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95th Rilfes & New Orleans, Paper in the barrel and Dutch

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  • Paul W. Schulz
    Folks, I find the discussion about the Battle of New Orleans to be an interesting one. First let me say that defending the 95th is kind of beating a dead
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 7, 1998
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      Folks,

      I find the discussion about the Battle of New Orleans to be an
      interesting one. First let me say that defending the 95th is kind of
      "beating a dead horse." Any military historian, be they re-enactor, wargamer
      of literary buff who is not familiar with these guys as some the best the
      British Army had needs to crack the books more. These guys were good. The
      western plains Indians used to determine the quality and aggressiveness of a
      warrior by the same values of his opponents. The opinions written by the
      95th's opponents pretty much says it all. As to the US rifles they to were
      quite a dangerous bunch. As Jim mentioned the Peninsula Veterans got the
      education of a life time while on duty at the siege of Fort Erie. Can't say
      they weren't warned. I've read that Coffee had some rifles with him at New
      Orleans, about 70. The unit he commanded was classed as a Mounted Rifle
      Regiment, I believe that this is a source of much of the confusion. These
      accounts have Jackson placing the riflemen forward of the line in prepared
      and camouflaged positions. Their mission was that of causing general chaos
      and targeting Officers. It might be interesting to see if an autopsy was
      done on General's Keene and Pakenham just to know what the offending
      projectile was. They used tactics much as the current armour units use, fire
      a couple of shots then move to a different prepared position. The
      Tennesseans where far from stupid and understood well the concept of
      counter-sniper fire. While I'm sure Jackson kept them in these forward
      positions as long as possible, when it came time for the Infantry to come
      and play they were out of there. Correct me if I am wrong but I believe
      these tactics were employed by the 95th as well, at least in Spain.
      Roger if you get another recruit who wants to join not because Sharpe
      peaked his interest but he really believes he is Sharp, don't let man go!
      You are doing a great disservice to both him and your community by allowing
      this individual back out on the streets. He needs a long soothing stay where
      he can get the help he so desperately needs. In this matter I can
      sympathize, we had man who was convinced he was a Romulan (had the uniform,
      pointed ears and everything), he could even tell you what ship and duty
      section he was assigned to. We had him vaporized. As far as how the British
      lost. Well let's becareful about assigning blame to men like the officers
      that expressed doubt about the attack. We are looking at the British Regt's
      as ledger sheets and on paper they should have a least done better. However
      remember many were sick, exhausted and believe it or not cold (some actually
      froze to death). We weren't there so we need to look at everything. Besides
      the British weren't in New Orleans by themselves. A quote from one of the
      more recognizable names of the ACW when asked if his assault failed due to
      higher ups or subordinates or his men or had he made a mistake, replied, "I
      always thought the Yankees had something to do with it." The man was G.
      Pickett.

      As to the paper in the barrel issue: The 100 grain charge is sufficient
      to make an effective noise and is still small enough so that if paper is
      fired the impact would be mild and nonleathal. In fact if you got hit by
      paper(if that was all that was fired) you probably got burned as the muzzle
      blast in some cases goes quite far. Paper alone breaks up in flight and so
      has a very short range. Don't for a minute think I'm advocating this, I'm
      just saying that it is not as bad as you might think. Now if any thing other
      than paper or perhaps a small amount of that clear glue used by most
      Kindergarten class gets in there we have a whole new ball game. Prehospital
      Traumatic Life Support indicate that injury to the body from a projectile is
      not directly related to the projectile. Rather it is caused by the
      "CAVITATION" caused by the entrance and exit of said projectile. We
      determine the amount of damage caused by the amount of energy exchanged
      (thats the definition of trauma) it reads like this:

