Thursday, April 4, 2013

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, Uniforms of the United States Army 1775-1975

In the early 1960's the Office of the Chief of Military History commissioned H. Charles McBarron, Jr., the then dean of American military artists, to execute a series of paintings depicting the uniforms of the United States Army from its inception in 1775 to the Present (then 1975). Each painting was initially submitted as a charcoal draft to a board of experts in order to insure absolute accuracy of the uniforms, insignia, arms, equipment, and even the historical geographic background.

The first set in the series entitled, "THE AMERICAN SOLDIER", covering the years 1781-1855, was issued in 1964. The second in the series, covering up to 1863, was issued in 1966. The third set, covering 1775-1965, was issued in 1966. A fourth and final set, supplementing the series was issued in the mid 1970's.

In the author's personal opinion McBarron's efforts at least equal, if not surpass, those of another earlier and renowned American military history artist, Henry Alexander Ogden, who painted a series depicting the United States Army's uniforms to the turn of the twentieth century. As contrasted to Ogden's work McBarron's style tends to be more photographic in nature.

As critical of detail as possible, the only possible slight inaccuracies I can discern are the green hue of the M1936 web gear (based on actual articles should be a lighter khaki, OD7 color came later) shown in the painting of pre-WWII armored corps officers, and the seemingly small barrel diameter of the WWII Thompson sub-machine guns (.45 cal. M1and M1928A1) and the early M-16 rifle (5.56mm) in the Vietnam-era plate.

Even though the paintings are public domain, acknowledgement and gratitude are hereby extended to both the artist, and the Office Chief of Military History, Headquarters, Department of the Army.

Please double click on any of the images to enlarge them.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1775
Aide-de-Camp, General Washington, General Ward.
Troops of General Ward's Division.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1776
"Second Embarkation"
New London, Connecticut

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1781
Artilleryman, New York or New Jersey Infantry Officer.
New England and Middle Atlantic States Infantry Lines.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 11782
Southern States Infantry Officers, Artilleryman.
Southern States Infantry Lines.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1786
The First Regiment, Artillery Officer, Infantryman.
Field Grade Officer and Infantry Detachment.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1794
The Legion, Dragoon, General Wayne, Infantry Officer.
Infantrymen Advancing.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1805
West Point Artillery Cadet, Engineer Corps Private.
Enlisted Men in Fatigue Clothing.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1812
Medical Corps Officer, Light Artillery Sergeant.
Light Artillery on the March. Northern Frontier .

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1814
General and Staff Officers, Rifle Regimental Officer.
Riflemen in Summer Uniform. Northern Frontier.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1815
"Under my own eye"
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1819
Engineer Officer, U.S. Explorer, Infantryman.
Infantry Bandsmen, Indian Commissioners.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1827
Artillery Officer Infantry Sergeant. Fort Monroe, Va.
Artillery School Troops.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1836
Ordnance Sergeant, Dragoon Officer. Fort Leavenworth.
Enlisted Men, First Dragoons, Campaign Dress.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1839
Indian Scout, Infantry Officer.
Infantrymen in Summer and Winter Uniform.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1847
Dragoon, Infantry Officer, Campaign Dress.
Infantry Column, Campaign Dress.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1848-1885
"I deliver to you this column"
Washington, District of Columbia

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1855
Light Artillery Sergeant, Quartermaster Officer.
Light Artillery Battery Advancing.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1863
Engineer Officer, Infantry Sergeant. Western Theater.
Artillery and Infantry Advancing.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1863
Cavalry Sergeant, Ordnance Officer.
Wagon Trains.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1880
Signal Corps Sergeant, Cavalry Officer. New Mexico
Cavalrymen on Parade.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1881-1883
"To elucidate the phenomena of the weather"
Point Barrow, Alaska

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1886
"Necessary details of troops"
Yellowstone National Park 

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1898
Medical Department Officer, Artillery Private. Cuba.
Company Liter Bearers, Field Hospital.


THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1903
Infantry Officer and Sergeant. Philippines.
Infantrymen in Field Dress.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1903
"Thank God for the Soldiers"
San Francisco, California

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1908-1909
"A source of wonder and glad surprise"
Fort Reno, Oklahoma

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1918
Red Cross Nurse, Army Nurse, Medical Officer.
Military Police, Medical Troops, Ambulance. 

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1918
Artillery Officer, Machine Gun Sergeant. France.
Artillery Firing, Field Telephone Crew.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1938
Cavalry Sergeant, General Chaffee.
Officers and Enlisted Men, Cavalry Brigade.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1941
General Officer, Artillery Officer, Cavalry Corporal.
Army Nurses, United States Military Academy Cadets.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1944
Infantrymen, Pacific Theater of Operations.
Amphibious Landing.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1944-1945
"The Red Ball Express"
European Theater of Operations 

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1945
Infantry Officer Advancing. Germany.
Tankers and Infantrymen.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1950
Infantrymen, Pusan Perimeter.
KATUSA, infantry and armor.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1951
Artillery Officer, Medical Service Private. Japan.
Signal Corps Enlisted Men.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1954-1976
"The retreat ceremony"
Fort McClellan, Alabama

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1960
Armor Sergeant, Transportation Corps Officer.
Enlisted Men in Fatigues.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1963
Officer, Private and Sergeant, Airborne Troops.
Women's Army Corps Officer.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1965
Army Aviation, Cavalry, and Special Forces Officers.
Troops boarding helicopters.

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1975
"Operation New Life"
Guam

This author had completely forgotten that on completion of the primary series of forty paintings of "THE AMERICAN SOLDIER", McBarron was further commissioned to do a set of paintings depicting America's allies during our military history. Am not certain as to the completion date of this additional series of ten paintings, but it had to have been in the late 1970's.

Some of the units depicted have been forgotten with the passage of time, however others like the 1st Bengal Lancers, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and the Bersaglieri, are more easily recalled by virtue of their own individual renown.

As in the case of the initial series of forty paintings, careful research for accuracy was done. the only inaccuracy experts might immediately discern is the elongated muzzle length of the Rifle, .303 cal. No.4 Mk I*, and the magazine width (too narrow) in the Light Machine Gun, .303 cal. BREN Mk II, in the hands of the Canadians (based on actual weapons in author's personal collection).

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1780
Spanish Troops at Pensacola, Florida 

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1781
French Troops at Chester, Pennsylvania.
Rochambeau and General Washington

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1814
Free Men of Colour and Choctaw Indian
Volunteers at New Orleans, Louisiana

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1862
The Citizens Corps of Wisconsin at
South Mountain, Maryland

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1900
1st Bengal Lancers and the 6th U.S. Cavalry
in China

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1918
Italian Bersaglieri Infantry and the
332nd U.S. Infantry in Italy

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1945
Philippine Guerillas in the Liberation
of Los Banos, Luzon

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1945
Brazilian Expeditionary Force in Italy

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1951
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
at Kap'yong, Korea

THE AMERICAN SOLDIER, 1966
Korean Capital (Tiger) Division
Phu Cat Mountains, Vietnam

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the value of these books (collections)?

Post a Comment

Post a Comment