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Re: [TalkAntietam] Re: Uncapped muskets?

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  • 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 1 of 24 , Sep 3, 2007
      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. :)


      ----- 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]
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