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The On-Line Institute for Advanced Loyalist Studies

Clothing & Supplies

Uniforms and clothing used by the Loyalists came in many shapes and colors, and from a variety of sources. Coats of green, red, blue and black wool were all used.

Generally speaking, clothing sent out for the Provincials in Canada and America was authorized and paid for by the Treasury Office. Some few groups initially purchased their own clothing from England, such as the Royal Highland Emigrants, Royal Fencible Americans and the Newfoundland Regiment. Other uniforms were purchased from British regular regiments, such as the clothing of the 10th Regiment of Foot which went to the King’s Orange Rangers in 1778.

Many corps were destitute of clothing upon their being raised. Edward Winslow, the muster master general, noted that the New York Companies fought in rags at the Battle of Long Island in August 1776. This situation almost certainly led to the British firing on them by accident during the battle, causing them heavy losses and bitter feelings.

In addition to the clothing sent from England, many articles were purchased locally. Both the Inspector General's Office and the regiments themselves were responsible for purchasing what were known as necessaries for the men: items such as shirts, stockings, trousers, etc. Other items were purchased or obtained by donations from the inhabitants.

Below are some samples of clothing and equipage returns, as well as other material related to items worn by the troops.

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Bullet  New Jersey Volunteers Uniforms & Accouterments, 1776-1783

Bullet  Provincial Soldier's Clothing & Accoutrements, ca 1777

Bullet  Distribution of Monies & Necessaries from Voluntary Contributions, ca. 1777/78

Bullet  Return of Camp Equipage & Necessaries, 1778

Bullet  Elwin to Morse Regarding a New Wood Canteen, 1780

Bullet  Shaw to Morse, Enclosing Trouser and Cartridge Magazine Patterns, 1780

Bullet  Return of Clothing in the Quarter Master General's Stores, 1780

Bullet  State of Clothing in the Stores, 1781

Bullet  Supplies for Captain Sherwood's Company, Loyal Rangers, 1782

Bullet  State of Camp Equipage, 1783

Bullet  Demands Against Units for Extra Necessaries, 1783

Bullet  Rules for Paying for Suits of Unreceived Clothes, n.d.

Bullet  Reproduction of a Royal Provincial Button

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