Sunday, September 11, 2022

The Things They Carried, 1762

 Longtime readers of this blog will know that in the everyday material culture of military experiences, including things like what Union soldiers carried in their pockets and the interior decoration of Civil War soldiers' winter huts. A passing reference in May and Embleton's classic Ospery volume, Wolfe's Army, led me on a hunt for a 1762 document detailing the weight of a soldier's equipment. I found a transcription of this document with help from R. Scott Stephenson and John U. Rees in The Papers of Col. Henry Bouquet (1942, Series 21648, Part II / Volume 10, 77-78), a transcription series from the mid-20th century undertaken by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and based on original manuscripts in the British Museum.

The document was prepared by Lt. Alexander Baillie, 1st Battalion, 60th/Royal American Regiment, in the summer of 1762 and documents the weight (in pounds and quarter pounds) of every piece of equipment officially carried by a British grenadier on campaign in America in the Seven Years'/French and Indian War. It's detailed enough that you could recreate everything a man carried except the small things that made him unique (personal mementoes and idiosyncratic objects). 

David Morier's "Grenadiers, 46th, 47th and 48th Regiments of Foot, 1751" (part of a larger series, from the Royal Collection Trust) gives us a glimpse of British grenadiers in full marching order shortly before the date or Baillie's report. Note that these grenadiers are shown wearing their distinctive embroidered caps while Baillie's report notes (felt) hats.

In the interest of making this document more widely available (as far as I know, it hasn't been published or posted outside of the printed Papers), I've included it in full below. I should note, though, that this is now a transcription of a transcription, and I've made some minor formatting alterations below, and so it would be well worth a serious researcher's time to revisit the original (undigitized) manuscript and its context.

Lieut. Alexander Baillie to Col. Henry Bouquet

Return of the Weight of the Cloathing, Arms, Accoutrements, Ammunition, Provision, Necessary’s &Ca. of a Grenadier, upon a March.

                                                                                                    Augt. 28th 1762


                                                                                                    Lbs. Qrs.

A Regimental Coat, with Hooks, Eyes, &ca.             5. 2.

Waistcoat                                     2. 1.

Pair of Breeches                                     1. 2.

Hat with Cockade, Button, Loop, & Hair String             1.

A Shirt with Sleeve Buttons                                             1.

A Stock with a Buckle.     

A Pair of Knee Buckles.

A Pair Stockings & Garters                 3.

A Pair Shoes with Buckles                               1. 2.

A Regimental Firelock, with a Sling 

& Buckle / Hammer Cap & Stopper                    11. 1.

A Waist Belt with a Buckle                 2.

A Hanger, Sword Knit, and Scabbord             2. 2.

A Bayonet and Scaboord                          1. 1.

A Tomahawk, and Cover                          1. 3.

A Cartridge Pouch with Belt, Buckles, 

& Match Case                                                                     3.

Containing 24 Cartridges                             2. 1.

Brush & Wire, Worm, & Turnkey.

Oyl Bottle & Rag

2 Flints, & a Steel.                         1.

A Knapsa[ck] with Strap, and Buckles               1.   2.

Containing 2 Shirts. 2 Stocks. 2 Pair Stockings.                        2.   3.

A Pair Summer Breeches                               1.     1.

A Pair Shoes                                       1.     1.

A Clothes Brush, pair Shoe Brushes, 

        & Black Ball                                                                       1.

A Pair Leggins & Garters / A Handkerchief                         1.     1.

2 Combs, a Knife, & Spoon                     2.

A Haversack, with a Strap                                 3.

Containing Six Days Provisions                 10.         1.

A Blanket with Strap & Garters                 3. 2.

A Canteen with a String, & Stopper, full of Water           3.         1.

                                                     63. 3.

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