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George Washington’s Epaulettes
Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History, Behring Center

George Washington’s Epaulettes

Date: 1779
Catalog #: 65779M    Accession #: 223315
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 0.75" H x 9.5" W x 5.25" D

Physical Description

Gold bullion thread tassels with gilt sequins and twisted bullion bows intermixed. They have a strap of metallic yarn and a buff wool lining.

Specific History

These epaulettes were worn by Washington and can be seen in life portraits painted by celebrated American artist Charles Willson Peale between 1779 and 1780.

General History

The British Army, which served as the model for the Continental Army, adopted epaulettes as officers’ rank insignia in 1768. Continental Army regulations for the use of epaulettes were first published in the General Orders dated 18 June 1780. According to these orders, Major Generals were to wear an epaulette on each shoulder with two stars on each epaulette. A Brigadier General wore an epaulette on each shoulder with one star on each epaulette.


Keywords

Country: United States
War: War of American Independence
Service: Army
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