“I have ... got the Arms from Easton, [and] is now divideing them out.

” Clothing and Equipment Needed to Recreate a 1778 New Jersey Continental Company Augmented with Nine-Months Levies
John U. Rees Note: This guide is intended to make clear some of the differences in clothing and equipment between soldiers serving for three years or the war, and levies (volunteers and draftees) serving for nine months.

Capt. Jonathan Phillips’ company, 2d New Jersey Regiment, June 1778. Recreated by the Augusta County Militia (including members of the Queen’s Own Loyal Virginia Regiment) for Monmouth 2013.

Hats Long-term soldiers: old military cocked hats, cut-down military cocked hats, round hats with narrow brims (turned up on one side). Levies: round hats with narrow brims (with a flat brim or turned up at one side), other civilian hats suitable for service in the field. No civilian tricorns.

Above: Round hat worn by Phineas Meigs, killed in action near Madison, Connecticut, in 1782. Below: Hartshorne coked hat, Reading, Massachusetts. (Inage source: “18th Century Material Culture: Male Hats & Caps” http://www.scribd.com/doc/128106250/Hats-Caps-Male ; see also, the “18th Century M aterial Culture Resource Center” on Facebook)

Wool caps

Image source: Monmouth cap, from section on “Wool Knit Caps” in “18th Century Material Culture: Male Hats & Caps” http://www.scribd.com/doc/128106250/Hats-Caps-Male ; see also, the “18th Century Material Culture Resource Center” on Facebook)

Long-term soldiers: Some long-term soldiers still may have been wearing wool caps during the Monmouth campaign. It is known some form of wool cap was worn during the 1777-78 winter camp, Gen. George Washington writing in November 1778, “an officer very attentive to the health of his men, informs me that he found an inconvenience from the use of Woolen Caps last Winter [at Valley Forge], instead of Hatts. When the men put them off in the Spring, they, many of them, took violent colds from the sudden transition. They also contribute to keep the Head dirty, than which nothing is more unhealthy." Whether those knitted caps or made of milled wool cloth is unknown, and there is evidence for both. Several accounts mention both caps and stockings made of milled wool, possibly the same wool cloth used for regimental coats; for example "An Accot. of Clothing in the Clothier Generals Warehouses in Lancaster and Philada." listed 20,248 "Milld Wollen Caps" in store as of July 1778 ("An Accot. of Clothing ...," 22 July 1778, Papers of the Continental Congress, reel 38, 15). For knit caps, we have a December 15 1777 Samuel A. Otis, December 15, 1777, “Return of 35 packages being 12 Waggon Loads of Cloathing Sent to the C[lothier] Gl. By Sam[uel A.] Otis,” listing among the other items, 4,136 “Kilmk. Caps,” likely referring to knit wool Kilmarnock caps (George Washington Papers). Note: A good wool cap primer may be found at, Mara Riley, “17th & 18th Century Knitted Caps & Sots Bonnets” http://www.marariley.net/knitting/caps.htm

Neckstocks/neckcloths Long-term soldiers: Linen or silk neckcloths, or neckstocks of linen or leather are suitable. Levies: Linen or silk neckcloths Hunting shirts Long-term soldiers: from available information, the hunting shirt was the only uniform piece of clothing (more or less) worn by the New Jersey regiments in 1778, prior to their receiving French clothing in December 1778, five months after the Monmouth battle. Levies: Levies were either issued hunting shirts, or were paid to bring and use in service their own “Summer Cloathing"; that likely meant supplying their own hunting shirts, though a few may have worn civilian coats (see below). Note: Continental soldiers did not wear waist belts with hunting shirts; they were not an issue item, and the garment was held closed by the equipment cross belts. This can be seen in the drawing by Lt. Richard St. George Mansergh St. George, 52d Regiment of Foot (captain, 44th regiment, as of 31 January 1778), as well as the 1781 drawings by French Sublieutenant Jean-Baptiste-Antoine de Verger, Royal Deux-Ponts Regiment.

Virginia rifleman, 1777 Drawn by Lt. Richard St. George Mansergh St. George, 52d Regiment of Foot

Continental soldier wearing typical warm weather wear consisting of linen hunting shirt and linen overalls. This soldier carries a camp kettle, one kettle was allotted to each six-man mess group. Illustration by Peter F. Copeland; “7th Virginia Regiment, 1777,” Peter F. Copeland and Donald W. Holst, Brother Jonathan print series. Courtesy of the artist.

Six newly mustered levies men in the 2d New Jersey Regiment are known to have "Rec[eive]d the value of their Summer Cloathing" and supplied their own apparel. Another roll contained a number of levies enlisted in the Jersey brigade who received a sum of money for the "Value of Clothing." Of these, twenty-one men received 15 pounds, twenty received 14 pounds 10 shillings, 6 pence, one man received 13 pounds 13 shillings, 9 pence, three men received 9 pounds, and one received 6 pounds, 16 shillings, and 9 pence. Despite the following valuations it is not known exactly what clothing the aforementioned payments covered:

A Blanket Valued at Frock Pr. of Breeches Hat Shirt pr. Stockings pr. Shoes

Pounds Shillings Pence 3 10 0 2 10 0 1 10 0 1 2 6 3 10 0 1 2 6 18 0

11 62 12 (Total clothing cost: 14 pounds, 3 shillings) Rate of Exchange: 20 shillings = 1 pound; 12 pence = 1 shilling. 1778 levy roll for "Col. Samuel Forman's Regt. of Mon[mou]th Militia ..." notes that "William Wade was not Delivered - he had Leave to go for his Cloaths." "A Descriptive Roll of Volunteers from the first Regiment of Salem County Militia for Compleating the New Jersey Regiments... for Nine Months" lists six men, noting "Kelly and Campbell have Recd the value of their Summer Cloathing with the other four soldiers of the Roll" "A Descriptive Roll of Volunteers... from the first Regiment of Salem County Militia ..." lists seventeen men who "have not Receivd a part of the Cloathing allowd them by the Legislature the commisioners not having procured them May 1778." These men were "to be Conducted by Lieutenant James Wright to the Quarters of the Jersey Brigade 1778" (Muster rolls, documents 3634, 3644, 3646, Trenton State Archives.)

Regimental coats LIMITED USE, ONLY officers and perhaps a few long-term soldiers (sergeants and musicians) Blue body with red facings OR black body with red facings, 1777 style regimental coats or coatees; it is recommended a pattern be agreed upon for enlisted men, but officers had so much leeway their regimentals can hardly be held to a standard pattern. If musicians wear regimentals, coat colors not to be reversed.

Though this portrays an officer in Crane’s Artillery Regiment (circa 1777), uniform and hat are a good model for a 1778 New Jersey company officer. Painting by Joseph Dunkerley, 2d lieutenant, Capt. David Henshaw's Co., Col. Thomas Craft's State Artillery Regiment
http://antiquesandtheartsweekly.wordpress.com/2011/12/31/20-reasons-to-love-americana-1/

Civilian Workmen’s Coats LIMITED USE, ONLY levies, in a full company of 50 or more men, perhaps a maximum of 5 or 6 men. Waistcoats Of linen or wool.

Legwear Long-term soldiers: linen military overalls or wool breeches. Levies: line or wool breeches, or linen trousers (civilian, no gaiters).

“Trousers” (military overalls), circa 1793, European, Metropolitan Museum of Art. (Image source: “18th Century Material Culture: Male Clothing, Drawers, Breeches & Overalls” http://www.scribd.com/doc/130081138/Male-Clothing-Breeches-Overalls ; see also, the “18th Century Material Culture Resource Center” on Facebook)

“A pair of linen breeches.” (Image source: “18th Century Material Culture: Male Clothing, Drawers, Breeches & Overalls” http://www.scribd.com/doc/130081138/Male-Clothing-Breeches-Overalls ; see also, the “18th Century Material Culture Resource Center” on Facebook) For clothing research details see, "'The Great Neglect in provideing Cloathing': Uniform Colors and Clothing in the New Jersey Brigade During the Monmouth Campaign of 1778": "The Jersey Blues:" The New Jersey Regiments, 1755-1776 "Never...Our Proper Quantity:" The New Jersey Brigade of 1777 "The Regiments Have No Uniforms or Distinguishing Colours:" Uniform Coats and the New Jersey Brigade During 1778 “The following Articles of Cloathing …”: 1778 Nine Months Levies’ Apparel “Only a few light things in the Spring.": Clothing the Jersey Brigade’s Long Term Soldiers, 1778 Military Collector & Historian, two parts: vol. XLVI, no. 4. (Winter 1994), 163-170; vol. XLVII, no. 1 (Spring 1995), 12-20. http://revwar75.com/library/rees/neglect1.htm and http://revwar75.com/library/rees/neglect2.htm

Knapsacks and Alternatives Long-term soldiers: Warner knapsack, British pattern knapsack, blanket roll. Levies: British pattern knapsack, militia knapsack, blanket roll, blanket and sling (tumpline)
Below: Reproduction Warner knapsack (original in Fort Ticonderoga Collection)

Above: Inside of Warner knapsack. Below: On left, Warner knapsack; on right, British pattern knapsack.

