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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion > American Revolution

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American Revolution 1763-1789 The birth of a new nation - to commence at the Proclaimation of 1763 to the end of the Articles of Confederation.

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Old 05 Feb 15, 15:53
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I can't recall the exact date but immediately after the French and Indian war there were two expeditions against the Cherokee. I remember a 7something regiment of foot being involved....
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Old 05 Feb 15, 17:39
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77th Regiment of Foot, I stand corrected!
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Old 05 Feb 15, 19:11
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Headquarters Records of the British Army in America. Return of clothing and necessarys embezzled and lost. P.R.O. 30./55, Vol. 65, pp. 7164-6. 71st Regiment of (Highland) Foot light Infantry, red feathers.

Thanks for clarifying, the “1783” record on red feathers, I was confused on that one, true for the 71st no mention of feathers, as previously stated I lost those notes.


Garth Sketches in 1822 alluded to old Tappan 1778, that involved Lady Washington Dragoons, however worn post Maitland’s death once the siege of Savannah was lifted 1779 according to the anecdote?


Maj.-Gen. James Stirling 1822 recollection; “the red feather was worn by the 42nd, and 2nd LI Batt “early 1776 in AWI, to make things uniform, whole.” It’s to be noted he first appears in the 42nd of Foot 1778 muster roll as Ensign 22 Apr. 1777, with in a year promoted Lieutenant, therefore wasn’t present when Howe supposedly ordered the 42nd to wear red feathers?
Stewart of Garth doesn't mention either Tappan or Baylor's Light Dragoons (known as 'Lady Washington Dragoons') or indeed any specific action, he merely refers to "the skirmishing warfare in the Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the years 1776 & 1777" a period when Maitland was still a Major of Marines in command of the 2nd LI battalion. He was not commissioned Lt Col in the 71st till a year later, in October 1778.

James Stirling enlisted as a private in the 42nd circa 1774. He was appointed Quartermaster of the 2nd of the two battalions into which the regiment was divided on arrival in America in 1776. As such, it is likely he would have been directly involved in the distribution of any red feathers adopted under orders from General Howe.

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Old 06 Feb 15, 03:36
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77th Regiment of Foot, I stand corrected!
Different war, different regiments! The 77th or Montgomerie's Highlanders were disbanded at the end of the F&I war- as were the 78th or Fraser's Highlanders. It is said many of those former 78th men who returned to Scotland rejoined the colours when Simon Fraser was authorised to raise the 71st in 1775-76.
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Old 07 Feb 15, 12:53
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Stewart of Garth doesn't mention either Tappan or Baylor's Light Dragoons (known as 'Lady Washington Dragoons') or indeed any specific action, he merely refers to "the skirmishing warfare in the Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the years 1776 & 1777" a period when Maitland was still a Major of Marines in command of the 2nd LI battalion. He was not commissioned Lt Col in the 71st till a year later, in October 1778.

James Stirling enlisted as a private in the 42nd circa 1774. He was appointed Quartermaster of the 2nd of the two battalions into which the regiment was divided on arrival in America in 1776. As such, it is likely he would have been directly involved in the distribution of any red feathers adopted under orders from General Howe.


Thanks on James Stirling, it’s greatly appreciated, If his anecdote holds water, they have checked for months those letters have vanished from BW archives, nor any records of them ever existing, for the exception of the Red Hackle Journal article, and book that introduced the 1822 letters between Dick and Stirling. Garth states Dick contacted him, presumably on regiment’s history. Stewart figured 40 pages in agreement with Fredrick’s request on surviving 42nd RHR records or what ever he could muster on the 42nd.


Garth’s correspondence, extracts dose, was elaborating on both accounts in Garth Sketches, including Maitland’s nephew on LWD: True a marine Maj. J. Maitland CO 2nd LI Batt. in those years.


Transferred with rank of Maj. from 2nd Batt. LI few days post Sept. 28th 1778 (Nov. 1778, day is not known) to 2nd Batt. 71st, and immediately prompted Lt.-Col., or filled in the shoes of Major Robert Menzies, of 2nd Batt 71st Regt. of Foot died in 1776 at Boston harbour?

Maj. John Maitland transferred with rank, days post Tappan Massacre, from 2nd Batt. LI., now disbanded, filling in Maj. Menzies’ vacant post?

What about those accounts he commanded 1st Batt. 71st?



Sketches of the Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of The Highlanders of Scotland. Vol. II, By Col. David Stewart (1822). p.109.

The footnote where: “His arrival at Savannah came at a critical moment, during the skirmish warfare in Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the year 1776 and 1777, he was particularly active.” “Fraser’s Highlanders wore the red feather after Colonel Maitland’s death, and continued to do so till the conclusion of the war, etc.” In the year 1795, the red feather was assumed by the Royal Highland Regiment.” The Footnote doesn’t appear in Vol. II., first edition 1822 or Second?


* One of the first who died, after the cessation of hostilities, was Lieutenant Colonel Maitland, son of the earl of Lauderdale. He was originally in the Marines, but as this service did not afford a sufficient field for his active and enterprising mind, he was transferred to the line, and appointed major to the Fraser’s Highlanders. His arrival at Savannaha, at a most critical moment, inspired confidence in his friends, while it struck the enemy with surprise, as they did not expect he would be able to penetrate by a circuitous route, after they had secured the fords and passes. Colonel Maitland lived in the trenches with the soldiers, and, “by his courage, his kindness of heart, and affability to his men, he secured their affections and Fidelity. His dialect was Scotch;- proceeding from a tongue which never spoke in disguise, it carried conviction to all. Equally brave, generous, and unassuming, his memory will be respected while manly fortitude, unstained honour, and military talents, are held in estimation.”




