Revolutionary War Military Attire Was Less Than Uniform
Posted on August 21, 2013, by ciniva
Revolutionary War Military Attire
Was Less Than Uniform
The iconic American soldier of the Revolutionary War is attired in a blue regimental coat with red facing. In reality, Americans wore many different military uniforms during the Revolution. In 1777 the Continental Congress ordered 40,000 soldiers’ uniforms from France. Half of the coats were produced in blue with red cuffs and facings, and half in brown with red cuffs and facings. A lottery was held to determine how the coats would be distributed. The states that drew brown coats – Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire – could redraw for leftover blue coats. Although a general order in 1779 standardized all Continental Army regimental coats to blue with one of four facing colors – white, buff, red and blue – assigned to each of the 13 states, some of the “lottery coats” may have continued in use.
Variations of American Revolutionary War uniforms, worn by historical interpreters at the Yorktown Victory Center, are pictured here. Musicians’ coat colors (top left), shown as red with blue facing, were the opposite of the coat colors of soldiers in their regiment so that they could easily be identified as non-combatants. At top center and right, “lottery coats” are shown in brown and blue, both with red facings. At bottom left, a black hunting shirt represents a militia unit from Virginia’s Gloucester County. Bottom center, a regimental coat with white facing on blue represents the Connecticut Light Infantry. A 3rd Continental Light Dragoons stable jacket is shown at bottom right. This regiment was formed in New Jersey in 1777, and many of its recruits were skilled horsemen from Virginia and North Carolina.