above, plus linen breeches and garters comprise the elements that distinguish our summer uniform from our standard winter uniform.

The short gaiters are constructed of the same materials as the long gaiters, and have seven black horn buttons to fasten them.

Cuthbertson's description "with a small peak at the top of the back seam" verifies the fact that it is correct to construct gaiters with a back seam, rather than the side seam illustrated in the Sketchbook '76.

Short Gaiters may not be worn with woolen breeches.


Blue "donation cloth" leggings come over the knee, and are held up by garters. They are worn with woolen breeches for Winter 1777 - 1779 events.

Wool Gaiters

Black wool gaiters with white metal buttons are made to the same pattern as the black linen gaiters, but omit the black leather and white linen tops of the 1768 Warrant gaiters. They will be worn for Winter 1780 - 1781 events.

Enlisted Men's Shoes

Cuthbertson's lengthy article (XXXVII) about the virtues of owning two pairs of shoes contains this description:

"the best shoes will always be found the cheapest, and it will be necessary to strengthen their heels, with some small nails: the toes should be round and flat; the straps full large enough to fill the buckle; and the quarters high, tight*, and short, for the advantage of the gaiters being fitted well,..." "* A gaiter will never fit well upon a shoe with long quarters."

The Sketchbook '76, The Book of the Continental Soldier, and The Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution all have photographs or renderings of soldier's shoes. Common to all these descriptions is the use of a "straight last", which allowed the Colonel who was equipping his regiment to save on the expence of having to buy shoes made in lefts and rights. In his catalog, G. Gedney Godwin describes his "Army Shoe" as "Made with the rough side of the leather "out". This was the practical, common shoe of the period since the smooth side of the leather "in" made a natural lining, and the rough side of the leather out does not show the scratches and wear as readily.

We recommned Robert Land "Crooked" or "Straight Last" shoes (available from Najecki), although there are several vendors who offer good shoes.

Our men are required to heavily wax their shoes until all trace of the "rough" character of the leather is displaced by a soft, even gloss.

Instead of the "small nails" Cuthbertson calls for on the heels, we use horseshoe shaped steel rims on the heels of our shoes.

Note: there is no archaeological or documentary evidence for the use of hobnails on shoe soles in our period. As of June 2011, no new shoes will be hobnailed, and all shoes which have soles replaced will not have hobnails put in them. Hobnails in heels are permitted in place of the heel plates.

Following Cuthbertson's advice from Article XLII quoted above;

..."shoe buckles of a roundish form are to be preferred to square ones, as they never cut the tounge of the gaiter"

we specify Godwin's #96 shoe buckle, which he describes in his catalog as:

"Another common buckle. Ring has plain rounded surface with no decoration whatever. Original was dug up on Staten Island together with parts of others identical- a very rare occurance as duplicate pairs of shoe buckles of any style are seldom found. Men joined the army with the buckles they had on their shoes, and there does not appear to have been any standard "issue" buckle during the whole of the Revolutionary War. Brass only."

Cuthbertson offers this advice on the wearing of straight last shoes:

"Article XVI.

It should be particularly observed, that the men do not always wear their shoes on the same feet, but that they change them every day about, to prevent their running crooked; nor should they be permitted to have their shoe straps pulled towards the toe like sailors; but are to be accustomed to tuck the ends of them, under the rim of the buckle."

Please note that the above quote is the source of the MYTH that straight last shoes were worn on alternate feet! Wear patterns on artifact period shoes shows that they were worn on the same foot each time. Switching them means it takes twice as long to break them in, and wears them out twice as fast!

Watch Cloak

In 1775, prior to going to North America, Lord Cornwallis purchased "1,924 yards of coarse twilled kerseys to make cloaks for the Regiment, provided by Earl Cornwallis." [1st June 1775, Treasury out letters, Ireland, Supplies to the 33rd Foot] This is enough yardage to provide a cloak for each individual sodlier in the 33rd Foot, rather than the more ususal allowance of sufficient cloaks for just the sentries on duty.

