Montcalm's Cross

New York Provincials  

          By 1758, New York had been accustomed to clothing, arming, and equipping soldiers to fight with His Majesty’s forces in North America. New York would raise three battalions of troops in 1758 under the command of Oliver Delancey.  These three New York Provincial Battalions, also known as Delancey’s Regiment, would amount to 1700 soldiers at the begining of June in 1758.  When the attack took place the 1st Battalion would play a vital role to secure the left of the lines.
            Since 1755, the uniform of the New York provincial soldiers had gone unchanged.  Just like years prior, the New York Assembly would proclaim each man receive “the following Cloathing ; One Hat, a Coat, a Pair of Buck-skin Breeches, two Shirts, two Pair of Stockings, two Pair of Shoes, and one Blanket.” A bill of lading for the sloop Catherin at Albany on May 20, 1758 records:

“820 white shirts

920 check shirts

798 common coats, green faced with green

863 pairs green Indian Stockings

864 pairs yarn stockings

1250 haversacks

1740 pairs of shoes

870 pairs of leather breeches

360 G. striped Blankets

768 hatts

870 canteens

63 Sergeants’ coats

145 camp kettles”*

*Research of Robert E. Mulligan at Albany Insititute of History and Art. CMH Plate 541.

These records were for the 3rd New York Battalion.  While this list accounts for most of the clothing, some additions and adaptations were made. Goose Van Schaik’s Orderly Book for NY Provincial soldiers recorded on June 30, 1758 “It is expected that the Commanding officer’s of Compys will take care our men Be provided with Clean shirts & properly drest with their Indian Stockings &c In order to be reviewed by a Generall Officer.” Likewise, on July 4th, 1758, Richard Hewlett, a NY Provincial officer recorded that “the whole army to have their hatts Cutt, as Colo Broadstrites is that they may no one other from the Enimiey.”

While the clothing, blankets, and haversacks of Delancey’s regiment were uniform, it is clear that weapons and accoutrements were not.  A proclamation made on April 8, 1758 by James De Lancey in the New York Assembly would state

“Forasmuch as a great Number of Men who shall inlist, or be engaged in the Forces in the Pay of this Province, will be possessed of good Arms of their own, which it is apprehended they will prefer to those furnished by the Crown, not only from their being much lighter, but as from their being accustomed to them, they will be much surer of their Mark with those, than with Arms they never handled before… And as a Powder-Horn, Shot-Bag, with Case for the Lock of their Gun, to preserve it from the Weather, are thought more proper for the present Service than the common Accoutrements, the men are also to come provided therewith.

And whereas there may be a Number of King’s Arms, and Arms belonging to this Province, concealed by Deserters, or other; I do therefore require all His Majesty’s Justices of the Peace, and Sheriffs, to make, and cause diligent Search to be made, within their respective Districts, for all such Arms; and to seize and send the same to the City of New-York, to be delivered to Christopher Blundell, Store-keeper, at Fort George.”

It is clear that powder horns were in use heavily by New York soldiers.  In August of 1758, shortly after the attack at Carillon, Captain Richard Hewlett recorded an order to “give in the numbr of powder horns that belong to this detachment.”

Those abiding by these requests would bring several types of fowlers and other civilians weapons and accoutrements to service.  Those without such arms would be provided by stores at Fort George. 

The uniform and equipment of Delancey’s Regiment would embody the true spirit of the campaign around Ticonderoga.  Practical changes like small hats as well as Indian leggings would prove to be important on such a campaign. Men bringing their personal weapons from home would give them the comfort they needed to face a well-trained enemy.  Their test would come when Colonel Oliver Delancey boldly pushed his men into the fight on July 8, 1758, forcing the French to retire into their lines.

Hats

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

Acceptable:Round block cocked hat, 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, green cloth coats with green lapels, cuffs, and lining, with pewter gasback or pewter domed buttons.

Acceptable: Well-fit, green coats cloth with green lapels, cuffs, and lining, with pewter gasback or pewter domed buttons with little visible machine stitching. Drab coats with drab facings with pewter gasback or pewter 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, or no waistcoat at all.

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 leather breeches.

Acceptable:  Well-fit leather breeches, wool breeches, or trousers 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

Legwear

Best: Well-fit wool British army leggings of green or blue stout woolen cloth. Garters made of the same material.

Acceptable: Indian leggings of green or blue cloth or stockings only.

Unacceptable: Anything else.

Shot Pouches & Cartridge Boxes

Best:Plain leather Shot-Bags carried with or without Nine or Twelve-round Government accoutrement sets.

Acceptable:Eighteen-round Government accoutrement sets.

Unacceptable: Possibles bags.

Powder Horns

Best: Plain, empty, powder horns with narrow leather or hemp straps. No horn at all.

Unacceptable: Anything else.

Arms

Best: Civilian fowlers, Dutch or French Guns, Wilson contract muskets marked “NEW-YORK CIty” orLong land pattern muskets.

Unacceptable: Canoe gun, blunderbuss, long rifles.

Sidearms

Best: Small hatchet and/or bayonet. 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.

Haversacks

Best: Government stamped osnaburg haversack for rations.

Acceptable: Plain osnaburg haversack. Haversack rolled inside blanket.

Unacceptable: Cotton or print haversacks.

Blankets

Best:British Army Blankets, 2-3 point check, Dutch,

Acceptable:Rose blankets, Civilian center-seamed blankets, Plain white or Hudson Bay blankets.

Unacceptable: Civil War grey blankets.

Tumplines

Best:Hemp tumplines carried high on the back.

Acceptable: Hair-on calfskin snapsacks, single envelope knapsacks or blanket rolls.

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