The American Soldier, 1814

The War of 1812 was the cradle of the Army's general staff. Staff departments and staff procedures comparable to the best available in European armies were developed.

A general staff officer stands in the left foreground in the singlebreasted blue coat with black herringbone false buttonholes on chest and cuffs and gold bullet buttons. The uniform was adopted in 1813 and worn for the next two decades. Behind him is a mounted general officer, whose saddle with its bearskin covered pistol holsters rests on a blue saddlecloth with a wide gold lace border ordered for general and staff officers. Both men wear the high military boots allowed only to general and general staff officers.

An old American institution, the rifle regiment, reappeared on the rolls of the Army in the years leading up to the War of 1812. So well liked was this type of unit that three more regiments of riflemen were created during the war.

In the right foreground is a rifle regiment field grade officer in the gray dress uniform adopted for those regiments in March 1814 and later also worn by the 26th Infantry Regiment; the officer's shako is of the same shape worn by the light artillery; with the distinctive round rifle capplate and the green rifle plume.

A detachment of riflemen in their fringed, green summer linen rifle frocks, the only reminder of the green uniform formerly worn by the rifle regiment, are seen in the background. They are flanked by a rifle sergeant in a gray dress coatee with yellow epaulettes and a red sash of his grade and by a company musician, known by the black collar and cuffs on his gray coatee, who has a bugle instead of the fife or drum carried by the musicians of the rest of the foot troops.