Uniforms of the 22nd Infantry - War of 1812
Musician------------Private, Summer Field Dress, 1812
22nd U.S. Infantry Regiment, 1812-1813
Plate No. 518
One of eighteen additional infantry regiments
authorized by Congress on 6 June 1812, the 22nd Infantry was
recruited in Pennsylvania.
Hugh Brady was commissioned colonel, seconded by Lieutenant Colonel George McFeely. During October a 250-man detachment of the 22nd,
drawn in roughly equivalent numbers from its principal recruiting depots at Carlisle and Fort Fayette (Pittsburgh), marched north
to reinforce the garrison at Fort Niagara. Lieutenant Colonel McFeely assumed command at that post on 14 November. One week later,
the detachment distinguished itself during the bombardment of Fort Niagara. On 10 December it formed part of the force
that burned the Canadian village of Newark. The remainder of the winter was a period of relative inactivity for the 22nd,
still largely dispersed in detachments along the Niagara frontier and the depots of Pennsylvania. 1
The recruits of the 22nd were first clothed in
the summer issue field dress at their respective depots.
This, in the words of John Patterson, a private at Fort Fayette, consisted of:
two pare of overhols two
ruffle[ d ] shurts a pare of shoes a summer coat [ linen
roundabout jacket ]
and a morning dress [ probably a fatigue frock and trousers ] ... a pare of sockes and in a few days
we shall draw some more clothes --- then in the fall we shall draw a coat a wai[s]tcoat a pare of shoes
two pare of long storkins two pare of over halls of woolen and a hat a stock and a pair of gaters. 2
Providing the winter clothing proved easier
said than done. A shortage of blue cloth had forced Callender
Irvine, the new
Commissary General, to authorize the purchase of different colored cloth to make up the uniforms. One such expedient
was a dirty-colored cloth appropriately named "drab". When Irvine wrote to a deputy commissary on 8 September 1812,
he recommended the purchase of drab cloth, which could be dyed or made up as it was into coatees
"with Green Collars and Cuffs," mentioning that "some of this kind have been made up here and they look exceedingly well." 3
Irvine intended at first to clothe the 22nd in
the surplus drab coatees in store at Carlisle--- part of the
supply sent to the
12th and 14th regiments. However, it is doubtful that the 22nd ever wore them, since a shipment for the regiment's use
was sent out on 7 November 1812. Included in the shipment were drab coatees for sergeants and privates and green coatees
for musicians. That this shipment arrived safely is corroborated by Private Patterson, who wrote,
"we received ower winter dres two stockens
two over hols a coat turned up with green cuffs
and cholour [collar] and 31 butons and one shurt---" 4
The style and trimming of the coatees was that
prescribed in the 1812 regulations. However, the odd color
drab and green led to the coatees being bound with black, rather than white, "lace" or tape. Two pairs of winter overalls
were issued per man---one of white and one of "Blue and white speckled" wool. The latter cloth must have been
of a weave similar to tweed, with the warp of blue and the weft of white (or vice versa). 5
Officers were expected to provide their own
uniforms. As such, the coats and coatees were almost certainly
the regulation blue,
turned up with red and trimmed with silver lace. There must have been some degree of variation; individual interpretations
of the somewhat vague specifications in the 1812 regulations reflecting the tastes of the officers and their tailors.
The rather long-skirted coatee of the company grade officer in the plate is based on one worn by Captain John Wool
of the 13th Infantry, now in the collections of the Rensselaer County Historical Society, Troy, New York. 6
The caps delivered to the regiment were
complete with "cockades & eagles," feather plumes,
cords and tassels. Cap plates
were not sent out to the 22nd, due to a severe shortage in supply at Philadelphia. Officers may have worn silver plates
on their caps, as these were also purchased privately. 7
The men were armed with the Model 1812 musket
and bayonet. Accouterments were of the 1808 pattern and were made
by local firms under Government contract. Crossbelts were of black leather, "as buff leather [could] not be procured."
The cast brass belt plates are a type commonly found on sites occupied by U.S. infantry regiments during the War of 1812. 8
H. Charles McBarron, Jr.-------------------------------
James L. Kochan------------------------------------------
1 John N.
Crombie, "The Twenty-Second United States Infantry," Western
Pennsylvania Historical Quarterly (hereafter cited as WPHQ),
L, pp. 135-148,
221-237; Florence and mary Howard, ed., "Letters of John Patterson, 1812-1813," WPHQ, XXIII, pp. 99-109.
2 Howard, "Letters," WPHQ, XXIII, p. 101.
3 Irvine to Amasa Stetson, Letter Book "A," Office of Commissary General of Purchase, Series 2117, Record Group 92, National Archives, p. 28 (hereinafter Letter Book "A").
4 Letter Book "A," RG 92, NA, pp. 25,65,85,114; Vol. 14, Receipted Invoices, Office of the Military Storekeeper, S2117, RG 92, NA (hereinafter Receipted Invoices); Howard, "Letters," WPHQ, XXIII, p. 104.
5 Letter Book "A," p. 161 and Receipted Invoices, S2117, RG 92, NA; Richard C. Knopf, ed., Fort Fayette Freight Book (Columbus, Ohio, 1961), p. 51.
6 General Orders and Orders, Southern Department, Volume 67, RG 98, NA.
7 Ibid.; Receipted Invoices, S2117, RG 92, NA.
8 Letters Sent, Letters Received, Secretary of War, RG 94, NA; personal examination of artifact collections from sites incl. Camp Meigs, Ohio and Sackett's Harbor, New York.
The above color plate and description is used through the gracious permission of
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