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"Going about Roundabouts" Topic

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18th Century

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MiniPigs09 Jan 2019 10:14 a.m. PST

What units on which side wore these?

Did Queens Rangers wear them?

I know some British units wore them but it seems like some units wore shortened coats and others wore this spencer length "roundabout". How much of a difference is it between providing that little bit of cover in the back vs going the full monty?

historygamer09 Jan 2019 10:53 a.m. PST

Off the top of my head, I believe the British Light Infantry, Queens Rangers Cav and Inf, maybe some of the other Loyalist Cavalry (records not clear). As far as Americans, cavalry.

42flanker09 Jan 2019 11:43 a.m. PST

The difference seem to hang on the comparitively simple measure of cutting short the regimental coat, and that of taking the sleeves of the coat and attaching them to the red waistcoat of the light infantry companies, stripped of its buttonhole lace, creating a waist-length garment (Apparently 'roundabout' is not the term they used).

There is some debate as to the exact mechanics of the latter option. What the precise advantages might have been compared with the disadvantage of leaving the 'loins' uncovered and the less versatile single-breasted closure, I confess, I am not sure.

Of course, light infantry companies already had shortened coats according to regulation so they knew what the choices were. The 'waistcoat' option would have been lighter but offered less overall protection over a whole campaigning season.

We only know for sure that arrangement was in widespread use in late summer 1777. There is the question of the failure of uniform resupply for that year with clothing wearing out, but that would have affected all units.

We can see both approaches displayed, albeit crudely, in the cartoon 'My Triumphant Entry into Philadelphia' and also in della Gatta's painting of the battle of Germantown, discussed on numerous occasions on TMP, including quite recently:
TMP link

Pan Marek09 Jan 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

It is a fool's errand to assume "everyone" from "x" units
wore "y" uniform in the AWI. Even in the British Army, you need to go to individual units, for each year, to determine what they wore at the time.

historygamer09 Jan 2019 12:45 p.m. PST

Agreed. I was only speaking in generalities. According to the reenactment unit commander of the 40th Lights, some of the LI roundabouts were purpose made, not modified from existing materials.

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