Royal Irish Regiment of Foot

The Recreated Grenadier Company
of the 18th (Royal Irish) Regt. of Foot
, 1775

The intent of our organization is to portray the Grenadier Coy both at Boston in May 1775 and Capt. Lord's Detachment which served in Illinois from 1772 to 1776. The ultimate object of the organization is to instill a better understanding of the life of the British Soldier on the Midwestern Frontier and his impact on the history of both Great Britain and America. The Royal Irish Grenadier Coy was unique at Lexington and Concord in that unlike the fresh troops from England and Ireland and those regiments that had served on the East Coast, the Royal Irish Grenadiers had faced combat with Indians and the stresses of life on a hostile frontier. They had trained in bush fighting since their arrival in America and faced the Spanish across the Mississippi during the Falklands Crisis of 1770.
The men of the Grenadier Coy were not the young fresh ideal soldiers of the parade ground but veterans who had served on the fringes of empire. We wish to tell the story of these men from both third and first person view points. We hope visitors and others we interact with will walk away with an understanding of how the Revolution tore apart not only the colonists themselves, but even a regiment of the British Army. The officers of the Royal Irish fought amongst themselves over these revolutionary ideals and the need to be loyal to the King and his ministers. Some of the men deserted to fight for the American cause, while others valiantly gave their lives for King and Country. The Royal Irish wasn't filled with red coated minions of the King, but over 800 individual officers and men, each with the story to tell.
We hope to tell some of those stories.

A complete uniform and equipment list is available for those interested by contacting info @ or the RI18 Yahoo Group.
Representation of a Royal Irish Drummer, ca 1775


  • About
  • FAQs
  • Uniforms & Equipment
  • What You Will Learn

The recreated company is currently in development. We plan to take the field for the first time in 2013 with our first formal outings in the spring of 2014. The 18th plans to interpret the daily life of the men of the Royal Irish while they served in both Illinois from 1768 to 1776 and in Boston in 1774 & 1775. There is still plenty of time for those interested in being able to join to put their kit together. The two most difficult to obtain items, proper regimentally marked buttons and lace are in our hands.

Our plan is to primary interpret in places where the men of the Royal Irish actually served. Historic sites and other similar venues will be our primary focus. Ft. Chartres, Ft. Niagara, Ft. Michilimackinac and Vincennes are all examples of places the Royal Irish served in the midwest.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does this cost?
Reenacting is not a cheap hobby, neither is restoring antique cars, or serious photography. What we mean is simply this, any hobby, if you are seriously involved in it, will be an investment. In the case of reenacting you will probably be looking at $1800 to $2000 to equip yourself for the field.

How much time is involved?
We certainly encourage you to attend as many activities as possible. We are aware that family, job, and other commitments have priority over your hobby, but think seriously about being willing to attend something on the order of once per month or so. That might only be a drill which lasts a couple of hours or it a full weekend at a historic site or reenactment.

I’ve never reenacted, so I’m not sure if this is what I want to do.
Take this in small steps. First, check out the unit at a local reenactment if possible. Talk to us, and several other groups for that matter. Each unit has a different approach, attitude, and demeanor. Ask questions, and lots of them. You need to feel comfortable before investing hard earned money in this hobby. Now once you feel comfortable enough to try this out we can sometimes outfit you with spare equipment and clothing. You may not actually field for a battle first time out, but you can get a general feel for things.

What if I join and don’t like it?
When you actually decide to join you will have time to feel things out for a little. We will also be “trying you on for size.” We both need to feel comfortable, and if the extremely rare occasion occurs that you truly do not feel comfortable, we can part on decent terms. Selling your gear should be no problem. Just realize that this has’t actually happened!

How much drill do I need before I get a chance to reenact?
We will start you off with plenty of instruction. Every member of the unit needs to be proficient in the 1764 Drill Manual. This was the standard for the British Army in the Revolutionary War era. The basics will take a few sessions, but we will drill you at every opportunity in order to get you up to speed as quickly as possible. We plan to drill regularly. Any good non-commissioned officer will tell you, you can never drill enough!

How do I go about getting my stuff?
Here is where you begin making an investment of time and money to get equipped. First, there are several suppliers that are currently used to obtain the correct items required by the company and the regiment. Do not go off and buy anything without consulting a member of the unit. Some vendors will tell you things we be acceptable when they will not in fact work for our impression. Most of these suppliers custom build/sew these things so do not expect instant delivery. Some items may take several weeks or more to receive.

