Montcalm's Cross

New Jersey Provincials

While 1757 brought memories of massacre to New Jersey Provincial soldiers, the following campaign showed the true spirit within these men.  The New Jersey assembly would raise 1000 soldiers in 1758, double the amount they raised the previous year. New Jersey would clothe and accoutre their soldiers, but found a deficiency with guns.  The guns would be issued from the King’s stores to fill in any gaps that New Jersey could not fill.  Nonetheless, on marching through Albany these brave New Jersey boys were praised for how good they looked.

The NJ assembly agreed that upon enlistment each man was to be issued “A blue Coat after the Highland Manner, lappell’d and cuffed with red” likely of a half-thick or coarse cloth as referenced the year before. The style of both cuffs and lapels can be seen on the portrait of Colonel Peter Schuyler. They were also to receive “one pair of Ticken Breeches, and one Pair of blue ditto, of the same Cloath of their Coat, one Check Shirt and one White ditto, two Pair of Yarn Stockings, two Pair of Shoes, one Hat to each Man bound with yellow Binding, one Blanket, one Knapsack, one Hatchet, one Canteen, one Kettle to five Men; a Pair of white Spatterdashes “ The New Jersey assembly would hope to outfit their soldiers like the regulars.  While these items seem great on paper, it is foolish to think all of them were completed. There were certainly campaign alterations being made, such as hats being cut to 2.5 inches at the brim. In April of 1758 Capt. Russo would mark in his account book the purchase of  “16 pairs of leather breeches for recruits”. Likewise, the white spatterdashes seem to be forgotten.  In June of 1758 an anonymous letter would turn out in the Boston News-Letter, giving us the best description of the New Jersey soldiers only a month before attacking Carillon:

“NEW-YORK, June 12
A few Days ago the New-Jersey Forces, of between 11 and 1200, of the likeliest well set Men for the Purpose, as has perhaps turn’d out on any Campaign, pass’d by this Place for Albany.  They were under Col. Johnston, and all in high Spirits; their uniform blue, faced with red, grey stockings and Buckskin Breeches.”

While uniforms seem to be worn throughout, arms were harder to come by.  The New Jersey Assembly enacted that each soldier that was without accoutrements and arms to be furnished by the Pay-Master.  These accoutrements would follow the issuance of the year past. In 1757 Colonel John Parker would list in his account cartridge boxes and powder horns for soldiers, noting that “I think the men had better have pouches instead of powder horns as they are always loosing the ball they have in their pockets. The pouches if approved of to be made after the form of the Royal Americans”. Taking into account this precaution, it is likely that New Jersey soldiers would receive cartridge boxes, shot bags, and powder horns in 1758.Governor John Reading would write to General Abercrombie about the state of arms, stating that the public stores were bare, and the recruits bring very few serviceable guns. By June, the Governor is told of King’s Arms arriving at New York, and begs Abercrombie for the use of these guns. The previous years New Jersey had in stores Wilson Contract muskets marked New-Jersey. However, many of these guns were lost at Sabbath Day Point. The deficiency of arms would play a problem for New Jersey soldiers. However, the weapons in King’s stores, what was left of public stores, and arms of the Militia in New Jersey armed these soldiers to face the enemy in early July of 1758.

Hats

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

Acceptable:Round block cocked hat bound in yellow trim, wool knit striped cap or Monmouth cap.

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,  short blue cloth coats with red lapels, cuffs, and lining, with brass gasback or brass domed buttons. Cuff and lapel style as per Painting of Peter Schuyler.

Acceptable: Well-fit,  short blue coats cloth with red lapels, cuffs, and lining, with brass gasback or brass domed buttons, with little visible machine stitching.

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

Best: Hand-finished, well-fit blue cloth, ticken, or leather breeches, with buckled, buttoned or tied knee bands. Trousers acceptable as well.

Acceptable:  Well-fit blue 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:Nine or Twelve round Government accoutrement sets.

Acceptable:Shotbag.

Unacceptable: Possibles bags.

Powder Horns

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

Unacceptable: Anything else.

Arms

Best: Wilsoncontract muskets marked “NEW JERSEY” or  Long land pattern muskets.

Acceptable:Civilian fowlers, Dutch or French Guns.

Unacceptable: Canoe gun, blunderbuss, long rifles.

Sidearms

Best: Small hatchet and bayonet.

Acceptable:Bayonet or hatchet.

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:Single envelope two strap knapsacks, or drawstring canvas snapsacks carried in conjunction with hemp tumplines.

Acceptable: Hair-on calfskin snapsacks or blanket rolls.

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