David Stewart of Garth. Transcripts and extracts of correspondence etc.

12.3.1821.


General Maitland anecdote on his Uncle Col. John Maitland in AWI:

-it was he who first set the Example of wearing Feathers in the Caps of the Light Infantry – And it happen’d by a very memorable circumstance. It was the Battalion he commanded the 2nd B. 71st Regt which executed the famed Enterprise of the Night attack when Lady Washington’s Dragoons, as they were called were surprised, and most of them bayoneted. (That is Old Tappan, when Maj. Maitland was CO 2nd Batt. LI. Then few days after transferred to 2nd Batt. 71st as Major). “And for fear that he should not know the Battalion, I will order all our Men to wear Red Feathers in their Caps – Accordingly Red Feathers were immediately mounted by the 2nd Batt of 71 Reg and were ever afterwards displayed – This was the origin of the British Army wearing Feathers.”



Sketches of the Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of The Highlanders of Scotland. Third Edition. Vol. II, By Maj.-Gen. David Stewart (1825). p. 132-133.

Fraser’s Highlanders, Or Seventy-First Regiment. 1775.

*footnote: Lt.-Col. Maitland original a Marine transferred to the line, and appointed Major to Fraser’s Highlanders. His arrival at Savannah came at a critical moment, during the skirmish warfare in Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the year 1776 and 1777, he was particularly active……

Fraser’s Highlanders wore the red feather after Colonel Maitland’s death, (that’s post Savannah 1779 siege was lifted), and continued to do so till the conclusion of the war......

Such was the origin of the red feather subsequently worn in the Highland bonnet, about which some idle tales have been repeated.
In the year 1795, the red feather was assumed by the Royal Highland Regiment.


.

Last edited by Spañiard; 07 Feb 15 at 13:18..
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Old 07 Feb 15, 12:57
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SVP I was going to insert a thread on Cartouche Boxes & Badges during AWI, I’ll just throw all this into one pot.


In British Army Uniforms of the American Revolution by Franklin; p 143.

The twenty-nine round cartridge pouch: “The badge was worn on the pouch; “the ‘alternative badge’ carried on the pouch.” The front view showing the method of retaining the badge by three split pins on the inside of the flap…..”

Franklin p.142 illustration # 3, 50 Regiment of Foot badge worn on the pouch, is different to #4 the ‘alternative badge’ carried on the pouch. Issued two cartouche box badges?


Light Companies:

A small twenty-eight round pouch was worn over left shoulder, as well as a powder horn, bags for ball, hatchets and carabines. A waist-belt was also worn, with added bayonet frog. Like their battalion and grenadier soldiers counterparts, light infantry soldiers received eighteen-hole cartridge box assemblies with their firelocks. In addition, according to the light infantry uniform regulations of March 4th 1771, light infantry soldier accoutrements provided by the colonels of the regiments were to consist of ‘a small cartridge box to contain nine rounds in one row, to be worn before with a belt of tanned leather round the waist,’ and a powder horn and leather ball-bag for ‘running ball’ firing. Of course, both cartridge boxes could not be worn around the waist; the eighteen-hole government issue box was worn over the right shoulder, to rest on the left side. Alternate views of this soldier, and similar views of a light infantry private of the 6th Regiment from the same encampment, show that the nine-hole box was worn around the waist. The light infantry companies carried a variety of cartridge boxes worn over the left shoulder, which could vary in the number of cartridges from as few as nine to as many as twenty-eight. They also carried a bag for shot, a powder horn and hatchet and were armed with shortened arms.


General:

Although it was originally expected that British infantry soldiers carried either the around the waist pouch or the new over the shoulder cartridge box during the American War for Independence, this was not always the case. It was probably no accident that, of two British commissioners assigned by Burgoyne to hammer out the details of the convection with their rebel counterparts before the surrender, one was Captain James Henry Craig (47th Regiment), Burgoyne’s head judge advocate. Craig was no doubt careful to ensure that only the term ‘arms’ would fined its way into the Convention, and that neither clothing nor military accoutrements were to be included. None the less, chaos soon ensued. An inventory of the military articles surrendered by Burgoyne’s entire army on 17th October 1777 included the fallowing arms: 4,647 muskets, 3,477 bayonets without scabbards and 638 cartouche boxes. Of great concern to the congress was the fact that the number of firelocks was not equal to the number of soldiers surrendered, the number of bayonets was significantly less than the number of firelocks, none had their surrendered scabbards and number of ‘cartridge boxes’ surrendered was significantly less than everything else. The Congress saw this as a contravention of the Treaty of War.




Cartridge Box use by British Infantry in Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne's Army from Canada in 1777.

