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Re: [TalkAntietam] Uncapped muskets?

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  • G E Mayers
    Ron, I have read that in several sources also. I think that, if you are dealing with a new unit, it might be best to have them load but not cap... As a
    Message 1 of 24 , Aug 31 12:15 PM
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      Ron,

      I have read that in several sources also. I think that, if you
      are dealing with a new unit, it might be best to have them load
      but not cap... As a reenactor who once did infantry, there were
      occasions were my unit was told to load but not cap....

      Yr. Obt. Svt.
      G E "Gerry" Mayers

      To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
      on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
      Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
      the Almighty God. --Anonymous
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Ronald Church" <rchurch@...>
      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 2:31 PM
      Subject: [TalkAntietam] Uncapped muskets?


      >I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead
      >brigade
      > (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
      > muskets.
      > Is this true?
      >
      > Ron Church
      > Manchester Md
      >
      >
    • Ronald Church
      Gerry, The reasoning for not capping in this instance is understandable 1. These were green troops who, at first hostile file, might pull trigger and break
      Message 2 of 24 , Aug 31 12:41 PM
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        Gerry,

        The reasoning for not capping in this instance is understandable
        1. These were green troops who, at first hostile file, might pull
        trigger and break for the rear .... or the nearest cover, and
        2. Since their destination was on the left of Tyndale up near the
        VC they still had some ground to cover (or so they thought) before
        running into Confederates.

        So it makes sense that they might not have capped their weapons as they
        approached the Sunken Road, but I've not been able find confirmation of it.

        Ron Church

        G E Mayers wrote:
        > Ron,
        >
        > I have read that in several sources also. I think that, if you
        > are dealing with a new unit, it might be best to have them load
        > but not cap... As a reenactor who once did infantry, there were
        > occasions were my unit was told to load but not cap....
        >
        > Yr. Obt. Svt.
        > G E "Gerry" Mayers
        >
        > To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
        > on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
        > Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
        > the Almighty God. --Anonymous
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Ronald Church" <rchurch@...>
        > To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 2:31 PM
        > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Uncapped muskets?
        >
        >
        >
        >> I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead
        >> brigade
        >> (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
        >> muskets.
        >> Is this true?
        >>
        >> Ron Church
        >> Manchester Md
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > .
        >
        >
      • joseph_pierro
        ... muskets. ... Carman gives a rather detailed account of the fight made by Weber s brigade (I can send you the particular passage if you wish), but he
        Message 3 of 24 , Aug 31 8:34 PM
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          --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Ronald Church <rchurch@...> wrote:
          >
          > I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead brigade
          > (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
          muskets.
          > Is this true?
          >
          > Ron Church
          > Manchester Md
          >
          Carman gives a rather detailed account of the fight made by Weber's
          brigade (I can send you the particular passage if you wish), but he
          doesn't mention their muskets being uncapped.

          It was a well drilled brigade, but new to combat. As others have
          remarked, it would not be unique in a unit like that for weapons to
          have been kept uncapped in the advance in order to maintain fire
          discipline.

          --jake
        • richard@rcroker.com
          At Fredericksburg, Gen Humphries ordered his men to make the infamaous assault up Marye s Heights with unloaded weapons. Noy only uncapped, but unloaded.
          Message 4 of 24 , Sep 1, 2007
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            At Fredericksburg, Gen Humphries ordered his men to make the infamaous assault up Marye's Heights with unloaded weapons. Noy only uncapped, but unloaded. This on the advice of Gen. Hooker. The logic was that no one should stop to fire. He even had an inspection to make certain no one had a loaded weapon. His men climbed those heights basically armed with spears.
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: joseph_pierro
            To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 11:34 PM
            Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?


            --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Ronald Church <rchurch@...> wrote:
            >
            > I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead brigade
            > (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
            muskets.
            > Is this true?
            >
            > Ron Church
            > Manchester Md
            >
            Carman gives a rather detailed account of the fight made by Weber's
            brigade (I can send you the particular passage if you wish), but he
            doesn't mention their muskets being uncapped.

            It was a well drilled brigade, but new to combat. As others have
            remarked, it would not be unique in a unit like that for weapons to
            have been kept uncapped in the advance in order to maintain fire
            discipline.

            --jake





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Scott Hann
            There s a story about a 1st Corps regiment or brigade going into action at Gettysburg on the First Day with unloaded weapons. The men in the ranks reminded
            Message 5 of 24 , Sep 1, 2007
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              There's a story about a 1st Corps regiment or brigade going into
              action at Gettysburg on the First Day with unloaded weapons. The
              men in the ranks reminded the officers to give the order to load
              their muskets.



              --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, <richard@...> wrote:
              >
              > At Fredericksburg, Gen Humphries ordered his men to make the
              infamaous assault up Marye's Heights with unloaded weapons. Noy
              only uncapped, but unloaded. This on the advice of Gen. Hooker.
              The logic was that no one should stop to fire. He even had an
              inspection to make certain no one had a loaded weapon. His men
              climbed those heights basically armed with spears.
              > ----- Original Message -----
              > From: joseph_pierro
              > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 11:34 PM
              > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?
              >
              >
              > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, Ronald Church <rchurch@>
              wrote:
              > >
              > > I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead
              brigade
              > > (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
              > muskets.
              > > Is this true?
              > >
              > > Ron Church
              > > Manchester Md
              > >
              > Carman gives a rather detailed account of the fight made by
              Weber's
              > brigade (I can send you the particular passage if you wish), but
              he
              > doesn't mention their muskets being uncapped.
              >
              > It was a well drilled brigade, but new to combat. As others have
              > remarked, it would not be unique in a unit like that for weapons
              to
              > have been kept uncapped in the advance in order to maintain fire
              > discipline.
              >
              > --jake
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Joseph Pierro
              Again, that s not unheard of on either side. If the intention is a bayonet charge, and your concern is getting your attacking force to cover the distance in
              Message 6 of 24 , Sep 1, 2007
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                Again, that's not unheard of on either side. If the intention is a bayonet charge, and your concern is getting your attacking force to cover the distance in the shortest time possible, the only way to guarantee that they'll cross the space is to send them in with an unloaded weapon. (Even the most disciplined soldier, when charging under fire, will stop to return it--if he has a loaded weapon. It's human nature.)

                I've come across one Confederate account from the Seven Days fighting that describes his regiment being forced to "ring our muskets"--dropping the rammer down the barrel of the weapon in the presence of an officer or NCO so that he could hear the "ring" of it striking the empty bottom (as opposed to the dull thud of it striking a ball and wadding).



                ----- Original Message ----
                From: "richard@..." <richard@...>
                To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Saturday, September 1, 2007 9:35:24 AM
                Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?

                At Fredericksburg, Gen Humphries ordered his men to make the infamaous assault up Marye's Heights with unloaded weapons. Noy only uncapped, but unloaded. This on the advice of Gen. Hooker. The logic was that no one should stop to fire. He even had an inspection to make certain no one had a loaded weapon. His men climbed those heights basically armed with spears.
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: joseph_pierro
                To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
                Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 11:34 PM
                Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?

                --- In TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com, Ronald Church <rchurch@... > wrote:
                >
                > I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead brigade
                > (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
                muskets.
                > Is this true?
                >
                > Ron Church
                > Manchester Md
                >
                Carman gives a rather detailed account of the fight made by Weber's
                brigade (I can send you the particular passage if you wish), but he
                doesn't mention their muskets being uncapped.

                It was a well drilled brigade, but new to combat. As others have
                remarked, it would not be unique in a unit like that for weapons to
                have been kept uncapped in the advance in order to maintain fire
                discipline.

                --jake

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





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              • Stephen Recker
                The first bayonet charge on Little Round Top was Patrick Henry O Rourke sending, I believe, the 144th NY over the hill onto a bunch of texans. He did not take
                Message 7 of 24 , Sep 1, 2007
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                  The first bayonet charge on Little Round Top was Patrick Henry O'Rourke
                  sending, I believe, the 144th NY over the hill onto a bunch of texans.
                  He did not take the time to load. It was 'fix bayonets'.

                  Stephen

                  On Saturday, September 1, 2007, at 10:02 AM, Scott Hann wrote:

                  > There's a story about a 1st Corps regiment or brigade going into
                  > action at Gettysburg on the First Day with unloaded weapons. The
                  > men in the ranks reminded the officers to give the order to load
                  > their muskets.
                • Thomas Clemens
                  Patrick O Rorke s 146 NY, with a contingent of 5th NY Vols. 3-year men recently added. Thomas G. Clemens D.A. Professor of History Hagerstown Community College
                  Message 8 of 24 , Sep 1, 2007
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                    Patrick O'Rorke's 146 NY, with a contingent of 5th NY Vols. 3-year men recently added.


                    Thomas G. Clemens D.A.
                    Professor of History
                    Hagerstown Community College


                    >>> Stephen Recker <recker@...> 09/01/07 5:38 PM >>>
                    The first bayonet charge on Little Round Top was Patrick Henry O'Rourke
                    sending, I believe, the 144th NY over the hill onto a bunch of texans.
                    He did not take the time to load. It was 'fix bayonets'.

