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115412Re: Maintenance and Cleanliness on Campaign

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  • Radford Polinsky
    Mar 1, 2009
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      Dear John and List-

      > I've never seen mention of oil or brick dust, etc. actually being
      > carried by soldiers BUT the men were often ordered to clean and
      > burnish their arms. <snip> Just
      > because none of the order books or soldiers' lists of the gear they
      > carried mention having oil, do I leave my musket to rust?

      Smith's Universal Military Dictionary (London 1779)

      NECESSARIES, in a military sense, implies [long list of clothing
      snipped]
      1 oil bottle, 1 brush and picker, 1 worm, 1 turn-key,
      1 hammer cap, and 1 stopper.

      Simes, A Military Course for the Government and Conduct
      of a Battalion (London 1777)
      The form for "Inspection Report of Cloaths and Necessaries, &c"
      (pg. 114) lists (besides clothing):
      Leather for Arms
      Balls of P. Clay
      Punchin
      Turn Key
      Worm
      Brush and Picker
      Oil Bottle
      Stopper

      Simes The Military Guide for Young Officers (London 1781)
      "Complement of Necessaries to be furnished each soldier"
      1 oil bottle; 1 brush and picker; 1 worm; 1 turnkey;
      1 hammer-cap; and 1 stopper.

      As can be seen above, the oil bottle was part of the a soldier's
      "Necessaries". You don't see it mentioned separately because
      it was among a soldier's default items, along with things like
      clothes and shoes. Simes above lists Pipe Clay, and the 40th
      OB lists black ball and brushes, so at time things like these
      were also considered necessaries. These items were so much
      part of a soldier's standard kit that they had to issue orders to
      leave them behind, as shown by the number of OB entries
      starting "Shall land with no more necessaries than (list of clothing)"

      Cheers!

      Radford Polinsky
      (Sjt. John Savage, Col's. Coy. HM 33rd Foot)
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