Like their battalion and grenadier soldier counterparts, light infantry soldiers received 18-hole cartridge box assemblies with their firelocks. In addition, according to the light infantry uniform regulations of 4 March 1771, light infantry soldier accoutrements provided by the colonels of regiments were to consist of "a small cartridgebox to contain 9 rounds in one row, to be worn before with a belt of tanned leather round the waist," and a powder horn and leather ball-bag for "running ball" firing. Of course, both cartridge boxes could not be worn around the waist; this sketch demonstrates how the 18-hole government issue box was worn over the right shoulder, to rest on the left side. Alternate views of this soldier, and similar views of a light infantry private of the 6th Regiment from the same encampment, show that the 9-hole box was worn around the waist. It is important to note that none of the battalion nor grenadier soldiers were depicted wearing cartridge boxes
Evidence of cartridge box use in Lieutenant-General John Burgoyne's army is lacking, but with good reason. During the course of the campaign, the only accounting of cartridge boxes used by British infantry is found in a single regimental order to the 47th Regiment dated 21 August 1777: "Whatever Ammunition the pouche and Cartouche box will not contain is to be carefully packet up by the men in paper or linen; & put in the top of the knapsack.—" But what of the other British regiments, such as the 62nd? According to the first article of the Articles of Convention Between Lieutenant-General Burgoyne and Major General Gates; October 16, 1777:

The troops under Lieutenant-general Burgoyne, to march out of their camp with the honours of war, and the artillery of the entrenchments, to the verge of the river where the old fort [Fort Hardy] stood, where the arms and artillery are to be left; the arms to be piled by word of command from their own officers.

It was probably no accident that, of the two British commissioners assigned by Burgoyne to hammer out the details of the convention with their rebel counterparts before the surrender, one was Captain James Henry Craig (47th Regiment), Burgoyne's judge advocate. Craig was no doubt careful to ensure that only the term “arms” found its way into the Convention, and that neither clothing nor military accoutrements were to be included. Nevertheless, chaos soon ensued. An inventory of the military articles surrendered by Burgoyne's entire army on 17 October 1777 included the following arms:

4647 muskets, returned “unfit for service”
3477 bayonets without scabbards
638 cartouch boxes

Of great concern to the rebel congress was, among other things, the fact that the number of firelocks was not equal to the number of soldiers surrendered, the number of bayonets was significantly less than the number of firelocks (and none had scabbards), and the number of “cartridge boxes” surrendered was significantly less than everything else. The later was compounded with reports received by the rebel congress that many of Burgoyne's prisoner soldiers still retained their “cartouch boxes.”

After a committee review, Congress put the question to Burgoyne. The following is an excerpt of Burgoyne's response, submitted in a letter written to rebel President of Congress Henry Laurens, dated Cambridge, Massachusetts, 11 February 1778:

I desire to refer in this matter to the recollection of General Gates and I rely upon his justice to vindicate my assertion that neither cartouche boxes nor any other article of accoutrements that, agreeably to the spirit of the convention or the “technical” or possible interpretation could come under the word “arms,” were refused to be delivered up or clandestinely carried away. The cartouche boxes, vizt. those that are technically interpreted arms or military stores because delivered from the Tower of London with every new set of firelocks and bayonets, were by most regiments left in Canada as less convenient than pouches; the cartouche boxes that remained were on only those of the light infantry companies; several of them were actually deposited with the arms; and the very few others were carried away under the eyes and with the knowledge of General Gates.

The Congress having dwelt particularly upon this charge both in the report and the resolve, I trust I am justifiable in pressing further upon their attention the report of the officer who carried a message to the troops in consequence of a conversation between General Gates and Major-General Phillips (No. 1) which clearly demonstrates the first sense General Gates entertained of the whole transaction; and the report of Lieut.-Colonel Kingston, the deputy adjutant-general (No. 2), which refers to the time when the troops passed by General Gates on their march [during the surrender] with all their accoutrements upon their backs some hours after the above message, makes the general's participation, consent, and approbation upon reflection, equally evident.


The depositions referred to in the letter above were as follows:
No. 1
Report of Lieutenant [Mungo] Noble [21st Regiment or Royal North British Fusiliers], acting aid-de-camp to Major-general Phillips:
In the course of conversation at Saratoga, October 17, 1777, I heard Major-general Gates say, that he did not mean to injure private property; and as the colonels would suffer by the loss of their accoutrements, the soldiers might take them. I was the officer sent to the commanding officers to tell them, the soldiers were to keep their accoutrements; they had taken them off with a design to leave them behind, and upon my delivering the message, they put them on again. This was before dinner—Major-general Phillips and Major-general gates together.
No. 2
Conversation between Major-general Gates and Lieutenant-Colonel [Robert] Kingston [Deputy Adjutant-General].

At the convention of Saratoga, October 17, 1777, when the troops marched with their accoutrements, General Gates asked me, if it was not customary for arms and accoutrements to go together. Replying, that the accoutrements were the colonels, and private property, General Gates said, very true; they are yours as such, and because we have not mentioned them in the convention.

Congress disagreed. According to the minutes dated 8 January 1778, they passed three resolutions, each of which damned Burgoyne and his supposed noncompliance with the Articles of Convention. According to the first resolution:

Resolved, That, as many of the cartouch boxes and several other articles of military accoutrement, annexed to the persons of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers, included in the convention of Saratoga, have not been delivered up, the convention, on the part of the British army, has not been strictly complied with;

This, and three other points made by congress (Burgoyne's army not having surrendered any colours to the rebels, Burgoyne's refusal to submit descriptive lists of the other ranks of the Convention Army, and his written declaration to rebel General Horatio Gates that the “public faith is broke”), directly resulted in the following infamous order: "Resolved, therefore, That the embarkation of Lieutenant General Burgoyne, and the troops under his command, be suspended till a distinct and explicit ratification of the convention of Saratoga shall be properly notified by the court of Great Britain to Congress."

It is both important and ironic to note that the term “cartridge box” as used today (when referring to British equipment) is often applied to what was in fact called a“cartridge pouch;” but this is not new. As with the word “Hessian,” as used commonly both by Americans today and in the 18th century, “cartridge box” was the term of choice used by Americans during the years of the War for Independence for anything which carried cartridges. Clearly, British parlance was consistent in the differing definitions of cartridge “boxes” and “pouches.” The confusion resulting from the rebels' ignorance over nomenclature—still prevalent to this very day—was the main catalyst for the order cited above which doomed the Convention Army, including the officers and men of the 62nd Regiment, to a life of imprisonment in America for nearly the entirety of the war.

Source: http://www.62ndregiment.org/soldier_arms.htm

Last edited by Spañiard; 07 Feb 15 at 13:13..
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Old 07 Feb 15, 17:53
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Thanks on James Stirling, it’s greatly appreciated, If his anecdote holds water, they have checked for months those letters have vanished from BW archives, nor any records of them ever existing, for the exception of the Red Hackle Journal article, and book that introduced the 1822 letters between Dick and Stirling. Garth states Dick contacted him, presumably on regiment’s history. Stewart figured 40 pages in agreement with Fredrick’s request on surviving 42nd RHR records or what ever he could muster on the 42nd.


Garth’s correspondence, extracts dose, was elaborating on both accounts in Garth Sketches, including Maitland’s nephew on LWD: True a marine Maj. J. Maitland CO 2nd LI Batt. in those years.


Transferred with rank of Maj. from 2nd Batt. LI few days post Sept. 28th 1778 (Nov. 1778, day is not known) to 2nd Batt. 71st, and immediately prompted Lt.-Col., or filled in the shoes of Major Robert Menzies, of 2nd Batt 71st Regt. of Foot died in 1776 at Boston harbour?

Maj. John Maitland transferred with rank, days post Tappan Massacre, from 2nd Batt. LI., now disbanded, filling in Maj. Menzies’ vacant post?

What about those accounts he commanded 1st Batt. 71st?



Sketches of the Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of The Highlanders of Scotland. Vol. II, By Col. David Stewart (1822). p.109.

The footnote where: “His arrival at Savannah came at a critical moment, during the skirmish warfare in Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the year 1776 and 1777, he was particularly active.” “Fraser’s Highlanders wore the red feather after Colonel Maitland’s death, and continued to do so till the conclusion of the war, etc.” In the year 1795, the red feather was assumed by the Royal Highland Regiment.” The Footnote doesn’t appear in Vol. II., first edition 1822 or Second?


* One of the first who died, after the cessation of hostilities, was Lieutenant Colonel Maitland, son of the earl of Lauderdale. He was originally in the Marines, but as this service did not afford a sufficient field for his active and enterprising mind, he was transferred to the line, and appointed major to the Fraser’s Highlanders. His arrival at Savannaha, at a most critical moment, inspired confidence in his friends, while it struck the enemy with surprise, as they did not expect he would be able to penetrate by a circuitous route, after they had secured the fords and passes. Colonel Maitland lived in the trenches with the soldiers, and, “by his courage, his kindness of heart, and affability to his men, he secured their affections and Fidelity. His dialect was Scotch;- proceeding from a tongue which never spoke in disguise, it carried conviction to all. Equally brave, generous, and unassuming, his memory will be respected while manly fortitude, unstained honour, and military talents, are held in estimation.”




David Stewart of Garth. Transcripts and extracts of correspondence etc.

12.3.1821.


General Maitland anecdote on his Uncle Col. John Maitland in AWI:

-it was he who first set the Example of wearing Feathers in the Caps of the Light Infantry – And it happen’d by a very memorable circumstance. It was the Battalion he commanded the 2nd B. 71st Regt which executed the famed Enterprise of the Night attack when Lady Washington’s Dragoons, as they were called were surprised, and most of them bayoneted. (That is Old Tappan, when Maj. Maitland was CO 2nd Batt. LI. Then few days after transferred to 2nd Batt. 71st as Major). “And for fear that he should not know the Battalion, I will order all our Men to wear Red Feathers in their Caps – Accordingly Red Feathers were immediately mounted by the 2nd Batt of 71 Reg and were ever afterwards displayed – This was the origin of the British Army wearing Feathers.”



Sketches of the Character, Manners, and Present State of the Highlanders of The Highlanders of Scotland. Third Edition. Vol. II, By Maj.-Gen. David Stewart (1825). p. 132-133.

Fraser’s Highlanders, Or Seventy-First Regiment. 1775.

*footnote: Lt.-Col. Maitland original a Marine transferred to the line, and appointed Major to Fraser’s Highlanders. His arrival at Savannah came at a critical moment, during the skirmish warfare in Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the year 1776 and 1777, he was particularly active……

Fraser’s Highlanders wore the red feather after Colonel Maitland’s death, (that’s post Savannah 1779 siege was lifted), and continued to do so till the conclusion of the war......

Such was the origin of the red feather subsequently worn in the Highland bonnet, about which some idle tales have been repeated.
In the year 1795, the red feather was assumed by the Royal Highland Regiment.


.
The Dick-Stirling letters are safe in the Black Watch Archives and Stewart Garth's garbled, unhistorical anecdote of Maitland and the red feather is based on a letter, written 40+ years after the event, from Frederick Maitland who had either been misinformed or misremembered what he'd been told about his uncle

All this has been explained to you repeatedly on several forums. I don't understand. What is your point?

