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1750's Equipment ~ Provincial Soldier/Militia

  • Cartridge box
  • Tomahawk
  • Waist belt with or w/o a carriage
  • Canteen
  • Haversack
  • Blankets
  • Oilcloth
  • Tricorn and workers cap
  • Shirt
  • Neck stock or scarf
  • Waistcoat/Sleeved waistcoat
  • Work shirt
  • Breeches
  • Socks
  • Shoes
  • Knife
  • Spoon & pocketknife
  • Boiler
  • Cup
  • Sewing kit - needles, thread, scissors, spare buttons
  • Fire starting gear- Flint, steel, char cloth & tow
  • Garters

Basic Descriptions of Accoutrements

Cartridge Box: Obviously, you need something to carry cartridges in. The Cartridge Box should be British style, with large flap. I have the pattern. The strap should be buff or un-dyed leather, 2" or 2.5" wide, preferably with two buckles. Cleaning supplies including a tow worm, a main spring vise, tow and a small amount of oil should also be carried.

Hatchet or tomahawk: Every man would have had either a hatchet or a Tomahawk.

Waist belt and carriage: if you carry a bayonet and hatchet (or tomahawk), you will need a waist belt and carriage.

Canteen: recommend tin, wood, or copper. Wood would be your first choice for authenticity, although it is difficult to get a good one. Tin is the best overall choice due to the fact that you don't have to swell it two days before an event and if the water freezes you can sit it by the fire to melt it.

Haversack: This should be natural linen or canvas, 14" to 16" square With three pewter buttons.

Knapsack or bedroll: You can either use a "knapsack" (oversized haversack with two arm straps and ties for a blanket) or a bedroll. A bedroll is just that, your bed rolled up and tied with some sort of strap to carry it across your shoulders.

Knife: A sturdy trade knife will do almost any camp chore.

Kettle: Small copper or tin cook pots of varying sizes (you can get nesting ones that provide several sizes). Good for hot cereals in the morning, stews and tea.

Utensils: You should have the usual utensils, spoon, soldiers pocket/folding knife. Be careful, the styles are different from the Civil War

Blankets: Standard military issue was white with a blue stripe, although the Provincials almost never saw these blankets. Any brown, grey, or blue blanket with or without a stripe on the ends is acceptable. Stay away from blankets with multi colored stripes, as these are incorrect.


Hats: a tricorn or some variation of a tricorn, would be the most appropriate hat for an English settler. A workman’s hat of linen or other appropriate material would also be useful.

Shirt: linen, any period correct style and color shirt with a short collar will do.

Neck stock and/or scarf: A neck stock is a piece of cloth that has ties or buckles on the back and is secured in that fashion. A neck scarf is a 36"x36" piece of silk or linen that is rolled up and worn around the neck.

Work Shirts: Long, loose linen or canvas work shirts are nice to wear around camp, or even in the field when hot (although you must have some sort of coat or jacket as well). These are made with heavy linen or canvas and are made exactly like a shirt. DO NOT wear heavily fringed shirts with capes that are open in the front. They are Rev War period. Massachusetts Provincials during the 1750's had linen or canvas work shirts, not fringed hunting shirts.

Waistcoat: Mid-eighteenth century waistcoats were long (thigh length) and usually made of wool or linen. If no coat is being worn over it, the waistcoat is usually sleeved.

Breeches: Depending on your impression you can wear any number of different styles. If you are a farmer you would wear breeches, either "French Fly" (preferred) or narrow fall. Wool or linen would be used, quality depending upon your impression. The provincial Soldiers were issued wool,

Socks: Knee length Linen or wool, or wool/cotton blend. You are going to find wool easier to find than linen. Sock of almost any color will do.

Gaiters: military style gaiters may be worn if you are wearing britches. These button up the side, reach mid thigh and are most commonly made of brown dyed canvas.

Garters: Cloth ties, or leather buckle garters should be used to keep socks in place.

Shoes: low cut buckle shoes, low cut tie shoes, or moccasins.

Glasses: If you wear glasses, you should have authentic style frames.

Thanks to Dave Valentine for compiling this list and allowing us to edit and use it.

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