Friday, March 30, 2012


A selected pose from Knuckleduster's US Infantry in Linen Roundabouts;
a 360-degree view. Note the black belts used widely in the US Army;
white was generally worn only by the first seven regiments.
Painted and sculpted by Forrest Harris
The US Army had issued summer "jackets" (linen roundabouts) since 1802, and continued to use them during the War of 1812. They were routinely issued to troops in Southern posts, but they were also used widely in the North during the first two years of the war. In fact, due to clothing shortages, the winter of 1812-1813 was borne in linen coats by many regiments in Northern posts, including Harrison's 17th, 19th, and 24th US infantry, and the 12th and 14th US near Buffalo, New York. When the British captured the 17th Infantry at Frenchtown on January 22nd, they were still wearing tatters of their summer uniforms.

As easy as Austrians!

In 1813, Commissary General Irvine produced 10,000 linen jackets for that year's operations, and Wade Hampton's Canadian expedition wore them as late as October.

When the plain, blue coatee of 1813-1814, and the grey wool roundabout were available in reliable quantities, the use of the linen roundabout was relegated to the South, and extremely hot weather in the North.

The same figures may be just as easily used for the militia of the Northwest Army, who wore drab (dark grey wool) roundabouts in 1812-1813; some of these garments also made their way into the hands of US regulars. An illustration of the 19th Infantry exists in which a drab round jacket is worn.

Knuckleduster has represented this uniform with a unit of regulars marching in roundabouts and packs. Command figures in laced coatees may be used to command them, but as time allows, NCOs  and drummers in linen coats will become available wearing the early war shako, as well as militia in round hats and roundabouts.


Renee Chartrand, Uniforms and Equipment of the United States Forces in the War of 1812, Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., 1992.

James Kochan, The United States Army, 1812-1815; Osprey Men-At-Arms 345, Osprey Publishing, 2000.

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