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Minute Men and Their World

Soldier’s hut at Jockey Hollow, Morristown. This is where the Continental Army would spend the winter of 1780-1781, which was one of the coldest winters on record. That year the Continental Army faced some pretty severe food shortages, as well as it’s usual problems of clothing shortages. 
A soldier’s gear circa 1775.

thegentlemanscloset:

What would it look like if you took 18th century reenactors and did a photoshoot in the style of Vogue or Glamour. That’s what they asked at Colonial Williamsburg, and this was the result.

Top: 

Actor-interpreter Dennis Watson wears a yellow-silk floral-embroidered coat and breeches with a coordinated white-silk satin waistcoat. The embroidery pattern is taken from a purple-silk court suit in Colonial Williamsburg’s collections.

Middle left: 

Actor-interpreter Scott Green wears a lace ruffled shirt and stock under pink satin smallclothes with a purple taffeta coat embellished in silver embroidery and spangles. The embroidery design is taken from a suit in Colonial Williamsburg’s collections.

Middle right:

Ken Treese, patternmaker at Colonial Williamsburg’s Costume Design Center, sports regalia constructed for an interpretation of Lord Cornwallis for the event “Under the Redcoat.” The British major general’s uniform is a regimental coat of red wool broadcloth faced with blue and embroidered in gold, a military cocked hat trimmed with gold lace and black-silk satin bow cockade, a pair of gold embroidered epaulettes with gold bullion fringe, buff linen smallclothes, black silk neck stock, and smallsword.

Bottom:

Journeyman silversmith Preston Jones in re-created livery from Virginia Governor Dunmore’s household—robin’s-egg-blue wool broadcloth waistcoat and coat trimmed in silver with brown wool broadcloth cuffs, collar, and breeches.

Pocket-sized sundial and compass. This is in the Morristown museum.

Roman numerals indicate the time of day around the face. Arabic numerals are underneath. Engraved. Dial indicator also engraved. On the underside, a flower design is engraved and “Roch blongeau/Paris 1673.”

On August 19, 1779 “Lighthorse” Harry Lee and a force of about 200 Continental soldiers (a mixed force of dragoons and infantry) attacked the British fort at Paulus Hook which consisted of an abatis outside of breastworks, inside of which were blockhouses and a magazine. The magazine was Lee’s goal. 

The Fort was guarded by a mixed force of Provincials, Invalid Brigade, and a few dozen men from the Knyphausen Regiment. The total force defending the fort was about 250. 

Lee split his force into three columns and attacked the fort about 3AM, quickly taking the fort’s guns, thus silencing any hope of sounding the alarm to forces across the harbor. A large number of men barricaded themselves in a blockhouse and kept up a steady fire on the American forces, and Lee attempted to burn them out at least once but quit—at least one of his stated reasons was that there were women and children in the blockhouse as well as wounded soldiers, though it may have actually had more to do with the difficulty of setting a proper fire on the blockhouse while under harassing fire from the enemy.

About 4:00 or 4:30, with daylight starting to come on Lee had to retreat or risk being discovered and surrounded by reinforcements from New York. His mission was only a partial success, in that he was not able to take the magazine. However he did manage to take 158 prisoners and wound or kill 50 of the enemy.

He lost two killed and three wounded.

In thanks for the mission Lee was granted a gold medal by Congress by way of reward, and the men were given $15,000 to split among themselves. Two men, Lieutenants McCallister and Rudolph were promoted to Captain because they had led the forlorn hope. 

One of the compasses used on the Lewis & Clark expedition. Meriwether Lewis was born on August 19th, 1774. This compass is in the National Museum of American History.
In the spring of 1803, Meriwether Lewis began to purchase scientific and mathematical instruments for a pending expedition into the northwestern region of North America. Among the items he purchased from Philadelphia instrument maker Thomas Whitney were three pocket compasses for $2.50 each, and this silver-plated pocket compass for $5. It has a mahogany box, a silver-plated brass rim that is graduated to degrees and numbered in quadrants from north and south, a paper dial, two small brass sight vanes, and a leather carrying case. Whether Lewis purchased the silver compass for himself or intended it as a special gesture for William Clark is not known.Following the instructions of President Thomas Jefferson, the Corps of Discovery, under the leadership of Lewis and Clark, ascended the Missouri River in May 1804 to obtain detailed information on the natural resources of the region, to search for a northwest passage, and to make official diplomatic contact with Indian leaders.
By the time they returned to St. Louis in September 1806, few of the instruments that were purchased for the trip had survived the journey. The pocket compass, however, was kept by Clark as a memento. He later gave the compass to his friend, Capt. Robert A. McCabe, whose heirs donated it in 1933 to the Smithsonian Institution.

One of the compasses used on the Lewis & Clark expedition. Meriwether Lewis was born on August 19th, 1774. This compass is in the National Museum of American History.

In the spring of 1803, Meriwether Lewis began to purchase scientific and mathematical instruments for a pending expedition into the northwestern region of North America. Among the items he purchased from Philadelphia instrument maker Thomas Whitney were three pocket compasses for $2.50 each, and this silver-plated pocket compass for $5. It has a mahogany box, a silver-plated brass rim that is graduated to degrees and numbered in quadrants from north and south, a paper dial, two small brass sight vanes, and a leather carrying case. Whether Lewis purchased the silver compass for himself or intended it as a special gesture for William Clark is not known.Following the instructions of President Thomas Jefferson, the Corps of Discovery, under the leadership of Lewis and Clark, ascended the Missouri River in May 1804 to obtain detailed information on the natural resources of the region, to search for a northwest passage, and to make official diplomatic contact with Indian leaders.

By the time they returned to St. Louis in September 1806, few of the instruments that were purchased for the trip had survived the journey. The pocket compass, however, was kept by Clark as a memento. He later gave the compass to his friend, Capt. Robert A. McCabe, whose heirs donated it in 1933 to the Smithsonian Institution.

(Source: americanhistory.si.edu)

redcoatlady:

Sailor peeing by Gabriel Bray.

Gabriel Bray was a rather prolific artist. Born in 1750, he died in 1823 and he sketched and painted a wide variety of subjects in a wide variety of styles, but many of them dealt with the sea, as in this painting of a ship titled A Ship Hove Down and Burning Off

redcoatlady:

Sailor peeing by Gabriel Bray.

Gabriel Bray was a rather prolific artist. Born in 1750, he died in 1823 and he sketched and painted a wide variety of subjects in a wide variety of styles, but many of them dealt with the sea, as in this painting of a ship titled A Ship Hove Down and Burning Off

(via yourfutureleader)

Anybody want to get me this chess set for my birthday? Made of silver and sold by Christies in 2004 for $11,400.
The figural pieces modeled as protagonists from both sides of the American Revolutionary War, the king and queen of one set George III and Queen Charlotte, the other George and Martha Washington, the pawns of East India Company tea-chest form or formed as American Indians, each piece engraved 1797 under base, the set in two fitted wooden and velvet-lined boxes, each box with a key, each piece marked on base, engraved with year 1797
King George III 4 in. (10.2 cm.) high; 302 oz. (9415 gr.) (32)