Crossbelts

The primary function of the white crossbelts was to hold the soldiers bayonet frog and cartridge pouch. The line Sergeant, as he would carry a pike rather than a musket, has no need for a cartridge pouch or bayonet. However, in the Light Companies, Sergeants would carry muskets as they were more practical for skirmishing. The Sergeant's crossbelts hold his bayonet on his left hip and his cartridge pouch on his right, therefore. As well as being functional, the crossed white belts would give the soldier an orderly appearance. They would also make a group of massed soldiers look bigger from a distance. The belts are held in place by a brass crossbelt plate that, like the cap plate, would require constant polishing. The crossbelt plate is also an indication of the Regiment. That of the Royal Scots has a thistle surmounted by a crown and surrounded by the words ‘Nemo me impune lacessit’ which means ‘noone provokes me with impunity,’ the Regimental motto.

The Sergeant has also used his crossbelts to hang other items. Looking closely at the front view picture, you can see that he has a whisk and pick hanging from the crossbelt. This is used to clean the vent and the hammer of the musket between shots. Also hanging from his crossbelt plate is a whistle. This is used to signal the men while they are skirmishing in front of the line.