Do I have to shave my beard?
Yes, the men of the Royal Irish were all clean shaven and wore their hair clubbed. Only sailors, pirates and a few women wore beards in the 1770s. Fashion dictated clean shaven soldiers.

Where are the events and how far should I expect to travel to support an event?
Most of our events will be in the Midwest. The 18th was at Ft. Chartres, Cahokia and Kaskaskia in southern Illinois. The regiment had soldiers in St. Louis, Detroit, Mackinaw and Ft. Niagara in addition to Vincennes, Ft. Pitt, Boston, Philadelphia and New York. We hope to represent the 18th at historic sites throughout those areas and then also par tic pate in some NWTA events as well. For most events, we're looking at not more than 4-6 hours driving time one way, but it depends, of course, on where you live. Often members will try to carpool to an event to reduce the travel expenses.

Members of the unit will be expected to complete their individual kit as quickly as possible. Although some may be able to purchase everything at once, solid and steady progress is the expectation towards a complete kit.

The Basics:
Regimental Coat
Faced royal blue, with regimental lace and buttons. Wings are optional based upon personae.
Battalion Hat
Unlaced black felt battalion (cocked) hat with a regimental button and horsehair cockade..
Trousers / Breeches
Canvas or hemp straight leg trousers (Illinois). Breeches are an acceptable alternative and required for Boston impression..
Black leather military shoes
Spatterdashes or half gaiters
Black cloth with horn buttons; must be properly fitted
White linen or muslin shirt. Plain buttons on cuffs and collar
White linen with 11 or 12 small regimental buttons and working slit pockets; White wool waistcoat with a linen back acceptable
Black cloth roller according to regimental pattern
Natural or off white woollen stockings
Cartridge Pouch and sling Black 29 hole pouch and white buff leather sling
Cartridge Box and belt Black 18 hole box with black leather waist belt
Firelock & Bayonet Brown Bess musket, bayonet and sling
Waist belt White buff leather with double frog
Linen haversack According to the Najecki pattern
Water bottle Tin kidney shaped canteen
Infantry sword Monster head hanger

Complete Equipment List including source notes. No notes are given for clothing as please discuss clothing with a unit member prior to purchasing or ordering clothing.

For more information or questions, contact Steve Baule at info @

The men of the Royal Irish were well trained soldiers. In order to accurately portray them, the following are some of the things you will learn with the Royal Irish:

  • They were proficient with the Manual of Arms and company and battalion maneuvers. You will learn to perform the manual exercise and basic drill. You will be part of a team.
  • Standing sentry and serving on guard details is a common part of every soldiers week. Posting sentries and serving guard will allow you to both interact with the public and experience one of the most common activities of the common soldier.
  • You will be asked to learn about period events in general as well as the details of the Royal Irish's service and be able to discuss them from the first and third person narratives.
  • Firing your musket both as part of a squad or company and practicing at marks will help you understand the unique patience and skill it takes to use a flintlock musket.
  • Combining drill and other soldier skills, you will participate in tactical exercises in both opposed and unopposed scenarios to better learn how the common soldier worked and fought.
  • Cleaning and polishing equipment and weapons remains a common soldier task today; it was a common task in the 1770s as well.
  • You will experience pay calls, sick calls, roll calls, and necessary inspections. (Why clean your equipment if no one is going to inspect it!)
  • Soldiers played games of chance and often wagered their earnings. If you don't know how to play, don't worry none of the veterans don't either. They will be glad to learn with you.
  • Discipline was harsh in the 18th Foot, even by eighteenth century standards. You will learn about the punishments inflicted on the men and potentially even be able to explain to the public the worst part of being flogged.
  • Marching through villages or across country was the way soldiers moved in the eighteenth century when rivers were not available. Packing and adjusting your equipment for the field will give you added insight into the life of the common soldier.
  • Cooking and preparing period rations was a daily requirement. Men were grouped into small groups called messes to prepare and eat their rations. You will have the opportunity to cook or try to avoid cooking just as the soldiers did 200+ years ago. Don't worry if you ruin the meal; Cpt. Gaffney's mess spoiled its entire issue of fresh beef at one point as they didn't salt it properly and it went rancid (Don't worry we will enforce modern health and safety standards.)



To contact us, e-mail, info @ or follow us on social media