Warriors For The Working Day
Military Art
Paul Hitchin
145 Walsall Road


Corporal, 64th (Later 1st north Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot

American War of Independence 1775

The 64th Foot were involved against the rebel colonists from the very start of the war and had been stationed in America since 1773 and soldiers from this regiment were amongst those who fired the first shots of the war at Lexington.

The ‘redcoat’ illustrated is a Corporal of a battalion company of the regiment and his rank is marked by the white worsted knot hanging from his white shoulder. The practice of using stripes to mark NCOs' rank was not adopted until several years later.

He wears the ubiquitous red coat in a duller shade of red than the scarlet of his officers, a colour which would fade even more on campaign. Beneath the coat he wears a white waistcoat and knee breeches, with short calf length gaiters, although the longer patters reaching above the knee were also still worn. On his head is a black tricorn hat bound in white lace and with a black cockade held in place by a single regimental button.

This is the basic uniform of many of the soldiers engaged in action in America; however each regiment had a different pattern of lace around the buttonholes of the uniform. In this instance the regimental lace had a red and black stripe. Soldiers of the flank companies, grenadiers and light troops wore distinctive ‘wings’ on their shoulders and different headgear to differentiate them from the ‘hat’ companies.

The corporal is armed with the ‘Brown Bess’ musket, the standard weapon in various forms for the British Infantryman for well over a century. A smoothbore flintlock musket capable of perhaps 4 to 5 rounds a minute in the best trained hands and generally fired in volleys, devastating at close range against formed up bodies of enemy troops.

However, in many cases the colonial rebels would not play the game and stand there to be shot at, instead firing from cover and moving off before the English could close with the bayonet.


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