[Ealge with Flag]

All drummers and fifers of the British Army at this period wore caps of black bearskin, with metal plates in front, five inches high and extending from temple to temple. Raised from the surface of the plate, which was of black enamel or Japan, were the King's crest and motto, the letters "G.R.," and trophies of colors and drums, all of white metal. The back of the caps was about five inches high and was sewn to an oval piece of red cloth, which extended to the top of the cap and sloped toward the front, making the cap rather cone-shaped. The red cloth was sewn completely around its edge to the fur. In the center of the red cloth appeared the regimental number of white cloth, and also the regimental badge, if any. The cap was bound at the base with a narrow strip of black leather. Although there was no general regulation for them, some of the drummers when in full dress wore a white cotton cord and tassels on the right side of their caps, and on the left side, feathers of the color of the regimental facings.

The coats of drummers and fifers were always of the color of the regimental facing, with red collars, lapels, and cuffs, decorated with regimental lace or wide tape, in such manner as their colonels desired. All drummers and fifers wore white waistcoats and breeches. In the picture we see that the 10th Foot had bright yellow facings, with one blue stripe on their lace or binding, white waistcoats and breeches.

The following, however, are exceptions to this rule. The drummers of the so-called Royal regiments were dressed exactly like the battalion, but with wider lace, and with red feathers in their caps. Those of regiments whose facings were red, wore white coats, with red waistcoats and breeches. Those of regiments whose facings were buff, wore buff coats, with red waistcoats and breeches.

The drums were of wood, the front part painted the color of the regimental facing, and decorated with the crown, the letters "G.R.," and the number of the regiment. The regiments that had a badge, had that painted under the crown in place of the "G.R.," with the number in white beneath. The fife cases, which were of tin, were painted in the same manner.

All drummers and fifers were armed with a short cutlass attached to the waist-belt, which later was carried over the right shoulder, as the men carried their bayonet belts.

British Tenth Regiment of Foot, 1775 - 1783


[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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