At the conclusion of the Revolutionary
War, the United States began the practice that has undermined our Armed
Forces for two centuries: Namely that of immediately reducing our forces
to a bare minimum.
In the Fall of 1784, the United
States had only eight companies of infantry and two of artillery.
When Shay's Rebellion broke out in 1785, the State of Massachusetts had
to call out its militia and again in 1794, to quell the Whiskey Rebellion
caused President Washington to call out 15,000 militia. The defeat
of General St. Clair by the Indians in 1791 also pointed out the weakness
of our forces. Gradually the Army was built up under General Wayne
and the Indians were defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers.
The soldiers in our illustration
wear uniforms very similar to those worn in the Revolution. In December,
1782 it was directed that the dress for the Infantry be blue with red facings
and white lining; and it is in this dress that we see the Officer of Infantry.
The Artillery continued to wear blue faced and lined with red; and again
we find the Officer of Artillery still in these colors. However the
dress of the Dragoon was changed from blue to green after our friendship
with France became somewhat strained during the conflict between France
The cut or style of the coats
are different from the period of the American Revolution. The most
noticeable change was in the high collar as opposed to the low collar worn
during the 1775 to 1781 period.
of the American Revolution Magazine. Vol. LIV, November, 1920.
The Oxford History of the American People. Samuel Morison.]