Montcalm's Cross

Connecticut Provincials

In the 18th Century Connecticut was known for a powerful fighting force used to dispatch Indians from their Colony. When the French & Indian War broke out, Connecticut would answer the call to arms. This meant that Connecticut was in charge of arming and clothing their men. By 1758 Connecticut would raise 5,000 soldiers.  These soldiers would be divided into 4 Regiments, each consisting of  12 companies.  To clothe and arm these troops would take a great deal of money and resources.

The General Assembly of Connecticut would take care of providing a blanket and knapsack as well as “forty shillings in case they[soldiers] supply themselves with shot-bags and powder-horns and proper clothing.” If there were deficiencies the officer of the company would supply each man with the proper items. A letter by Nez. Huntington  in 1755 gives a depiction of the style of knapsack used by Connecticut soldiers:

“Sir—I send you…33 knapsacks with Cord and Straps and twine to whip the End of the Cords which your men may do and put them in. I sent 50 Knapsacks to Lieut Tracy but had not their straps made and if he has supply’d that matter please to send back the 50 now sent.”

These knapsacks appear to be a drawstring type similar to ones used by the regulars. Uniformity among knapsacks was likely throughout.  Along with knapsacks and blankets, Connecticut would issue out several firearms as well.  In 1757 Spencer Phips would write to Thomas Fitch saying:

“The greater part of these Arms were King’s Arms, and the remainder were new Arms lately imported at the charge of the province, and are something lighter than the King’s Arms”

In May of 1758,  a receipt of “Kings Arms” are listed as being received of Jonathan Trumble. The receipt lists roughly half of the arms with bayonets and half without.  The same receipt shows an account of a “sword & belt, cutlass and belt, 11 hatchets.” The Assembly would write that the Colony had

“2,000 good arms of those sent hither by his Majesty formely…That in addition to the encouragement aforesaid all those soldiers who shall furnish themselves with good arms not exceeding three thousand, and carry the same into the service, for a good firelock, bayonet, cartouch-box and belt, or for a cutlass or hatchet carried instead of a bayonet…receive a bounty therefore of five shillings.”

While weapons and accouterments were a mix of civilian and government issue, the clothing was mostly supplied by soldiers themselves upon being paid a forty shilling bounty. Connecticut would resolve to supply slop clothing like shoes, stockings, shirts, and greatcoats.  The rest of the clothing was being brought from home or bought from individual tailors in the colony. Phineas Lyman’s orderly book states in June of 1757 that no men be swimming in “their Regimental Cloths.” An entry dated July 18, 1757 states:

“That ye men belonging to ye Connecticutt Regt When Worned for Duty Appear on ye Peraid with shoes & stockens on & their trowsers Washed Clean—“

While the majority of clothing was likely civilian, any regimental clothing was likely mimicking the attire from years past.  The portrait of Nathan Whiting gives us a good indication of those few regimental coats.

While clothing may have been a spread, uniformity was seen in headwear by the time of the attack on Carillon. Lemuel Lyon, a Connecticut soldier, states on July 4, 1758 “This day I cut my hat.”

The Connecticut soldiers of 1758 were not turned out in a uniform manner as compared to other regiments. The Connecticut forces would likely be seen in both military and civilian coats, trowsers, civilian waistcoats, and small round hats.  Accouterments and arms would be of all different varieties as well.  Raising 5,000 soldiers to serve in NY would prove to be a difficult task for the Colony of Connecticut.
 

Hats

Best: Round blocked wool-felt round hat with 2.5” brim.
Unacceptable: Anything else.

Shirts

Best: Hand-stitched white or checked linen shirt with short collar (under two and a half inches) narrow band cuffs with two buttonholes made for sleeve buttons (cuff links).

Acceptable: Machine stitched checked, or white linen shirts.

Unacceptable: Cotton calico or plaid shirts.

Neckwear

Best: Silk, linen, or cotton neckerchiefs; linen neck stocks, or linen rollers, well-tied around the neck.

Acceptable: Machine hemmed neckerchiefs or linen rollers.

Unacceptable: Military horsehair or leather neck stocks.

Coats

Best: Hand finished, well-fit civilian coats or various colors, red cloth coats with yellow lapels, cuffs, and lining, with pewter gasback buttons.

Acceptable: Well-fit civilian coats of various colors, with little visible machine stitching. Civilian coats of the same

Unacceptable: Hunting shirts, Blanket shirts, Fur skins.

Jackets and Waistcoats

Best: Hand-finished, well-fit red, green, blue, grey or brown wool waistcoat,  with or without sleeves, lined or unlined. No waistcoat at all is also acceptable.

Acceptable: Well-fit red, green, blue, grey or brown waistcoat,  with or without sleeves, lined or unlined.  with minor visible machine stitching.

Unacceptable: Cotton canvas, upholstery fabric waistcoats, extremely long or baggy waistcoats.

Breeches & Trousers

Best: Hand-finished, well-fit oznaburg, ticken, check linen trousers. Leather or cloth breeches, with buckled, buttoned or tied knee bands.

Acceptable:  Well-fit cloth, ticken, or leather breeches, with buckled, buttoned or tied knee bands. with minor visible machine stitching.

Unacceptable: Fringed trousers, baggy breeches.

Socks and Stockings

Best:Grey, white, or blue wool yarn or worsted stockings or socks seamed with back seams.

Acceptable: White, grey, or blue stockings of wool yarn, worsted, linen or cotton.

Unacceptable:Anything else.

Footwear

Best: Civilian black waxed leather buckled shoe.

Acceptable: Pucker toe or vamped mocassins

Unacceptable: Officer’s boots on non-officers; Dyer, Arrow, Minnetonka moccasins, Shoepacks

Cartridge Boxes & Pouches

Best:Lemuel Lyon style pouch, Nine or Twelve round Government accoutrement sets.

Unacceptable: Possibles bags.

Powder Horns

Best: Plain, empty, powder horns with narrow leather or hemp straps.

Unacceptable: Anything else.

Arms

Best: Long land pattern muskets, Wilson contract muskets, or civilian fowlers.

Acceptable: Dutch or French Guns.

Unacceptable: Canoe gun, blunderbuss, long rifles.

Sidearms

Best: Small hatchet, bayonet, or cutlass.

Acceptable:nothing at all.

Unacceptable: Pistols, daggers, dirks.

Canteens

Best:Kidney-shaped tinned-iron British army canteen on a hemp cord or cheesebox canteen.

Acceptable:Similar tinned-iron canteens.

Blankets

Best:British Army Blankets, 2-3 point, Check, Dutch, Rose blankets, Civilian center-seamed blankets.

Acceptable:Plain white or Hudson Bay blankets.

Unacceptable: Civil War grey blankets.


Knapsacks and Tumplines

Best:Drawstring canvas snapsacks or hair-on calfskin snapsacks.

Acceptable: Single envelope two strap knapsacks or blanket rolls.

Unacceptable:British painted or goatskin knapsacks, Benjamin Warner Knapsacks.