More on the Uniform

About the UNIFORM

Washington’s description of Uniform

“Colonel Washington expressly orders, that no Officer do provide himself with any other kind of Clothes than those ordered the 17th of September last as they will not be allowed to appear in them. Every Officer who has not complied with that order, to do it immediately—and they are all to procure Sashes, if to be had—They may be supplied with Hats, and waistcoat-lace, at Mr Peters’s, Rock-Creek—and sword-knots—  . . .”

And the order on September 17, 1755?   GW’s order, “a Suit of Regimentals of good blue Cloath, the Coat to be faced and cuffed with Scarlet, and trimmed with Silver: a Scarlet waistcoat, with silver Lace, blue Breeches, and a silver-laced Hat.”

Notice GW mentions “blue Breeches” in quote above?

Notice in portrait  the “Breeches” are red.

Breeches are the pants:


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to see a Sash & Gorget with a genteel Uniform, a Sword properly hung, a Hat cocked, Persons capable of holding Conversation where only common Sense was requisite to continue the Discourse, and a White Shirt, with any other than a black Leather Stock, were Matters of great Surprise and Admiration & which engaged Them all to give Us a polite Invitation to spend the Evening, & after to agree to keep Us Company which they had determined before not to do—agreeable to what they had practiced with the other Provincial Troops. We have lost that common Appellation of Provincials, & are known here by the Style & Title of the Detachment of the Virga Regiment.”

From 17 August 1757 letter Mercer wrote to GW while in South Caroline:


Excellent Link on this subject:

From the above link:

  • Therefore it appears that the real first uniform followed the color scheme of blue with red facings; a scheme that was followed for the regiment’s entire existence. This uniform was ordered and purchased in London through John Hanbury in the fall of 1754 and arrived in March of 1755, in time for the regiment to leave Will’s Creek (Fort Cumberland) with General Edward Braddock on the ill-fated Fort Duquesne campaign. In spite of no order for the making of the uniforms having yet been found, there are a couple of hints that lead to a conclusion that this first uniform was blue. One, is a reference of Captain Robert Orme’s, in a description of the Battle of the Monongahela, to the “Virginia blues”. The other reference is in a letter from Governor Dinwiddie to Captain Robert Stewart on 26 November 1754 advising him to purchase “some cheap blue Clothing” for his men while they await the arrival of the uniforms from Britain (Brock, v.1, 413). The quality of this first uniform seems to have been something less than the expectations for a standard uniform, for Washington described this uniform to Lord Loudoun as “a suit of thin sleazy Cloth without lining, and without Waistcoats except of sorry Flannel” (Abbot, v.4, 86).
  • When the Regiment was reorganized after the Braddock campaign with Washington as its colonel, the first orders concerning the uniform are extant. The regimental is ordered blue with red facings, a red waistcoat, and blue breeches. However, approximately one and one-half years would pass before the soldiers received their uniforms from London. The timing was fortuitous because they arrived just as several companies were to leave for Charles Town, South Carolina to act in conjunction with the British. These uniforms were apparently impressive to the British officers because the Virginia officers received several compliments on the appearance and bearing of their soldiers (Abbot, v.4, 373).
  • It appears that the regiment was kept in good uniforms for the remainder of their service, except during the 1758 Fort Duquesne campaign. Because their old uniforms were literally worn out, and the new ones had not arrived from England, the regiment was authorized by General John Forbes to wear Indian clothing (hunting shirts, breechcloths, and wool leggings) for the campaign. The new uniforms arrived before the end of the campaign, just as the colder fall weather was setting in. Deserter notices describing the regimental as late as May 1762 advertise a deserter having “a blue Coat, turnup with red”, thus making it likely that the regiment used the red on blue color scheme from 1754 to 1762 (Pennsylvania Gazette, 29 July 1762).


Final Thoughts on the UNIFORM

Following is from this link: