Author Topic: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags  (Read 13799 times)

Offline Clark B

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
  • Southern Indiana
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #25 on: December 18, 2013, 01:31:45 AM »
I would like to point out that when looking at photos from film, the negative or slide can be easily reversed confusing which side something is on.   Only someone who had seen the original object would know the correct orientation.   With digital photos, you can create a mirror image in software, but it is not as easy to mix up the orientation. 

That is something us old photo researchers became quite adept at getting used too. There are tricks that can be used when looking at old early pictures. Most guns were made for right handers, if the lock isn't visable look for orientation of the screws on barrelbands or the retaining spings, or wedge pins, etc (for instance all bolts or screws on Enfield muskets will have the heads on the left side). Other things to keep in mind, the button line on coats, the left or right side opening wasn't as defined as it is today, but in most instances mens coats will have the buttons holes on the left hand side. If they are not wearing coats ALL trowsers were made with the fly opening as they are now, no left hand flies. Wedding bands, if worn will always be on the left hand, but it was not 100% on married men wearing them back then. If a martial photo, all cartridge boxes will be on the right side, swords on left. Just little tricks.
Psalms 144

Offline Centershot

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 725
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2013, 02:09:57 AM »
I would like to point out that when looking at photos from film, the negative or slide can be easily reversed confusing which side something is on.   Only someone who had seen the original object would know the correct orientation.   With digital photos, you can create a mirror image in software, but it is not as easy to mix up the orientation. 

That is something us old photo researchers became quite adept at getting used too. There are tricks that can be used when looking at old early pictures. Most guns were made for right handers, if the lock isn't visable look for orientation of the screws on barrelbands or the retaining spings, or wedge pins, etc (for instance all bolts or screws on Enfield muskets will have the heads on the left side). Other things to keep in mind, the button line on coats, the left or right side opening wasn't as defined as it is today, but in most instances mens coats will have the buttons holes on the left hand side. If they are not wearing coats ALL trowsers were made with the fly opening as they are now, no left hand flies. Wedding bands, if worn will always be on the left hand, but it was not 100% on married men wearing them back then. If a martial photo, all cartridge boxes will be on the right side, swords on left. Just little tricks.

I agree, but this only holds true if the artist didn't express his artistic freedom in the depiction of his subject. For instance George Washington is often depicted wearing two epaulettes one on each shoulder. In reality American Generals of that period  wore only one epaulette. Two look better and balance the picture.

Centershot

Offline Mark Elliott

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4547
    • M. Elliott Gunmaker
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2013, 02:26:58 AM »
I agree, but this only holds true if the artist didn't express his artistic freedom in the depiction of his subject. For instance George Washington is often depicted wearing two epaulettes one on each shoulder. In reality American Generals of that period  wore only one epaulette. Two look better and balance the picture.

Centershot

You just can't trust those artists.   They change reality to suit them. >:(  ;D ;D ;D ;D
M. Elliott Gunmaker  http://www.markelliottva.com

Offline Clark B

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1086
  • Southern Indiana
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2013, 02:59:12 AM »
I would like to point out that when looking at photos from film, the negative or slide can be easily reversed confusing which side something is on.   Only someone who had seen the original object would know the correct orientation.   With digital photos, you can create a mirror image in software, but it is not as easy to mix up the orientation. 

That is something us old photo researchers became quite adept at getting used too. There are tricks that can be used when looking at old early pictures. Most guns were made for right handers, if the lock isn't visable look for orientation of the screws on barrelbands or the retaining spings, or wedge pins, etc (for instance all bolts or screws on Enfield muskets will have the heads on the left side). Other things to keep in mind, the button line on coats, the left or right side opening wasn't as defined as it is today, but in most instances mens coats will have the buttons holes on the left hand side. If they are not wearing coats ALL trowsers were made with the fly opening as they are now, no left hand flies. Wedding bands, if worn will always be on the left hand, but it was not 100% on married men wearing them back then. If a martial photo, all cartridge boxes will be on the right side, swords on left. Just little tricks.

I agree, but this only holds true if the artist didn't express his artistic freedom in the depiction of his subject. For instance George Washington is often depicted wearing two epaulettes one on each shoulder. In reality American Generals of that period  wore only one epaulette. Two look better and balance the picture.

Centershot

I  was talking about early photography, not paintings. I don't think many people would paint in reverse image.