Last edited by jf42; 08 Feb 15 at 13:26..
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The Dick-Stirling letters are safe in the Black Watch Archives and Stewart Garth's garbled, unhistorical anecdote of Maitland and the red feather is based on a letter, written 40+ years after the event, from Frederick Maitland who had either been misinformed or misremembered what he'd been told about his uncle

All this has been explained to you repeatedly on several forums. I don't understand. What is your point?

I’m well aware what You have explained and repeated in other forums, just elaborating, creating awareness, asking questions, or trying to get a better grip on the facts, when U stated: “This should not be associated directly with the unreliable anecdote published in Stewart of Garth's 'Sketches of the Highlanders' (1822) relating to a red feather adopted by the 71st Regiment in the northern theatre circa 1777 and worn till the end of the war in memory of their late Colonel, Hon. John Maitland (who allegedly had ordered the feather to be worn).”

I wrote the alleged account on the red feathers for the 71st and 42nd only appeared in Garth 1825, checked 1822 footnote, only appears in third edition 1825?

The post points out Garth’s & Maitland’s nephew garble: “Stewart Garth's garbled, unhistorical anecdote of Maitland and the red feather is based on a letter, written 40+ years after the event, from Frederick Maitland who had been misinformed or misremembered what he'd been told about his uncle.”



Few days post Sept. 28th 1778 Old Tappan, Maj. Maitland transferred and appointed Lt.-Col. CO of 71st 2nd battalion in October.


Maj. John Maitland transferred with rank, days post Tappan Massacre, from 2nd Batt. LI., now disbanded, to 2nd Batt. 71st of Foot, filling in Maj. Menzies’ vacant post? U posted on Maj. Menzies, Maitland filling his post once transferred?



As for the letters Major, archives, claims cant fined, however still looking got his curiosity.

If they are safe, where are they in the BWA, have Ref ## etc?

Both anecdotes by BW RHR privets for 1795 on “red feather,” surfaced in 1825, 30 years after the fact. Garth 1825 only writes at the end of the footnote: “In the year 1795, the red feather was assumed by the Royal Highland Regiment.”




.

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David Stewart of Garth. Transcripts and extracts of correspondence etc.

12.3.1821.

General Maitland anecdote on his Uncle Col. John Maitland in AWI:

-it was he who first set the Example of wearing Feathers in the Caps of the Light Infantry – And it happen’d by a very memorable circumstance. It was the Battalion he commanded the 2nd B. 71st Regt which executed the famed Enterprise of the Night attack when Lady Washington’s Dragoons, as they were called were surprised, and most of them bayoneted. (That is Old Tappan, when Maj. Maitland was CO 2nd Batt. LI. Then few days after transferred to 2nd Batt. 71st as Major). “And for fear that he should not know the Battalion, I will order all our Men to wear Red Feathers in their Caps – Accordingly Red Feathers were immediately mounted by the 2nd Batt of 71 Reg and were ever afterwards displayed – This was the origin of the British Army wearing Feathers.” .
That statement isn't quite correct.

For instance:

"The custom of wearing the white hackle originated when, in 1702, the 23rd Foot [Later, Royal Regiment of Welch Fuzileers] was formed into a Fusilier regiment. As such, it was worn throughout the regiment, except the light companies, which wore the same pattern headdress as did the grenadier companies of line regiments.

Around 1709 officers began to adopt the wearing of feathers in their hats, and this was officially sanctioned in 1789 when the colour of the feather plume, or hackle, was laid down...."

Paul
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Old 09 Feb 15, 12:32
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Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
That statement isn't quite correct.

For instance:

"The custom of wearing the white hackle originated when, in 1702, the 23rd Foot [Later, Royal Regiment of Welch Fuzileers] was formed into a Fusilier regiment. As such, it was worn throughout the regiment, except the light companies, which wore the same pattern headdress as did the grenadier companies of line regiments.

Around 1709 officers began to adopt the wearing of feathers in their hats, and this was officially sanctioned in 1789 when the colour of the feather plume, or hackle, was laid down...."

Paul


Mr. Paul: Just elaborating Garth 1822-25 and Garth’s correspondence etc, or Maitland’s nephew letter 1821 to Garth, not same. Like JF42 stated LWD etc is not mentioned in Garth, only in the letter, and quite right.

On the “he commanded the 2nd B. 71st Regt executed the famed Enterprise of the Night attack when Lady Washington’s Dragoons,” he was still Maj. and CO of 2nd Batt. LI.


I could be wrong, the term hackle, heckle, or tuft, I believe was not used in those times, just “feather,” The white feather according to accounts was worn by the 2nd LI Batt. early during AWI. Not counting in American accounts on the white feathers worn on hats, was quite fashionable pre and post AWI for the Colonials.


On a whim reply; the feather was officially adopted by British Infantry circa 1790 with one regiment, by 1800 others fallowed, however British Regiment's unofficially wore feathers pre 1800 going back to the French and Indian War aka 7Ys'W.


By 1778 LI 1st and 2nd Battalion were disbanded and organised into one Battalion, the new Grenadiers battalion wore white, the LI wore green feathers on their caps.


C.U.

Joseph.


.

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Old 09 Feb 15, 14:28
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Originally Posted by jf42 View Post
Stewart of Garth doesn't mention either Tappan or Baylor's Light Dragoons (known as 'Lady Washington Dragoons'),he merely refers to "the skirmishing warfare in the Jerseys and Pennsylvania, in the years 1776 & 1777" a period when Maitland was still a Major of Marines in command of the 2nd LI battalion. He was not commissioned Lt Col in the 71st till a year later, in October 1778.