Cuthberston recommneds a Hussar style cloak:

As every attention should be observed, for making Soldiers comfortable, and able to perform their Duty, without injury to their constitutions, a proper number of * Huzzar-cloaks ought to be provided, for the use, of the centries, towards the close of a campaign, and in Winterquarters, both in War and Peace: blue is the most lasting colour, and they must be in length below the calf of a middle sized man's leg, be very wide and full, and have a large falling cape, to cover the head occasionally; under the cape, the number of the Company each Cloak is made for should be marked in red, large letters, to prevent their being mixt, and that each Company may be always answerable for their own: whether carriages, or only horses are allowed upon a march, they should be carefully folded up, and carried by the Companies, as their use and advantage are, on many occasions, most sensibly experienced by the Soldiers, who, when no other fund can be contrived for providing them, are always ready to acquiesce in a stoppage for that purpose; but this must be the last resource.
* Huzzar-cloaks are more convenient for Centinels than any other kind, as by throwing back the front Flaps of them, their Hands are quite disengaged to handle their Arms.

We have chosen to use the cloak shown on the cover of Costume Close-Up Clothing Construction and Pattern 1750-1790 by Linda Baumgarten as the model for our watch cloak.

Hair and Grooming

In the British Army of the 1770's enlisted men wore their hair long, dressed in a style typical of the military. George Woodbridge illustrates this in The Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution. Hair dressed in this manner had the top cropped short, much like a modern man's flat top haircut, and the queue doubled over upon itself with the end hidden and bound with a ribbon, which was known as being "clubbed".

Hair dressed in this manner is out of the question for many of our members because of the personal and professional constraints against it. It would, however, be glaringly inaccurate for us to appear in modern short hair while in uniform. We have solved this problem by obtaining wigs, each exactly matching the individual soldier's hair color. They are then dressed and set by a professional hairdresser to the proper style. Worn with our uniforms, these wigs are sufficiently realistic to convey the impression that we are wearing our own hair, dressed and clubbed in the proper 18th Century military style.

For dress occasions, we may also have a white wig, in emulation of powdered hair.

Facial hair is not allowed while on service with the Regiment.


The standard armament of the Privates and Corporals, is the "Pattern 1769" or "Short Land Pattern Musket", colloquially known as the "Second Model Brown Bess".

This is a smoothbore flintlock musket of .75 calibre.

Our muskets are re-productions. There are a number of vendors who offer them; ranging from a hand made exacting reproduction (The Rifle Shoppe), to the standard of the hobby (Pedersoli), to Indian made mukets from various vendors. Each of them has their pluses and minuses.

Each musket should be equipped with a hammerstall and flashguard as per BAR and British Brigade safety regulations. They each have a whitened buff leather sling which buttons to a tab on the inside of the sling.

"Article XIII. On service, leather hammer-stalls are undoubtedly an advantage to a Battalion, when loaded, and resting on their arms, as accidents may be prevented, by having them fixed upon the hammers of the firelocks; but at other times they can certainly be of little use." Cuthbertson


Our Bayonets are accurate re-productions of original types, with seventeen inch triangular blades and four inch sockets.

"Article VI.

Care must be taken that the blades of the bayonets are well polished without notches, or the appearance of the smallest crack; that the sockets fit the firelocks they are designed for in a proper manner, neither too stiff or easy; that the scabbards are of good stout leather, not lined with wood; and that their hooks and chapes are firm and well secured..." Cuthbertson

We specify G. Gedney Godwin's #36 Mark 2 bayonet and #27t scabbard. We also manufacture scabbards ourselves and add the tooling marks common to British bayonet scabbards. Some vendors offer bayonets (and scabbards) that are pre-fitted to a musket if you purchase them together. We recommend this - a bayonet not purchased with a musket may require some fitting.

Waistbelt, Waistbelt Plate, and Frog

"Shoulder-Belts and Waist-belts. The breadth of the shoulder-belts to be two inches and three quarters; that of the waist belt to be two inches; and those Regiments which have buff waistcoats are to have buff-coloured accoutrements. Those which have white waistcoats are to have white." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

Cuthbertson mentions the preferred type of leather for belts:

"Article XX.

The accoutrements should be chosen of stout smooth buff, as well for the service to be expected from it, as for its superior look above the spongy kind, which is always stretching and difficult to clean; belts, two inches and a quarter broad, answer every purpose of supporting the weight of the ammunition in the pouch, without the smallest distress to the soldier's shoulder, and besides being lighter, they are much less heating to the breast, than those of a greater breadth...

