Basic Uniform & Accouterments Guidelines of the 84th RoF RHE's

©2004 Nova Scotia Coy 84th RHE's; Maynot Be Reproduced

Basic Uniform & Accouterments Guidelines

The following is information excerpted from historical research conducted by the Regimental Headquarters of the North America 84th Regiment Association (NA84RA), and is presented here to give the new recruit an idea of what our basic uniform kit consist of. While the 5th Coy's basic uniform maybe regarded as Garrison in appearance, our main impression is that of a small scout / raiding party in the Mohawk Valley in the fall of 1779. Our uniform will therefore conform to this time line, and *may* include wool leggings & sleeved waistcoats instead of regimentals (for closed tacticals only!) to save wear & tear on our regimental coats in the heavy brush!


Do not make any purchases before joining the 5th Coy 1st Bn!
There are many "farb" items out there that are not suitable for our impression.
See the company commander or your mentor before making any purchases
We know what is correct & have our own sources for many of the needed items.

The following information is copyrighted & *maynot* be reproduced without the written permission of the Regimental Headquarters of the North America 84th Regiment Association (NA84RA).

"To be clothed, armed, and accoutered in like manner, with his Majesty's Royal Highland Regiment"

The 84th Regiment had two major variations of uniform. Due to logistical problems, their first issue was the Provincial full length infantry coat and accouterments. The were issued old left-over weapons from arsenal that had been placed there at the end of the French and Indian War. The 84th next received its full Highland issue and continued to wear the traditional Highland dress (one of the few highland regiments to do so), for the duration of the War.

From its foundation in 1775, the Royal Highland Emigrants, were ordered "To be clothed, armed, and accoutered in like manner, with his Majesty's Royal Highland Regiment." Although this was eventually accomplished, it was not until 1777 that all soldiers in both battalions were dressed to regulation. Once permission to raise the Regiment was granted, a uniform and equipment list was compiled and sent to Scotland with Captain Murdock MacLaine. MacLaine was to secure the contracts, insurance, shipping and to expedite the order.

The Royal Highland Emigrant's two battalions were forced to relocate in Canada due to rebel aggression. The First Battalion went to Quebec from New York. The Second Battalion went to Halifax, Nova Scotia from Boston. The First Battalion under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Allan MacLean, was forced to make do with Provincial uniforms from 1775 to 1777.

In the spring of 1777, the regulation Highland dress and kit arrived from Scotland. This clothing was issued piecemeal to replace the Provincial clothing as it wore out. The men were issued bonnets, plaids and hose to wear with their short green coats.

By 1778, the soldiers were totally outfitted as regulation Highland soldiers. This uniform consisted of red and white diced tartan hose, government sett plaids of approximately four yards, plain dark blue bonnet with light blue turrie, and a black ribbon cockade with black cocks feathers, purse, short red coat with dark blue facings, white linen waistcoat, black neck stock with buckle, red garters and black leather kit. They also received 2nd pattern muskets, and half basket hilted swords.

This uniform did not change much in the following years with the exception of adding a black bear fur flash and a bonnet badge. This uniform was kept and uses for the duration of the rebellion. Occasionally, substitutions were made by using surplus government tartan to fabricate hose and trousers. This was only used until the standard issue was acquired.

For field use, both battalions were issued two sets of trousers, either white and or blue, which were wore under the plaids in the winter, a white goat fur covered knapsack, a haversack made initially of "saile cloth" and later of linen. They also wore a variety of black belts and cartridge boxes as the mission dictated. In the winter, they men were issued mittens, gloves, blanket coats, watch coats, watch capes, leggings of brown, green, or tartan wool, Canadian moccasins (overshoes), and a Canadian cap.

The 84th wore a large soft dark blue bonnet that could be pulled down over the ears to prevent frostbite. The regular troops had a felt hat that did not protect the ears. They had to wait until the weather became bad to get their issue of Canadian caps. In addition to the two blankets each man was issued, the 84th had a four yard plaid which doubled as two additional, almost water proof wool blankets. The plaid when worn, could also be pulled up and wrapped around the body to form a watch coat or a poncho. The troops were also issued watch capes or watch coats which doubled the amount of material covering the Highland soldier. The tartan hose was woven which was much warmer than knitted stockings, and the hose offered more protection and was easier to darn. When the 84th troops were in the field, they wore their trousers and rolled their plaids and wore it over the shoulder. They could also carry extra food in the plaid roll despite the fact that they were ordered not to.

Another fringe benefit that the soldiers of the 84th enjoyed was the attention the plaid brought from the ladies: "The officers beg that the plaids and tartan for them should be sent down, as they are creasy to appear at the assembly and shew their fine white thighs and knees."

10th Coy 1st Bn 84th Royal Emigrees (NY)
(source unknown)

The following section is excerpted from research conducted by the NA84RA & details all of the uniform variations that the 84th used in its nine years of service. All items were recorded in the manuscripts. Each item has been extensively researched and described where applicable. All items are listed in alphabetical order and each is referenced by the quotation, place, and date.
The Fraser and Haldimand papers are from the First Battalion. The MacDonald and MacLaine papers are from the Second Battalion.
[NOTE: The 5th Coy 1st Bn has chosen to include information that primarily pertains to the 1st Battalion & the Enlisted Men of the 84th, as this is most significant to our units impression].

This section lists every known reference and variation to the 84ths uniform and kit by year. Regimental Headquarters guidance for all reenacting companies will be in {brackets} and no other variation is authorized without RHQ consent. Lets keep it historically accurate and uniform!

(NOTE: Comments regarding the 5th Coy 1st Bn impression will follow in [brackets] where applicable.)

Source abbreviations are:

A.M. = Alexander MacDonald's Letter Book,; C.O. = Colonial Office Papers, P.R.O.; F.P. = Fraser Papers, N.A.C.; H.P. = Haldimand Papers, N.A.C.; M.M. = Murdock MacLaine's Papers, S.R.O.; N.A.C. = National Archives of Canada; P.R.O. = Public Records Office, England; S.R.O. = Scottish Records Office; W.O. = War Office Papers, P.R.O.


After 1777, the 84th wore a brass bonnet badge. The badge was three inches round with the motto "Quicquid Aut Facere Aut Pati" (Whatever is to be performed or endured) and "Nemo Me Impune Lacesset" (No one harms me with impunity) inset in circles. The center of the badge had a thistle and the round location on the bottom center for the regimental number was left blank. The officers wore a silver version.

There are two extant artifacts in the Rochester Museum and Science Center. One is brass and the other silver. Both are un-numbered versions and were found in Fort Haldimand on Carleton Island. The Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution, by George C. Neumann, shows a bonnet badge without the number stamped on it. There is also an enlisted badge in a private collection in the Maritimes. This artifact was dug up and has no number. These were ordered before the Regiment was issued its Army number in December 1778. All other similar badges for other regiments have the regiment number stamped on it.

