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JANUARY 2014 VOLUME 12, ISSUE 5

Clothing the Army


Primary Source

Eighteenth-Century Shirt
Man's Shirt
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation


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Quote

“I intended to have had [coats] made up in a new fashion which I think will save Cloth, be made up quicker and cheaper and yet be more warm and convenient to the Soldier. ”

—George Washington, to James Mease,
January 21, 1778.
John C. Fitzpatrick, ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources 1745–1799, 10 (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1933), 330–331. Electronic Edition.


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Teaching Strategy

Creating the Perfect Pattern

From the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army had trouble keeping its soldiers clothed and shod due to the expense and difficulty of obtaining supplies. In this lesson, students act as tailors for the army and use math to create a shirt pattern with as little waste as possible. They then calculate the cost of making the shirts.


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