SVP can’t edit on my response to JF42 soo adding ici.

U posted on Maj. Menzie, Maitland filling his post once transferred as a Major?

“Maitland was former Marine officer who was transferred to the 2nd
71st as a Major to replace Major Robert Menzies, killed at Boston.
Maitland was an exceptional Light Infantry officer. He died in 1779
following the relief of Savannah.”


"The issuance of the feathers (along with a complete new clothing
issue) cited by the Opisdale Muniments was at Yorktown in 1781 just
before the POWs were sent into captivity."


https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...essages/109304





"Baylor Massacre" or "Tappan Massacre", aka "The Massacre of Baylor's Dragoons" was September 27, 1778.


Few days post Sept. 27-28th 1778 Baylor, Tappan massacre, Maj. Maitland transferred to the 71st 2nd Battalion as a Major.

Served with rank replaced Major Robert Menzies vacant post for how long, then appointed Lt.-Col. CO of 71st 2nd battalion in October 1778?

I thought he served as Major for circa under a month once transferred them promoted Lt.-Col. Co 71st 2nd Batt., in Nov.


.

Last edited by Spañiard; 09 Feb 15 at 14:35..
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Old 09 Feb 15, 16:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibble201Bty View Post
That statement isn't quite correct.

For instance:

"The custom of wearing the white hackle originated when, in 1702, the 23rd Foot [Later, Royal Regiment of Welch Fuzileers] was formed into a Fusilier regiment. As such, it was worn throughout the regiment, except the light companies, which wore the same pattern headdress as did the grenadier companies of line regiments.

Around 1709 officers began to adopt the wearing of feathers in their hats, and this was officially sanctioned in 1789 when the colour of the feather plume, or hackle, was laid down...."

Paul
The statement is almost wholly incorrect- which illustrates the problem of cutting and pasting source materials without setting them in context- especially if they are misquoted or edited randomly.

The quotation comes from a letter written in 1821 by a middle-aged general relaying a conversation he had 18 years previously, possibly after a good dinner, with an elderly general of the day who himself was recounting an anecdote from 25 years previously, concerning the younger man's uncle, an undoubted hero of the War of Independence, on the British side. As such it is difficult to establish what useful historical facts it contains.

Unfortunately that didnt stop Stewart of Garth adapting the contents of the letter and, in the following year, inserting that version in his influential work, "Sketches of the Highlanders" etc. which has caused no end of confusion down the years, as many have regarded his confection regarding red feathers worn by the 71st Highlanders in America as historical.

Regarding the 23rd Fusiliers, I'd be interested to know what the source for your quotation is. It is a little adrift on some basic facts. There were no light infantry companies in 1702 and as fusiliers the whole regiment would have worn grenadier-style mitre caps until 1768 when the fur cap was authorised. I can't speak to the officers of the 23rd adopting white feathers in their caps [SORRY- hats!] in 1709 but I wonder if this is not a piece of regimental mythology that grew up in the C19th century when many regiments were collecting traditions without much scrutiny of historical sources.

Hat feathers only began to be worn by British infantry in the 1770s both as non-regulation ornamental field signs for some line regiments and as distinctions for grenadier and light infantry companies after their distinctive uniform caps were replaced with felt hats for active service in America (Feathers were being used a little earlier to decorate the caps worn by Light infantry companies introduced in 1771). During the AWI white came to be selected as the distinctive colour for grenadiers and it was in this context that fusiliers, whose uniform always emulated that of grenadiers, also adopted a white feather. In an early reference, an inspection report of 1784 records the 23rd wearing a triplet of white feathers in their hats, mimicking the Prince of Wales crest, in the absence of replacement fusilier caps. Distinctive feathers in America tended to be single ostrich feathers (Hence the lack of ostriches in America from this date).

After the American War both fusiliers and grenadiers took to wearing cocked hats for every day use, with distinctive white 'grenadier' feathers fixed behind the cockade, while they kept their fur caps for formal occasions. Soon the white feather would be worn in the fur cap as well. The 1789 date in your source, Paul, may come from a record in regimental standing orders. At that date, feathers of any kind were entirely non-regulation (see below).

By 1790 'feathers' generally took the form of the now familiar military 'plume' made of cut hackle feathers fixed to a central armature, usually of whalebone. Despite references to vulture feathers, humble chicken feathers were the more likely source. Some regiments cheaper and more durable worsted 'tufts' instead. (In all this, the feathers worn by Highland regiments are a completely separate matter).

Despite the growing fashion for feathers both in the hats of the flank companies and increasingly in the hats of the 'battalion companies', as well as in the fur caps of grenadiers, fusiliers and drummers too, these ornaments were wholly unauthorised and attracted repeated comments in inspection reports. This was a symptom of the lack of a strong central authority governing the infantry regiments and their Colonels. In the 1790s Horse Guards begain to address the situation. As part of the process, from 1796 a series of attempts were made to exert control over the hat feathers of the infantry and impose some uniformity. This was finally achieved in 1800 with the introduction of the felt cap or 'shako.' Barring two or three intransigent regiments, the initiative was successful with white being established as the distinctive colour for grenadier companies and fusiliers cross the board whether in their fur caps when worn or the shakos they wore in every day dress.

Last edited by jf42; 09 Feb 15 at 17:26..
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Old 09 Feb 15, 17:22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spañiard View Post
SVP can’t edit on my response to JF42 soo adding ici.

U posted on Maj. Menzie, Maitland filling his post once transferred as a Major?

“Maitland was former Marine officer who was transferred to the 2nd
71st as a Major to replace Major Robert Menzies, killed at Boston.
Maitland was an exceptional Light Infantry officer. He died in 1779
following the relief of Savannah.”


"The issuance of the feathers (along with a complete new clothing
issue) cited by the Opisdale Muniments was at Yorktown in 1781 just
before the POWs were sent into captivity."


https://beta.groups.yahoo.com/neo/gr...essages/109304





"Baylor Massacre" or "Tappan Massacre", aka "The Massacre of Baylor's Dragoons" was September 27, 1778.


Few days post Sept. 27-28th 1778 Baylor, Tappan massacre, Maj. Maitland transferred to the 71st 2nd Battalion as a Major.

Served with rank replaced Major Robert Menzies vacant post for how long, then appointed Lt.-Col. CO of 71st 2nd battalion in October 1778?

I thought he served as Major for circa under a month once transferred them promoted Lt.-Col. Co 71st 2nd Batt., in Nov.


.

That quotation regarding Major Menzies has nothing to do with me. I can't think what the comment is based on.

John Maitland was promoted Lieut Col of 1st Bn, 71st in October 1778, vice William Erskine, who was returning to Britain and whose command of the 1st Bn had, in any case, been nominal since his appointment as QMG in October 1776 (Previously, he had, as Brigadier, been in command of the entire 71st after those companies that had made it safely to Staten Island were re-organised into three field battalions). Menzies was two years dead, dying before he even made it ashore, and had never been a battalion commander in the 71st in any case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spañiard View Post
The white feather according to accounts was worn by the 2nd LI Batt. early during AWI.
Whatever feather the 2nd Light Infantry battalion may have worn in their hats 1776-1778, it was certainly not white.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spañiard View Post
On a whim reply; the feather was officially adopted by British Infantry circa 1790 with one regiment
See my previous post for a rough outline of infantry hat feathers in L.C18th. I have no idea what your remark is based on. 'On a whim' doesn't really help advance understanding.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jf42 View Post
The statement is almost wholly incorrect- which illustrates the problem of cutting and pasting source materials without setting them in context- especially if they are misquoted or edited randomly.

The quotation comes from a letter written in 1821 by a middle-aged general relaying a conversation he had 18 years previously, possibly after a good dinner, with an elderly general of the day who himself was recounting an anecdote from 25 years previously, concerning the younger man's uncle, an undoubted hero of the War of Independence, on the British side. As such it is difficult to establish what useful historical facts it contains.

Unfortunately that didnt stop Stewart of Garth adapting the contents of the letter and, in the following year, inserting that version in his influential work, "Sketches of the Highlanders" etc. which has caused no end of confusion down the years, as many have regarded his confection regarding red feathers worn by the 71st Highlanders in America as historical.

Regarding the 23rd Fusiliers, I'd be interested to know what the source for your quotation is. It is a little adrift on some basic facts. There were no light infantry companies in 1702 and as fusiliers the whole regiment would have worn grenadier-style mitre caps until 1768 when the fur cap was authorised. I can't speak to the officers of the 23rd adopting white feathers in their caps in 1709 but I wonder if this is not a piece regimental mythology that grew up in the C19th century when the regiments were collecting traditions without much scrutiny of historical sources.

Hat feathers only began to be worn by British infantry in the 1770s both as non-regulation ornamental field signs for some line regiments and as distinctions for grenadier and light infantry companies after their distinctive uniform caps were replaced with felt hats for active service in America (Feathers were being used a little earlier to decorate the caps worn by Light infantry companies introduced in 1771). During the AWI white came to be selected as the distinctive colour for grenadiers and it was in this context that fusiliers, whose uniform always emulated that of grenadiers, also adopted a white feather. In an early reference, an inspection report of 1784 records the 23rd having wearing a triplet of white feathers in their hats, mimicking the Prince of Wales crest, in the absence of replacement fusilier caps. Distinctive feathers in America tended to be single ostrich feathers (Hence the lack of ostriches in America from this date).

After the American War both fusiliers and grenadiers took to wearing cocked hats for every day use, with distinctive white 'grenadier' feathers fixed behind the cockade, while they kept their fur caps for formal occasions. Soon the white feather would be worn in the fur cap as well. The 1789 date in your source, Paul, may come from a record in regimental standing orders. At that date, feathers of any kind were entirely non-regulation (see below).

By 1790 'feathers' generally took the form of the now familiar military 'plume' made of cut hackle feathers fixed to a central armature, usually of whalebone. Despite references to vulture feathers, humble chicken feathers were the more likely source. Some regiments cheaper and more durable worsted 'tufts' instead. (In all this, the feathers worn by Highland regiments are a completely separate matter).

Despite the growing fashion for feathers both in the hats of the flank companies and increasingly in the hats of the 'battalion companies', as well as in the fur caps of grenadiers, fusiliers and drummers too, these ornaments were wholly unauthorised and attracted repeated comments in inspection reports. This was a symptom of the lack of a strong central authority governing the infantry regiments and their Colonels. In the 1790s Horse Guards begain to address the situation. As part of the process, from 1796 a series of attempts were made to exert control over the hat feathers of the infantry and impose some uniformity. This was finally achieved in 1800 with the introduction of the felt cap or 'shako.' Barring two or three intransigent regiments, the initiative was successful with white being established as the distinctive colour for grenadier companies and fusiliers cross the board whether in their fur caps when worn or the shakos they wore in every day dress.
I cut and paste nothing. I took the quote from 'That Astonishing Infantry: The History of the Royal Welch Fusiliers 1689-2006, and typed out all that was seen by me as relevant. Here is the part I didn't quote.

"For line battalion companies as half red, half white, and for Light companies of battalions as green"

And if you come on this site stating you know better than said Historian who no doubt got his information from the Royal Welsh Museum, then you should take it up with him and the Museum.

http://www.royalwelsh.org.uk/regiment/faqs.htm

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Micha...39367899416314

http://www.spokeo.com/Michael+Glover+1

We three can have a discussion between us on these interesting topics without talking a high handed approach if you like, If not I'll bid you good day.

I don't, and I'm 100% certain that you don't either, know all there is to know when it comes to the origins of many of the traditions, uniform anomalies, dates that certain changes to specific regiments uniforms were officially adopted etc.

For instance #2

"The 5th Northumberland Regiment of foot also had white plumes throughout the regiment (though the centre coys kept the normal shoulder strap and tuft) This was a distinction gained from an action at St. Lucia 1778, where the men took the white plumes from the defeated French troops which was enough for the whole regiment to be so equipped and they kept the distinction until they received official approval in 1826."

Paul
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All human ills he can subdue,
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Old 09 Feb 15, 22:06
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Paul, my mention of cutting and pasting was not in reference to your contribution- as I think you'll see if you re-examine the paragraph following that in which I used the phrase. I'm sorry if you took it as a comment on your quotation re. 23 RWF. I realise now that the 'quote' panel from your post made it look like that.

I did question the reference to the RWF history, however, simply because it seemed odd to me, which is why I was curious as to the source.

I'm afraid to say that regimental historians do not always establish their sources carefully, nor can regimental museums be relied on to be the last authority. Experience has proved that, with all the resources at our disposal today, errors are recycled and and 'traditions' being repeated without being examined for a new generation.

Some errors are made anew. I'm afraid in completing the quote from Glover re. the feathers "For line battalion companies as half red, half white, and for Light companies of battalions as green" you confirmed that the date of 1789 must be a misprint or Glover misreading of his notes. The earliest authority ordering that sequence of distinguishing colours was in 1797, when the cocked hat was still worn, and then re-iterated, demanding compliance by Colonels without exceptions on pain of court-martial, between 1800-1802 when the shako was introduced; in all cases excepting, that is, the 5th and the 42nd, and perhaps the 46th.

I certainly do not know 'all there is to know' regarding the origins of the traditions, uniform anomalies, dates of changes etc. etc - (for instance I really dont know about the 23 fusilier officers adopting white feathers in 1709 - although...) but having been studying those very topics for the last five years, I am fairly well versed in the subject.

Moreover, the nature of the narrative that is passed down and how traditions evolve are as much the subject of my research as much as trying to establish reliable chronologies.

I have discovered that there are a surprising amount of unreliable secondary sources out there. That is why it so useful that we can kick topics around on-line and pool research.

I am of course aware of the story of the 5th Regiment and the white feathers picked up after the defeat of the French at La Vigie on St Lucia although I am not sure why you were quoting it at that point.

It is one of the more reliable of the regimental feather stories. We have images of the 5th wearing white feathers in the Dayes watercolours from circa 1790-91 and a fairly early reference to the St Lucia episode in a brief regimental history that appeared in a periodical of 1800:"It was at the memorable defence it made on the Vigie that the 5th obtained its white feathers (now generally worn for ornament by most of the army)".

It is indeed true to say that before the white-over-red 'Regulation feather' was ordered, a considerable number of regiments had been sporting white feathers in their hats, which meant that the 5th's self-appointed 'distinction' was not actually that distinct; at least not in the 1790s. The fact that after circa 1800 the Fifth as a line regiment were wearing what had at last officially become a grenadier, or fusilier 'feather' may not have been an accident- but that is speculation at this point. It does seem, though, that from long before La Vigie, the Fifth regarded themselves as deserving the title 'fusilier' following the capture of a large number of French grenadiers at Willemstahl in 1762.

We also have, from about 1801-1802, a sceptical War Office comment that the Fifth "claim the privilege of wearing White Feathers, a distinction gained (it is said) in action." Note the word 'claim.' The Fifth had gained an early reputation for self-promotion, encouraged by their Colonel, Hugh, Lord Percy, later Duke of Northumberland. They even caused the normally laid-back Sir William Howe to lose his temper when at Philadelphia, claiming their new hats had been held up in New York, they paraded in their trophy grenadier caps taken from the French at Willelmstahl 15 years or so before and kept as souvenirs. It would seem that battlefield scavenging was a regimental custom in the Fifth.

As with most of these feather tales, however, we do not have any contemporary reference to the Fifth's actions in the aftermath of the battle on St Lucia in November 1778 to record what was, after all, a fairly remarkable event.

I do know, though, that your source for the reference to the Fifth white feather has not got his facts quite right. The Fifth were finally granted permission to wear their non-regulation white feather in 1824 not 1826.
Typically, the authorities then decided five years later that all line infantry apart from the light bobs would wear white feathers. Somebody had a sense of humour.

The rest is fusilier history.

Last edited by jf42; 10 Feb 15 at 04:28..
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