Cuthbertson recommends the use of a shoulder belt to carry the bayonet, and many period images confirm its use. As the 33rd Foot was using a shoulder belt as early as 1775, we carry our bayonets on a dedicated shoulder belt made of buff lethaer from a pattern taken from an artifact shoulder belt in the Troani collection.

Our waistbelt plate was reproduced from an impression taken from an original plate in the collection of the Charlestown Museum of Charlestown, South Carolina. Although the Museum has no recollection of how the buckle came into its possession, its presence could be accounted for by the fact that the 33rd was involved in both British attacks on the city, first in June through July of 1776, and then again in March through May of 1780. In design and manufacture, the plate is very similar to other military buckles of the period known to have been used by the British Army, and is nearly identical to a 33rd belt plate excavated near Saratoga.

Our reproduction of the waistbelt plate differs from the original in two ways; our plate is cast in one piece, rather than having the studs come through the front surface, and the maker's (Brian Ludwig) hallmark is deeply impressed on the reverse side, so that the reproductions will not be mistaken for originals in the years to come.

We are particularly proud of this item of our equipment, as we discovered and identified it after an exhaustive letter writing campaign to over 200 museums, historical societies, parks, and exhibits, in which we tried to locate any regimentally marked items that might have been used by the 33rd Foot.

Our Serjeant's bayonet belt is adapted to use both a Serjeant's Sword and a bayonet.

At 1 7/8 inches, our waistbelts are slightly smaller than the Royal Warrant specifies, but that matches the width of our waistbelt plates. Our waistbelts and frogs are made from whitened buff leather.

Cartridge Pouch

"Article XXI. The pouches must be of the stoutest, blackened calf-skin, especially the outside flaps, which should be of such a substance, as to turn the severest rain: and as a farther security to the ammunition carried by a soldier, against the effects of damp, the inside flaps, which immediately cover the cartridges, should be lined with thick, well painted linen: the cartridge-boxes to be made as light as possible, with thirty six holes in each, in order to prevent the addition and weight of a second box, to buckle around the waist, which besides its well known inconvenience at exercise, has often, in quick firing, been productive of mischief and confusion, by blowing up: it will however be of use, to keep two or three of these cartouch-boxes in each Company, for small commands, in order to save the accoutrements, which on such occasions, need not be worn." Cuthbertson

Captain George Smith, in his An Universal Military Dictionary London, 1779, pays Bennett Cuthbertson an unintended compliment by quoting him almost verbatim in his definition of:

"POUCH, in a military sense, is a square case or bag of leather, with a flap over it, pendant to a buff leather shoulder belt, of about 3 inches broad, and hangs over the left shoulder of the infantry: its use is to hold cartridges, &c. They are made of the stoutest blackened calf-skin, especially the outside flaps, which should be of such a substance, as to turn the severest rain. The cartridge-boxes in the inside of the pouches, to be made as light as possible, with 36 holes in each, in order to prevent the addition of boxes to buckle around the waist, which has often been productive of mischief and confusion, by blowing-up."

Our cartridge pouch is a 36 round reversible block reproduction based on the photographs of a "British Cartridge Box" on page 79 of the "Collector's Encyclopedia" It answers Cuthbertson's (and Smith's) description by having a heavy black leather case, and an inner block which contains 36 holes. The (unlined) inner flaps which protect the cartridges are nailed directly to the block, which is arranged with 18 holes on the top, and 18 holes on the bottom, facing away from each other. The cartridges on the bottom are held in by the flap nailed to the bottom of the block. When the upper 18 cartridges are exhausted, the block is pulled out, reversed, and replaced with the lower side uppermost, exposing 18 fresh cartridges.

This pouch is similar in size, styling, and construction to "Rawle Patent" pouch shown in the "Collector's Encyclopedia." An interesting feature of this pouch is a leather strap with a button hole in it, stitched to the back of the pouch, which would answer to Cuthbertson's suggestion from Article XXII;

"...and to prevent their shifting forward, in the motions of grounding the firelock, and to keep them always steady in their proper place, a small leather loop must be fixed to the inside of the front buckle of the belt, to fasten on the right hip button of the coat."