"For officers 64 badges, serjeants 60 badges, corporals and privates 1000 badges... A list of arms and accouterments is yet to be provided for the regiment of Royal Highland Emigrants, by Murdock MacLaine, London, April 8th, 1776." C.O. 5/93/389.

"The ornaments for the bonnets to be made up beginning with the oldest company." Sorel (also Sorrel), July, 1781, F.P.


Per regulation, all enlisted fittings and devices were to be of brass.

BALDRIC: The 84th sword belts were finished with a brass buckle and keeper. The enlisted baldric had a small decorative brass heart of which three versions are extant. The heart was not engraved with the regimental number or etchings. One heart was 1 1/4 inches across and 1 1/2 inches deep and is also clean. The larger version which was 1 3/4 across and 2 inches deep. One of the larger versions has a thistle engraved in the center similar to the one found in Neumann. The Rochester Museum and Science Center has about a half dozen of these hearts found at Fort Haldimand. The 84th occupied Fort Haldimand late in the war and no artifact is engraved with the number 84.

The officers sported more ornate silver decorations. The version shown in the paintings of Small and McKinnon show an edge 'V' at the tip, with a small thistle in the 'V' and kept tight to the belt with a keeper of the same size as the 'V'. See the artifact from the 71st Regiment in the Scottish United Services Museum. A similar example is reported to have been found in an 84th occupied site in the South without a number.

Two examples of the brass hearts can be seen in the Collectors Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution by George C. Neumann and Frank J. Kravic. An example of an Enlisted 42nd Regiment brass heart is in History Written With Pick and Shovel, Calver and Bolton.

Sword and Bayonet Scabbards: All fittings were standard brass issue clips and tips.

Shoulder Belts: All of the buckles were brass. The belts had two styles of plates. The 1775-1778 issue was an oval with the motto "Nemo Me Impune Lacesset" in the ring and "2b" and "2b" stamped in the center boss. It is thought that this was stamped in lieu of the number 84 which had not as then, been assigned to the Regiment. The Royal Highland Emigrants was referenced in documents as having two brigades. The 1779-1784 issue was rectangular with the number 84 inside a boss with a crown over it. Rectangle belt badge: Military Shoulder Belt Plates and Buttons by Major H.G. Parkyn. Oval belt badge: Collection of Dr. D.R. MacInnis, Shubenacadie, Nova Scotia.

Note: It is not known at this time, if the side boxes had plates or devices.

BELT BUCKLE PLATE: The Rochester Museum has in its collection half of the standard brass rectangle plate engraved with the number 84. This artifact was found at Fort Niagara. It is 2 3/4 inches long and 1 1/2 inches high. The numbers 84 are 1 inch tall. Half of the buckle is missing including the number 4. The back has two studs and a hook. Accession number AR-48957.


The 84th had five large button variations. In 1775-1776, the First Battalion was issued "RP" Royal Provincial pewter buttons. In 1777-1778, the First Battalion was issued a variation of the standard Highland pewter button without the regimental number under the crown. The crown was enlarged to fill the center of the button. From 1779 to about 1781-82, both battalions were issued the standard Highland pewter buttons with the number "84" under the center crown. Sometime after the 1781-82 season, all of the enlisted men were issued the button with a smaller 84 and a thistle in the center with a small crown on top. In 1775, all of the officers were issued identical plain gilt buttons. From 1779 to 1784, officers had the same variation as the enlisted button in gold plate. Before December 1778, the officers small buttons were brass with a thistle stamped in the center. One of these buttons is in the collection of Fort Ontario, N.Y. The shank is soldered on. In 1779, the officers were issued gold plated small buttons with bone backing which were identical to the enlisted small button, only in gilt on a bone back. This artifact was found in Fort Haldimand and is in private hands. The enlisted men's small buttons are identical to the large button with the exception of the late war version. There are many citations in the manuscripts.

R.H.E. Officers Clothing Book, Scottish United Services Museum.

History Written With Pick and Shovel, Calver and Bolton.

Military Shoulder Belt Plates and Buttons, Parkyn.

{Only good clean and authorized copies are to be used. If in doubt, check with RHQ}


The 84th had two types of canteens. The First Battalion's Provincial issue (1775-1777) was most likely wood painted blue. The issue from Britain in 1776 was tin. There are no specific descriptions of canteens in the Regimental records other than listing quantities.

"Tin Canteens". Newcastle Jane (hereafter as Jane), October, 1776, M.M. GD174/2102.

"...Canteens and haversacks the former after being well rinsed to be filled with spruce beer a quantity of which sufficient for two days..." Halifax, July 6th, 1777, M.M.

"Wooden Canteens 4shillings, 8 pence." September 10th, 1781, M.M.

"Canteens, wood, round and painted blue." Barnes, Scottish Regiments, Page 273.

"Canteens, wood, painted blue". McBarron and Todd, "British 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants) 1775-1783", Military Collector and Historian, Vol. 11, No. 4, 1959.

Note: The 'standard' issue was known as a "half moon" because of the bottom plate and curved back. This style was much less prone to being crushed while in service. All canteens had to be lined periodically with wax or pitch. It is not believed that the tin canteens were painted. To my knowledge, there has been no trace of paint found on existing artifacts from the period. Painting appears to have become fashion after the turn of the century. There were large stocks of wood canteens in store from the last War. There also may have been tin "kidney" canteens. These may have been issued to Provincial units. Kidney canteen fragments have been found at Fort Haldimand.

{Make sure that they are uniform by company}

[NOTE: the 5th Coy will utilize the "kidney" shaped canteens.]


The 84th used three types of cartridge boxes. Both battalions were issued Provincial side box from stores with white straps. This was issued to all of the First Battalion through 1777, and to select elements of the Second Battalion up to the fall of 1776. Both battalions also had side boxes which were identical to the belly box only with the straps nailed onto the back. Later, they very well may have been issued the current Provincial model. The 84th in the South had both belly and side boxes. Both battalions were issued the standard Highland pattern belly box. This was a wood, eighteen hole, curved block, with a black leather cover and belt loops on the front of the block. There are two versions of covers. One has the "GR" stamp, the other is plain. Many of these were made locally before the initial issue from the Newcastle Jane. Two examples of 84th belly boxes are extant. One in the Royal Canadian War Museum has a plain black flap. The specimen in Nova Scotia has a "GR" on the flap.

"The mens cartridge boxes are to be completed to 12 rounds broke upon." Quebec, November, 1775.

"Cartridge boxes are apt to be torn, an officer of each company will see a piece of leather yield to each." December, 1775, F.P.

"64 officers cartridge boxes, belt and frog; 60 serjeants cartridge boxes, belt, frog; 1000 privates cartridge boxes, belt and frog." Newcastle Jane.

"Paid Wm. McKenzie for cartridge boxes 15.15.0 pounds." Quebec, February, 1777.

