(Painting New York
This is a drawing made by a prisoner of war named Von Germain while being held at an
84th garrison after the Battle of Saratoga in 1776. There were 14 enlisted men and 3 0r 4
officers taken after that battle.
An interesting thing about this drawing is the presence of a red stripe in the
soldier's plaid. The 84th was to have been uniformed in the manner of the 42nd, or Royal
Highland Regiment, so the plaid would have been of the Government Sette, or Black Watch.
The Government Sette of the time did not have a red stripe, unless it was worn by a
grenadier company. This soldier is not a Grenadier, as shown by his bonnet. If he were a
grenadier, he would be wearing a bear fur grenadier's hat instead of a bonnet.
Most scholars give one of two reasons why this soldier is wearing the wrong plaid. The
first is that Von Germain simply made a mistake. The second, more widely held, explanation
is that the "mistake" was deliberate, either because he was unable
to get enough black pigment or because tartan is difficult to reproduce in a drawing and
he used the red to better represent it.