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Thread: Lt.-Col. R. Dick & Gen. Stirling’s 1822 Letters, On Origin of the Illusive Red Vulture Feather.

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  1. #21
    The Light Infantry corps formed by George Washington in August 1777 and later commanded by Marquis Lafayette was distinguished by the black feather tipped with red worn in their caps. As with the British Grenadier and Light Infantry 'fllank' battalions, the corps was formed by combining the light coys of individual regiments of the Continental Line. As with the British flank corps, the feather served as the unifying element in the uniform. How long these ornaments survived once in the field is another matter.

    German states and the Austrians had sported woolen tufts (pompoms) and plumes made of cut hackle feathers since the mid-C18th. 'German' Hussar regiments in the French army also wore feather ornaments in their caps. For reasons that aren't entirely clear, it seems that ostrich feathers, singly or in a spray of two or three, came to be particularly favoured by the British for use in North America in the 1760s-70s. The custom was taken up by the American army. It may account for the complete absence of ostriches in America today.
    Last edited by Jf42; 13th September 2017 at 10:49.


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