                    Stephen

                    On Saturday, September 1, 2007, at 10:02 AM, Scott Hann wrote:

                    > There's a story about a 1st Corps regiment or brigade going into
                    > action at Gettysburg on the First Day with unloaded weapons. The
                    > men in the ranks reminded the officers to give the order to load
                    > their muskets.
                  • G E Mayers
                    Dear Joseph, This ringing or pinging of the gun barrel is even heard today among CW reenactors during safety inspections, thereby insuring a
                    Message 9 of 24 , Sep 3, 2007
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                      Dear Joseph,

                      This "ringing" or "pinging" of the gun barrel is even heard today
                      among CW reenactors during safety inspections, thereby insuring a
                      cleaned/unfouled barrel.

                      I would personally prefer to advance to battle loaded but not
                      capped, if I knew I was going to be using the bayonet.

                      Yr. Obt. Svt.
                      G E "Gerry" Mayers

                      To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
                      on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
                      Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
                      the Almighty God. --Anonymous
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Joseph Pierro" <joseph_pierro@...>
                      To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:47 AM
                      Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?


                      > Again, that's not unheard of on either side. If the intention
                      > is a bayonet charge, and your concern is getting your attacking
                      > force to cover the distance in the shortest time possible, the
                      > only way to guarantee that they'll cross the space is to send
                      > them in with an unloaded weapon. (Even the most disciplined
                      > soldier, when charging under fire, will stop to return it--if
                      > he has a loaded weapon. It's human nature.)
                      >
                      > I've come across one Confederate account from the Seven Days
                      > fighting that describes his regiment being forced to "ring our
                      > muskets"--dropping the rammer down the barrel of the weapon in
                      > the presence of an officer or NCO so that he could hear the
                      > "ring" of it striking the empty bottom (as opposed to the dull
                      > thud of it striking a ball and wadding).
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ----- Original Message ----
                      > From: "richard@..." <richard@...>
                      > To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                      > Sent: Saturday, September 1, 2007 9:35:24 AM
                      > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?
                      >
                      > At Fredericksburg, Gen Humphries ordered his men to make the
                      > infamaous assault up Marye's Heights with unloaded weapons. Noy
                      > only uncapped, but unloaded. This on the advice of Gen. Hooker.
                      > The logic was that no one should stop to fire. He even had an
                      > inspection to make certain no one had a loaded weapon. His men
                      > climbed those heights basically armed with spears.
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: joseph_pierro
                      > To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
                      > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 11:34 PM
                      > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?
                      >
                      > --- In TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com, Ronald Church
                      > <rchurch@... > wrote:
                      >>
                      >> I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead
                      >> brigade
                      >> (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
                      > muskets.
                      >> Is this true?
                      >>
                      >> Ron Church
                      >> Manchester Md
                      >>
                      > Carman gives a rather detailed account of the fight made by
                      > Weber's
                      > brigade (I can send you the particular passage if you wish),
                      > but he
                      > doesn't mention their muskets being uncapped.
                      >
                      > It was a well drilled brigade, but new to combat. As others
                      > have
                      > remarked, it would not be unique in a unit like that for
                      > weapons to
                      > have been kept uncapped in the advance in order to maintain
                      > fire
                      > discipline.
                      >
                      > --jake
                      >
                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > ____________________________________________________________________________________
                      > Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
                      > Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search
                      > http://search.yahoo.com/search?fr=oni_on_mail&p=graduation+gifts&cs=bz
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                      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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                      >
                    • G E Mayers
                      Dear Stephen, IIRC O Rorke and his men did not have time for much anything else... basically switch right from column into battle line and charge! Yr. Obt.
                      Message 10 of 24 , Sep 3, 2007
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                        Dear Stephen,

                        IIRC O'Rorke and his men did not have time for much anything
                        else... basically switch right from column into battle line and
                        charge!

                        Yr. Obt. Svt.
                        G E "Gerry" Mayers

                        To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
                        on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
                        Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
                        the Almighty God. --Anonymous
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "Stephen Recker" <recker@...>
                        To: <TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 5:38 PM
                        Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?


                        > The first bayonet charge on Little Round Top was Patrick Henry
                        > O'Rourke
                        > sending, I believe, the 144th NY over the hill onto a bunch of
                        > texans.
                        > He did not take the time to load. It was 'fix bayonets'.
                        >
                        > Stephen
                        >
                        > On Saturday, September 1, 2007, at 10:02 AM, Scott Hann wrote:
                        >
                        >> There's a story about a 1st Corps regiment or brigade going
                        >> into
                        >> action at Gettysburg on the First Day with unloaded weapons.
                        >> The
                        >> men in the ranks reminded the officers to give the order to
                        >> load
                        >> their muskets.
                        >
                        >
                      • Joseph Pierro
                        That, Gerry, is a universal feeling among infantrymen--hence the added precaution (form an officer s pov) of ordering the weapons to be carried unloaded. A
                        Message 11 of 24 , Sep 3, 2007
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                          That, Gerry, is a universal feeling among infantrymen--hence the added precaution (form an officer's pov) of ordering the weapons to be carried unloaded. A solider is much more likely to disobey orders, halt his charge and cap a previously loaded weapon than he will to stop and run through the entire loading sequence.

