One day in January, having realized my boyhood dream of being able to create a Napoleonic army out of thin air in an afternoon with a few spins of the centrifugal casting machine, I sat down to figure out what I would need to put on the battle of Crysler's Farm using my Knuckleduster figures. Turns out, I needed a new type of uniform for most of my American troops, and I hadn't yet sculpted it.
|Knuckleduster's new 1813 figures painted as a variety of units.|
My American troops at that time all fell into three basic types; 1812, 1814, and various militia. But none of these were quite right for 1813. Turns out, the American army throughout the 1813 campaign season (a third of the war), wore a hybrid of the 1812 and 1814 uniform. On paper, the US Army had an entirely new uniform in 1813; a plain coatee without much of the lace adorning earlier incarnations of the garment, and a durable, smart new leather shako. But as any student of military history can tell you, the dictates from on high do not always translate into changes in the field; at least not right away.
|Brown coatees. These troops wear the M1813 shako with|
the large, brass shako plate issued the first year this new
headgear was distributed.
|Drab coatees, which could be dyed blue if the unit happened to |
capture an indigo dye factory somewhere in the Canadian wilderness.
Chartrand put together a listing of what was issued during the winter of 1812-1813. There is no guarantee that these were the uniforms worn at Crysler's (not "Chrysler's") Farm, but it is a decent guess. The units wearing this old coat/new cap (as we know, a shako is a "cap" and a bicorne or tricorne is a "hat") configuration, were as follows (coat color follows listing):
LEATHER SHAKO, LACED 1812 COATEE
12th US: Drab, red facings
14th: Brown for some, Drab faced with Red for others.
21st: Blue, red facings
16th: Black, red facings
|Black coatee (black is surprisingly difficult to photograph|
so that it looks like black and not blue or grey!)
If you have corrections or additional information, please pass them along.
All the best,
Soure: A Most Warlike Appearance, Renee Chartrand, 2011