Above: On left, Warner knapsack; on right, British pattern knapsack. Below: Uhl knapsack, New York militia, Washington’s Headquarters , Newburgh, N.Y.

Blanket roll tied to top of knapsack (Courtesy of Andrew Watson Kirk)
Note: For those wearing a knapsack, blankets need to be rolled and tied to the top of the knapsack. A how-to from Matthew Keagle, “the way we've tied a rolled blanket on top is just by using two ropes or cords to tie the roll up, but doing it so that they go around the shoulder straps. It means some twisting, but also helps a little to pinch in the top of the shoulder straps, which are so wide apart on the Warner pack …” My personal preference is to tie the blanket with two cords, then slip two separate cords or ropes through those and tie them to the top of the knapsack shoulder straps.

Cartridge pouch or tin canister Note: All accoutrements to have black straps, excepting knapsacks which may have black or undyed leather straps. Long-term soldiers: 19-hole early war cartridge pouch (no definite tie to New Jersey troops, but many examples, all of the same design, are extant) or tin cartridge canister (see images below). Levies: Tin cartridge canister or early war militia cartridge pouch. New Jersey levies could also opt to provide their own equipment and receive payment for their use. The following levies entered into the 2d New Jersey Regiment in May 1778; here is a list of the gear they brought into service with them:
George St. Clair (Sinclair), Capt. Readings’ company: 1 gun, 1 bayonet, 1 cartouch box, 1 knapsack & 1 blanket. John McCann, Capt. Phillips’ company: 1 canteen, 1 knapsack & 1 blanket. Jeremiah Carroll, Capt. Phillips’ company: 1 blanket. John Waggoner, Capt. Luce’s company: 1 gun, 1 bayonet, 1 cartouch box & 1 blanket. James Lawyer (Loyer), Capt. Luce’s company: 1 knapsack & 1 blanket. William Turner, Capt. Luce’s company: 1 gun, 1 bayonet, 1 cartouch box & 1 blanket.

____________________________ Cartridge pouches were much needed in the newly augmented Jersey regiments in June 1778. Veterans of the 1777 campaign whose old equipment was still serviceable would simply have retained those, but numbers of the old pouches were likely unfit, due to hard use and, in all likelihood, shoddy workmanship. The design of those pouches was inferior to begin with, and some modifications had been recommended. General Washington had informed the Board of War on 3 November 1777, "Lining the flap of the Cartouch [pouches] with painted Canvas will certainly be of service, considering the Badness and thinness of the leather in general but the greatest preservative to the Cartridges is a small inside flap of pliant leather which lays close upon the top of them and not only keeps them dry but from being rubbed." He had written John Laurens, President of Congress on 13 October "With respect to the Cartouch boxes ... I would advise that much care should be used in choosing the Leather. None but the best and the thickest is proper for the purpose, and each box should have a small inner flap for the greater security of the Cartridges against rain and moist weather. The Flaps in general, are too small and do not project sufficiently over the ends or sides of the Boxes. I am convinced of the utility nay necessity of these improvements ..." British forces learned of these deficiencies through firsthand experience. Some time before September 1777 numbers of British light infantry began using American pouches, perhaps because their original boxes held fewer rounds. One British officer noted of the aborted Battle of White Horse, 16 September 1777, “the Advance of both Column[s] soon had a remarkable successful skirmish, the 1st L.I. kill’d wound’d & took 50 Men with the Loss of one Man wounded … a most heavy Rain coming on frustrated the good Effects which were expected from this Capital Move & sav’d the Rebel Army from a more compleat Over throw than they had met with at Brandewine … the Violence of the Rain was so lasting that it was afterwards known the Rebels had not a single Cartridge in their Pouches but was Wet, the [British] Light Inf.y

Accoutrements being mostly Rebel were in the same Situation” (1st Battalion Light Infantry,
anonymous journal,12 February 1776 to 30 December 1777 (possibly kept by the adjutant of the 28th Regiment, as per Stephen Gilbert), document #409, Sol Feinstone Collection, David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, Pa.)