                          I remember when I was in Basic Training many years ago and my platoon was receiving a block of instruction on the use of the bayonet, at the end of which the drill sergeant told us that if our bayonet ever became stuck in the enemy's ribcage, it could be dislodged by firing a round from our weapons.

                          To which I politely retorted that if my weapon still had a round in it, the bayonet would not be entering the ******* equation.

                          I imagine 19th century soldiers were as practical-minded as I--orders to the contrary notwithstanding. :)

                          --jake


                          ----- Original Message ----
                          From: G E Mayers <gerry1952@...>
                          To: TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Monday, September 3, 2007 6:57:53 PM
                          Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?

                          Dear Joseph,

                          This "ringing" or "pinging" of the gun barrel is even heard today
                          among CW reenactors during safety inspections, thereby insuring a
                          cleaned/unfouled barrel.

                          I would personally prefer to advance to battle loaded but not
                          capped, if I knew I was going to be using the bayonet.

                          Yr. Obt. Svt.
                          G E "Gerry" Mayers

                          To Be A Virginian, either by birth, marriage, adoption, or even
                          on one's mother's side, is an introduction to any state in the
                          Union, a passport to any foreign country, and a benediction from
                          the Almighty God. --Anonymous
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Joseph Pierro" <joseph_pierro@ yahoo.com>
                          To: <TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com>
                          Sent: Saturday, September 01, 2007 10:47 AM
                          Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?

                          > Again, that's not unheard of on either side. If the intention
                          > is a bayonet charge, and your concern is getting your attacking
                          > force to cover the distance in the shortest time possible, the
                          > only way to guarantee that they'll cross the space is to send
                          > them in with an unloaded weapon. (Even the most disciplined
                          > soldier, when charging under fire, will stop to return it--if
                          > he has a loaded weapon. It's human nature.)
                          >
                          > I've come across one Confederate account from the Seven Days
                          > fighting that describes his regiment being forced to "ring our
                          > muskets"--dropping the rammer down the barrel of the weapon in
                          > the presence of an officer or NCO so that he could hear the
                          > "ring" of it striking the empty bottom (as opposed to the dull
                          > thud of it striking a ball and wadding).
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ----- Original Message ----
                          > From: "richard@rcroker. com" <richard@rcroker. com>
                          > To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
                          > Sent: Saturday, September 1, 2007 9:35:24 AM
                          > Subject: Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?
                          >
                          > At Fredericksburg, Gen Humphries ordered his men to make the
                          > infamaous assault up Marye's Heights with unloaded weapons. Noy
                          > only uncapped, but unloaded. This on the advice of Gen. Hooker.
                          > The logic was that no one should stop to fire. He even had an
                          > inspection to make certain no one had a loaded weapon. His men
                          > climbed those heights basically armed with spears.
                          > ----- Original Message -----
                          > From: joseph_pierro
                          > To: TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com
                          > Sent: Friday, August 31, 2007 11:34 PM
                          > Subject: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?
                          >
                          > --- In TalkAntietam@ yahoogroups. com, Ronald Church
                          > <rchurch@... > wrote:
                          >>
                          >> I have heard it on several occasions that as French's lead
                          >> brigade
                          >> (Weber's) approached the Sunken Road they did so with uncapped
                          > muskets.
                          >> Is this true?
                          >>
                          >> Ron Church
                          >> Manchester Md
                          >>
                          > Carman gives a rather detailed account of the fight made by
                          > Weber's
                          > brigade (I can send you the particular passage if you wish),
                          > but he
                          > doesn't mention their muskets being uncapped.
                          >
                          > It was a well drilled brigade, but new to combat. As others
                          > have
                          > remarked, it would not be unique in a unit like that for
                          > weapons to
                          > have been kept uncapped in the advance in order to maintain
                          > fire
                          > discipline.
                          >
                          > --jake
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ____________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _________ _
                          > Luggage? GPS? Comic books?
                          > Check out fitting gifts for grads at Yahoo! Search
                          > http://search. yahoo.com/ search?fr= oni_on_mail& p=graduation+ gifts&cs= bz
                          >
                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          >
                          >





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