"The cartridge boxes being so constructed that they are ready to turn in a manner as to allow the cartridges to drop out. The officers are required there for to pay particular attention that each mans cartridge box in their respective company shall be fixed in a way that there may be no danger of the men losing their ammunition." October 2d, 1777, F.P.

"Return of cartridge boxes and straps good, bad, and wanting." April 14th, 1780, F.P.

Light Infantry Company detachments; "be provided with forty round per man and three or more spare balls besides a box of ammunition." September 26th, 1780, F.P.

"Cartridge boxes with belts and frogs 63; ditto without belts and frogs 54." Quebec, October, 1780, W.O. 28/3

Note: There are many orders for the men to be issued eighteen rounds from 1775 through 1784.

{To be uniform by company}

[NOTE: new 5th Coy recruits will first obtain the belly box with plain cover before acquiring the larger shoulder carriage cartridge box].


In 1775, First Battalion was issued full Provincial uniform and kit with long green coats with red facings. In late 1776, these full length coats were modified into short coats. In 1777-1778 the green coats were phased out as the short red coats faced in blue became available.

The 84th was issued the red light infantry "short coat" or "Highland" pattern with dark blue facings. The coat had two epaulettes, white turn backs, and two pockets. The buttons were spaced per battalion number. Four buttons were put on the cuffs, four on each pocket, two buttons on the fore collar, and two buttons on the back side vents. A coat used 38 buttons. The collar, facings and cuffs were all to be regulation at three inches in width. The collar was pointed in the rear and folded down. The back of the coat had three vents. The center vent had a three inch lace triangle sewn above it. All of the buttonholes were laced. The serjeants had white lace, the regimental sergeant major had silver lace, and the officers gold lace. All coats were secured with hooks and eyes. The officers and noncommissioned officer's coats were of a better quality than the enlisted men. The officers had the luxury of having their coats made and tailored from officer's issue. Many of the officers wore a long coat and breeches to facilitate riding a horse. Captain Fraser's coat is extant and is of the long pattern in red wool with black facings. Officers also wore frock or undress coats.

See paintings of Small, MacLean, McKinnon and sketch by Von Germain. Also see drawings of David Allen for other Highland regiment officers. The main example we have of a Highland short coat was in the Zeughaus Museum in Berlin. This coat was lost during the war. There is a poor sketch of it in Lawson, as well as black and white glass plate negatives.

{Make sure they are uniform by company, proper lace and clean authorized buttons}

[NOTE: sleeved madder red waistcoats maybe worn instead of regimentals for "closed tacticals" only! This is to save wear & tear on our regimental coats in the heavy brush.]


There are many returns of Provincial issue given to the Royal Highland Emigrants and the Newcastle Jane manifest also shows similar items issued.

"Pots iron, pots tine with bags, pot hooks, dog irons pairs, tongs pairs, frying pans, and kettles." Also see Garrison Issue. W.O. 1/1

"The barracks master is to furnish each mess with a bowl, a platter, six trenchers, six spoons and a wooden ladle." W.O. 36/28

"Tin pint cups, tin quarts, spoons." Newcastle Jane.

"Proportion of camp kettle, 8 pence." Charlestown, October 5th, 1781, M.M.


The standard dirk was about 18 long with varied handles. Many officers supplied their own dirks. An example of an officer's dirks may be seen in the painting of McKinnon. Small's dirk in the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, and Angus MacDonald's dirk is in the Scottish United Services Museum. Some of the Scottish enlisted men may have brought dirks with them when they joined the Regiment. When an emigrant ship landed in New York in 1775, the rebel Donald McLeod went aboard to entice the Highlanders to list with Congress. McLeod recorded "that the said highlanders are already furnished with guns, swords, pistols and Highland dirks, which in case of occasion is very necessary, as all the above articles are at this time very difficult to be had." One such example from the 84th is in Amherst, Nova Scotia. It is most likely that the vast majority of the men did not have dirks. Dirks were not ordered and not issued.

{Plain dirks are authorized at the company level (if authorized by the company) and no Victorian variations to be allowed.}

[NOTE: plain dirks are authorized for wear in the 5th Coy.]


NO MODERN EYEWEAR - Buy period frames and have your prescription installed in them, or go without any glasses. Contacts are ok but you must be discreet with them and their associated items - don't let the public or other members see you using them.


The families of the 84th were well taken care of. The soldiers were, from time to time, instructed to turn in their old clothing to be distributed to the families in need. The regimental store also contributed to this charity.

For the families: "Suits of cloths complete, hats, moccasins, legging cloth, linen yards, Canadian shoes, stockings." Quebec, 1777, F.P.

"Donation clothing being not sufficient for the purpose intended, the Quarter Master was ordered to provide a small quantity of the same sort which will be charged to the different companies." Headquarters, Quebec, October 25th, 1779, F.P.

"An account of all things belonging to Mrs. McQueen: 2 blankets, 4 petticoats, 4 shifts, 3 short gowns, 1 pair stockings, 1 pair shoes, 1 apron, 1 coat, 1 waistcoat, 2 shirts." In the south, no date. Prob. 1780, M.M.


Garters are red 1 to 1 1/2 inch worsted tape, approximately 1 1/4 yard long, tied on the outside of the leg exposed. Garters may be seen in many contemporary paintings. See McKinnon. There are many references to garters throughout the manuscripts.

"Garters at 6 pence." M.M.

{Make sure they are uniform and neet}


Haircuts were standardized by style and length for uniformity. The men wore their hair in a queue. He was expected to keep it combed and tied with a black ribbon. During parades and on guard duty, the men had to powder their hair with grease and flour. The men of the 8th (King's) Regiment complained that Major Sinclair made all the troops under his command whiten their hair daily. The troops had to pay the cost of the flour which was very expensive at Fort Mackinac. Officers usually oiled and powdered their hair in garrison. They used a fine white talc and a fine oil.

Each soldier was to be shaved every third day per regulation. This was strictly enforced in the distant Upper Canada posts even during the winter.

"...that they shave before they parade for guard duty..." Quebec, September 8th, 1776, F.P.

Private Cato: "To cash for 1 shirt, combs and ribbons." July, 1777, F.P.

"Heretofore directed their hair tied and powdered and as clean and decently dressed as possible." Halifax, July 8th, 1777, M.M.

"No noncommissioned officer or private to have their hair cut until directions are given for that purpose." April, 1780, F.P.

"They will parade with their hairs well combed, powdered and tied singly behind." St. Lawrence, June 7th, 1780, F.P.

"1/2 yard of black silk ribbon." September 10th, 1781, M.M.

"The Garrison to be clean, dressed, powdered and ready to turn out at a moments warning." Sorel, October, 1781, F.P.

{Contrary to popular belief, NO facial hair was permitted. It is authorized but DO NOT inform the public that it is correct. It is not. Not even on the frontier or in the bush.}

[NOTE: The 5th Coy does allow neatly trimmed facial hair, though for some special events (including "historical" photography & reenactments) or tv/film work you maybe required to be clean shaven.
Hair length will be left to the descrition of the individual & should *NOT* consist of any un-natural colour(s) or radical modern styles!


