Re: Rifles, Tomahawks & Tactics

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Posted by Victoria on January 04, 1998 at 07:43:57:

In Reply to: Re: Rifles, Tomahawks & Tactics posted by George A. Bray III on January 03, 1998 at 21:10:14:

: Bill and Victoria,

: There is evidence for both subjects you raise concerning the cutting down of barrels and the browning of barrels. Archaeological excavations in the past at Rogers' Island, Fort Edward, NY, produced barrel ends from muskets ranging from 4 to eight inches. Also, in the Orderly Book of Alexander Monypenny, under the date May 8, 1758, is the following extract of an order: ". . . all smiths & carpenters in the garrison, those employ'd in cutting the arms excepted, to be sent directly to Capt. Ord." (The Bulletin of the Fort Ticonderoga Museum, Vol. XII, No. 5, December 1969, p. 335)

We also know from the Memoirs from Anne MacVickers that Lord Howe "ordered the muskets to be shortened . . . the barrels of their guns were all blackened." Regarding the "ten rifled barrells" that were issued in 1758, again from Moneypenny's Orderly Book, they were issued to each of the British regiments. Gages' may have received them too, but their main issue of weapon was actually a carbine which was a shorter, lighter and smaller calibered firelock. These references are also found within Monypenny's Orderly Book. We do not know precisely what form these rifles took, but suspect they may have been German Jaegers. Nonetheless, the men who were issued them were to be the best marksmen and would have been used initially in an engagement to pick off targets of opportunity and then withdraw to allow the conventionally armed troops to carry on the fight. These weapons were probably not equipped to take a bayonet, and would have taken longer to load, thus limiting the overall value of the weapon and making the possessor somewhat vulnerable.

: Your Most Humble and Obedient Servant,
: George A. Bray III, Site Historian

Major Bray,

Your posts (this one and the one on Indian tactics) are both well informed and contain valued information and citations. Your contributions are an asset and most welcome.


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