[Ealge with Flag]
UNIFORMS OF
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

This regiment was raised in May, 1775, in the county of Providence, R. I., as the 2nd regiment of the Army of Observation of Rhode Island, which was formed into one brigade under Brigadier General Nathaniel Greene, consisting of three infantry regiments and a train of artillery. Over one thousand men of this Army in the same formation joined the American Army before Boston in 1775, as the Rhode Island quota at the call of Massachusetts for men from the rest of the New England colonies. The regiment was commanded by Colonel Daniel Hitchcock, and was numbered the 14th Foot. In the reorganization of the Continental Army, January 1, 1776, it became the 11th Continental Infantry. After the death of Colonel Hitchcock, January 13, 1777, it was commanded by Colonel Israel Angell, and was known as the 2nd Rhode Island Regiment, of the Rhode Island Line. On January 1, 1781, the 1st and 2nd Rhode Island regiments were consolidated, and commanded by Lt. Colonel Jeremiah Olney for the rest of the war. The regiment was present with Washington in all the principal battles of the war.

No mention is made of the uniform worn by the men when organized, further than that they were to be supplied by the colony of Rhode Island. They were probably of brown cloth with white or red facings. Later the officers furnished themselves with blue coats faced with red, and cut according to their own fancy, while the men wore any clothing they could get, until the year 1779, when we find that the regiment was well equipped, as shown in the drawing, with washable linen rifle frocks and overalls, cocked felt hats bound with white braid. Some of the men wore white coats and waistcoats or jackets, in place of the rifle shirt. Abbe Robin tells us, that while this dress was easily soiled, it was kept extremely neat and clean by these men, whose appearance and discipline were excellent.

The colors of the consolidated 1st and 2nd Regiments may still be seen in the State Senate Chamber in Providence, R. I. They were carried by the regiments throughout the war, and were present at Yorktown, in 1781.

[REFERENCES: Civil and Military List of Rhode Island, vol. I (compiled by J. J. Smith, 1900) ; Diary of Colonel Israel Angell (Edward Field, ed., 1899), page 36; Lovell, Israel Angell (1921), pages 125, 174; l'Abbe Robin, Nouveau Foyage dans l'Amerique Septentrionale en l'annee 1781 (Philadelphia, 1782), pp. 65, 67. A photograph of the above-mentioned flag of the 2nd Rhode Island is reproduced in the Diary, frontispiece; in Lovell, opposite page 350; and in Davis, Regimental Colors in the War of the Revolution.]

Second Rhode Island Regiment of Infantry, 1779
Continental Line

Second Rhode Island Infantry

[SOURCE: Uniforms of the Armies in the War of the American Revolution, 1775-1783. Lt. Charles M. Lefferts. Limited Edition of 500. New York York Historical Society. New York, NY. 1926.]


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