3d Drgoon
                              button recovered at Tappan Farm


Fighting tyranny

since 1777

About Us
Authenticity Standards
of The 3d Light Dragoons

Click here for a "printable" version of the Standards

I. General Standards

II. Uniform Standards
III. Equipment Standards
IV. Horse and Tack Standards
V. Food Standards


We have deliberately avoided the "item must be purchased from one of the approved vendors" statement in these standards.  We encourage our members to make items themselves, not just to save costs, but also in order to better understand period construction techniques and vocations.  It is the responsibility of the group to make sure all items reflect the very best in quality and researched historical accuracy. 

Please refer to this article on our web site for details of our McCall's SC State Dragoons guidelines.

I. General Standards

All modern anachronisms are strictly prohibited.  If there is something that absolutely must be carried, such as legal identification, currency, car keys or religious jewelry, it will be completely concealed.

All uniforms, equipment, and tack will be constructed from proper materials using proper techniques and patterns.  Any items made from modern materials or cut from a modern (post 1785) pattern are strictly prohibited.

Equipage will be kept at a minimum, as we most always portray campaign style camping.  All equipment will be carried by the persons or horses of the men in the mess. "Less is More!"

Regimental returns for October of 1780 show the 3d Dragoons as having 92 men present. There were 149 regimental coats and 90 pairs of boots present. Total number of arms in the ranks were 7 pistols and 82 swords. No carbines or shoulder arms of any kind were counted.

Standards specific to individual items are described below.

II. Uniform Standards

A. UNIFORMS will be appropriate for the event or scenario, to include composition and time frame of each item.  Each member will own or have access to a complete uniform suitable for a Third Continental Light Dragoon (Southern Theater) impression, to include:
  • White wool French dragoon coats with blue facings hand worked buttonholes and top stitching OR White stable jacket
  • White wool full length waistcoats
  • Fall front knee breeches of leather, linen, or wool
  • White 18thC pattern work shirts with collars. Linen is preferable but cotton is also acceptable
  • 18thC pattern wool or cotton stockings of solid natural colors, no prints or clocking work
  • Black leather neck stock
B. HEADGEAR will be a black leather helmet with white horsehair crest an blue turban. Other headgear is somewhat acceptable for occasional use and in camp, but obtaining the distinctive helmet should be a high priority for any new member.

C. FOOTWEAR may be boots of 18thC pattern or period shoes and gaiters. Either is acceptable.

III. Equipment Standards

A. CANTEENS exist in various sizes and styles, try to find a common identified type, avoiding the "barrel" style.

B. TENTS will not normally be used in campaign impressions and it is not as high on the list of priorities as other items.  In the case of garrison duty impression, common tents (A-tents) or other large tents will be permitted.

C. FIREARMS may be purchased from a variety of sources, but should be ďde-farbed."  De-farbing is the removal of remove modern markings and improper finishes. If the serial number is removed it MUST be relocated to another (less visible) location on the weapon.

  • Each dragoon should obtain one or two flintlock pistols. They do not have to be matching pairs. Many styles are available English dragoon pistols were probably the most readily available to the dragoons back in the day.
  • Carbines were in very short supply during the war. To date there is no record of the 3d Dragoons carrying carbines or shoulder arms of any appreciable numbers during the southern campaigns of the American revolution. This probably contributed to their losses at Monckís Corner and Lenudís Ferry. For this reason we do not carry carbines as part of our impression.

D. CARTRIDGES, whenever possible and relevant to the event scenario, will be packaged in standard arsenal packaging.  Paper and twine will be of natural fibers giving the impression of period construction.  

E. EDGED WEAPONS are considered a necessary piece of equipment for our mounted impression and each dragoon must have a period correct horsemanís sabre or broadsword. This was the primary weapon of 18thC dragoons and care should be taken in selecting it. All swords and sabres to be suspended from black leather shoulder carriages. Unless a scenario calls for it, the use of belt knives are strongly discouraged. however, folding camp knives are highly recommended. 

IV. Horse and Tack Standards

A. HORSES - Each member will provide a correct representational light dragoon mount of the 18thC. Modern breeds of horses have changed from the 18C However modern breeds such as Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Arabians, Warmbloods, Tennessee Walking Horses, Mustangs, Marsh Tackeys, etc. greatly resemble the Thoroughbreds, Chickasaws, and Quarter Pacers principally used by Light Dragoons during the American Revolution. Some of todayís modern breeds such as Palominos, Paints and Appaloosas are wrong for the impression as are mules and heavy drafts. NOTE, this is revised from: "Each member will own or have access to at least a pair of coconut shells of proper color and variety (obvious Paint or Appaloosa coconuts are strictly prohibited).  Under no circumstance should the shells be taken from a coconut larger than could have been carried by an African swallow of the 1780s period." The latter wording is also applicable for dismounted dragoons.

B. TACK - Carefully select a bit that is not only proper in pattern and construction, but also suited to your mount.  Many of our members start out with modern English saddles and modify them to accommodate the attachment of equipment. Obtaining a proper saddle is an expensive proposition but one which needs to be considered as soon as practical.

C. OTHER EQUIPMENT - Use care in selecting spurs (there are a lot of poor reproductions on the market) and only use them if required to control your mount. Items such as brush, hoof pick, currycomb, forage sack, etc. should  be shared with the group (i.e.: one trooper carries one item) in order to minimize equipment. If the location of water demands, canvas buckets, while no doubt not authentic, may be used as long as they are out of sight when not being used.  Wooden buckets are fine in limited numbers in a garrison impression.

V. Food Standards

A. ISSUED FOODS will consist of rations as found in regulations and drill manuals.  We will bring "issued rations" only when it is not provided by the event organizers. Quantity of rations will be commensurate with the number of men in the mess.

B. FORAGED FOODS will consist of only produce and meats available in the region we are portraying, at the the time we are portraying. All food will conform to known varieties available at the time. 

C. MESS EQUIPMENT will be correct for the impression, especially with regard whether the event calls for a campaign or a garrison scenario. 

See the Provision List of the Company of Select Marksmen for more useful information.

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