Revolutionary War Uniforms
The traditions of the United States Army, including its uniforms and accoutrements, are rooted in the British Army of the 18th century. Clothing of this period is characterized by tightly fitted smallclothes (waistcoat and breeches) and coats with tight fitted sleeves. Generally speaking, each soldier would receive a uniform consisting of a wool regimental coat, linen smallclothes for spring and wool smallclothes for fall. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, a few pre-war militia organizations had uniforms but most of the soldiers wore civilian clothing. To provide some unity, George Washington ordered the use of a hunting shirt in the field. In 1779, the army established the uniform as blue with colored facings based on region: white for New England; red for Mid-Atlantic; and blue for the south. Musicians wore uniform coats with reverse colors. In 1782, blue coats faced red became standard for everyone except generals and staff officers. The vast majority of soldiers wore a cocked hat made of black felt and often bound with wool tape around the edge of the brim; white for troops, yellow for artillery.