Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Hunting Shirt

"The ubiquitous hunting shirt worn by American forces during the American Revolution was an unknown garment to New Englanders prior to the arrival of William Thompson, Daniel Morgan, and Michael Cresap’s famed frontier riflemen (from Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland respectively) at Cambridge Camp in July and August of 1775 during the Siege of Boston. The linen hunting shirt was a backcountry garment which came about on the American frontier in the years prior to the American Revolution. The garment was synonymous with the American frontier. By August of 1775, the army George Washington commanded at Cambridge Camp was destitute, lacked proper clothing, and was in no way uniformed in a traditional military sense. In an effort to cheaply and effectively clothe his troops Washington attempted to outfit the newly formed Continental Army with hunting shirts, but the hunting shirt was not adopted as a uniform of the Continental Army until 1776. The Cambridge Camp General Orders dated August 7, 1775 stated: “…the General has hopes of prevailing with the Continental Congress to give each man a hunting shirt…” Washington would later write in a General Order dated July 24, 1776, “No dress can be cheaper, nor more convenient, as the wearer may be cool in the warm weather and warm in cool weather by putting on under-cloathes which will not change the outward dress, Winter or Summer – besides which it is a dress justly supposed to carry no small terror to the enemy, who think every such person (so dressed) is a complete marksman.” Hunting shirts were not worn by the New England Patriots who fought at Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, and the Siege of Boston. The hunting shirt was not adopted as a uniform for New England regiments serving in the Continental Army until mid-1776."

The above is just a sampling, of the valuable information, from a great article  by John W. Penny HERE
"A Primer to the Clothing the New England Patriots Wore."
It is an older article but worth your time.