The United States Army
Artwork by David Rickman
war broke out between Britain and America in 1812, the US army
was little more than a constabulary force with some 12,000 effective
the end of the war in 1815 and the devestation of a British army
attacking New Orleans, the US could boast more than 30,000 combat-tested
troops that could defeat the best infantry Europe could offer.
while arming them seemed no bother, provisioning and clothing
the troops proved a huge headache for the infant army and James
Kochan's The United States Army 1812-1815 looks at the
associated problems in great depth.
on the four-sizes fits all system was rorted terribly by unscrupulous
merchants who used less cloth than was necessary for long-lasting
uniforms and sold the cut-offs to scrap dealers for a healthy
it was decided to produce the uniforms in-house and so began and
describes uniforms for the infantry, cavalry and artillery and
does so with an almost-tailor's-eye accuracy.
David Rickman's eight colour plates show off the soldiers of the
era with a distinctive style and include some fine facial expressions
that add life to the drawings.
are more than 50 other pictures and images of uniforms and soldiers'
equipment, with some really terrific ones of battered and holed
old jackets, shakos and helmet plates.
colour plates are detailed and show off the relatively subdued
- certainly when compared with other nations' armies of the time
- American uniforms of the day.
you are mainly interested in the uniforms and dress of early US
troops then The United States Army 1812-1815 fits the bill
has all the information you'll need about the styles, materials
and manufacture. However, general readers would no doubt have
liked to see more information on the War of 1812.