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"Dressing a British Grenadier" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2021 9:11 p.m. PST

"Now that we've seen how an 18th-century merchant got ready for the day, let's see how a member of the 8th regiment got dressed for the day…"

YouTube link


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2021 11:07 p.m. PST

He's in too much frippery for a soldier stationed at the hind end of nowhere, Fort Michilimackinack.
He's too much 1768 Warrant to be in any way meaningful.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2021 11:15 p.m. PST

I might accept it if he's from the 4th Foot in 1775 Boston. But from 1776 onward, no way.

42flanker27 Aug 2021 11:35 p.m. PST

To be fair, he does make the point at the end that it was not dress for every day, when soldiers would have dressed more simply, minus hanger, match case and bearskin cap, which would have been replaced by a regulation cocked hat.

Is it me or are many repro grenadier caps much too massive, some, like the one here, resembling more the Austrian caps of the Napoleonic era.

Illustrations of the period and surviving examples I have seen are more streamlined. There's no way that fellow is going to tuck his cap into a pocket (as I have read asserted by a re-enactor) It looks like it would fill his entire knapsack.

stecal Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2021 5:49 a.m. PST

properly made the grenadier helmets are quite light and dont really fall off much. Originally the repro helmets were made too heavy with a heavy leather liner, in the 64th we ripped out the liner making them much lighter and even foldable. I've worn both Rev War British Grenadier and Hessian Von Donop Grenadier caps for years and we did lots of skirmishing and running.

historygamer28 Aug 2021 12:19 p.m. PST

The bearskins were worn on Howe's army through the 1777 Philly campaign. The caps folded flat and were tucked perhaps in their packs. New ones might look bushier than a veteran cap.

Never heard of one being put in a pocket, but in a recent lecture, Don Hagist noted one soldier had a pair of shoes.

42flanker28 Aug 2021 3:54 p.m. PST

Or should we say, they were carried by at least one battalion of British grenadiers who got them out and put them on before the final advance at Brandywine Creek?

Captain West of the 4th King's Own in the 1st Grenadier batalion was depicted wearing a slouched felt hat with a black feather the morning of Germantown.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP28 Aug 2021 4:30 p.m. PST

Many thanks!


historygamer29 Aug 2021 6:07 a.m. PST

42nd – Can you post a link to the art work?

42flanker29 Aug 2021 1:48 p.m. PST

Hg, The cartoon is included in both these pages:


- and re. Brandywine Creek, here is a link to a previous discussion on TMP. Salud.
TMP link

historygamer29 Aug 2021 3:18 p.m. PST

I thought that was the one you were referring to. He was Light Infantry, not a grenadier. Says so in the article.

42flanker29 Aug 2021 4:30 p.m. PST

No, not so. St George with a head wound, wrapped in a cloak, atop the wagon, was indeed a light infantryman (52nd LI coy, 2nd LI Bn), as was the soldier with the hand wound, walking alongside, carrying St George's firelock and hat.

The officer reaching up to take St George's hand was Captain West of the 4th King's Own grenadier coy (1st Grenadier Battalion) on his way up to join the battle. St George had been in the 4th K.O. before joining the 52nd.

This is explained in St George's handwritten note on the back of the cartoon:
"My Dr friend West met me in ye cart as he was marching /(with the grenadiers) to support us and took me by the hand- and West as I have been since told of the figure I intended for West is most exc[---]ble I endeavoured to blot out his face but coud not the paper being too thin…"

historygamer30 Aug 2021 12:20 p.m. PST

Hard to say. It's commonly held belief that the gren caps were put away after this campaign, perhaps in part based on Peebles. This attack caught all by surprise. The uncocked hat could have just been what he grabbed, the artist could have gotten it wrong. Hard to say or draw any broad conclusions.

42flanker30 Aug 2021 12:39 p.m. PST

You're welcome. It's as valid a reference as dell Gatta, after all. Please yourself. It's fairly evident they marched with both

There's also an earlier reference in a letter from Harris of the 5th indicating that his grenadiers were wearing hats in the field during the fighting on Manhattan in September 1776.

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