On the subject of General Washington. He was General in Chief, was his sash his only badge of rank? Did HE only wear one epaulette? If line officers were wearing one epaulette, what means was used to differenciate staff officers and general officers?
Psalms 144

Offline Centershot

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 725
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2013, 05:55:50 AM »
I only recall seeing a painting of Washington with one epaulette. It may have been from his F&I  days. One epaulette was used to distinguish some line officers and enlisted non-coms. Different color sashes and coats were used later in the war to distinguish an officer's rank. The American uniform went through a number of changes during the war. I don't remember if early on in the war one epaulette was used for all officers or not.

Washington petitioned Congress on two or three occassions to be appointed as I believe Major General???  There is some confusion about Washington's actual rank. There is no doubt that he was General of the Army. I think he gave himself three stars to distinguish himself from other officers. His sash and the color of his coat did denote his rank.

Centershot
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 06:00:03 AM by Centershot »

Offline Artificer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1660
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2013, 05:56:49 AM »
George Washington was a Three Star, or what we would call a Lt. General, as Commander in Chief.  (The 3 star rank was later called "The Major General Commanding the Army.")   All other ARW American Generals were Major (2 Star) or Brigadier (1 Star) Generals.

It seems Washington's first uniform as Commander in Chief only had one epaulette, but thereafter was two or one on each shoulder:

American Generals wore a "Ribband" across their right shoulder and underneath their coat, but over a waistcoat.  We might think of it as a sort of silken sash.

This PDF explains Washington's many uniforms and clears up the question on how many epaulettes he wore and when.  

www.jameskochan.com/uploads/As_Plain_as_Blue___Buff.PDF
Gus
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 06:53:25 AM by Artificer »

Offline Artificer

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1660
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2013, 06:49:48 AM »
One thing that is very difficult to grasp by the modern mind is that even Americans expected and wanted their troops to be clothed to fight in their “dress uniforms.” 
This is why Washington’s suggestion to use Riflemen’s shirts and leggings/breeches/overalls for the entire Army was never approved, though it became the “normal” fatigue or “work” uniform when doing strenuous or hard/dirty/sweaty labor. 

Washington remembered when he commanded the Provincial Virginia Regiment after the Seven Years War,  even though the men OFFERED to have the costs of a real uniform subtracted from their pay, it took a few years to fully clothe them in GOOD uniforms.  “Riflemen’s Dress” was one way to quickly and as inexpensively as possible clothe the new American Army in “Uniform Uniforms” that were practical.  He and others did note the possible psychological advantage it may have posed (at least for a while) on the minds of the British to think they were opposing “The Feared Riflemen.”  However, the poor showing of Riflemen early in the war, until Saratoga, dispelled that myth. 

There was some good thinking about having Soldiers wear real “Uniform Uniforms” in the time period when Commanding Officers had to rely often on their eyesight to distinguish friendly vs enemy troops on a battlefield and especially if one did not have Cavalry or Horse Troops assigned to relay messages (or if there were not enough of them).  There was one American Regiment at the start of the ARW that showed up in Red Uniforms and Washington had to compromise by ordering an overcoat to cover the color in battle.  Not sure how that worked out in the real world, though.  This was shown to be morbidly important during the Un-Civil War where at the Battle of 1st Manassas, BOTH Union and Confederate forces showed up in Blue and Cadet Grey and both sides fired on their own troops in the confusion of battle. 

We also have to remember that no matter how realistic the person may have wanted a portrait painted, they usually GOT a fair amount of romanticism from period Artists.  The Artists knew if they painted things in a too lifelike manner, they may or would not have been paid.  Further, if one was to go to the expense of having a portrait painted, one usually “wore their best clothes” and then Artists took some Artistic license when painting them.   

Finally, portraits or at least good drawings of “common people” or “tradesmen” were much more available in Britain and France than America.  There were enough Artists and enough of a market for the work in Europe, but not yet in America in the 18th century.  So we have to look for period British and French drawings today, to see what types of clothing that different classes of people wore then.  We also can’t forget that clothes came to America or American’s were still ordering clothes from Europe until and even after the ARW.  As late as 1768, Washington had at least one British Tailor where he ordered his best clothing.   
Gus

Offline gizamo

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 380
Re: 18th century Riflemen and their Hunting/Shot Bags
« Reply #32 on: December 18, 2013, 01:22:18 PM »
Gainsborough circa 1761.



Giz