Help support TMP


"War of 1812, which shako" Topic


13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the American Wargaming Message Board

Back to the Napoleonic Discussion Message Board


714 hits since 21 Jun 2013
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

The Gray Ghost Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 4:33 p.m. PST

which shako would be best to use for the War of 1812
it seems the Americans had quite a few different styles

RudyNelson21 Jun 2013 5:06 p.m. PST

The belltop shako was worn by Alabama-Mississippi militia officers in 1812. The Officers at Fort Mims are clearly shown wearing the belltop shako.

The 1813 campaigns saw a mix of both in the South. Since most regular units in the South were raised after the adoption of the Belgic shako, the regulars all wore that shako.

Tenn volunteers wore State/county issued gear and included a wide brim hat or a stove pipe hat.

Georgia State uniforms did not last long on campaign. Troops tended to wear civilian wide brim hats and fringed coats.

Glengarry521 Jun 2013 6:47 p.m. PST

The felt bell top would work for 1812-1813, the leather tombstone shako was first issued in 1813 but there were the usual delays as some regiments hung on to the old shako until it wore out. While the tombstone was common in 1814 it seems some regiments never recieved the new shako. I use a mix of both for my US regulars.

michaelsbagley Supporting Member of TMP21 Jun 2013 6:50 p.m. PST

Up in the north, there was a mix of styles as well…. with many units starting with one style at the beginning of the war, and migrating to another style mid-war (basically over 1813. Again, most of the militias did not wear shakos (although some uniformed militias did).

I think overall, 1813 was a very transitional year for the American army, and so very little stayed the same.

spontoon21 Jun 2013 7:33 p.m. PST

So,… the consensus is that each unit might be different? I have at least 4 different shakos for my U.S. infantry figs.

Vincent Solfronk21 Jun 2013 8:06 p.m. PST

I would think of which year. 1812-1812 would be stovetop shakos, while 1813-1814 would be transitioning to the tombstone/Belgic shakos.

Rudy- the bell top shako is an anacronism- it was introduced much later (1830s IIRC)- It was common that Antabellum artists would depict troopers using the current uniform to depict earlier periods (with a British Highlander thrown in). I have seen the Fort Mims print you speak of.

There is that print of Georgia militia during the Creek War in 1813 wearing Round hats (Tarelton helmets) which was the headgear of the US Army in the 1790s so that is an interesting variation.

Glengarry521 Jun 2013 10:55 p.m. PST

In Osprey MAA 345 The United States Army 1812-1814 there's a list of known uniforms (the early American army of the War of 1812 was particularly motley in appearance) and how they changed on pages 15-16. It seems some units replaced the felt shakos with leather shakos, while some units raised in 1813 (26th and above) were issued felt shakos as leather shakos were considered too expensive!

Clays Russians22 Jun 2013 7:22 a.m. PST

i would just use what knuycklebuster has, they seem to have hit the mark of "most likely" as from I have seen in museums in Mich Md. etc.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2013 9:51 a.m. PST

Yes I agree, KD has it right with the three variations of uniforms throughout the war as per Chartrand's " A Most Warlike Appearance."

JEBoehm Inactive Member24 Jun 2013 6:07 a.m. PST

I would echo the comments re: Knucleduster Miniatures. They have actually put together a nice pdf which details the uniform changes at the different stages of the war.

PDF link

Nasty Canasta Inactive Member24 Jun 2013 6:13 a.m. PST

You can't go wrong painting 1812 American figures. Its akin to American youth soccer, no matter how bad you are at it, you are at least guaranteed a trophy.

AICUSV25 Jun 2013 9:03 a.m. PST

Comment of a British Officer upon viewing the America troops following the surrender of FT. Detroit, "the Spanish were bettered uniformed."

Nasty Canasta Inactive Member25 Jun 2013 3:44 p.m. PST

Given that 3/4 of those who surrendered were Ohio militia, it makes complete sense.

Sorry - only trusted members can post on the forums.