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"Captain Runchey's Company of Coloured Men" Topic

7 Posts

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19th Century

609 hits since 11 Oct 2018
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Comments or corrections?

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2018 12:45 p.m. PST

Since I am adding a group of American Pionieers to my War of 1812 armies for engineering activities (and because they are cool!) I thought I might also add this unit for the crown side.

Although I had noticed this unit before, it was not until I visited Queenston Heights and read "A Very Brilliant Afair" that I started doing any reading about them. They appear to have acted as skirmishers as well as doing building tasks. They would number at best a stand or two of figures.

My guess is they were in civilian clothing for 1812. But after this were they issued any uniforms?

Glengarry511 Oct 2018 1:39 p.m. PST

If Runchey's Coloured Corps had uniforms they are unknown for certain but they may have worn green coats of rifle cut. However, many of the men of the corps were later recruited into the Corps of Provincial Artificers which was issued with a uniformed in blue tailless coats with black facings,grey pantaloons and wore round (top) hats. Later uniforms "similar to that of the regular Royal Sappers and Miners were sent from England and "probably" worn from April 1814.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2018 2:02 p.m. PST

Hi Mark; I am guessing you probably have Stuart Asquith's book "A Campaign guide to War with America 1812-1815"; on pg 91 is photo of a Runchy's company reenactor taken by Richard Feltoe.

If you do not have the book let me know and I will provide you with uniform information or a scan of the photo.

Glengarry511 Oct 2018 2:26 p.m. PST

Canada did a history minute on the Coloured Corps which shows them distinctly ununiformed.


IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

Re the history minute; in the last scenes where they are marching in single file; the first soldier is wearing roughly what the reenactor wore, except for the addition of lemon yellow cuffs and collar and a green tam with yellow band.

Glennarry5, I am sure you are correct that a number of the company did not have uniforms as per most of the sedentary militia of 1812.

Redblack11 Oct 2018 10:52 p.m. PST

This is one artist's portrayal of the "Coloured Corps" in 1812 Accuracy is not known but it looks OK to me


Another Black Unit that fought in the 1814 Chesapeake campaign was the Colonial Marines


23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2018 1:52 p.m. PST

Thank you very much everyone for all the suggestions and help. I appreciate it very much.

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