The American Soldier, 1827
The need for continued development and research in the military arts in time of peace was well recognized by the Army in the period following the War of 1812. To partially meet this need, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun proposed "a school of practice," and in 1824 the Artillery School of Practice at Fort Monroe, Virginia, was established. Unlike modern service schools, which first instruct individuals, the Artillery School began by instructing an entire unit at one time, the unit being stationed at Fort Monroe for a year's tour of duty.
In the center foreground is a captain of artillery, his branch designated by the gold trimmings on his coat and the yellow pompon on his bell-crowned shako; like all company officers,he wears metal wings on his shoulders and a red sash; his rank is indicated by the gold chevrons on each arm above the elbow. Designation of rank by chevrons for company grade officers became necessary when wings were added to the uniform in 1821, thus making the previous designation of rank by epaulettes impossible.
To the right stands an infantry grenadier company sergeant, in blue coat with white laced collar, white wings, and buttons introduced in 1821. His grade is shown by the white chevron on each arm below the elbow. The red pompon on his shako marks him as a grenadier. Beginning in 1825,each infantry regiment was to include a grenadier and a light infantry or riflecompany on the basis of the new tactics issued to the Army that year; they were retained in the regimental organization until sometime in the 1830's.
In the background a detachment of Artillery School troops are drilling,headed by company musicians in red coats with yellow wings and the national coat of arms on their drums.