illustration by JRM, 2002
Uniforms and Clothing

With the exception of their regimentals, the clothing issued to the Provincials was pretty much the same each year. In some years the troops received a little extra clothing but it was generally a standard annual issue. Their clothing consisted of

• one pair of breeches. In 1759 (the year we portray), the Provincials were issued two pair of osnaburg trousers

• one shirt. In 1759, records show that a checked shirt was issued in addition to the regular white shirt.

• one pair of shoes

• one black felt hat. During the 1759 Niagara expedition the men were ordered to trimmed their hat brims to 2-2 ?" while at Oswego.

• one pair of stockings.

• The Provincials were issued "a good lappeled coat". In 1756 and 1757 the NY Provincials wore drab colored regimentals with medium drab facing and cuffs. In 1758, New York issued a green faced green uniform to its troops. Some historians think that Robert Rogers (of Roger's Rangers fame) was able to get some of the New York 1758 provincial uniforms for his rangers or that the provincial uniforms were used as a model for the rangers coats. In 1759, the provincial forces of New York were split into 2 groups. One regiment was commanded by Colonel John Johnston and headed for Ft. Niagara under Sir William Johnson. The other regiment traveled to Ticonderoga under Amherst. There are two versions of the 1759 regimental coat. The "Niagara" version was a drab faced medium drab coat similar to what was issued in 1756-57. The "Ticonderoga" version was a chocolate brown or a drab coat faced with red, blue or green. The drab faced medium drab is generally considered the correct regimental for the 1759 NY Provincials.

• One blanket was issued to each man.

The New York Legislature did not issue waistcoats to its troops as part of the annual clothing allowance. When the NY provincials were required to stay on campaign into the winter months, the NY Assembly provided that they be issued a waistcoat each and a blanket. This winter issue is documented on at least one occasion when NY troops were needed to stay the winter at Niagara in the winter of 1759-60. Governor DeLancey wrote the Lords of Trade on October 28, 1759 "to furnish each man with a pair of shoes, stockings and a warm waiste coat which were procured and sent up without delay..." referring to the NY troops at Niagara and Oswego. It was also noted that Amherst requested the NY Assembly provide for their troops over the same winter along the Lake Champlain corridor.

Harvey Alexander wearing the 1st generation Schuyler's drab regimental coat, at Fort Stanwix, 2004

The members of the recreated Schuyler's Company of New York Provincials deliver a high level of authenticity in their representation of the 1759 New York Provincials uniform.

• Schuyler's Company have chosen to use the drab faced medium drab regimental coat. Members also wear a checked shirt as was issued in 1759. It is not unusual to see the company formed in their checked shirts rather than regimental coats, especially during extremely hot weather.

• Trousers and breeches are both worn during activities. Breeches usually being worn with gaiters or leggings.

• A round hat with the brim trimmed to 2 to 2 1/2" as was done at Oswego during the 1759 Niagara campaign is the company headgear.

• Shoes or moccasins are acceptable foot gear with shoes being preferred for historic accuracy.

Equipment - The equipment worn by Schuyler's Company is probably very similar to that worn by our namesakes from 1759. As directed by Governor DeLancey, we bring that equipment that we have. One of our members, John Castiglia, is an accomplished craftsman in period equipment and is capable of producing superior quality equipment upon request.

Weapons - In accordance with the April 1758 proclamation from Governor DeLancey, we bring our own firelocks. These range from Short Land pattern muskets to English trade guns to Tulle fusil de chasse. Some have bayonets and some do not.
The coat workshop, 2004, saw the production of about 10 regimentals. Pattern by JP Ryan. Some of the copies were made without lining material and edges were left raw. The facing material for lapels and cuffs were cut similar, from a lighter grey fabric. Pewter buttons were supplied by Allan Cross, and holes are hand sewn.
Clothing Brochures for Schuylers and 2nd Albany can be downloaded as PDFs from this page.

Civilian life

It should go without comment that the provincials troops were civilians much like the modern day army reserves. The militia could probably be more closely compared with the state National Guard. As civilians, the provincial soldiers came from a variety of trades. It should be understood that a number of occupations enjoyed exemption from military or provincial duty. Those occupations included the ministry, government officials, surgeons, ferrymen and millers.

The percentage of trades that were listed, and their percentages in the ranks is listed below.

Laborer 45.7%
food industries 2.6%
clothing industry 12.4%
construction 1.9%
farming 9.1%
trade 1.0%
leather industry 8.6%
education 0.4%
woodworkers 5.8%
medical 0.2%
shipping 5.7%
miscellaneous 0.9%
metal working 5.6%

Many farmers were carelessly listed as laborers in the muster rolls. Trades such as shipping refer to shipbuilders, sailors, dockworkers, etc. just as the headings of clothing, leather and food industries encompass those individual trades within those areas

Continue to Weapons & Equipment HERE