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"71 ST Light Infantry Caps" Topic


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18th Century

562 hits since 28 Dec 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

nevinsrip Sponsoring Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 11:08 a.m. PST

I received the Osprey book "Savannah 1779" for Christmas.
The cover illustration shows the 71 ST Highlander Light Infantry wearing Tarleton style Light Infantry Caps, rather than their traditional headgear.

Can anyone either support or disprove the wearing of LI helmets by the Highlanders?

Overall I found the book to be lacking. The illustrations are poor, at best. A two page spread of a British officer sitting in a tree, is not why I buy Osprey books.

Skip this one.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

Contact the reenactment unit. Their research is first rate.

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP28 Dec 2018 6:43 p.m. PST

The likelihood is that, like most highland regiments, the regulation headgear of the light coys of the 71st would have been a version of the Keppel model of light infantry cap, sometimes referred to as a 'chain cap.' As in other regiments, these may have been worn for formal parades in cantonment but were left in store when the regiment took the field.

In 1779, the 'Tarleton' was still a innovation in the regular cavalry, who did not adopt it formally til the mid-1780s; its adoption by light infantry by that date, let alone its being worn in the field when the 71st were sent 'southward,' is not very likely.

Regimental accounts from 1783 indicate that, like the battalion companies of the 71st, the light coys would have worn highland military bonnets (cocked, with a band of dicing) decorated with three black ostrich feathers, while they survived, and in their case supplemented by a single red feather. The grenadiers would have worn a white feather.

Dn Jackson29 Dec 2018 12:46 a.m. PST

I too was not thrilled with this book. I believe the information about the campaign is so lacking that a full Osprey campaign shouldn't have been attempted. The limited info available hurt the book.

Camcleod29 Dec 2018 7:40 p.m. PST

Note that the Plate description on p. 86 lists those soldiers as 28 men from Tawes' Dragoon force.
It does say '71' on a few guys helmets but the uniform looks like a standard Cavalryman's kit. Chevron lace on the sleeves, a crossbelt with a carbine sling , boots and epaulettes.

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 6:13 a.m. PST

I enjoyed the book. There is very little on the campaign in Georgia and from what I have read the author has done a fine job. Far superior to the Cowpens book.

As to the illustrations the illustrator does what he or she can based on the materials given to them. Far too much are conjecture so I do not overly about it. Back in the reenacting world uniform items changed every couple years as more and better information became available. An image of the group I belonged to in the early 1970's would not look like the present group today.

Bill N30 Dec 2018 11:15 a.m. PST

Wilson's Southern Strategy is currently my starting point for the 1778-1779 campaign in Georgia and South Carolina. I'd like to hear how people think the Osprey stands up to Wilson's book.

23rdFusilier Supporting Member of TMP30 Dec 2018 12:55 p.m. PST

Wilson's book is in a class by itself.

Virginia Tory02 Jan 2019 9:46 a.m. PST

The artwork is confusing because it mentions Loyalists, Dragoons and men from the 60th. But the artwork has guys from the 71st.

Brechtel19806 Jan 2019 4:21 p.m. PST

The cover illustration shows the 71 ST Highlander Light Infantry wearing Tarleton style Light Infantry Caps, rather than their traditional headgear.

The Highland Light Infantry did not exist until 1881 and was an amalgamation of the 71st and 74th Foot.

42flanker Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2019 3:40 a.m. PST

The 71st (Highland) Regiment (known also as 'Fraser's Highlanders') formed in 1775-76, being a two battalion regiment, fielded two light infantry companies for most of its period of service in America. I imagine it was to these that nevinsrip was referring.

Fraser's Highlanders were disbanded in 1786

(The 71st Regt. Highland Light Infantry which eventually amalgamated with the 74th Highland Regiment in 1881, had been formed as 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot (McLeod's Highlanders in 1777. It was renumbered 71st in 1786 following the final disbanding of Fraser's Highlanders).

Normal Guy07 Jan 2019 7:08 p.m. PST

I'm not familiar with Wilson's book. What is the title, please?

Normal Guy07 Jan 2019 7:16 p.m. PST

Check that. I found it.

Brechtel19820 Jan 2019 8:32 a.m. PST

The 71st (Highland) Regiment (known also as 'Fraser's Highlanders') formed in 1775-76, being a two battalion regiment, fielded two light infantry companies for most of its period of service in America. I imagine it was to these that nevinsrip was referring.
Fraser's Highlanders were disbanded in 1786
(The 71st Regt. Highland Light Infantry which eventually amalgamated with the 74th Highland Regiment in 1881, had been formed as 73rd (Highland) Regiment of Foot (McLeod's Highlanders in 1777. It was renumbered 71st in 1786 following the final disbanding of Fraser's Highlanders).

Good posting.

The 71st Highlanders that served in North America during the War of the American Revolution were never known as the Highland Light Infantry.

In point of fact, there is no known relationship between the old 71st, which was disbanded in 1786, and the newer 71st, late the 73d Highlanders, which assumed the number '71' upon the disbandment of the older 71st.

The 73d Highlanders did not serve in North America during the War of the Revolution and were in India when they received new colors and were renumbered in 1786.

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