The spring 1986 issue of the Military Collector & Historian has an article by William L. Brown III and Walter H. Bradford entitled "A Revolutionary War British Cartridge Box". This article describes and illustrates a pouch purported to have been found among the slain at Bunker Hill. The dimensions, construction, and styling are almost identical to the "Rawle Patent Pouch". An interesting feature of this pouch is the fact that, rather than using a leather button to fasten the flap, a small regimental button is used.

Our cartridge pouch is made of black leather, hand stitched with waxed linen thread. The buckles are hand forged iron. We use a regimental waistcoat sized button to fasten the flap, there is a leather loop to the back of the pouch, so we can button them to our coats, although in practice the pouch rarely happens to sit in a convenient place to button it to your coat!

Following Cuthbertson as quoted above in Article XX, our shoulder straps are only 2 1/4 inches wide. They are made out of whitened buff leather.

Cartridge Box

"CARTRIDGE-BOX, a case of wood, made in a circular form, to wear before the body of the soldier, holding 24 musket-ball cartridges in two rows: it is covered with leather, and worn upon a belt, both on duty, and on the day of battle See POUCH." Smith's Universal Military Dictionary

On page 69 of the "Collectors Encyclopedia" are two different British cartridge boxes which largely answer this description, although they have 18 holes each, instead of the 24 Smith states.

It can be shown that cartridge boxes were ordered as well as cartridge pouches for the 33rd Foot.

11th February 1770. Commander-in-Chief out letter. Adjutant-General to 2nd Battalion of the 1st, 6th, 15th, 17th, 20th, 22nd, 33rd, 35th, 37th Regiments of Foot. W.O. 3/25, pp. 2-3.

"The number of arms, accoutrements and clothing which the battalions of Foot are to be compleated with, and which numbers are to be accounted for in the review returns.

N.B. 20 Drum and Fife carriages to be accounted for. The arms, accoutrements and clothing of the twelve contingent men per Company are not to be accounted for in the several returns."

One wonders how strictly this instruction was observed, for in FIT FOR SERVICE- The Training of the British Army 1715-1795 by J. A. Houlding, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1981, Mr. Houlding observes that

"Only half of the men in the 33rd Foot had cartridge cases in 1775; the rest, it was reported, 'were lost in Germany'- twelve years earlier, in 1763"

(footnote 109 indicates to WO 27/35 as a reference)

The simultaneous use of both a cartridge pouch and a cartridge box as mentioned in Cuthbertson above is reflected in the account of Sylvanus Wood, a shoemaker of Woburn, Massachusetts, whose story is re-printed in the April/May 1980 issue of American Heritage, in the article "The Revolution Remembered":

"I was then established at my trade two miles east of Lexington meetinghouse, on the west border of Woburn, and on the nineteenth morn of April, 1775, Robert Douglass and myself heard Lexington bell about one hour before day. We concluded that trouble was near. We waited for no man but hastened and joined Captain Parker's company at the breaking of day. Douglass and myself stood together in the center of said company when the enemy first fired. The English soon were on their march for Concord. I helped carry six dead into the meetinghouse and then set out after the enemy and had not an armed man to go with me, but before I arrived at Concord, I see one of the grenadiers standing sentinel. I cocked my piece and run up to him, seized his gun with my left hand. He surrendered his armor, one gun and bayonet, a large cutlass and brass fender, one box over the shoulder with twenty-two rounds, one box round the waist with eighteen rounds. This was the first prisoner that was known to be taken that day."

We do not consider it necessary to use both the cartridge pouch and the cartridge box, however we do allow our Corporal to use the cartridge box, on a waistbelt, in place of the cartridge pouch, when on "small commands" such as camp or garrison duty, where contact with opposing forces is not imminent.

The cartridge box we use is the one sold by G. Gedney Godwin #123B "Belly Box British Light Infantry". It has a curved hardwood block drilled with 18 holes, a black leather flap embossed with a gold "GR2" cypher which is nailed to the back of the block, and two black leather strips nailed to the back of the block for the waistbelt to pass through.

Tin Cartridge Box

By mid-war, British troops found that carrying a mere 36 rounds wasn't enough! They started carrying an additional japanned tin cartridge box which could carry an additional 40 rounds. Captain Peebles of the 42nd mentions ordering some in 1779:

"Tuesday 6th [April] a little rain in the morng. - went to Town to see about the painted Knapsacks & bespeak a set of Tin Cartridge boxes for the Compy. - return'd in the eveng."

