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Date > 1800 > 1860-1869

Subject > Armed Forces > Military Life

Resource Type > Image

Private, Canadian Volunteer Militia, 1863-1870

Type: Image

This volunteer wears the full dress uniform authorized for the Canadian Volunteer Militia in 1863. Few units would have worn the shako shown in this image, substituting the inexpensive (and far more comfortable) forage cap. The style is generally similar to that worn by British regular infantry, with the white-metal buttons and badges commonly used by militia units within the British empire. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Gunner and officer, Royal Regiment of Artillery, 1860s

Type: Image

From 1863, the Canadian volunteer militia artillerymen had the same type of uniforms as the British regular artillerymen.

Site: National Defence

A general accompanied by his staff, Montreal, circa 1865

Type: Image

This charming watercolour of the staff of the British garrison at Montreal was painted by Captain Francis G. Coleridge of the 1st battalion of the 25th (the King's Own Borderers) Regiment of Foot. The blue coated staff officers with their cocked hats are accompanied by a scarlet coated officer of the 25th. Coleridge's entire album of 90 paintings is now in the collection of the Library and Archives Canada. (Library and Archives Canada C-102478)

Site: National Defence

Kit inspection, April 1861

Type: Image

Soldier's kit laid out for inspection, April 1861. (Library and Archives Canada, C-011482)

Site: National Defence

Volunteers and militiamen, Prince Edward Island, 1859-1863

Type: Image

Shown are some of the uniforms worn by volunteer and militia units on Prince Edward Island between 1859 and 1863. At left are a soldier and officer of the Irish Rifles, a volunteer company from Charlottetown; in the centre is an officer of the Royalty Rifles; on the right stands an officer of the Queen's County 1st Regiment. Reconstruction by David Webber. (Canadian War Museum)

Site: National Defence

Canadian C.-E. Roulleau, régiment des Zouaves Pontificaux, Rome, May 1868

Type: Image

Pontifical Zouave C.-E. Roulleau wears the small zouave parade dress fur cap with a white aigrette feather. On most occasions, the zouaves wore the grey kepi with a red band. Back in Canada, Roulleau went to become a leading organiser of Zouave organizations in French Canada.

Site: National Defence

Rifleman, Canadian Volunteer Militia, 1863-1870

Type: Image

Some units of the Canadian Volunteer Militia emulated the British rifle regiments, wearing a similar dark green uniform with bronze buttons and badges. Although all of the Volunteer units were armed with rifled muskets by the 1860s, the prestige and spirit of the rifle regiments remained an attraction to new recruits. This volunteer wears the full dress uniform authorized between 1863 and 1870. He carries the shorter 'two-band' pattern of 1853 model Enfield rifled musket issued to rifle and light infantry units. Reconstruction by Ron Volstad. (Canadian Department of National Defence)

Site: National Defence

Montreal Volunteer Cavalry, winter dress, 1865-1866

Type: Image

The artist of this winter scene (Captain Francis G. Coleridge of the 1st battalion of the 25th (the King's Own Borderers) Regiment of Foot) obviously had some real-life experience with similar events. At the foot of the original painting is the incription 'Sit easy! now's your time to blow your noses, not when you are marching past.' Note the mass deployment of handkerchiefs among the ranks... (Library and Archives Canada, C-102551)

Site: National Defence

Private's tunic, Canadian Volunteer Militia, 1863 - 1870

Type: Image

This tunic is the standard pattern adopted in 1863 for the Canadian Volunteer Militia. It is similar to the tunic of a British regular infantryman of the era, but instead of straight cuffs with cuff flaps it has pointed cuffs decorated with an 'Austrian knot' in white piping. Note as well the white loop on the shoulder in place of the more usual shoulder strap. The facings are dark blue, a distinction normally reserved for 'royal' regiments but adopted wholesale by the Canadians. This example dates from 1863-1870, but the general style was worn by the militia for the remainder of the 19th century. (Canadian War Museum)

Site: National Defence

Examination for the post of Acting Major, Montreal, 1866

Type: Image

This vignette of military life was painted by Captain Francis G. Coleridge of the 1st battalion of the 25th (the King's Own Borderers) Regiment of Foot. The seated figure is an officer in a blue frock coat, worn by officers as an undress uniform. The work detail (with shouldered brooms...) is made up of common soldiers wearing red shell jackets or shirtsleeves. Note that even indoors, hats were commonly worn. Coleridge's entire album of 90 paintings is now in the collection of the Library and Archives Canada. (Library and Archives Canada, C-102547)

Site: National Defence