[Ealge with Flag]

Little thought was given to military dress by the American farmers and townsmen who first formed themselves into companies of Minute-men to be ready for duty at a moment's notice, or even by those men who formed part of the regular militia. Officers and men wore their ordinary citizen clothing. Each man had to provide himself with a musket or rifle of some sort, and though many had regular shoulder-belts and cartridge-boxes, or waist-belts and boxes of odd patterns, made of leather or canvas, more carried the powder 'horns and bullet pouches used in hunting. As a badge of rank, the officers wore a short hanger or sword, but of no regular patterns, or perhaps some had acquired a gorget or espontoon, but all the officers were armed the same as their men, with muskets or light fusils, which they always carried when on duty.

No mention is made of uniforms worn by any Americans on the nineteenth of April, 1775, although it is possible that there were present veterans of the French and Indian wars, wearing the red or blue faced with red of the colonial troops in British service.

At the battle of Bunker Hill, we again find only citizen clothing worn by the Americans, with one exception, that of the Wethersfield company of Connecticut, commanded by Captain John Chester, which was uniformed in blue, turned up with red. But his men, loath to expose themselves by their dress, put hunting frocks and trousers over their other clothes, so it is probable that even this uniform was not seen at the battle.

[REFERENCES: Drake's Historic Fields and Mansions of Middlesex, 248; John Chester's letters of July 22, 1775, in Frothingham's Siege of Boston, 391.]

American Farmers Forming at Concord, Massachusetts, 1775

Farmers Gathering for War

[SOURCE: Uniforms of the Armies in the War of the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Lt. Charles M. Lefferts. Limited Edition of 500. New York York Historical Society. New York, NY. 1926.]

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