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"Books or website on Continental Uniforms" Topic

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726 hits since 16 Jul 2021
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TheOtherOneFromTableScape16 Jul 2021 3:13 a.m. PST

I'm looking for recommendations for books or websites on continential uniforms that cover the period up to 1779 and the introduction of the new blue regulation uniforms. The supply situation appears to make it very confusing and I want to try and get a better handle on what was being issued and worn.

I am also curious as to how wide spread the new regulation uniform actually was. In many armies of the period there was a reluctance to issue new clothes until the current ones were definitely falling apart (and often not even then!). So did the older style persist or was there an effort to issue the new one?

JimDuncanUK16 Jul 2021 3:25 a.m. PST

Have a word with these guys, they seem to know what they are talking about.

Black Hat Miniatures16 Jul 2021 4:09 a.m. PST

The Black Powder book for the period "Rebellion" is extremely good and covers all the theatres and the different uniforms worn – well worth getting.

cavcrazy16 Jul 2021 4:09 a.m. PST

Uniforms of the American Revolution by John Mollo is a very good book with great illustrations.

historygamer16 Jul 2021 6:02 a.m. PST

The US Army uniform regulations were aspirational, and that's about it. US uniforms are a hot mess of whatever they had to issue, which varied widely from 1775 to the end of the war. The Lottery coats were only one year.

Katcher's books is still one of the best, along with Mollo, Troiani's books, and a few others including the Osprey books by Marko Zlatich

Larry Gettysburg Soldiers Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 9:16 a.m. PST

I have three uniform books, recommended by my AWI pals:

"Uniforms of the American Revolution" paperback by Mollo/McGregor

"British Army in the American Revolution" paperback and
"American Soldiers of the Revolution" paperback, both by Alan Kemp

"Uniforms of the American War of Independence" hardback by Digby Smith/Kevin Kiley

Since your question was about the evolution of the uniforms worn, my recommendation is the Digby Smith is the best.

Milgame16 Jul 2021 9:19 a.m. PST

In addition, British uniforms were widely distributed when captured, often dyed brown, but sometimes in the original red. Hunting shirts were also common, either for fatigue duty or for campaign wear. Deserter descriptions will often have widely differing descriptions for men from the same unit, so there's wide latitude in depicting individual units. As the war progressed, many members of militia units had prior service in continental units, and may well have worn those uniforms, or parts of them, when mustered with the militia. Small clothes also greatly varied, depending on what was available. And units did not always get a full complement of any particular article of clothing such as coats or vests or breeches or stockings, so it's likely new uniform items would have gone to individual companies or to those individuals in a regiment who most needed replacements.

Milgame16 Jul 2021 9:48 a.m. PST

Regarding books, Katcher and Mollo are great; Lefferts' Uniforms of American, British, French and German Armies has deserter reports but is a bit dated. Uniforms of the American Revolution by Benjamin Brown covers what regiments were supposed to be wearing through all phases of the war. For an account of the horrible supply situation the Continental Army faced, Supplying Washington's Army by Erna Risch from the US Army's Center of Military History has a great chapter on clothing the troops, especially before 1778, when imported uniforms were available (and has a comprehensive study of the entire logistics issues faciing the Army.) Finally, the painting guide in the Perry plastic AWI continentals box is a great visual guide to the variations of the period.

Bill N16 Jul 2021 10:08 a.m. PST

When it comes to AWI Continentals it depends in part on what the person is looking for. In the pre-1779 regulation era uniforms were quite often anything but, and what a unit wore one year might not be the same as what it wore the next. If you want a unit to accurately reflect the most recent scholarship then be prepared to dig and dig, and accept you might still come up empty. If you are looking for something that will look nice on the tabletop, and that when you point out a unit and say "that is the 3rd NY" people will nod and say "uh huh" rather than laugh at you, here are my inexpensive and easy to access suggestions.

Perry has a nice uniform page that comes with its American Continentals plastic set.

The Baccus website has a decent selection of uniforms, although not all are accurate. PDF link

There are a number of Don Troiani paintings of Continental uniforms that can be found through Google.

The Mollo/McGregor book is readily available and can be picked up inexpensively.

This isn't a knock on other sources.

Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 2:54 p.m. PST

The following books should be helpful when researching uniforms of The War of the Revolution:

-Uniforms of the American Revolution by John Mollo.


-Uniforms of the American Revolution by Benjamin Brown.


-Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by George Neumann and Frank Kravic.


-The Book of the Continental Soldier by Harold Peterson.


-The Horse Soldier Volume I: The Revolution, the War of 1812, the Early Frontier 1776-1850 by Randy Steffen.


-Don Troiani's Soldiers of the American Revolution.


-Military Uniforms in America: Era of the American Revolution edited by John Elting.


-L'Uniforme et les Armes des Soldats des Etats-Unis by Liliane and Fred Funcken.

-General Washington's Army (1): 177578 by Marko Zlatich.


-General Washington's Army (2): 177983 by Marko Zlatich.


-The French Army in the American War of Independence by Rene Chartrand.


-Uniforms of the American Revolution by Phillip Katcher.

-Don Troiani's Campaign to Saratoga – 1777.


-Don Troiani's American Battles.


-Don Troiani's Soldiers in America 1754-1865.


Brechtel198 Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 3:00 p.m. PST

What can also be used, and is an excellent source for uniforms, is the uniform plates produced by The Company of Military Historians:


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP16 Jul 2021 7:45 p.m. PST

Good recommendations, Kevin.
The Osprey books by Zlatich can be frustrating, simply because you can use up a lot of agita asking "But who makes this figure in 28mm?"

The same can be said for some of the French Colonials (?) shown in Chartrand. Please, Perry? Some of us love the obscure units.

TheOtherOneFromTableScape19 Jul 2021 3:51 a.m. PST

Thank you all very much for taking the time to answer, it is all most helpful.

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