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Re: Uncapped muskets?

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  • 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 1 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 2 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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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • 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 3 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 4 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 5 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
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
            • 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 6 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 7 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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