FRIDAY FOTO (July 19, 2019)

July 19, 2019 at 3:37 pm Leave a comment

Charge!

FRIFO 7-19-2019 OLD GUARD Bayonet Charge

(U.S. Army photo by Army Sergeant Jacob Holmes)

Members of the Continental Color Guard and the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard, from the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment, advance with fixed bayonets during a performance at Virginia’s Shenandoah River State Park on July 10, 2019.

The 3rd Infantry (The Old Guard), is the Army’s oldest active infantry regiment with direct lineage to George Washington’s original Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. The officer (or sergeant) at the center of the photo is brandishing either a halberd  or espontoon, variants of a once fearsome, two-handed, pike-like weapon that combined an ax, spear and hook used for slashing, stabbing or unhorsing the enemy.  By the late 18th Century, however, halberds and espontoons were largely just a symbol of rank and a tool for keeping advancing troops in straight lines.

The uniforms worn by the Color Guard and C-in-C’s Guard are replicas of the 1784-style infantry uniforms worn by The Old Guard’s predecessor, the First American Regiment. The pattern of the uniform for wear by all Continental Army infantry units was approved by General Washington in 1782. It consisted of a blue coat faced with a red collar, cuffs and lapels, white buttons and lining, long-fitting overalls, and a black cocked hat with cockade.

A uniform similar to the First American Regiment’s can be seen in the foreground of this painting of the the Continental Line during the 1781 Battle of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina.

With FRIFO 7-19-2019 Guilford Courthouse

Battle of Guilford Courthouse by H. Charles McBarron Jr. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Army Center of Military History)

The red uniforms in the background of this week’s Friday Foto are not reenactors dressed as British redcoats but the Old Guard’s Fife and Drum Corps. During the Revolutionary War, the fifers and drummers wore the opposite colors of the regiment to which they belonged, according to Kim Holien, the historian at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, an Army-Marine Corps facility — next to Arlington National Cemetery — that is home to the Old Guard’s ceremonial units.

By wearing the reversed colors, the fifers and drummers’ uniforms would stand out on a battlefield obscured by the gunsmoke of 18th Century musketry. Hopefully the musicians wouldn’t be shot deliberately by the opposing side — since they were in effect unarmed — and “during the battle would often act as medical personnel to take care of the wounded,” said Holien.

Entry filed under: Army, FRIDAY FOTO, National Security and Defense, Photos, SHAKO, Skills and Training, Traditions, Washington. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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