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"Uniforms at Eutaw Springs" Topic

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424 hits since 20 May 2020
©1994-2020 Bill Armintrout
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Viper guy Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2020 11:28 a.m. PST

I'm looking at building the forces for the Battle of Eutaw Springs. Does anyone have good references for Coffin's Dragoon's, the Provincial light infantry, the various American cavalry— with the exception of the 3rd continental dragoon's—and Lee's legion? Thank you in advance!

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP20 May 2020 11:41 a.m. PST

Hunting shirts always work in various colors, even for the 3d Continental Light Dragoons, theirs being white. Clyde Risley painted them in white hunting shirts. Lasset did figures of them in hunting shirts in 54mm. I have two of those figures-they are excellent-very much like Staddens but different.

Lee's Legion was originally uniformed in green, but later probably or might have been uniformed in buff instead. A mix of the two would be appropriate, I think. Troiani painted them in buff.

For the Provincial Light Infantry I'd have to look as I'm not familiar with them. You might be able to find something on their uniform here:


Bill N20 May 2020 1:50 p.m. PST

In one of his articles Babits said that Greene arranged for the continentals to be issued hunting shirts after the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill. The Maryland and Virginia continental infantry should have still been wearing them at Eutaw Springs.

I have no information on whether Washington's light dragoons got hunting shirts at the same time as the foot. Troiani chose to depict Washington at Eutaw Springs in his regimentals. I believe Lee's Legion was serving with Marion when the shirts were issued, so I am not sure whether they got them later. There is some dispute about the uniforms of Lee's foot generally so you might want to check earlier threads on that. Also no information on Coffin's dragoons.

By provincial light infantry I am assuming you mean Watson's former command. As I recall it was raised from center companies of certain Loyalist regiments serving around New York. Initially they would likely have worn the uniforms of their parent regiments. They may have been issued new uniforms at some point after deploying to the south, so at Eutaw Springs I don't know.

doc mcb20 May 2020 3:24 p.m. PST

It is fun, very much part of the hobby, to try to be correct about details of uniforms. I spend a lot of time flipping through uniform plates myself. But there is so much variety and change, especially in the field, especially in the poorly supplied conditions of the Carolinas in 1780-82, that I am increasingly disposed to being relaxed about it. In the happy event I do have, say, a Troiani plate to work from, then excellent. But I have lost my fear of being wrong, because in so many cases we simply do not know. As an example, Coffin's Dragoons may or may not have looked more like Perry's (Patriot) militia cavalry or more like the 16th Lt Dragoons, but DON'T KNOW means don't know, and I am satisfied to use either of them on the table.

doc mcb20 May 2020 3:26 p.m. PST
doc mcb20 May 2020 3:29 p.m. PST
doc mcb20 May 2020 3:32 p.m. PST
doc mcb20 May 2020 3:34 p.m. PST

Do a Bing image search for 'Coffin's dragoons" and the first pic is regular Brit Lt Dragoons with yellow facings.

Viper guy Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2020 1:04 a.m. PST

Thank you all.

Jeffers21 May 2020 4:31 a.m. PST

I agree with the good doc. Near enough is good enough, so don't beat yourself up over it. 😎

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2020 7:33 a.m. PST

Near enough is always good enough for the War of the American Revolution.

Uniforms, especially for the Americans were dependent on a variety of factors-wear, availability, and many times just to clothe the Continentals in the field.

And a unit might be properly and/or well-uniformed when a campaign began in the spring and be ragged by the autumn if not sooner, without timely resupply (which was a catch-as-catch-can) and refurbishing.

Close enough is good enough. And who is going to make a judgment that you are wrong?

The uniform plate on page 73 of Military Uniforms in America Volume I has an excellent depiction of Continentals in rags. Their commander in the South, Nathaniel Greene remarked on the clothing situation of his army: '…entirely naked, with nothing but a breech cloth about them and never came out of their tents, and the rest were as ragged as wolves.'

Other comments on the clothing situation came from Anthony Wayne at Valley Forge: 'Not a whole shirt to a Brigade…'

A French officer remarked: 'I saw officers, at a grand parade-mounting guard is a sort of dressing gown, made of an old blanket or woolen bed cover.'

Coveralls were made of bed-ticking, hence the striped appearance of some units with coveralls.

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