Book Review:
The United States Army

By James Kochan
Artwork by David Rickman

When war broke out between Britain and America in 1812, the US army was little more than a constabulary force with some 12,000 effective troops.

By the end of the war in 1815 and the devestation of a British army attacking New Orleans, the US could boast more than 30,000 combat-tested troops that could defeat the best infantry Europe could offer.

But while arming them seemed no bother, provisioning and clothing the troops proved a huge headache for the infant army and James Kochan's The United States Army 1812-1815 looks at the associated problems in great depth.

Early on the four-sizes fits all system was rorted terribly by unscrupulous merchants who used less cloth than was necessary for long-lasting uniforms and sold the cut-offs to scrap dealers for a healthy profit.

Eventually, it was decided to produce the uniforms in-house and so began and major reorganisation.

Kochan describes uniforms for the infantry, cavalry and artillery and does so with an almost-tailor's-eye accuracy.

Illustrator David Rickman's eight colour plates show off the soldiers of the era with a distinctive style and include some fine facial expressions that add life to the drawings.

There are more than 50 other pictures and images of uniforms and soldiers' equipment, with some really terrific ones of battered and holed old jackets, shakos and helmet plates.

The colour plates are detailed and show off the relatively subdued - certainly when compared with other nations' armies of the time - American uniforms of the day.

If you are mainly interested in the uniforms and dress of early US troops then The United States Army 1812-1815 fits the bill perfectly.

It has all the information you'll need about the styles, materials and manufacture. However, general readers would no doubt have liked to see more information on the War of 1812.


- Richard Moore


Napoleon Bonaparte
Career Portraits
Quotes Family
Loves Letters
Plots Murdered?
His will Places
Era of Napoleon
Powers Opponents
Coalitions Allies
People Timelines
Key sites Shrapnel
Campaigns Battles
Armies Generals
Marshals Winners
Glossary Medical
Weapons 1812 War
Uniforms Battlefields
War at Sea
Naval War Heroes
Artworks Signals
Nelson Trafalgar
Key Maps Peninsula
Animated 1796/1800
1809 Russia
French Revolution
Revolution Guillotine
Posters People
Art, Film, Games
Education Goya
Sharpe Hornblower
Books Movies
DVDs Music
Wargames Images
Cartoons Caricatures
About Us Sources
Awards Sitemap
Links Militaria
Miniatures Reenactors
Forum Quizzes
Home Waterloo Diorama
Copyright Richard Moore 1999-2017 | Privacy Policy | Contact Us