There are a couple of vendors who sell tin cartridge boxes - Avalon Forge has them pre-Japanned. We add whitened buff leather straps to them and use the Godwin #65 buckles from our old slings!

Enlisted Men's Knapsack

"Article XLII.

Square knapsacks are most convenient, for packing up the soldier's necessaries, and should be made with a division, to hold the shoes, black-ball and brushes, separate from the linen: a certain size must be determined on for the whole, and it will have a pleasing effect upon a march, if care has been taken, to get them of all white goat-skins, with leather slings well hitened, to hang over each shoulder; which method makes the carriage of the knapsack much easier, than across the breast, and by no means so heating." Cuthbertson

A great deal more information about our knapsack can be read in our Knapsack Article

Enlisted Men's Haversack

"Article XLIV. On service, a soldier cannot conveniently get through the duties of a campaign, without a haversack of strong, coarse, grey linen (which is always issued as part of the camp-equipage) to carry his bread and provisions on a march; therefore need not be deemed a part of his appointments, nor provided with that exactness, which some Regiments always practice: whenever such things are delivered to the men, the name of the owner, with the number of the Regiment and Company he belongs to, should be marked on them, to prevent their being mixt or lost among those of other Corps." Cuthbertson

This item is made from the haversack kit sold by Roy Najecki. It is a duplicate of an artifact haversack owned by J. Craig Nannos. The strap is short enough that when worn the haversack rides well up under the left arm, which keeps it and the canteen up an out of the way, and prevents them from jostling about too much when the soldier runs.

Enlisted Men's Canteen

We carry tin canteens of a variety commonly used by British Soldiers during both the Seven Years' War and the American War of Independence, and sold by G. Gedney Godwin as his #96. A reproduction of this type is illustrated by a photograph on page 59 of the "Collectors Encyclopedia". The fragments of the original were excavated at Fort Ligonier in Pennsylvania. We replace the polyester cord sold with the canteen with linen rope from Cooperman Fife and Drum company which is used to string rope tension drums.

Serjeant's Armament

"Swords. All the Serjeants of the Regiment, and the whole Grenadier Company to have swords. The Corporals and Private Men of the Battalion Companies (excepting the Regiments of the Royal Highlanders) to have no swords. All Drummers and Fifers to have a short sword with a Scimitar blade." H.M. Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

In the Royal Warrant under "Serjeant's Coats" (quoted in full above) it states:

Cuthbertson describes Serjeant's, Drummer's and Fifer's swords:

"Article XVII.

Drummers and Fifers require swords, as they have no other defensive weapon to wear at any time; the sort alloted for them should be short and light sabre blades, with a neat brass mounting, as that is the easiest kept bright: the Serjeants will also require swords, but of a better kind, and considerably longer, in proportion to their superior size; the mounting however, to be only brass or copper, the expense of which they can easily answer, if broke, taken by the enemy, or lost in any accident; a silver mounting on the contrary (even though given at first gratis to the Serjeant) is absolutely a hardship on him, as he is under the necessity of keeping it in repair, and being answerable for it (if lost or stolen) by an impoverishing stoppage of many months: The swords of the Grenadier Serjeants and Drummers should be distinguished, by small additional bars upon the hilt; those of the Drum and Fife-Majors to be like the Battalion Serjeants; and the whole to be ornamented with mohair swo rd-knots, of mixed colours, which will contribute vastly to the smartness of the hilts."

Our Serjeant's Sword is a reproduction by Peter Farquhar of Authentic Forgeries. It has a 29 inch hand forged steel blade with a strong forte and flattened diamond section, and a bi-lobed brass hil, engraved " Regt. XXXIII A/1". The scabbard is black leather, with a brass tip and a brass throat with stud for fastening to the frog. It is based on the Serjeant's Sword of the 23rd Royal Welch Fusiliers shown on page 105 - 106 of "A Soldier Like Way" The Material Culture of the British Infantry 1751 - 1768 by Ryan Gale.