Bonnet: Officers 1775-1784; Enlisted 1776-1784;

The 84th had two types of bonnets. The enlisted men had flat, dark blue bonnets with a medium blue turrie and black ribbon cockade. In 1776, a black tuft of cock feathers was used as a flash. In 1777, the feathers were replaced with bear fur and a brass regimental bonnet badge. The officers wore the enlisted style and also had the semi-ridged bonnet with red and white dicing and a large tuft of black feathers. The officers bonnet badge was of silver.

"If I could get a sufficient number of Kilmarnick caps, I would have them cut in a form that would look decent and uniform at the same time save the mens ears from being frostbitten." 1776, A.M.

"To the bonnet, 4 shillings, [This was most likely Murdock MacLaine's dress bonnet with dicing]... A bonnet and ribbon for 2 shillings, 6 pence." [This was most likely without dicing], 1777, M.M.

" bearskin stockade 1 shilling." June, 1777, M.M.

"Bearskin flash and cockade." June 17th, 1777. M.M.

"Mens names who need shirts, shoes, bonnets, trousers and belts, 32 1/4 yards drawn for 43 men (hose tartan)." July 4th, 1777, F.P.

"...the men whose bonnets are not as yet fitted up and properly cocked to give them to the tailors immediately for that purpose as it is expected the whole will appear properly and uniformly dressed on Sunday...". July 11th, 1777, M.M.

"30 officers bonnets sent to the 1st Battalion in 1777." December, 1777, F.P.

"...if possible a bearskin cockade." July, 1778, F.P.

"...that the mens bonnets are better cocked and each bonnet to have a cockade well fixed." July, 1778, F.P.

"The Grenadier and Light Infantry companies to be immediately provided with bonnets agreeable to the pattern all ready made for the Regiment." Montreal, October 2d, 1778. F.P.

"The bonnets of the Battalion to be uniformly cocked and ornamented properly, people will be appointed for that purpose." In the South at Dehocolet, June 12th, 1780, M.M.

"The ornaments for the bonnets to be made up beginning with the eldest company." July, 1781, F.P.

Paintings of MacLean, Small, and McKinnon show officers bonnet. Von Germain painting shows the plain enlisted bonnet with cocks feathers.

{Make sure they are uniform by company. Nothing looks worse than a line of men in mismatched bonnets. Its unmilitary and unnecessary.}

[NOTE: the 5th Coy will wear the flat dark blue bonnet w/medium blue turrie as per 1777 description; addition of black bear fur tuft / black ribbon cockade & brass badge]


The Haversack was the field storage bag for a soldiers personal utensils and his daily ration. Before 1777, the haversack was made of canvas "Saile Cloth".

"Each man to have his knapsack, blanket and haversack properly laid up and on his back." August 19th, 1776, F.P.

Many citations in manuscripts. {Make sure they are uniform by company}


The 84th used three types of hose. The Provincial issue was knitted natural grey colored socks. In the fall of 1776, the standard regulation woven red and white diced tartan bag hose was issued to the Second Battalion. In the spring of 1777, the First Battalion received its issue. When the red and white wore out, or was not available, the men wore bag hose made of surplus government tartan. The officers had red and white hose from 1775 onward. On one occasion, the men of the Second Battalion were ordered to wear their shoes barefoot with their short gaiters to save their hose for parade.

"Estimate of tartan in yards needed for hose 1775: Seventy officers = 170, sixty serjeants = 75, sixty corporals = 75, fourty drummers = 50, one thousand privates = 1250 yards."

"...1073 pair of private hose." Issued from Quebec, August 7th, 1776, W.O. 1

"Captain Campbell and McDougalls' shall be completed with the following necessaries, three good shirts, 3 pair good stockings, one pair trousers and 2 pair good shoes." September 10th, 1776, F.P.

"...the men are to make the half plaids lately given out into a kilt and three pair of hose." May 3d, 1777, F.P.

"...will divide and issue proportionately all the quantity of tartan for hose that now remains in the Regimental store; by this means every noncommissioned officer and soldier in the Battalion will be provided with one good pair of hose which must be very carefully preserved until a proper supply of tartans with the other regimental equipments arrive from Scotland, the men in the mean time will unless ordered on particular days (to wear their hose) constantly appear in their short leggings the tops of which must be taken great care of as they are to be occasionally worn when the Battalion or further detachments from it are called to active service." [To be worn with the plaid], Halifax, July 11th, 1777, M.M.

" to have on little kilt of the regimental plaids, hose of the same and red garters." August 10th, 1777, F.P.

" noncommissioned officer or soldier to appear under arms in no other dress than his green kilt and green hose." August 21st, 1777. F.P.

The men to be in "Stripped hose." Isle Aux Noix, July 7th, 1778, F.P.

"Plaids, bonnets, tartan hose given out this year." Quebec, October, 1781, W.O. 28/3

McKinnon and Von Germain painting shows red and white tartan hose. 1778. Memories of Andrew Sherburne: A pensioner of the Navy Revolution 1828, states that a party of Highlanders in Nova Scotia had "checkered stockings" in 1780.

Note: In Halifax, 1775, each enlisted man and noncommissioned officer was issued 1 1/2 yards of tartan. This was not the standard red and white or government tartan. Neither was available at that time. It is not known what color or pattern it was.

{Every effort WILL be made to have them uniform by company}

[NOTE: the 5th Coy will strive to wear "cath dath" (diced) hose, but will be allowed to wear "natural" colored hose for tacticals (etc.) to save on wear & tear of the cath dath hose.]

KILTS AND PLAIDS (Féilidhean):

The plaid was made of 3 1/4 to 6 1/2 yards of tartan, pleated via a cinched belt, through belt loops, around the waist with the surplus being pulled up and fastened to the left shoulder by way of a button. A kilt is a half (30/32 inch width) plaid worn mainly by officers. The men wore kilts only when there was not sufficient tartan to make plaids. All of the 84th plaids were of the government sett.

The men of the 84th were usually issued four yards of material. This varied depending on the availability and priority. There were occasions when the tartan lengths issued were reduced to allow the manufacture of hose, leggings and trousers. The men wore trousers on fatigue and campaign, and took their plaids along by rolling it into a tube and wearing it over the shoulder to the waist. In the winter the men wore their trousers under the plaid.

"Plaid and kilt belt." R.H.E. Officers Clothing Book, Scottish United Services Museum.

"Estimate of tartan needed 1775, 14,760 yards" [12 yards per man].

"...the clothing bespoken in Scotland Vis'e plaids, tartans, bonnets, shirts, shoes, linen." Glasgow order, 1776, M.M.

"Little plaids, tartans, bonnets." Headquarters Boston, January, 1776.

"Had we the plaids I would teach them to wear them in a manner that would answer for a watch coat." January, 1776, A.M.

"Officers plaid and hose." May, 1776, M.M.

