UNIFORMS OF THE 1ST NEW HAMPSHIRE REGIMENT
During the years of the Revolution, most American regiments went through a number of uniforms.
1775 – 1784
A Historical Research Project Compiled by Jim Hayden, 1st NH Regt.
General History of the Uniform and Background
During the years of the Revolution, most American regiments went through a number of uniforms. The styles and colors varied according to the availability of materials. While we have been able to locate several mentions of uniform components in deserter descriptions, and we have found the orders of what the unit was supposed to be equipped with, it is almost impossible to know when they were received, if they were received and how many men got them, With very few exceptions, there was not A uniform, but rather components of a uniform issued. The rest was pieced together as best as we can tell.
The 1st NH began the war in civilian clothing, being composed of minute and militia companies responding to the “Lexington Alarm”. As the war progressed, the unit was issued several different uniforms, including two different sets of brown coats with red facings, brown coats with white facings and green coats with maroon facings. From our recent research we can find no mention of the unit ever having been issued the traditional blue coats with white facings as prescribed for New England regiments by Washington in his 1779 uniform regulations.
By the end of the war, the unit was brigaded into one administrative unit with the remnants of the 2nd and 3rd NH Regiments. At this time they were issued somewhat fancier captured British uniforms dyed brown (with British Lace attached).
Small clothes also were of several colors: from tan, brown, green and red to white. Pants varied from breeches to overalls, and no doubt included leggings of some kind during the 1779 Sullivan Campaign.
During the savage winter encampments at Valley Forge and Redding (CT), a soldier would have been lucky to have clothes at all.
Through various sources, such as military records and descriptions of deserters from contemporary newspapers, we are able to piece together a rough idea, as mentioned above, of what the 1NH, or at least individual companies wore during most of the war. It is important to remember that not all companies were dressed the same at any given time, and a deserter description was given for that individual only.