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American rebel infantry officer, circa 1775­1776

Caption: American rebel infantry officer, circa 1775­1776

During its earlier years, the American army wore uniforms in a wide variety of colours. Brown coats were quite common. For instance, within the rebel force that invaded Canada in 1775, Col. James Holmes' 4th New York Regiment of the Continental Line is recorded as wearing dark brown faced scarlet in 1775. The 4th Connecticut Regiment of the Continental Line also wore this combination, but without labels. This officer's weapon is a half-pike or 'spontoon', characteristic of 18th century British officers, which emphasizes how the rebels used the British army as a model in many ways for both uniforms and weapons. Reconstruction by Gerald A. Embleton. (Parks Canada)