New Jersey Ranging Company
Uniform & Equipment
Picture © Osprey Books Ltd.
This Guide outlines the basic clothing worn by soldiers and associated members of the unit. It is based on clothing worn by the common civilian man and woman of the middle of the 18th Century, and of documented soldier’s equipment. It is meant to give the unit a good, historically accurate impression. Items underlined are known issued to the unit in 1757. The Uniform is taken from:
1. Votes & Proceedings of the General Assembly of the Province of New Jersey, 1757, page 16.
2. New Jersey Archives, Third Series, Book 3, Laws of the Colony of New Jersey 1746-1760, page 522-525.
3. A deserters report published in New York Gazette or The Weekly Post Boy, 2 Jan 1758, page 1.
Sketch Book ’56 series
Textiles in America
Sketch Book ’76 series
The Book of Buckskining series
Patterns of Fashion
Tidings from the 18th Century
18th Century Clothing at Williamsburg
Collector’s Illustrated Encl. Of the Rev.
War for Empire in Western Pennsylvania
Swords & Blades of the Rev.
A Visual History of Costume: The 18th Century
Military Uniforms in America: The Era of the American Revolution
Osprey: Wolfe’s Army, King George’s Army, American Woodland Indians
Journal of the Forces of Montcalm & Wolfe
Headgear: Leather Jockey Cap, Workman’s cap,
Short Brimmed Round hat.
Neckwear: Black neck roller, silk/cotton/linen/wool
Shirt: 3/8’’ blue or green check, or civilian white/natural linen/cotton.
Breeches: Buckskin /cotton/wool/linen French or English fly style.
Weskit: Green, crotch length sleeved weskit, with 5/8’’ plain flat pewter buttons.
Regimental: Gray faced gray military coat, without sleeves mid-thigh in length with 7/8-1 inch plain flat pewter buttons.
Stockings: Cotton/wool at user’s preference.
Leggings: Mid-thigh length blue wool Indian stockings,
leather/wool side seam style
brown/black/gray painted canvas military gaiters.
Garters: Leather/cloth/tape to hold up stockings and leggings.
Footwear: Black colonial shoes with buckles or ties, or Eastern Woodland style moccasins.
Fatigue Shirt: Workman’s or hunting shirt (Dirty Shirt)
left natural or dyed with walnut dye.
Waist Belt: British infantry waist belt/bayonet frog, or a similar style.
Haversack: Linen/cotton canvas standard 3 button style or knapsack/pack style at user’s preference.
Canteen: Kidney or “D” shaped British style in tin, copper, or stainless covered with wool.
Bedroll: Wool blanket with oilskin cover (no white canvas covers).
Tentage: Wedge tents, with the British infantry wedge(7’x6’x7’w/bell) as standard tent. No wedge tents larger than the French 1750(8’x8’6”x7’w/bell).
Firelocks: 1st Model Brown Bess (2nd Model is acceptable)
British/French/Dutch smoothbore trade and military muskets of the period.
1740’s-60’s period rifles are acceptable.
Bayonet: Suitable to fit musket.
Cartridge Box: 16/18 round belly box, 24/32 round shoulder box.
Suitable civilian shooting bag and powder horn.
Edged Weapons: A suitable hatchet.
Any suitable folding or sheath knives of the period, especially scalping knives.
The following is a list of documented accessories that a common soldier might have on his person or in his pack:
Tin/wood/pewter/ceramic plate or bowl
Tompion to fit musket
Calf’s knee to fit musket
Reading material of the period
Pipe & tobacco
Musket cleaning kit (Sergeants usually carried these)
Rain-proof Surtout (oilskin shirt)
Some items that may or may not be documented, that are presently accepted as correct period equipment:
It may have been common for soldiers who had contact with Indians to adopt some of their accessories such as bags, straps, etc. and also some of their decorative items as well, especially those who had taken Indian wives. On the whole though, most Anglo-Americans had little regard for Indians so a good rule of thumb on the wear of Indian items would be “less is best”.
From time to time we are asked to represent early non-uniformed Rangers and civilian militia, requiring the use of common civilian clothes of the period. Most of us prior to joining the unit were dressing as civilians of the middle of the 18th Century, but for those persons new to this time period, common men’s clothing would consist of:
A hat. Cocked/round/workman’s/etc.
A white or checked shirt.
A plain or patterned weskit (crotch to mid-thigh length).
Breeches (buckskin was very common for farmers).
A plain or patterned coat (mid-thigh to knee length).
A hunting or workman’s shirt (Dirty shirt).
Stockings and leggings.
Shoes and Moccasins.
Accessories and equipment would be the same as the soldiers.
Women’s Clothing and Accessories
Foundation garment: A white/natural linen/cotton shift or chemise.
Stays & Jumps: Stays were worn by just about all women during this period. Fully/partially boned cloth and leather are common styles. Stays can be plain, striped or floral.
Jumps are what is commonly known as a bodice. These were considered an undergarment and should be covered by a Jacket or Gown.
Petticoat: The skirt. Any number of these could be worn depending on the weather or fashion. Usually ankle-length, in linen/cotton/wool, solid colors, floral (no calico), striped and checked are common.
Jacket or Gown: These could range from plain working garments to very fancy evening gowns.
Many styles were available to include:
Jacket or Gown
Sack-back gown (robe a’ la Francaise)
Nightgown (robe a’ l Anglaise)
Fabrics could range from linen/cotton/wool/silk, solid colors, stripes, brocades, embroidered, floral (no calico).
Headgear: A cap, usually white linen/cotton, which was worn at all times while in public.
Mob, Lappet, Coif, etc. styles, depending on nationality or fashion. Also a kerchief worn over the head.
Low crowned felt or straw hats.
Neckwear: A kerchief worn about the neck.
Linen/cotton/silk/wool to accent the outfit. It was used for modesty, and to protect neck from sun and cold.
Apron: These could also range from plain to fancy depending on the outfit. Linen/cotton in solid colors, checks, floral.
Stockings: Cotton/wool at user’s preference. These could be solid colors, striped, and clocked.
Garters: Leather, cloth, or tape to hold up stockings.
Footwear: Colonial shoes with buckles or ties, Eastern Woodland style moccasins, sabots (wooden shoes), mules, barefoot.
The following is a list of documented items that a woman might carry or wear on her person:
Pocket (worn about the waist under or over the petticoat, containing necessities)
Knife (in a sheath tied to the apron strings)
Chatelaine with accessories (keys, sewing tools, etc.)
Due to the proximity of the unit to the Mohawk Nation it is very possible that some of the soldiers could have taken Indian wives, therefore women wishing to dress in Woodland Indian style clothing are encouraged to do so.
Native American woman’s clothing consists of the following items:
Upper body: Shift or Chemise
Wool or deerskin cape
Jackets and gowns
Lower body: Petticoat
Wool or deerskin skirt (usually knee to mid-calf in length).
Leggings: Wool or deerskin.
Footwear: Woodland style moccasins, colonial shoes, barefoot.
Native Woman’s Clothing
Most of the woman’s clothing was highly decorated with ribbon, bead, and quill work especially the leggings, moccasins, and skirt. Trade silver was also prominently displayed on all the garments.
Plain and decorated pouches and bags
Sheath knife in decorated sheath
Any available trade items.