"The men are to make the half plaids lately given out into a kilt and three pair of hose" [6 yards]. May 3d, 1777, F.P.

"To 1 short blue camlet kilt .5.2," June 10th, 1777, M.M.

"To short kilt 5 shillings 2 pence," June 17th, 1777, M.M.

" complete uniform with belted plaids..." July 7th, 1777, M.M.

"The whole will appear every Sunday, on all duties and parades in the complete uniform with their belted plaids etc..." Halifax, July 11th, 1777, M.M.

" be clean dressed in full uniform belted plaid with hose. The officers in little kilt uniform..." July 21st, 1777, M.M.

"The officers in little kilt uniform..." Halifax, July 23d, 1777.

"...the quarter master will issue plaids to the drum major to the pipers and to the tallest drummers and half plaids to each of the youngest drummers smallest in size." July 29th, 1777, M.M.

"Men to have on little kilt of the regimental plaids hose of the same and red garters." August 10th, 1777, F.P.

"No noncommissioned officer and soldier to appear under arms in no other dress than his green little kilt and green hose." August 21st, 1777, F.P.

" be dressed in their belted plaids." Sorrel, August 23d, 1777, F.P.

"Some men in the Battalion have been observed carrying provisions and other baggage in their plaids. This un-soldier like practice is positively forbidden." Halifax, November 13th, 1777, M.M.

"The order for the men on duty being constantly dressed in their belted plaids and hose is on account of the severity of the weather is discontinued and to directed they should till further orders appear under arms in their little kilts and short leggings they wore during the summer with addition of the tops which they received at the same time, in order to be worn occasionally when judged proper as to season or service and they will also mount guard with their plaids which during the day and in rain and moderate weather they are (as formerly practiced) to carry folded up in a belt on their backs; in the night time and in cold or following weather to be tied round their necks in form of a cloak. The commissioned and noncommissioned officers will instruct the men to wear this part of their dress in the most decent and soldier like manner." Halifax, November 20th, 1777, M.M.

"To cash paid for 8 yards tartan and trimmings for jacket and kilt 1.1.9," May, 1778, M.M.

Invoice of clothing for the 70th, 74th, and 84th regiments at Halifax from master general stores 1778: [84th items only] "2 bales of plaids etc, 11 bales plaids, shirts, etc., 1 bale for Grenadiers delivered at New York to Halifax, damaged jack coats, waistcoats, pieces plaids, bonnets." also "Two bails of plaids: shipped from New York to Halifax," July 4th, 1780, W.O. 1/10.

"It is the commanding officers orders that neither noncommissioned officers, officers, or private men belonging to the 84th carry bread in blankets, blanket coats or plaids for the future." March 25th, 1781, F.P.

"Out of the plaiding that has been issued to the Regiment, the commanders of companies will please to furnish each man immediately with a kilt to consist of 3 yards and one quarter each, the remainder of the plaiding to be carefully kept by the different companies for such purpose as Major Harris may in further think proper." Sorrel, June, 1781, F.P.

"The guard mount in trousers and kilts on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday in trousers, and Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday in kilts. All fatigue parties to be done in brown leggings." June 15th, 1781, F.P.

"To consist of 2 yards and a quarter in each, the remainder of the plaids to be kept by the different companies for such purpose as Major Nairne may in future think fit." [Made into hose and trews] June 18th, 1781, F.P.

"Tartan hose, plaids and bonnets...tartan hose given out this year." Quebec, October, 1781, W.O. 28/2

See painting of McKinnon and Von Germain sketch.

Note: No kilts or plaids are returned for any company in the South for 1781-1782.

Note: Tartan was issued in two width variations. If the tartan for plaids was ready to issue, it was in 60/64 inch width, made up of two lengths of 30/32 inch widths sewn together. If the issue was for 12 yards, the tartan issue was 30/32 inch. Field studies and research has conclusively shown that more than 4 yards of hard tartan in a plaid is inefficient.

[NOTE: *ALL* enlisted members of the 5th Coy 1st Bn will wear the plaid (Féileadhmór) as per the NA84RA handbook. Only the Serjeant/Commanding Officer may wear the kilt (Féileadhbeag). Exception to this will be made for work details, closed tacticals, or other occassions that will involve scouts into heavy brush & thickets in which case all ranks are permitted to wear the Féileadhbeag.]


The 84th had two types of knapsacks. The first issue was locally made of "saile cloth" and was the single strap fold over type common in the last war. They were possibly painted for waterproofing or may have had goat fur or cowhide with hair covers. In 1776, the regulation issue arrived at Halifax. This issue was the gusseted bag type covered with white goat fur and black straps with brass buckles. No example of an 84th pack has, as of yet, been located.

"Knapsacks to be of saile cloth." March, 1776, A.M.

"Each man to have his knapsack, blanket, and haversack properly laid up and on his back." August 19th, 1776, F.P.

Plate of the soldier of the 25th Regiment in Minorica 1769.

"West Point" by L'Enfant shows gussets and blanket wrapped on the outside secured with ties. Also the circa 1770 paintings of "A Soldier Returns" by Grimm; The "Battle of Germain Town" and works by Peale as well as many other contemporary works. (Not showing members of the 84th).

[NOTE: the 5th Coy will utilize the goat skin knapsacks.]

LACE (Regimental):

All of the 84th's Regimental red coats were laced. The enlisted lace was white worsted wool with a equal distant red, blue, red worms. All buttonholes were laced. The back center vent had a three inch lace triangle at the center seam. The officers had gold lace per regulation. The sergeants had white lace. The regimental sergeant major had silver. It is not known if the musicians used regimental lace or Royal lace. It is thought that they conformed to regulation and used Royal lace. The First Battalion set the lace in single spaced rows. The Second Battalion set theirs in pairs. The officers followed this practice. The Provincial coats were not laced. There is reason to speculate, that late in the war, the coats of the detached companies to the south did not have lace.

Stoppage to Duncan McArthur; "To cash paid for 8 yards tartan and trimmings for a jacket and kilt. 1 guinea 1.1.9," May 1778, M.M.

"A quantity of regimental lace is provided for the officers which may be made by sending to Quartermaster Murray this afternoon for what quantity each may want." September 24th, 1780, F.P.

Regimental Lace Collection of H.M. the Queen's. Also, the Von Germain sketch, paintings of Small, MacLean, McKinnon and the Regulation of 1768.


Per regulation, all leather was to be black. However, there were some variations due to necessity. The white leather of the Provincial issue was still in use the year following the Highland issue. The Second Battalion was still issued "whitning and shoe brush" in October of 1777. The First Battalion was still using some white leather issue in 1778. After 1777, all leather was to be black per regulation. The leather was polished with blackball. Blackball was a wax polish.

Baldric: Black leather, approx. 2 1/2 inch width, with brass fittings for enlisted and silver for officers.

Belts: Black leather 2 to 2 1/4 inch, with brass regimental buckles.

