In June 1780, General Washington issued orders on uniforms and
insignia from his New Jersey headquarters.
The Army expected to join forces with French troops soon and Washington
wanted the Americans to give the appearance of the fine soldiers they
were. All, except generals, were to wear the uniform of their regiment
"All officers as will
warrant as commissioned,
to wear a cockade and side arms, either
a sword or a genteel bayonet."
were the most junior commissioned officers; Ensign, Second Lieutenant,
Noncommissioned officers continued to wear their
green and red epaulettes;
"...Subalterns, an epaulette on the left shoulder; and Captains,
an epaulette on the right shoulder..."
(In 1782, white chevrons were approved on
the upper left sleeve for Privates and NCO's to designate years of honorable
service; one chevron for each three years. These were the first Service
Field grade officers were to wear two epaulettes.
The aides-de-camp would wear their rank insignia
on the uniform of their general, if they didn't belong to a corps.
Aides of Brigadier and Major Generals were to wear a green hat feather;
Aides of the Commander-in-Chief, a white and green feather.
Generals were to wear
"... blue coats with buff facings and linings, yellow buttons, white
or buff underclothes ..."
- Brigadier General: Two epaulettes with one silver star,
white feather in hat cockade
- Major General: Two epaulettes with two silver stars, white
and black feather in hat cockade
- Commander-in-Chief: Two epaulettes with three silver stars,
no feather in hat cockade