The famed British grenadier is the iconic image of the redcoated warrior. The 35th Regiment has decided to portray the Grenadier Company because these were the soldiers who saw the most hard-fought action in the American Revolution.Every regiment of foot had a grenadier company made of the best, hand-picked men. They were chosen for their experience, bravery, steadiness, and their height (the tallest men).
Battle Order Uniform & Kit
Shirt - white linen
Neckstock - black horsehair with brass buckles
Stockings - white thread
Gaiters - black, painted, reaching above the knee
Garters - black leather
Shoes - buckled, rough-side-out
Waistcoat - white wool with slash pockets
Breeches - white wool
Coat - madder red with orange facings, pewter buttons, shoulder wings, and regimental button-hole lace
Bearskin cap - black bear fur cap with a japanned tin front plate
Forage cap - red wool with an orange band
Cartridge pouch - 29 hole black leather pouch with a 2"-wide white leather strap
Shoulder belt - converted from waistbelts, these 2"-wide belts carried both the bayonet and the hangar (sword)
Knapsack - canvas with goatskin fur covering
Canteen - kidney-style tin canteen suspended on a natural hemp rope
Haversack - carried rations, made from off-white linen
Long Land Musket - steel ramrod, Dublin Castle
Hangar - the so-called 1742 pattern infantry hangar
Hair - to be natural colored (if a wig or hair extension) and queued (braided) with the tail tucked up under the cap
Parade Dress Uniform
Gloves - white thread
Hair - to appear long, queued with a black ribbon, and "powdered" white (a wig).
All else the same as above, but without haversacks or haversacks.
Summer Order Uniform - (Effective July 1st - September 1st, 2012)
Half-gaiters - reaching mid-way up the calf in lieu of full-gaiters
Cocked Hat - plain black with rectangular cockade and white hat cord in lieu of bearskin
Hair - clubbed as opposed to queued
This is documented based upon the inspection returns of the grenadier company, thanks to Hew Strachan's book British Military Uniforms 1768-1796. All other uniform and kit is the same. The image will be in compliance with deLoutherbourg's 1778 sketches of grenadiers in such attire. Click to view deLoutherbourg's sketch (Brown University)
The grenadier company was one of two "flank" companies, so named because they paraded on the right of the regiment. Their most distinguishing characteristic was the 12-inch bearskin hat, but they also sported cloth "wings" on their shoulders and brass match cases which carried slow-match for lighting grenades. Typical British soldiers who wore cocked hats were part of the "Battalion Companies"--standard line infantry. It was from their ranks that the best were selected to become grenadiers. The flank companies were always kept up to strength, replacing casualties as they could, to the detriment of battalion company officers who saw their best men taken away to the more prestious--and dangerous--grenadiers or light infantry.Grenadiers usually had at least a year of experience and grenadier officers had two years of experience from the battalion companies. While each battalion company had a captain, a lieutenant, and an ensign (the most junior commissioned officer), grenadier companies had one captain and two lieutenants. The grenadier companies were also authorized to have fifers in addition to their drummers, again adding to the prestige of the company.
Grenades themselves were seldom used in the latter half of the 18th Century, seeing most service on board ships or employed during sieges against fortifications. Grenadiers derived their name from this in the 17th Century. As heavy infantry, grenadiers were clothed with cloth shoulder wings on their uniforms and bearskin caps to make them appear larger and more intimidating.
The grenadier companies lead their regiments on parade and were kept up to strength where battalion companies might be considerably reduced in numbers. As shock troops, grenadiers also suffered higher casualty rates. To maximize their heavy-hitting power, grenadiers from various regiments were frequently banded together to form composite grenadier battalions, becoming a very potent shock force to unseat the most stubborn foe.
The 35th's Grenadier Company was formed into the 1st Battalion of Grenadiers in Boston of 1775 and took part in the Battle of Bunker Hill along with the 35th's Light Infantry company.
General William Howe withdrew from Boston in March, 1776, and landed at Halifax. There it was ordered that the grenadiers should all be issued with Long Land Pattern Muskets (also known as 1st Model Brown Besses) which were slightly longer than the new Short Land (2nd Model). They fought throughout in the New York Campaign. Though the 35th's battalion companies also operated against Pelham Manor, White Plains, and Ft. Washington, the grenadiers and lights left their parent regiment behind in New York to participate in Howe's Philadelphia campaign. Following the evacuation of Philadelphia, the army withdrew across New Jersey, culminating at the Battle of Monmouth.
At Monmouth the grenadier company, lead by Captain Hugh Massey, was exhausted by the unrelenting heat, bayonet charges, and deadly fire of the American enemy. Being the cream of the army, the Grenadier Battalion was thrown against the colonists very early on in the battle and incurred significant casualties--more from heat than from the enemy! In 1778, the entire 35th was sent to the West Indies as part of General James Grant's 5,000 man expeditionary force. Massey's grenadier company fought at the Vigo and helped secure the reduction of St. Lucia from the French. Indeed, so eager were the 35th's grenadier for the fray that Capt. Massey was once repremanded for too enthusiastically engaging the enemy on his own initiative!