Sling: Black 1777-1784. The First Battalion had white slings from 1775 through 1777. The Second Battalion had black and brown slings. All had brass buckles.

Frogs and Scabbards: Black per regulation with standard brass fittings.

Cross Belts: The First Battalion had white from 1775 to 1777. The Second Battalion had black. All had brass buckles and badges.

Cartridge Box Covers and Flaps: Black per regulation. Some covers had a gold "GR" stamped on the cover.

"Paid Vincent the smith for cleaps to sword and bayonets at Quebec 10.10.0," 1775, F.P.

"Paid McAdams for scabbards, broadswords and bayonets 40 Pounds." 1775, F.P.

"Brown slings," Musket return, October 27th, 1780, W.O. 28/3

Portraits of MacLean, Small and McKinnon. Von Germain drawing showing white cross belts (Provincial issue). The Water color painting of 'Halifax Harbour', circa 1777, in the collection of Hon. R.S. Furlong - Unknown artist. This watercolor shows two 84th officers, one with white and the other with a black baldric.


The leggings issued were usually brown or green, occasionally tartan (government), and or light blue wool in the tube style, tied at the knee with red garters. The most common color after 1780 was brown. Short leggings (black painted short gaiters) were issued to the 2nd Battalion to wear with, and occasionally instead of, their tartan hose.

"Blue leggings, that will come up near the crotch and garters of red tape tied below the knee." 1776, A.M. It is doubtful that many of these were manufactured.

"Yards of green cloth for leggins 278 3/4 and 64." Quebec, August 7th, 1776, W.O. 1/1

"Hose... which must be very carefully preserved until a proper supply of tartan with the other regimental equipments arrive from Scotland. The men in the mean time will unless ordered on particular days (to wear their hose) constantly appear in their short leggins the tops of which must be taken great care of as they are to be occasionally wore when the Battalion or further detachments from it are called to active service." Halifax, July 14th, 1777, M.M.

"1 pair gater." Rhode Island, August 24th, 1777.

"Leggins; officers 1, serjeants 9, drummers 9, privates 9." Halifax, September, 1777, M.M.

"...all fatigue parties to be done in brown leggins." June 15th, 1781, F.P.

" be provided with flannel and materials for making up their winter leggings." October 3d, 1781, F.P.

"Blue leggins 0.12.6," Halifax, December 1782, M.M.

"Blue Leggins," Halifax, 1783, M.M.

[NOTE: the 5th Coy will utilize brown wool leggings w/ red tape garters for "campaign" use.]


The 84th had drummers, fifers, and pipers. The pipers were not authorized until after 1780. As well as communications duty, the musicians played for the men's entertainment during fatigue duties.

Drummers and Fifers:

There are few references to musician's uniforms in the 84th records. The drummers and fifers do appear on all of the return at two per company. The musicians were uniformed as per regulation. The drummers were issued full drummers kit from the Newcastle Jane shipment 1776: In increments of 40; "drummers purses, drummers caps, drummers feathers, drummers belts, slings, drummers swords, and drummers cases." The fifers would have been uniformed from this issue.

"...the coats of the drummer and fifers of all the Royal regiments are to be red, faced and lapelled with blue, and laced with Royal lace. The waistcoats, breeches, and linings of the coats to be the same color as that which is ordered for their respective regiments... drummer's and fifer's caps... to have black bearskin caps. On the front, the King's crest, of silver plated metal, on a black ground, with trophies of colours and drums. Drums... painted with the color of the facing of the regiment with the King's cipher and crown, and the number of the regiment under it." Royal Warrant 1768.

"For drummers: [In increments of 40] Broad swords, pistol belts, sword belts, kilt belts, purses mounted, caps, drum belts and slings." London, April 8th, 1776, C.O. 5/93/389

"...will issue plaids to the Drum Major to the pipers and to the tallest drummers and half plaids to each of the youngest drummers smallest in size." Halifax, July 29th, 1777, M.M.

"I asked ______of you for one of your drummers to act as Drum Major for us whilst the two companies remained here. I certainly meant he should act as Drum Major also to wear our Drum Major coat and bonnet." May 8th, 1778, H.P.

" want of drums, for by the carelessness of the boys (in spite of the Drum Major's attention) and the destruction of the rats almost all those we had are destroyed. Should you not think proper to send a whole new set at any rate it will be proper to send a quantity of drum heads and snares cords and drum sticks. But whatever whole drums come I beg (now that the Regiment is established) they may be properly painted as those of other regiments which you know our former ones were not." Halifax, January 20th, 1779, A.M.

"Drummers coat," 1779, Halifax, M.M.


Pipers were not dressed as musicians. They were not authorized (until after 1780) in the Regiment and thus were serving as private soldiers. Their pay was supplemented by the officers for their playing before 1780. After 1780, they were paid on the regimental account at an additional 4 pence per diem to their privates pay. The only known picture of a period piper, possibly a pipe major, is from the 25th Regiment circa 1770.

"To your pipes and other furnishings till allowed by the commanding officer, 44 pounds." [This was later disallowed during an audit]. F.P.

"Piper Neil MacLain disallowed 4.13.4 pipe set." May 18th, 1776, M.M.

The York and Lancaster Museum has the Second Battalion's pipe banner in their collection. The banner is blue silk with very elaborate embroidery. The decorations include, but not limited to: Horns and half moons, crown, laurels, "GR", 84th crest, St. Andrews crest, and 12 lines of embroidered verse in Gaelic. It is dated 1777. Translation: Prayer or wish of the Gael over his enemy - "Decisive victory in time of battle, shoulder to shoulder with their weapons and Highland garb around them, that they keep up, as was their custom, the fortitude and bearing of gentlemen and retain like a precious thing, to renown their forebears and handed down to them. Let them have their sword, their shield, pistol, long gun and dirk and, instead of music of harp or fiddle, let them have the war music of the pipes to march to. Motto: "With God's will in spite of men" or "God willing in spite of men."


The standard issue for the 84th was the 2d land pattern Brown Bess. In 1775, both battalions were issued old 1st pattern muskets from the arsenals of Quebec, Montreal and Halifax. Many of these 1st patterns were 'cut down' due to barrel wear. The 84th had many Charleville muskets. These were obtained from captured stores. The officers and possibly the light infantry had fusiles. Carbines were not uncommon. Each man was issued two to four flints and wooden flints were used for practice. the flint was secured with lead or a piece of leather. Stoppers were placed in the bore to prevent rain from wetting the charge. Bushes and pickers were issued to keep the pan and vent clean. Turn screws were also issued to clamp the springs for general maintenance.

"I wrote to Major Small to procure me an order for some of the arms of the 77th Regiment that were here in store... I have received arms..." September, 1775, A.M.

"...the light fire arms (light carbines and pistols) which had been bore by the 77th and 78th regiments last war and delivered into department store at Quebec, and Halifax should on the completion of the regiment of Royal Highland Emigrants be issued to that corp... none left in Halifax, given out to other regiments." Headquarters Boston, January, 1776.

