I respect the excellent research done my Mr. Chartrand and thank him for responding to both my original question regarding the 24th US, and for the latter on the "cuffs and shoulder-strap" question. His writings and observations have been of great interest and help in doing research into this time period.
I wanted to chime in on the shoulder strap and cuffs question posed by Mr. Hayden of the 25th US. I have read, and seen, many quarter-master reports which do indeed mention extra small sized buttons normally saved for such straps and the amount of buttons which would seem to support the shoulder-strap theory, unfortunately no such information dates from either during or before the War of 1812, the earliest of said accounts dates to about 1816 or later and should not be assumed that US grey roundabouts had such additions. The earlier comments about the American shortages and frugality seem to suggest the economy of the jackets/roundabouts in wartime.
A known, and documented practice, in the American army was to remove the sleeves of the roundabouts in winter, assuming coatees were available, and to wear them as vests under the woolen coatees. So the thought to place extra work, buttons and fabric onto a potential vest, and one which would possibly have the sleeves removed, could defend the argument that these may have been plain and without straps and cuffs. So in that respect, I concur with Mr. Hayden.
The British practice of wearing barracks-jackets (sleeved American-roundabout-styled garments) and waistcoats is an exercise in semantics and can be confusing. The waistcoat that many refer to, can be more of a vest-like garment and the barracks-jackets are more like the American grey-jackets in question. I would caution researchers to be sure, when referring to and reading the British accounts, that they are familiar with the American equivalent. The British used colored facings on the collar and cuffs on their barracks-jackets, but that doesn't suggest that Americans have necessarily used the color component and may have been referring to the "cut" or style of the jackets in the earlier quote from the quartermaster “with sleeves like those of the British soldiers' (USNA, RG 107/6/7 jan 18, 1814 SW to C. Irvine)”. These are fuzzy and interpretable areas, I have not seen clear evidence of any shoulder-straps or cuffs on the grey roundabouts of the Americans during the War of 1812.
Thanks for the great question, I will keep looking for better evidence and research. If anybody has any more to contribute or share, I am really interested to learn more in this area of American infantry dress.
James R. Chochole
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