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Re: Riflemen turned into Musketmen?

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  • james barnwell
    I understand that the rifle unit of michigan Territory-the Legionary Corp had their rifles-1803 Harpers Ferry s taken away before Detroit was captured...and
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 1, 2000
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      I understand that the rifle unit of michigan
      Territory-the "Legionary Corp" had their rifles-1803
      Harpers Ferry's taken away before Detroit was
      captured...and were issued muskets-Why?
      Jim Barnwell

      --- Roger Fuller <fullerfamily@...> wrote:
      >
      > >But if a 'Rifleman' is deployed with a musket he
      > surely ceases to be a
      > >rifleman by definition, QED!
      >
      > Absolutely! BTW from the perspective of the British,
      > even though the Baker
      > was always in short supply, I can't find any mention
      > of the British turning
      > their riflemen into musketmen when there weren't
      > enough rifles to go around,
      > unless the KGL and GLI are to be taken as an
      > example.
      >
      > Any cites on 95th or 5/60th guys being given
      > muskets? None that I know of.
      >
      > >Or are we saying that a 'merkin rifleman carried
      > two weapons?
      >
      > A rifle AND a musket- who'd want to have to run with
      > and carry all that, and
      > the different ammunition. I doubt it happened, but
      > if somebody has primary
      > sources for it....
      >
      > Roger
      > 3/95th (Rifles)
      >
      >
      >
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    • Paul W. Schulz
      ... Jim, All US Riflemen Regulars an Militia that drew their weapons from Federal Arsenals had their firearms pulled and were issued muskets in their place
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 1, 2000
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        > From: james barnwell <barnlll@...>
        >
        > I understand that the rifle unit of michigan
        > Territory-the "Legionary Corp" had their rifles-1803
        > Harpers Ferry's taken away before Detroit was
        > captured...and were issued muskets-Why?
        > Jim Barnwell
        >

        Jim,
        All US Riflemen Regulars an Militia that drew their weapons from Federal
        Arsenals had their firearms pulled and were issued muskets in their place
        prior to the war. The Harper's Ferry Model had an unspecific manufacturing
        flaw which caused the locks to be more fragile than required. As the gun was
        initially designed to be used by the Corps of Discovery it was designed and
        intended to be both durable and reliable. As the weapons being produced were
        not of the called for resiliency that had been prescribed they were pulled,
        presumably to be fitted with new locks. The 1st Rifles that were present in
        1811 at Tippecanoe had muskets. As the war began the Rifle Regiment
        (singular at that time) was almost completely re-equipped with rifles as
        were the rifle units in the larger and more accessible areas than Detroit.
        Thus the MI. Legion started the war with muskets.

        Please bear in mind as you discuss US Militia units the Federal Government
        issued rifles to those units truly equipped, trained and proper listed as
        such with in the organization that the state reported to the government in
        Washington. This of course would eliminate the Uncle Edgar's Town Square
        Rifle Herd type unit. For those units who had members arrive for muster with
        private firearms (rifles or otherwise) the records I have show that if the
        unit was intended for Federal service or campaigning away from their home
        turf (even garrisoning some of the state's coastal forts) these weapons were
        replaced with a draw upon the local armory (usually Federal as only the
        biggest states had their own arm manufacturing capability i.e.Virginia).
        This was usually the weapon type most common in the unit, usually a musket.
        This was done even if the man showed up with a musket that was of a
        non-standard calibre for the US. Logistics was the main issue here as a unit
        with 20 differently calibred weapons and several different loading rates
        would have been a nightmare, certain to cause even the Regt. Chaplain to
        begin heavy drinking and profanity.

        As new Regular Rifle Units were raised during the war there is no record
        that I have seen to indicate that they were ever issued anything but rifles.

        Lt. Paul W. Schulz
        4th US Rt. of Inf.
        Snelling's Co., Commanding
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