"...all of the arms and accouterments first issued to the battalion and still unreturned when ordered to be changed for better arms from the public arsenal here." Halifax, July 17th, 1777, M.M.

"50 long land, 0 short land, 4 light infantry carbines" return of small arms issued to 2nd Battalion at New York, March 10th, 1780, MacKenzie Papers, Clements Library.

"A return of muskets, arms at Sorrel, October 27th, 1780", W.O. 28/3.

English Muskets:

78 with steel ramrods and bayonets with scabbards

30 with steel ramrods only

25 with wood ramrods, bayonet scabbards and brown slings

18 with wood ramrods, bayonets and scabbards

63 ditto cartridge boxes with belts and frogs

54 without ditto

62 French muskets with steel ramrods only

Captain MacLaine purchased one blunder buss, December 1782, In North Carolina for 3.3.0

"...every soldier has at least 2 good flints." W.O. 36

"The serjeants to observe that the men of their respective companies have a piece of wood in place of flints in their firelocks when formed for exercise." March 26th, 1776, F.P.

"...see the men flints well seized with a piece of leather or lead." August 13th, 1776, F.P.

"Flints...4 per man." Quebec, July, 1780, F.P.

"Stoppers are to be provided immediately either of wood or cork for the mens firelocks." December, 1775, F.P.

1125 pickers and brushes were delivered from the Newcastle Jane.

[NOTE: the 5th Coy may utilize either the 1st or 2nd Long/Short Land Musket(s); or the cut-down "Marine/Militia" version. All muskets must be period correct in style & have the appropriate bayonet with it.]


The enlisted men were issued neck stocks and "made to wear them." These were secured with brass buckles. The stocks were black and usually made of horse hair. Officers wore either white or black rollers.

"Making stocks for company at 1/3 Pence = 10 shillings." 1775, F.P.

"22.18.4 pounds for 500 stocks and clasps." March, 1776. M.M.

"...for 500 stocks and claps. This should be charged to the men." Account of Hugh MacLean, May 27th, 1776. M.M.

" soon as possible complete their men with trousers, white waistcoats and black stocks." September 20th, 1777. F.P.

"...The Regiment to be provided with black stocks the pattern of which is to be seen with the serjeant major." April 30th, 1780. F.P.

"Two pair of stock buckles at 9 shillings each." September 9th, 1782. M.M.

See paintings of Small, MacLean, and McKinnon.

[NOTE: black horsehair stocks are preferred, but black linen will be accepted.]


The officers were issued one pistol each. The style varied and it is not known which style was issued. It was originally planned for each enlisted man to have one pistol. The pistols, although ordered, were never delivered and the Regiment was credited 874.10.11 pounds.

Each officer had; "One pistol." R.H.E. Officers Clothing Book, Scottish United Services Museum, 1775.

"That the light fire arms (vigh conbeuex pistols) which had been bore by the 77th and 78th regiments during the last War and delivered into different store at Quebec and Halifax should on the completion of the Royal Highland Emigrants be delivered to that corps from the arsenals they had been deposited in." [Most were shipped to other units before the Royal Highland Emigrants request]. June 30th, 1776, M.M.

"64 pistols." Newcastle Jane

"A pair of fine Highland pistols, the stocks double gilt with fine gold in the richest manner and both stocks and barrels inlaid with silver and engraved in the best manner and complete with bullet bags; flannel and agate stones... 16 pounds 8 shillings." Sold to Small, London, June 19th, 1784. M.M.

[NOTE: pistols are for officers & NCO's *only*!]


The First Battalion companies on the frontier were supplied with powder horns. These were issued from stores. The Second Battalion was also issued horns. An original is in the collection of Captain Farquharson on Troloisk. It is etched: "Lt. Lauchlin MacLean 84th Regiment." It is also elaborately etched with flags, trees, drawings of cities, and other martial themes. The strap is red wool and embroidered with white thread. Another artifact is in the collection of Dr. Ross McInnis of Nova Scotia. This horn is plain (no etching) with a silver butt plate engraved with the stylized "RHE 2b." This most likely was an officer's horn.

"His excellency wishes you will as much as you can provide them with powder horns which will be more convenient for their use." June, 1780, H.P. [1st battalion]

[NOTE: the 5th Coy may carry "empty" horns when at events involving scouting or raids.]

PURSE (Sporran):

The officers of the 84th had raccoon fur purses with 9 white hair tassels and the head of the raccoon used as the flap. The enlisted men probably had plain leather purses from the Newcastle Jane shipment. The men had raccoon fur purses after 1778.

"...list of arms and accouterments is yet to be provided for the regiment of Royal Highland Emigrants; serjeants 60 purses mounted, for drummers 40 purses mounted, corporals and privates 1000 purses mounted." London, April 8th, 1776.

"1000 private purses, 40 drummer purses, 60 serjeant purses." Newcastle Jane.

David Stewart of Garth, Sketches, Vol 2, page 186, Frank Adams, The Clans, Septs and Regiment of the Scottish Highlands, page 461, and the painting of Captain McKinnon.

[NOTE: plain raccoon purses (w/o mask) of an authorized pattern will be worn by the 5th Coy. Serjeants may wear a raccoon purse with the mask attached to the flap.]


Rank distinctions were set down in the Royal Warrant of 1768. The 84th conformed to this regulation.

Corporals: As per regulation, the corporals were issued one white epaulet. Occasionally a white cord was used for this distinction. This may also be applied to lance corporals.

Sergeants: As per regulation, they were issued a sash in the regimental colors. They were also issued white lace. The sergeant majors wore silver lace and epaulettes. The Von Germain drawing of an 84th noncommissioned officer appears to have white lace.

Officers: The regulation for Highland regiments duty officers called for them to wear sash and gorget. The gorget to be of gilt color with King's cipher or engraved 84th pattern. The 84th pattern is presumed to be a copy of the 42nd with the 84 in place of 42. The red sash was wore over the shoulder, not on the waist. The officers had two pear shaped epaulettes with gold lace and fringe.

"Plaid sash and gorget." December 31st, 1782, M.M.

R.H.E. Officer's Clothing Book 1775, Scottish United Services Museum, and Newcastle Jane, also the paintings of Small, MacLean, McKinnon.


Shirts were made of white bleached linen of a course grade. Each was made of rectangular panels and buttoned at the sleeves and neck. Shirts were often shipped from Britain, but it was not unusual for the linen to be shipped for manufacture by regimental tailors. Most men had 3 shirts issued. Officers wore ruffled shirts. For work, the men were issued coarse osnaburg over-shirts.

"Billing for Irish linen, 3,222 yards from Sterling Bell and Company, Glasgow, to Colonel MacLean for the use of his regiment." September 8th, 1775, M.M.

"670 shirts and 108 rollers." Quebec, August 7th, 1776, W.O. 1

"...Captains Campbell and McDougall's shall be completed with the following necessaries, three good shirts." September 10th, 1776, F.P.

