The 13th were converted to light infantry in 1822, the eighth regiment to be changed, and this officer of 1828 is wearing their first uniform. There had been light companies attached to infantry regiments in the latter half of the 18th century but the first regiments to be entirely designated as light were the 43rd and 52nd in 1803, the 68th and 85th in 1808 and the 51st, 71st and 90th soon afterward.
The uniforms of the 1820s were the most elegant and the least practical. The lapels that had almost vanished at the turn of the century reappeared in the form of a plastron front, sometimes plain but usually well decorated with lace. The 13th were silver-laced until 1830 so the coatee worn by this officer has silver buttons and lace on his lapels, collar and cuffs. The shoulders were covered by silver wings with fringes, but the gorget around his neck was gilt. The gorget was a relic of the 18th century but was discontinued in 1830.
His shoulder belt has the centrally placed silver belt plate with the chain and whistle fixed either side. This was the symbol of light infantry officers and NCOs and in practical terms used for sending orders directly to the men. His bell-topped shako has a broad silver lace around the top, a bugle badge on the front, and the green light infantry plume on top. The men had a green tuft on their black shakos. The cap-lines were also green and ended in tassels on the right shoulder. Around his waist was a crimson silk sash with cord and tassels ends, sometimes hooked up to the middle of his chest.
Regimental Details | Uniforms