      Kinetic energy= mass x velocity(squared)
      then divide the
      above by 2
      Force= mass x acceleration
      These two factors will determine the amount of energy the victim's body has
      absorbed. this will cause a temporary or permanent cavity in the body.
      Essentially all the tissues and organs are violently pushed out of the way
      and then allowed to return to their original positions. This actions causes
      tissue loss and extensive bleeding. That is why an exit wound is so much
      larger that the entry, the projectile causes the entry wound while the
      energy wave causes the exit. Things as small as staples can cause damage
      greatly in excess of their size due the speed they are traveling. Due the
      math, its' scary. We have a pistol bullet(For our Canadian Friends: a pistol
      is a short version of the musket designed to be carried in one hand and your
      Gov't will only let you look at pictures of them) that we had struck once
      with a 2lb hand sledges to simulate the bullet (.54 cal) striking bone. We
      ended up with a thick disk of lead that measured 3" across.
      All unit officers should examine at least one cartridge with every man,
      every man should present a cartridge to the site inspector when his musket
      is checked. All weapons and a sample cartridge should be checked at the
      beginning and end of each battle by the individual, then his group officer
      and then the officer under whose command the unit is functioning (when units
      brigade for the weekend).
      This is how we prevent Gettysburg at say Fort Erie. That event was tragic
      and stupid. Imagine the whole that kids has in his neck all because the man,
      the gun owner, the officer and the organizer never checked. The shooter was
      a walk on. In the Army of the Old Northwest" we discourage walk ons and
      reserve the right to refuse them or to brigade with units that do. If I
      don't know you I can't trust you, its' nothin' personal but I've been shot
      at before and didn't care for it much (at least then I wasn't loaded with
      blanks and had the satisfaction of being able to shoot back).

      Steve I'm hardly offended, I simply feel that if you are gonna go some
      where and do Living History then you should desire to do it to the best of
      your ability. These Waterloo trips are only every couple of years. Even I
      can save enough for a British Regimental in that time period. I read the
      guestbook entry that Roger suggested from the Sharpe website. You might want
      to read it to. If this guy characterizes the attitude of the Dutch
      re-enactor towards English speaking people then you pseudo Dutch are in for
      a hell of a welcome aboard. I liked the way the way the first Waterloo trip
      was organized. They went as English and endeavored to keep all the North
      Americans together. Those few who went as Dutch got peeled away and stuck
      with strangers (or so I was told).

      Free Trade and Sailor's Rights
      Paul
    • NINETY3RD@aol.com
      ... This was the same as for the Rifle Corps (95th, etc) and for the Light Infantry companies of each regiment and the Light Infantry regiments. Be careful not
      Message 2 of 2 , Nov 8, 1998
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        In a message dated 07/11/1998 12:16:08 PM, Paul wrote:

        >Their mission was that of causing general chaos
        >
        >and targeting Officers. It might be interesting to see if an autopsy was
        >
        >done on General's Keene and Pakenham just to know what the offending
        >
        >projectile was.

        This was the same as for the Rifle Corps (95th, etc) and for the Light
        Infantry companies of each regiment and the Light Infantry regiments. Be
        careful not to confuse modern styles and training with those of the time
        period however. There will be similarities, sure, but the differences
        outnumber such.
        Autopsies? No I don't think there were. One eyewitness account of the *second*
        time Packenham was hit described that immediately beforehand was the sound of
        a "great crash". Now in my mind, the thing that would make such a noise over
        all other battle noise of that time period would be an artillery piece. Also
        it must be taken into account that both times (well, actually 3 - the third
        was as he was being picked up off the ground. Rather a low position for rifle
        or musket fire what with so many accounts of that time period talking about
        how fire in combat usually went high, plus the small arms being fired over a
        somewhat tall parapet...) Packenham went down, it included his horses being
        killed underneath him. That sounds like artillery firing canister.

        >>As far as how the British

        lost. Well let's becareful about assigning blame to men like the officers

        that expressed doubt about the attack.<<

        If you are talking about my mention of Mullins of the 44th (and if any single
        blame for the debacle should be pointed to it should be him) - he was
        courtmartialed afterward in Britain and found guilty. General Gibbs, before
        being hit and dying, while trying to rally his column yelled, "If you live to
        see tomorrow Mullins, I'll see you hang from one of these trees!". Now that's
        an on the spot, eyewitness, contemporary assessment if I've ever heard one!

        Cheers!
        Benton
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