Wednesday, April 8, 2015

10th August 1799 Order from Horse Guards: GENERAL ORDERS



The issue of the colour of horse to be used in the British heavy cavalry has been the subject of debate on the TMP website. The actual Regulations were recently shared by one of the readers. Since none of us is perfect, but we are all striving to improve, I thought I would share this important Regulation verbatim. I would also add the mea culpa that Carl Robson painted all of my horses the way I asked him to. Clearly I wish I had found this information earlier. 

A word to the wise: check leather harness colour for the horses, colour of the horse itself, docked (nag-tail) or not docked tail, regulations regarding the officer's mount as well as that of the trumpeter.


From General Charles P. Ainslie's The Royal Regiment of Dragoons – The Historical Record of the First or The Royal Regiment of Dragoons; Chapman & Hall: London, 1887. pp. 106-107, provides the following quote:

 10th August 1799 Order from Horse Guards

"GENERAL ORDERS.

The heavy cavalry, with the exception of the two regiments of Life Guards and Royal Regiment of Horse Guards, are to be mounted on nag-tailed horses.
The First, or King's Regiment of Dragoon Guards; the First, or Royal Regiment of Dragoons; the Third, or King's Own Regiment of Dragoons, are to be mounted on black nag-tailed horses.
The Second, or Queen's Regiment of Dragoon Guards, are to be mounted on nag-tailed horses of the colours of bay and brown.
The Second, or Royal North British Regiment of Dragoons, are to be mounted on nag-tailed grey horses.
All other regiments of heavy cavalry on the British establishment are to be mounted on nag-tailed horses of the colours of bay, brown, and chestnut.
The custom of mounting trumpeters on grey horses is to be discontinued, and they are in future to be mounted on horses of the colour or colours prescribed for the regiments to which they belong.

Harvey Calvert,
Adjutant-General.
Horse Guards

10th August, 1799."



Note: Nag tailed is where the tail is cut short down to one third or one half of natural length. Docked tails are cut right back to the tailbone.

1 comment:

  1. Hmm, interesting how horse colors should be assigned to regiments. Probably much easier on paper in peacetime than on campaign - particularly when horses were scarce :)

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