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Wellington's Army


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Notes on War of 1812 Tents and Camp Equipage
by Keith Raynor.

    One of the more interesting details contained in the information below concerns tentage. The "Old Form" of tents referred to in the letter dated, Quebec, October 4th 1811, are most probably the wedge type tents, which are described fully in Lewis Lochees work, "Castramentation". These particular tents had been stored in Quebec since the American War of Independence. The "New Pattern" of tent requested by Prevost for service in Canada, was most likely the Round Tent, first introduced for the British Army in 1794. These Round Tents started to make their appearance in North America as the War of 1812 progressed and were much in evidence by the time peace was declared in 1815.

 

1. (To) The Right Honble. The Earl of Liverpool.

Quebec 13th October 1811.

My Lord, I have the honor to submit for your Lordships consideration a Report of the quantity and state of the camp equipage in His Majesty’s magazines in this Garrison which has been made to me by the Deputy Quarter Master General and I take leave to suggest to your Lordship, that in the present state of our relations with the United States of America the expediency of a supply of camp equipage complete for 5,000 men, of the New Pattern being sent to this Country as early in the next year as the season will admit.

I have the honor, etc.

(Signed) George Prevost, Lt.Gen. Com. of the Forces.

2. (To) His Excellency Sir George Prevost Bt.

Quarter Master Generals Office. Quebec October 4th 1811.

Sir, In obedience to your commands, I visited the Camp Equipage at present in charge of the Commissary General of which I have the honor to enclose your Excellency a Return; The Soldiers Tents are all of the old Form, and have been in store ever since the American War, but are nevertheless in such a state of preservation that in an emergency they might be found serviceable, Tho' I should doubt their lasting for any time. The Remaining stores are in perfect good state.

I have the honor, etc.

(Signed) A.H.Pye. Dept. Q.M.Gen.

Return of Camp Equipage remaining in Store at Quebec.

October 3rd 1811.

Tents    Officers flys and walls       One hundred and one.
            Horsemens                           Two.
            Provision                           Three.
            Privates                           One Thousand and fifty three.
            Bells of Arms                   One Thousand and fifty nine.
Canteens                                     Five Thousand, seven hundred and sixty.
Kettles                                               One Thousand and Ninety.
Tent Poles    Privates               Bundles| One hundred and eighty-nine.
                    Bell of Arms             Bundles| Eight.
                    Provision                Bundles| Three.
Pins and Mallets                              Casks| Sixty nine.
Pins and Mallets                               Bags| Ninety four.
Camp Colours                                  Cases| Eighteen.
Haversacks                                     Bales| Thirty Three and one half.
Haversacks                                     Seventy six.
Tomahawks                                       Casks| Thirteen.
Tomahawks                                     One hundred and twenty-three.
Knapsacks                                         Bales| Three.
Drum Cases                                      Ninety nine.
Bags Powder                                     Twenty.

(Signed) A.H.Pye. Dy.Q.M.Gen.

 

3. Field Equipment Return of the 1st Batt. 88th Regiment.

Quebec Harbour 9th June 1815.

Effective Strength :

Serjeants...........58
Drummers............18
Rank and File.......854
-------

Total...............930

 

Tents 0
Camp Kettles 157
Bill Hooks 94
Canteens 930
Haversacks 930
Blankets 930
Great Coats 930
Spades 5
Shovels 5
Pick Axes 5
Felling Axes 5
Bridles & Collars 3
Pack Saddles 3
Medicine Panniers 3
Baggage Straps 0
Public Horses 0
 

R.B.Macpherson. Lt.Col. 88th Regiment.

End Notes

1. Letters number one and two can be found in the National Archives, Ottawa, Canada. Reference "C" Series, RG8 Volume 1218, P.26,27. Printed with the kind permission of the Principal Archivist.

2. The Return of Field Equipment for the 88th Foot can be found in the National Army Museum, Reference AN 6112-689.

3. The 1st Battn. 88th Foot arrived in Quebec 3rd August 1814,on board the transport ship "Cathcart". Took part in the Plattsburg expedition. Wintered in Canada 1814/15. Left Quebec 10th June 1815 for the U.K. Information from, "The Service of British Regiments in Canada and North America", C.H.Stewart, Dept. of National Defence Library, Ottawa, 1962.

 

This article first appeared in " First Empire ", 1st Floor,21 Whitburn street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 4QN, England. E mail: dw@firstempire.Itd.uk

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