American Clothing Requirements:

 Hessian Forces | Mounted Troops

British Regulars and Loyalists

The 2,400 men who crossed the Delaware with Washington -- indeed, virtually all his forces in the vicinity of the Delaware in late 1776 -- were short on uniforms, and those uniforms present bore little resemblance to those of the '"79 Regs." The largest minority were clad in civilian attire, not all that dissimilar to the clothing recommended for "Battle Road", as much of the force was made up of New Englanders. The smallest minority were in regimental uniforms, showing much wear, and the typically wild, early war assortment of coat and facing colors.

The '76 Campaign saw the first large scale issue of hunting shirts/frocks and overhauls.

A standard was set in 2000 at Battle Road that was admirably met by virtually all the "rebels" attending. For the Trenton/Princeton event we also like to achieve a special "look." We strongly recommend the following:

  • If what your unit usually wears is a uniform that is an early war impression (particularly if the coats are not blue), wear it. Certainly there were some units in blue (Hamilton's Artillery Co'y, the Dela-wares, etc.), but nowhere near the proportion that fields in blue at a typical re-enactment.

  • If your standard impression is a mid-to-late War look, consider the following:

    • If you have your "Battle Road" kit, wear it
    • If you have hunting shirts/frocks, and overhauls (britches and trousers are OK, too), wear them.

According to Washington's Orders and several primary accounts of the Battles, every man was issued a blanket before crossing. It would be an interesting look, as well as quite practical, if every man marched with a blanket roll. There are several Hessian depositions that note the Americans "were covering their firelocks with their cloaks", undoubtedly this probably refers to the use of blankets, perhaps "cape" fashion. Make sure this is not the blanket you will need for your bedding. It's likely to get wet, and you can't depend on it drying in time for sleeping. There's no need to show off how much of a "hard core" authentic you are at night, you'll all be billeted dormitory style in modern buildings anyway.

There will be an unusual amount of marching opportunities for most of Washington's Forces during the weekend. Having done this for 8 years in a row, we can assure you we've experienced virtually every weather condition imaginable, from 60 degrees, through well below freezing and knee deep snow. If you have a second (or third) pair of shoes, treat them with a good leather dressing and bring them. Make sure they fit and are comfortable, use some modern insoles if necessary. You have plenty of time to get properly outfitted, so we don't want to see "Timberlands" and the like, just because this is a "winter" event...

A reenactor from a prior year's event...

Hessian Clothing Requirements

American Forces | Mounted Troops

British Regulars and Loyalists

All German auxiliaries are welcome, and most that we've seen have been very well turned out.

The three Hessian regiments quartered in Trenton were all either Grenadiers or Fusiliers, virtually everyone had a brass miter cap except the officers and the detachment of jaegers and artillerymen. We encourage the use of miters, but understand they are difficult and expensive to reproduce. Rather than encourage folks to make cheap, unconvincing knock-offs, if you don't have a proper brass miter, wear a proper cocked hat or fatigue mutz.

Please note: if, as an individual, you have legitimate Hessian/German uniforms and accoutrements and want to turn out that way for the weekend, please do it by being accepted by, and registered for the event through one of the recognized Hessian/German units. If they accept you, we'll accept you.

Participants at this event will be registered as individuals through their units and umbrella organizations. There will be no "walk-ons," individual impressions, or last minute "falling in" to units with whom you are not previously registered.



"Hessian" reenactors from a prior year's event

Mounted Troops Clothing Requirements

American Forces | Hessian Forces

British Regulars and Loyalists

There were two mounted units present at all three Battles: the Philadelphia City Troop of Light Horse, in their brown coats with white facings, and the 16th Light Dragoons, with their red coats with blue facings.

If you intend to come mounted, we urge you to try and outfit yourself with the proper coat. We're not concerned with having the exact caps or other accoutrements for those specific units, so long as they are proper Revolutionary War styles.

If you would like to make the "proper" coat for one of these units, the Old Barracks Museum will provide you with the basic wool needed. Contact Richard Patterson, and indicate in your email that you'd like to make one of these coats.




British Clothing Requirements

American Forces | Hessian Forces

Mounted Troops

British Regulars

Though historically not present at the First Battle of Trenton (other than 20 troopers of the 16th Light Dragoons), we will need as many Crown forces as possible to resist the several columns of the rebel attack.

The Crown forces at Second Trenton and Princeton were predominately regulars. Highlanders and light infantry were prominent at Second Trenton.

Wherever possible, try to appear in a 1776 Campaign impression, almost off-the-boat, winterized. If your unit does a mid to late War, "cut-down" impression, try covering up with blanket coats, capotes, or greatcoats.

Wear your packs. It is recorded by the New York Weekly Mercury and Gazette that the 17th Ft., at Princeton, dropped their packs, charged through the rebels, faced about, and charged through them yet again. The Pennsylvania Packet recorded that they dropped their packs and ran. Anyway, they had packs and put them down at a critical point. It would be a nice piece of business.

British Loyalists

Though not recorded as being present in any numbers -- if at all -- we need everybody!

Those of you with Red uniforms (the "ripe") will likely be brigaded with the Regulars. Those of you in green ("unripe") will be fielded together, and, from a distance, you'll pass as Jaegers.

Some of you who have civilian kit (and some reservations about the Crown's behaviour, though not yet sure of complete independence) might apply to be fielded, as a unit, as "rebels."

Questions? Contact us at

...or contact the webmaster.


American Forces | Hessian Forces

Mounted Troops