Comments on Uniform of 71st Regiment of Foot
NOTE: These comments are discussion of this source by individual members of the history committee and do not represent consensus of the committee, nor necessarily the final conclusions of the member making the comments.
Gregory J. W. Urwin:, gregoryurwincomcast [Not currently a member of the project history committee]
- You should delete the image of the Scottish Highlander currently carried on your fine Battle of Camden web site. *
- To begin with, it portrays a soldier belonging to the 78th Fraserís Highlanders, a regiment that never fought at Camden. The 78th was raised in 1757 as the 2nd Highland Regiment. It served in North America, distinguishing itself at the taking of Quebec. It was disbanded in 1763. *
- Secondly, this Highlander is wearing a uniform that dates back to nearly two decades before the Battle of Camden was fought. *
- The 71st Fraserís Highlanders that fought at Camden was not raised until 1775.
- If you want a more accurate representation of what that regiment wore in the South, I send along a jpeg of a painting that Don Troiani did for the National Park Service showing Fraserís Highlanders at Guilford Court House, 15 March 1781. As you can see, Troiani shows them in gaitered trousers instead of kilts, a fashion change documented by the regimentís orderly books. [This is the image currently displayed]
- The Troiani painting shows two officers with drawn broadswords, a drummer in his distinctive white coat, a sergeant wearing his striped sash over his left shoulder, and two corporals (distinguished by knotted cords on their right shoulders).
- Since it was commissioned by the federal government, this work is in the public domain and may be displayed on your web site without fear of copyright infringement.
- * [The earlier image from a Fraser Highlanders website has been deleted as suggested.]
- Trousers were probably worn at Camden.
- Don Troiani's Soldiers in America, 1754-1865 shows a good illustration, p.43, of a private soldier of the 2nd Battalion "as he would have appeared during the winter campaign of 1780-81 in North Carolina based on the the 1779-81 company account book and other supporting documentation." Also, "He wears tartan gaiter-trousers or 'trews' made from his old plaid, although new brown trousers of wool had also been issued to his company."
Todd Braisted, IVBNNJV:
[The thumbnail of the 71st is] French and Indian War uniform, not Rev War.
Larry Babits, BABITSLMAIL.ECU:
I've read the Coit orderly book for the 71st which covers 1779 and
the Georgia, Stono and Savannah period. They were wearing blue trousers on
some days and white trousers on other days, not kilts.
William Thomas Sherman,
Incidentally, John mentioned the Osprey books. I don't know which in particular he had in mind, but the their recent Guilford Court House campaign book has some very nice new paintings done, including one of the 71st in battle at Guilford (wearing tan or brown trousers.) As far as printed data and conclusions, however, with these books one needs to be careful, and one of the strategic maps is highly inaccurate as to troop deployments. This said, it's otherwise a worthwhile book.
Jay Callaham, callaham:
I admit to liking the Osprey books and John Mollo's works for a quick & dirty reference to get an idea of what something MIGHT look like, but certainly not for anything really meaningful. If they would just do some footnotes or end notes it would be nice!!! Phil Katcher's stuff is a step or two above, but I have yet to find ANY secondary source - - including Lefferts and Lawson (my favorite) that really get to the depth that I want. Hew Strachan did a pretty good one a while back. As Todd Braisted loves to say on another list - - go for the primary documentation.