In his reminiscences, Captain Henry Brush described with precision what newly enlisted recruits wore during the War of 1812. Soldiers were outfitted for service in unbleached, tow-linen hunting shirts and trousers. On their heads they wore low-crown hats, on the left side of which were black cockades about two inches in diameter. A small silver eagle (about the size of a quarter) was fastened in the center of each cockade. Each soldier strapped a leather girdle around his waist, where he carried a tomahawk, a knife, a cartridge box, a bayonet, and a quart-sized tin canteen. He was armed with a musket and shouldered a linen knapsack with a blanket lashed to the top. Both were covered with oilcloth to protect them from wet weather. A soldier’s arms and pack together weighed about thirty-five pounds, and troops traveled an average of twenty-five miles a day on foot.
Writing home to his wife, one soldier confessed: “My limbs were so stiff and sore at the end of each day’s march that I could hardly walk.”
The Worland Family in America and Beyond
I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon