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United States Army

The Definitive Illustrated History


Art Direction & Design: Kevin Ullrich

Artifact photography: Chris Bain

See the video book trailer here

Left: A U.S. artillery officer’s cloak and cape issue between 1812 and 1821, and (right) enlisted uniform jacket of a pattern adopted two years before the War of 1912 and word as late as 1818.  Made of wool, its once-white metal buttons indicate infantry use. It is believed to have been work by a New Hampshire soldier.

[West Point Museum]

[J. Craig Nannos Collection]

This sword, found forty yards in front of the American position, belonged to one of the ten British officers killed or wounded when attacking the redoubt, and was presented to David Bates Douglass, who was promoted to captain one month later. [West Point Museum]


Weapons of the French and Indian War


Dog Lock Musket

[J. Craig Nannos Collection]


1st New York Regiment Musket

[West Point Musuem]



Spanish Infantry Musket, Model 1757

[J. Craig Nannos Collection]


French Infantry Musket, Model 1766

[J. Craig Nannos Collection]


The Girandoni System Austrian Repeating Air Rifle, c. 1795,  is believed to have been carried by Meriwether Lewis on the famous Lewis & Clark expedition.  The air reservoir in the butt of the weapon could be pumped up to nine hundred pounds per square inch, allowing the twenty-two .463-caliber balls held in a tubular magazine to be fired in succession on a single charge of air.  Although its accuracy was not dependable beyond fifty yards, the primary purpose of the air rifle was to impress the Indians during the shooting demonstrations that are mentioned twenty-six times in the expedition’s journals.  Because the rifle had an unusually loud discharge, the weapon often was used as a signal to guide hunters into camp at night.

[Photographed at the Pentagon]


Right (red): This 1812 militia coatee was worn by James Hayward, who was in an Acton, Massachusetts militia company of dragoons.

[West Point Museum]

Right (red center on blue):  Militia coatee, c. 1808, believed to have been worn by a member of a Connecticut artillery company.  The 1808 Militia Act placed the burden of national defense upon the states with federal support, and these coats are loosely based on U.S. Army uniform regulations of the period. The use of red coats was common for American militia in the early nineteenth century and understandably caused problems in the field when trying to identify mounted unites at a distance, as occurred with the New York dragoon companies. [Photographed at the Pentagon]


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Left: Mexican War-era U.S. dragoon coatee, issued from 1833 to 1847.  This rare uniform example, which carries corporal’s stripes, was used as a template for manufacturing firms holding government contracts. It’s pristine condition is partially due to spending most of its time in storage. [West Point Museum]


Top right: Regular Army artillery drum made by Thomas Bringhurst of Germantown (Philadelphia), Pennsylvania.  The style of the painted eagle on the “artillery red” drum dates it from the 1820-1830s. It is the earliest known artillery branch drum marked for the Regular Army. The scroll’s painted “REGU.S.ARTLL.Y” indicates that branch of service.

[J. Craig Nannos Collection]


Bottom right: Drum used by Company A of the City Battalion of Newark, New Jersey. Organized as part of Essex Brigade of 1855, Company A was reorganized as the 8th New Jersey volunteers and today is an element of the 113th Infantry New Jersey National Guard. The drum was manufactured by William Hall 7 Sons of New York and has the state seal of New Jersey painted on its shell.

[J. Craig Nannos Collection]

These photographs, designs and content

are copyrighted by Sterling Publishing, Inc

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