"The Serjeants of Grenadiers to have fusils, pouches, and caps. Those of the Battalion to have halberts, and no pouches." The Royal Clothing Warrant of 1768

Cuthbertson says of Halberds:

"Article XIX.

Espontoons and halberts should not be too heavy, or exceed seven feet in length, as they will otherwise be very unhandy at exercise, and on many occasions: they must be made of seasoned ash, it being a serviceable wood, and not easily broken; the condition they are constantly to be kept in (particularly in point of polish) ought not to be inferior to that of the firelocks, as it would be unpardonable for Officers and Non-commission-ones to expect a greater degree of the perfection in the arms of the private men, then what they were inclined to shew in their own; a good example from superiors is of the utmost consequence, in influencing the actions of the vulgar, and often operates more strongly on their dispositions, then even the apprehensions of a punishment."

Our Halberd is a hand forged re-production by Luther Sowers which is styled after illustration "7.PA ENGLISH HALBERD Circa 1740-1780" on page 195 of Swords and Blades of the American Revolution.The head and ground point are made of steel, and the shaft is ash. The overall length is 7ft. 4in.

In addition to the above armament, our Serjeant is equipped with a Pattern 1770 Serjeant's Fusil and bayonet, to depict what became common practice with British Battalion Serjeants as the war went on and Halberds were laid aside. When armed with fusil and bayonet, our Serjeant retains his sword, and carries it in the double frog mentioned above.

Sergeants wear white leather gloves as per Cuthbertson's suggestion:

"Officers and Serjeants should never appear under arms without gloves the colour of the accoutrements, as their hands must look extremely aukward and naked without them on such occasions."

Equipment marking

The reasons to mark our equipment are as compelling now, as they were 230 years ago. Below are printed selected sections of various articles from Cuthbertson which deal with the marking of equipment.

"The coats of all the Companies being properly fitted, to the satisfaction of the Officers commanding them, and laid up carefully in the regimental stores, with the name of each man stitched upon the collar, and also the name of the tailor who altered it (that in case any thing afterwards should appear defective, it may at once be known, on who to fix the blame)..."

"The breeches being fitted with the utmost exactness, are to be laid up in store, marked upon the waistbands in the same manner as the coats were..."

(about haversacks)"...whenever such things are delivered to the men, the name of the owner, with the number of the Regiment and Company he belongs to, should be marked on them, to prevent their being mixt or lost among those of other Corps."

"To prevent as much as possible, the least embezzlement of the necessaries, with which a soldier is provided, and to give a greater chance for the discovery of thefts, all their linen articles should have the name of the owner, with the number of the Regiment and Company he belongs to, marked with a mixture of vermilion and nut-oil, which when perfectly dried can never be washed out: under the slit of the bosom of the shirt, will be found the most convenient place, as at the weekly inspection of necessaries, an Officer can easily examine, if the shirts at that time worn by the soldiers are their own; some mark should be fixed upon the woolen stockings and the shoes, otherwise an officer will find himself exposed to numerous impositions, from the irregularity of particular soldiers, and their unconquerable desire for drink, which tempts them frequently to exchange and pledge their necessaries, if not prevented, by every precaution in the power of an Officer to invent."

"As the Officer is supposed to be informed, before his application to the Ordinance, what number of firelocks and bayonets are designed for each company, he should endeavour to get the number of the Company and firelock properly marked, on the several articles designed for each, that the confusion, which must attend the soldiers changing at any time with one another, may be totally avoided..."

"To prevent the confusion and trouble that might arise, by the men's changing their accoutrements among each other, it is absolutely necessary, that the same figures, which are on the soldier's firelock, be also lightly stamped, with a hot iron marker, upon the inside of both his belts and sling."

We consider using the soldier's initials instead of his whole name to be sufficient identification. (our men are of a sober sort, and not easily given to stealing their messmate's linen to sell for the price of a drink) We do not consider it necessary to include the name of the tailor, as his identity is known to all of us, should there be blame to be handed out. We have decided to put "fractions" or "rack numbers" on items which would be the property of the King, such as muskets, bayonets, pouches, belts, and such, and use the soldier's initials on items which would become his personal property (by deductions from his pay) such as coats, waistcoats, breeches, shirts &c. Pte. Thomas Atkins - 1780


Bennett Cuthbertson's advice rings as true today as it did 230 years ago. We consider it to be a principal guiding philosophy of the re-created 33rd Foot.