" cash paid for making 4 ruffled shirts." [Officers] 1777, M.M.

"1 oznaburg shirt 3 shillings," June 17th, 1777. M.M.

"...all duty or fatigue to leave their Regimental coats in their tents and to wear the course osenburg shirts." Halifax, July 8th, 1777, M.M.


Shoes were made of leather, straight last, rough side out, dyed black, and secured with a brass buckle. The men were often issued extra soles and heels to make field repairs. Occasionally, they were issued an extra shoe for rotation. The men in Canada were issued two pair. Officers had a better quality of shoe than the men's ammunition shoe. Officer's buckles would be of brass, gold or silver. Officers also wore riding boots. Everyone in the First Battalion was issued moccasins.

"...provide their men with moccasins, leggings..." December, 1775, F.P.

"The captains will immediately provide their men with each two pair of shoes that they may always have one dry pair." February 27th, 1776, F.P.

"742 pairs of shoes." Quebec, August 7th, 1776, W.O. 1

"Two pair good shoes." September 10th, 1776, F.P.

"Shoemakers of the Regiment to be assembled tomorrow at 12 to prepare the accouterments of the Regiment." June 12th, 1780, F.P.

"The Regiment to be provided with 1 pair socks, 1 pair of Canadian moccasins, 2 pairs of good shoes and 1 new pair in the company store for each man. The moccasins to be put on at Lachine, and no shoes to be worn till the arrival of the Regiment at Carleton Island." Montreal, October 26th, 1782, F.P.

There are many other references to moccasins for the First Battalion throughout the records.

[NOTE: the 5th Coy may wear either shoes or moccasins (Eastern Woodland pattern) at events, though for events portraying garrison duty shoes are preferred. All members should obtain a pair of shoes (with or w/o hobnails & heelrims) *BEFORE* obtaining a pair of moccasins. --- *NO MODERN SHOES* --- Affordable reproduction footwear has been available for years; there is no excuse for the wearing of modern dress shoes, combat boots, etc. The use of gaiters over modern shoes just doesn't cut it.]


In the formative years, many of the men brought their own broad swords with them. This form of personal supply held good until the number of non-Scottish recruits outstripped Scottish recruits. Some of the swords were smithed locally. The bulk of the swords for the men were taken from store in Halifax, from the disbanded 77th and 78th Highland regiments. Regular supplies of swords were shipped in from Glasgow starting in 1776. The standard pattern of the broad swords was the single edged dragoon blade with a full (officers) or half hilt (enlisted) of brass or iron. There were many variations in the hilts due to different manufacturers.

"Swords Brought with the Men." David Stewart of Garth, Sketches, Vol. 2.

"Paid McAdams for scabbards, swords and bayonets..." 1775, F.P.

"Paid Vincent the Smith for cleaps, to swords and bayonets." Quebec, 1775. F.P.

"My natural partiality for the broad sword is at this time in excused as I would wish to establish in some degree a new system of flank companies right targeeters instead of grenadiers... I previously received his [Gage] sanctions... you will of course receive orders for the manufacture of targets according to the pattern I have shown you." Small to Murdock MacLaine, 1775, M.M.

"...deposited at Halifax by the late 77th Regiment are found to be an _____ certain I am that the grenadier company of several regiments the 52nd in particular, now in this Garrison, have had some of the 78th broad swords delivered out to them and are actually readying them." 1776, A.M.

Sword charge at Moore's Creek Bridge, February 27th, 1776.

"Officers swords 64, serjeants swords 60, privates swords 1000, drummers swords 40." Newcastle Jane.

"Names of men who gave their swords in." [32 men in Malcolm Fraser's Company, 1st Battalion] 1778, F.P.

"The Young Royal Highlanders to go no service without being armed with their claymores." Headquarters, Halifax, July 22d, 1778. Dr. John Jeffries, Harvard Lib. MS. AM-1220.21

"Broad Sword Lost .10.0," 1780, M.M.

Swords of the Highland Regiments, by Darling and artifact in the Army Museum in the Citadel in Halifax.

[NOTE: back or broadswords should be of a period correct Black Watch pattern. Single edged backswords are preferred].


The 84th was issued the standard enlisted wedge tent throughout the War. The captains were issued medium sized tents and the field officers large marque tents. The Regiment was also issued bell tents in which to store their arms.

"Two field officers marques, 24 captains tents, 12 bell tents, 130 wedge tents." Newcastle Jane.

"Captains and subalterns tents with hook and carrole duck marquees with poles, pins, and mallets, weather ropes valises and pole bags." March, 1775, W.O. 1/2

"...will instruct the young soldiers in the Battalion in the method necessary to be observed with regards to the slackening and tightening the tent cords..." July 15th, 1777, M.M.

"The ground inside of each tent to be raised and leveled before the hurdles are laid down, a small trench to be dug around each tent." September 5th, 1780, F.P.

"The men of each company to be put into tents alphabetically." September 9th, 1780, F.P.

See Grosse's and Lochee's Essays on Castramentation. Also see the painting "Loyalist at Johnstown", National Archives of Canada, C-2001, By Peachy.


The waistcoats were made of white linen for summer wear and "coarse cloth" for winter wear. The number of pewter buttons varied according to height. Per the regulation of 1768, waistcoats were to be "plain without embroidery or lace." Waistcoats of spotted swan skin may have been worn by the Second Battalion in 1775.

"A west coat of spotted swan skin, light infantry fashion, with sleeves of the same." 1775, A.M.

Bill of Sterling Bell and Company, 1775, shows one order of 7/8 wide linen and 4 orders of 4/4 linen.

"337 waistcoats" issued at Quebec, August 7th, 1776, W.O. 1/1

"John McIntosh 13 shirts, 4 regimental waistcoats." Washer Bill, 1776, F.P.

"...while the warm season continues the men may mount guard in their coats only over their shirts carrying always their vests enveloped and packed up in their plaids to be occasionally put on when the chill of the evening comes on..." Halifax, July 8th, 1777, M.M.

"As soon as possible complete their men with trousers, white waistcoats and black stocks." September 20th, 1777, F.P.

"Captain John McLean, 1 coarse vest." 1777, M.M.

"Clothing return: Waistcoats; officers 7, serjeants 10, drummer 6, privates 6: Linen waistcoats; officers 4, serjeants 8, drummers 6, privates 6." [Coarse cloth waistcoats at the same numbers as the linen ones]. Halifax, September, 1777.

"Waistcoats 29, linen waistcoats 24, coarse cloth waistcoats 24." September, 1777, M.M.

"One coarse vest for Crawford .5.0," November, 1777, M.M.

"Waistcoats and coarse waistcoats." Halifax, 1777, M.M.

"4 good shirts and 2 white waistcoats per man." Isle aux Noix, March 2d, 1778, F.P.

Painting of McKinnon.

{All companies will have white waist coats wither in linen or wool.}

[NOTE: sleeved waist coats -- see above in section on coats].

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