Hesse-Kassel Jäger Korps

Uniform Item Description

The Hesse-Kassel Jäger Korps strives to re-create the most accurate Jäger uniform possible by continuously conducting research, with the majority of this coming from primary sources. The numerous changes to the standard uniform and variations in replacement items that this research has documented make it difficult for the unit to represent the entire war with one single uniform. Therefore the unit has chosen to re-create the uniform used by the 2nd Company at the time of the Siege of Charlestown to illustrate the unique uniform situation of the Jägers.

Throughout this page the term primary is used often and denotes items that are considered part of the standard uniform. These items have been documented to be a standard issue item and were part of the uniform that was originally issued to the Jägers, or an approved replacement for an item. This does not include field substitutions and substitutions within the supply chain due to shortages of approved items.

Optional items mentioned on this page refer to items that are not part of the standard uniform but are documented as being substitution items or there is strong evidence to assume the item was used by the Jägers. These items include supply chain / field substitutions or modified items as well as locally acquired items. This page contains many optional items that have been approved for use by the members of the unit and more items will be added as this page develops.

    Headgear "Der Hut": There are two primary hats used for garrison duty (garrison refers to living history activities). The Tri-corn hat (DrieSpitz) of black wool with black lace, green and white rosette, sword knot and black Hanoverian cockades is the standard headgear used by most ranks. The Parade dress uniform would use the same hat but with green rosettes and tall green feathers. These two hats are not typically worn by members of the unit but instead wear a basic black Tri-corn that would be considered the primary headgear worn in garrison and during battles.

    The optional headgear most often worn for garrison duties is the Fatigue cap (Der Münzehutte), a long cap made from bits of old uniforms. For battles the Jägers typically wear a modified Tri-corn. The Hesse-Hanau Jägers documented a field modification of letting down the front of the Tri-corn and cutting down the brims to 2 ½ to 5 inches, with the back of the brim remaining pinned in a "fan-tail" style. This modification was very practical in the south due to the intense sun, and is considered the appropriate field duty headgear of the Jägers. An additional hat worn by some is the standard 18th century straw hat.

    Regimental Coat "Die Grunerucke": Woolen coat of hunter green with crimson cuffs and facings, narrow lapels and long tails which were unlined. The coat is not designed to button close but uses small hooks attached to the back of the lapels to bring the coat across the chest. Pewter buttons are used with three on each pocket and three on each cuff. Buttons placed on the lapels were used to identify which company a soldier was signed to. Buttons evenly spaced denoted the 1st Company; buttons evenly spaced in pairs denoted the 2nd Company; sets of three buttons for the 3rd Company; sets of four for the 4th Company. Narrow yellow lace on the coat cuffs and collar denotes a Feldwebel (Sergant) while white lace denotes the Korparal.

    Belts: Brown leather of approximately 2½ to 3 inches with rectangular buckles. The belt is used to carrier items such as the cartridge box, hunting sword, knife and/or tomahawk. It is actually worn over the weskit and under the regimental coat, which can make getting to some items on the belt difficult. As an option, some of the Jägers use a longer belt that can reach over the shoulder and down to the waistline. This type is use to carry cutting type weapons with a separate shoulder carried cartridge box.

    Weskit "Das Kamisol": Made of white linen in the 1770's style is the primary weskit used for the summer uniform while weskits of hunter green wool is generally used for winter wear. Both the summer and winter weskit typically have pockets but is not a requirement. Weskits of other colors and materials may be used as an option but should be of the 1770's style.

    Neck Stock "Die Halsbinde": Black fabric apparently of linen for the lower ranks, velvet for NCO's, and silk for Officers. This is worn under collar with ties in back.

    Shirt "Das Hemd": The Primary shirt worn by the Jägers is the drop sleeve shirt made of white linen. Shirts of other materials, colors and patterns are optional but must have been available to the Jägers in either the Northern or Southern Campaigns.

    Breeches "Die Hose": The primary breeches for the unit are the fall front style made of white or off-white linen for the summer uniform. Fall front breeches of hunter green wool appear to be the correct winter wear. Additional breeches that may be considered are black velvet breeches and black canvas trousers but in the letters that reference them they only appeared in the north.

    Because breeches were a common item, and one that received a great deal of wear and tear, there are many options to choose from. Mounted Jägers utilized buckskin leather breeches as part of their summer uniform so it can be assumed that many foot Jägers wore them as well. Captured French blue and white-stripped breeches are found in many references. The is strong evidence the British Quartermaster issued the Hessians, including the Jägers, gaiter pants in white, red-white strips and blue-white strips made of linen or canvas.

    Gaiters "Die Gamaschen": The primary field equipage for all Hessian troops was black painted linen gaiters, rising above the knee with 18 buttons made of pewter. Paint was used to stiffen and waterproof the material as much as possible. They were trimmed to length from a default pattern and then fitted to conform to the wearer. Leather gaiters were documented in the northern campaigns, and could be rationalized to have been a option in the southern campaign. Some research shows that brown linen gaiters were worn but the majority of sources indicate black gaiters were used after the French and Indian / 7 years war.

    Garters: Narrow black leather band with brass buckle.

    Stockings "der Strumpf": Over-the-knee style cotton stockings.

    Footwear: Shoes "der Shuh" were apparently the issue item for other ranks although there is evidence of dragoon boots for Officers and NCOs(Junkers) black smooth side out.

    Hairstyles: Long queue of hair(die Rattenschantz) bound with black tape "das haarbinde" sides rolled / curled with one less curl on the right side to allow the hat to be tilted to the right. Wigs were worn by those who didn't have long natural hair. Moustaches were strongly encouraged and handle bar types were quite prevalent. The moustache was compulsory for Grenadiers.

    Uniform Accessories

    Gauntlets: Cream or buff goatskin gloves with cuffs.

    Cartridge Box "Die PatronnenKartousch" (Belly Box) "Die Patronnentaschen" (Batallion Box): Worn on a waist belt, the belly box is made of leather of brown or black with a flap to keep the 20 cartridges dry. An option is the shoulder carried cartridge box (Battalion Box) that is typically of the 24 cartridge capacity design. There is some evidence that carrying both the belly box and the shoulder box at the same time is correct.

    Tornister: Used for carrying military items a soldier will need to perform his duties. Made of hair on cowhide leather, closes with two buckled straps, carried on buff strap. Based on an existing museum example and period artwork, the larger tornister design was used by the Jägers. Body measurements should be a minimum of 12 inches deep by 15 inches wide, with a 3 ½ to 4 inch thick side and bottom piece. Two securing straps with buttons are correct, top of straps are sewn to outside (furry side) of cow hair flap. Red-brown leather straps and square brass buckles, with leather slidekeeper.

    Haversack: Historically used for carrying a soldiers rations, though reenactors often use them for personal items. Made of cotton canvas or linen

For more information contact the unit recruiter@jaegerkorps.org Recruiter

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