On 3 June 1778 New Jersey Brig. Gen. William Maxwell noted “I have ... got the Arms from Easton, [and] is now divideing them out. I hope the Jersey Brigade will cut a good figure shortly." Three days later Maxwell wrote General Washington, “The new Leveys are coming in dayly & what adds greatly to the pleasure of their number, they are fine, likely, tractable men. I have heard there was some Cartridge Boxes at Trenton and [have] sent them if they have not been sent away. I expect them here today. “ The New Jersey troops eventually used a mix of pouches and canisters, John Conway writing Maxwell from Valley Forge on 12 June, "By Mr. Samuel Caldwell, conductor of Waggons I send you sundries as pr. the inclosed invoice … . There is not a tent in the store, nor a cartouch [cartridge] box; I drew 250 [tin] canisters as a substitute 'till they can be got..." In the end it seems some Jersey troops had make do without proper equipment. At a council of war the night before Monmouth Courthouse battle Washington met with Maj. Gen. Charles Lee and his advance force commanders. Brig. Gen. Anthony Wayne remembered that he "did not hear General Washington give any particular orders for the attack, but he recommended that ... in case of an attack, that as General Maxwell was the oldest, he of right would have the preference, but that the troops that were under his command, were mostly new levies [in fact levies formed about forty percent of Maxwell’s brigade], and therefore not the proper troops to bring on the attack; he therefore wished that the attack might be commenced by one of the picked corps, as it would probably give a very happy impression." Maxwell himself stated that the commander-in-chief “mentioned something about my troops, that some of them were new, and the want of cartouch boxes, and seemed to intimate that there were some troops fitter to make a charge than them." As events unfolded, the New Jersey regiments marched in the rear of Lee’s advance column the following day.
"Proceedings of a General Court Martial ... for the Trial of Major General Lee. July 4th, 1778 ...," The Lee Papers, vol. III, 1778-1782, Collections of the New-York Historical Society for the Year 1873 (New York, 1874), testimony of: Anthony Wayne, 4; William Maxwell, 89-94. John U. Rees, "`The new Leveys are coming in dayly ...': The Nine Month Draft in the Second New Jersey Regiment and Maxwell's New Jersey Brigade,” contained in "I Expect to be stationed in Jersey sometime...": An Account of the Services of the Second New Jersey Regiment: Part I, December 1777 to June 1778 (1994, unpublished, copy held in the collections of the David Library of the American Revolution, Washington Crossing, Pa.),

Below: Several images of American early war 19-hole cartridge pouches.

Below: Reproduction Warner knapsack, tin canister, and 19-hole cartridge pouch.

Below: Tin cartridge canister

Bayonet carriage Long-term soldiers and levies: Simple single frog, over shoulder belt and scabbard. Black leather belt is preferred, but some bayonet carriages with linen belting would be acceptable and reflect (as would the use of tin canisters) known problems with leather supply at the time.

These American-made bayonet carriages, from a private collection, are typical Continental Army issue. The scabbard on the example in the middle has a metal tip; metal scabbard tips of the same design have been excavated at a number of American army Hudson Highland sites (see below for detail).

Canteens A staved wooden canteen with metal or wood bands (keepers) is preferred (see below). British tin canteens are acceptable. Wooden cheesebox canteens may also be used, though that design seems to have been used more by New England troops.

Haversack Long-term soldiers and levies: While most soldiers in the 2d New Jersey likely had haversacks, there still may have shortfalls, with rations being carried in knapsacks or camp kettles.

British linen haversack (American versions were likely made without buttons.) (Col. J. Craig Nannos Collection, photograph Courtesy Roy P. Najecki)

On 5 June 1778 New Jersey Gen. William Maxwell wrote headquarters, "I have ... been much stinted with respect to Provisions in case I should have been in pursute of the Enemy, not being able to get at anytime yet more than two days on hand but mostly from hand to mouth. There is about 450 of the new Leveys come in. I do not know what we shall do for want of Haversacks, should we March, to carry their Provisions. Coll. Cox has given orders to the first and 2d Regts. to get as much cloath from his agent here as will make them [haversacks] but he says there is no more therefore the 3d & 4th must be served from camp."

Firelock and bayonet Long-term and soldiers and levies: A mix of French, British, Hessian, Committee of Safety muskets. old military cocked hats, cut-down military cocked hats, round hats with narrow brims (turned up on one side). Only six days before the British evacuated Philadelphia and set in motion the pursuit of the enemy by the Jersey Brigade across their home state Maxwell was attempting to procure arms and equipment. From Valley Forge on June 12, 1778 John Conway wrote that "By Mr. Samuel Caldwell, conductor of Waggons I send you sundries as pr. the inclosed invoice. The Arms are mostly French & Hessian, one box only of British. I stript the store to get them & am sorry there was no better on hand.”

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