Of the dress of a Regiment, with rules for constantly preserving neatness and uniformity.

Article I.

An exact neatness in the appearance of a Battalion, not only does honour to the attention of its Officers, in the opinion of every indifferent spectator, but gives great reason to the more discerning part of the world, to suppose, that proper regulations are established, in every other particular, for the support of discipline, it being the most difficult task in forming of a soldier, to make him dress in a becoming manner, and few Regiments, that are solicitous of carrying that point, but are equally so in every other: on the contrary, it is often suspected, that a slovenly and irregular method of dressing, bespeaks a drunken, unregarded Battalion.

Following, are selected quotes from Cuthbertson which indicate the quality of attention to "an exact neatness" which was expected of the well disciplined British Regular.

"...nothing contributes more to the good appearance of soldiers, than having the several appointments which compose their dress, fitted with the greatest exactness, it is necessary that no pains be spared, to accomplish so advantageous a design..."

"The buttons on the clothing of a preserve them in that state of brightness, which at all time must be insisted on..."

"No directions are on any account to be taken from a soldier, in making up the several parts of his appointments, but the pattern fixed on by the Commanding-officer..."

"When a Regiment is in a settled way, in time of peace, there can scarcely be an excuse for not having the dress of the soldiers, at all times, perfectly neat.."

"The greatest uniformity should be observed, in the colour of the stockings..."

"Uniformity should be particularly observed, in the stock-clasps, and the shoe and garter buckles..."

"Every soldier (and in a very particular manner a recruit) should be instructed, by the Serjeant or Corporal of the squad of inspection he belongs to, in the proper methods of cleaning a firelock, how to take the lock asunder, and how to join the several parts again; making him perfectly acquainted with the name and use of each, that nothing may ever be out of order, through his unskilfulness or ignorance."

"It should be insisted on, that a soldier at all times keeps his arms in such a state of perfection, as never to be ashamed to shew them; by having the inside of the lock well oiled, the outside of it (even to the smallest screw-pin) with the barrel, brasses and bayonet, not only clean and bright, but highly polished..."

"It is not sufficient, that the outside flaps of the pouches and the scabbards should always be well blackened; it must also be insisted on, that they shine, equal to japan or varnish..."

"That the buff may at all times be perfectly clean, and free from spots, every soldier should be provided with a ball of white pipe-clay..."

"Every Serjeant and Corporal should be provided with a cloaths brush and a hatter's cocking needle, for the use of his squad, which they are always to bring to every roll calling, and inspection of men for duty: it is likewise requisite, that every soldier should be furnished with a pair of shoe-brushes, and a blacking ball of good ingredients, that there may be no excuse, for not having at all times their shoes and gaiters extremely clean and highly polished."

The second and third Articles in Cuthbertson's Chapter XIV explain in clear and direct terms the benefits to be derived from a careful attention to "an exact neatness", and the method of "observing in a particular manner" that it is accomplished.

Article II.

When a soldier can be brought to take a delight in his dress, it will be easy to mould him to whatever else may be desired, as it is in general a proof that he has thrown off the sullen, stubborn disposition which characterizes the peasants of most countries; therefore every method should be pursued to accomplish what may so justly be looked on, as the foundation of order and oeconomy in a Corps.

Article III.

The oftener soldiers come under the inspection of their Officers, the sooner will they acquire the method of dressing to advantage; it is therefore necessary, that every morning at troop- beating, the Companies should be drawn up in squads, and when the rolls are called, that the Serjeants and Corporals strictly examine the men of their squads, one by one, observing in a particular manner, that their hats are well cocked, brushed, and worn; their hair combed out, and their stocks put on smoothly; that their shirts are of a proper cleanness, and in good condition; their coats, waistcoats and breeches free from rips or spots, or wanting buttons; the lace and lining in proper order, and the whole well brushed; that their stockings are perfectly clean, drawn up tight, and without holes; their shoes well blackened and buckled straight; the stock-clasps, buckles, and cloaths buttons extremely bright; their beards close shaved; their hands and faces well washed; their side arms properly put on; and that every particular about them, be in the most exact order.


A list of Vendors, Including Many Mentioned in the Above Documentation: