The British army punished its soldiers mercilessly. The purpose was to inspire terror by setting an example. Soldiers were frequently whipped leading to the derisive moniker “bloody backs” by which Redcoat soldiers were frequently known. The most common offence was drunkenness, which could merit 100 lashes.

The sentence was carried out in front of the whole regiment. Stripped to the waist, the soldier was tied to the pillory. Lashes were given by a drummer and the drum major would even strike the drummer with a cane if he failed to whip the prisoner hard enough.

Because this spectacle was so distressing that many regiments made it a point of honor not to cry out in pain during lashings. A “Nightingale” is soldier who sings (cries) out at the halberds. To avoid doing so, a man would hold a bullet between his teeth and bite down, hence the term “bite the bullet.

Liquid courage courage is another way to face the halberds. The “Stone Fence” is a smooth concoction of dark rum and hard cider garnished with a lemon twist. Be careful not to drink too much lest your comrades offer you a bullet to hold in your teeth.

Download the recipe here


Want to Buy Beer from the Colonial Brewmeister?

Help us build a Tavern and Brewery.

Visit our GoFundMe Site


Want the Regimental Brewmeister at your Site or Event?

Hire me

Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: