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UNIFORMS OF
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION


Major-General William Howe was in command of the British forces in America from 1775 to 1778.  He was permitted in February, 1778 to resign his command but it was not until May, 1778 that Sir Henry Clinton came to Philadelphia from New York to take over active command.  Howe was at Bunker Hill, commanded the British and their allies at Long Island and in the campaign that forced the Americans to retreat across New Jersey.  He also commanded the forces that landed at the Head of Elk and then marched to take Philadelphia.  He is pictured in the full dress of his rank.

The fourth Foot was raised in 1680 by Charles Fritz-Charles, Earl of Plymouth under the name of the Second Tangier Regiment.  In 1715, King George I, conferred upon it the title of "The King's Own" and it was by this name that it was known during the American Revolution. 

The regiment was a Royal Regiment and therefore had blue facings as shown.  In addition the musicians of the Royal Regiments were dressed in the same colors as the men, that is red coat faced with blue, except that their coats were decorated by the addition of lace on their sleeves. 

The 4th were sent to Boston in 1774, and their flank companies took place in the engagements at Lexington and Concord under Lieutenant-Colonel Smith of the 10th Foot.  The two flank companies of the King's Own also saw action during the attack on Bunker Hill.  The regiment also saw action at the following battles: Long Island, Pell's Point, White Plains, Fort Washington, Danbury, Brandywine, and Germantown. 

In 1778 the 4th was sent to the Barbados from which they sailed to take part in the capture of the French Island of St. Lucia.

[REFERENCES: Historical Record of the Fourth, or King's Own Regiment of Foot.  Richard Cannon. The War of the Revolution.  Christopher L. Ward.  A History of the Uniforms of the British Army.  Vol. III.  C. C. P. Lawson.]

Sir William Howe, Commander-in-Chief of the British Army
and Musicians of the 4th Regiment of Foot
1775-1778

Sir William Howe
[SOURCE: The American Revolution, 1775-1783. Paintings by Jean Leffel,  based upon illustrations of H. A. Ogden and Lt. Charles M. Lefferts.  Photolithos printed Zurich, Switzerland.  Historical descriptions by Harry W. Barker, Jr. ]


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