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Date > 1800 > 1810-1819

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life

Resource Type > Image

Interpreter, Indian Department, 1812-1815

Type: Image

Officers and interpreters of the British Indian Department in Canada were often found in action with warriors during the War of 1812, the most famous instance being possibly at Beaver Dams in June 1813. At that time, the department’s uniform scarlet was faced with green. Interpreters, not being commisioned officers, did not have epaulettes. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Officer with regimental colour, 9th (the East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot, 1814

Type: Image

The 1st battalion of the 9th (the East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot was sent from the Duke of Wellington's victorious army in Spain to serve in Canada during 1814-1815. This was not the first time in the country for the regiment, which had been part of Burgoyne's army during the American Revolutionary War. This contemporary illustration shows an officer with the regimental colour (in the regiment's yellow facing colour). The 183 centimetre square colour itself is partially furled to make it easier to carry. Accompanying the officer is a colour-sergeant armed with a spontoon. The rank was created in 1813 as the senior non-commissioned officer in an infantry company. These men had a special duty of protecting the colours in action, and were distinguished with a special rank badge worn on the right arm.

Site: National Defence

Private, 1st Regiment of Foot (Royal Scots), 1813-1816

Type: Image

The first battalion of the 1st Regiment of Foot (Royal Scots) served in Canada between 1812 and 1815. This man, marked as one of the regiment's centre companies by his white over red shako tuft, wears the 1812 pattern of uniform that would have been seen in Canada after 1813. This is the uniform that the Royal Scots wore at the battle of Chippawa in July 1814. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Lieutenant-Colonel Gustavus Nicolls, Corps of Royal Engineers

Type: Image

Gustavus Nicolls was the designer of the Halifax Citadel, as well as Fort Lennox (Île-aux-Noix, Quebec). He commanded the Corps of Royal Engineers in Canada from 1815 to 1837. This portrait of circa 1813-1824 is attributed to his wife. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

Sailors, Royal Navy, circa 1800-1815

Type: Image

At the time of the War of 1812, sailors of the Royal Navy — like in most navies of the period — had no prescribed uniform. But in 1623, the Royal Navy adopted a system by which sailors could buy ‘Slop Clothing’ at a fixed price. Generally, the seamen's dress consisted of a blue double-breasted jacket, with brass or horn buttons, a short waistcoat — often red but it could be another colour, blue or white trousers, a round hat, a neckerchief — often black, stockings and shoes. Slop clothing was also avaliable in Canada. An advertisement in Halifax’s 'Nova Scotia Royal Gazette' of 24 November 1813 mentioned a ‘Complete assortment of Slop Cloathing, viz, Men and youth's fine Jackets and Trowsers, Scarlet and blue cloth Waistcoats, Woolen and cotton cord ditto [waistcoats], Striped Cotton and red Flannel Shirts, Great Coats, Pea and Flushing Jackets and Trowsers, men’s flannel drawers’, these later items to face the cold North Atlantic weather.

Site: National Defence

Grenadier private's coatee, possibly of the 3rd Battalion of the Quebec Militia, circa 1803-1815

Type: Image

The crescent-shaped ‘wings’ with fringes at the end of the shoulders of a coatee distinguished the flank companies of a regiment. The grenadier company is distinguished here by a small red grenade on the black shoulder strap. This coatee is possibly the earliest uniform of an enlisted man of the Canadian Militia known to exist. (Canadian War Museum.)

Site: National Defence

Officer, Glengarry Regiment of Fencible Light Infantry, 1812-1816

Type: Image

When the Glengarry Regiment of Fencible Light Infantry were raised in 1812, they were given uniforms that copied the 95th Regiment of Foot, a prestigeous British rifle regiment that had built a fine reputation serving against the French in Spain. The officers of the Glengarry regiment wore the same dark green jacket with black facings and silver buttons. The crimson officer's sash was worn over the right shoulder in the fashion of Scottish regiments - appropriate for a unit whose recruits included many emmigrants from Scotland. Reconstruction by Robert J. Marrion. (Canadian War Museum)

Site: National Defence

Militiamen raising the May pole in front of their captain’s house

Type: Image

The tradition of raising the May pole in front of the Militia captain's house, which began in the era of New France, went on in French Canada until the middle of the 19th century.

Site: National Defence

Canadian Voltigeurs on the march in 1813

Type: Image

The companies of the Provincial Corps of Light Infantry (better known as the 'Canadian Voltigeurs') would have looked like this in October of 1813 as they marched south from Montreal to take up defensive positions at Châteauguay. Some of the men wear their greatcoats, while others have only their grey uniform coats. At left is an Amerindian scout - possibly a Mohawk from Kanesatake or Kahnawake near Montreal. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)

Site: National Defence

An Ottawa Indian Chief, 1814

Type: Image

This Ottawa leader wears a tanned deershin robe. His hair is worn in a style noted for this culture, with two braids hanging down in the back. Amongst the silver ornaments around his neck, this man wears a European gorget. This piece of ceremonial throat armour was the mark of a European officer, and was a popular item with aboriginal leaders, according to surviving records. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence