Search found 671 matches

by JV Puleo
Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:57 am
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840
Replies: 28
Views: 12575

Re: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840

The usual answer given is that lead was expensive and difficult to get on the "frontier" but I know of no actual examination of period material that substantiates this. It is probably something Sawyer or Dillin wrote and highly questionable. None of the early authors on the subject had any...
by JV Puleo
Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:27 pm
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840
Replies: 28
Views: 12575

Re: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840

It was a fairly common belief among some native populations that raising the rear sight of a rifle made it shoot "stronger." Something very useful to an army when their enemy is 200 yards away and their sights are set for 1200 yards.
by JV Puleo
Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:22 pm
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: The Birmingham System of Gun Manufacture
Replies: 6
Views: 2922

Re: The Birmingham System of Gun Manufacture

As far as we know, virtually all were made in small, more or less independent shops. The term used at the time was "small masters" and seems to imply a shop with as few as two men and perhaps as many as 15. There were very few "large" shops in the gun trade until after the Americ...
by JV Puleo
Sun Feb 10, 2013 7:49 am
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: The Birmingham System of Gun Manufacture
Replies: 6
Views: 2922

Re: The Birmingham System of Gun Manufacture

The system described in the article is one of the wonders of the early-industrial world. It was fully developed by the middle of the 18th century and probably dates back as early as the first quarter of the 17th century. It is commonly associated with the 19th century because that is the period that...
by JV Puleo
Sat Feb 09, 2013 10:35 am
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840
Replies: 28
Views: 12575

Re: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840

I imagine we are... but I'm out of the country. The last time we had this happen was just about this time of year, in 1978. Just about everyone under 30 is bored to death with stories of the "blizzard of 78" but I suppose now we'll all have to share their stories of the "blizzard of 1...
by JV Puleo
Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:52 am
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840
Replies: 28
Views: 12575

Re: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840

Pat... re the rifles Yes, but with this qualification. The distinctively "military" rifle as opposed to the civilian "game" rifle was unknown at the time of the revolution. As a specialized military arm, the rifle had not developed far enough. German rifles are sturdy and plain b...
by JV Puleo
Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:32 am
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840
Replies: 28
Views: 12575

Re: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840

I think its reasonable to say that Washington had a very conservative notion of how an army ought to function. In a sense, he was a throwback to his own early years during the Seven Years War. This shouldn't surprise us but its a great irony that this tag is usually applied to the British while it i...
by JV Puleo
Thu Feb 07, 2013 1:33 pm
Forum: Reviews & Commentary
Topic: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840
Replies: 28
Views: 12575

Re: British Military Flintlock Rifles 1740-1840

Its a very good book. Not too surprisingly, DeWitt is a friend of mine and I work with the publisher, so I am quite familiar with his point of view. The critical issue is that, unlike virtually all previous "gun writers" DeWitt is a genuine academic with an abiding interest in the subject ...
by JV Puleo
Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:28 am
Forum: Archive
Topic: Indian troops in the Boer War?
Replies: 33
Views: 8245

Re: Indian troops in the Boer War?

Pat, Yes... most troops were "state" but sworn into federal service. Nevertheless, the governors still controlled the promotion of officers and the state was still responsible for recruitment, which puts them in a strange "not-quite-militia" catagory. This was the "Volunteer...
by JV Puleo
Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:20 am
Forum: Archive
Topic: Indian troops in the Boer War?
Replies: 33
Views: 8245

Re: Indian troops in the Boer War?

Couvi, I'll try to find my source. Its in my library somewhere... but I recently had one of the big book cases collapse under the weight of the books and the place is a mess. I'm in the process of building a new book case, firmly attached to the wall, but I never seem to have enough of them. Back wh...
by JV Puleo
Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:48 pm
Forum: Archive
Topic: Indian troops in the Boer War?
Replies: 33
Views: 8245

Re: Indian troops in the Boer War?

Couvi, Yes, on paper at least there was a Confederate "Regular" army but it never amounted to more than a few regiments and those were chronically under strength. Most of the Confederate generals held "Regular" and "Volunteer" ranks... just like the amazingly complicate...
by JV Puleo
Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:17 am
Forum: Archive
Topic: Indian troops in the Boer War?
Replies: 33
Views: 8245

Re: Indian troops in the Boer War?

"Joe, you are correct in that every Confederate state had a regiment in the Union Army. They were usually immigrants with no stake in the War." Couvi, Are we really sure of this? Or could this be someone's way of acknowledging they existed but discounting their participation... like saying...
by JV Puleo
Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:42 pm
Forum: Archive
Topic: Indian troops in the Boer War?
Replies: 33
Views: 8245

Re: Indian troops in the Boer War?

I think in the Boer War situation, the decision to not use Indian or Black troops had much more to do with pandering to the racial prejudices of the Boers. One of the usually overlooked aspects of the war was that not all Afrikaners supported Boer independence, a large number of them lived in and pa...
by JV Puleo
Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:23 am
Forum: Archive
Topic: Indian troops in the Boer War?
Replies: 33
Views: 8245

Re: Indian troops in the Boer War?

The most compelling argument was that the big, grain fed horses brought from Britain needed huge amounts of fodder that had to be imported while the horses of Indian Cavalry regiments were much better acclimatized to the grazing quality of South Africa. They were also far more practiced in chasing m...
by JV Puleo
Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:28 pm
Forum: Archive
Topic: Indian troops in the Boer War?
Replies: 33
Views: 8245

Re: Indian troops in the Boer War?

Effectively, no. It was supposed to be a "white man's war" to use the expression of the time. There was an Indian volunteer ambulance/stretcher unit (organized by Mahatma Gandhi, who at this time was a London trained attorney). There may have been some other support units. Kitchner also en...
by JV Puleo
Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:33 am
Forum: Archive
Topic: Henry Carrington's decorations
Replies: 11
Views: 2582

Re: Henry Carrington's decorations

I don't believe there were any rules at all as to what you could wear, though I doubt you could make up your own awards. With no rules, almost nothing was "official". The Congressional Medal was virtually the only decoration available to be awarded but states could issue medals and did... ...
by JV Puleo
Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:04 am
Forum: Archive
Topic: 1859 sharps rifle
Replies: 37
Views: 13425

Re: 1859 sharps rifle

Actually Pat, it was a drop in the bucket. The number of arms in storage was staggering and it wasn't until somewhat later that it was realized that they would all soon be obsolete. This is the basic reason behind the reluctance to adopt a new cartridge weapon and the early insistence that it be a c...
by JV Puleo
Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:27 pm
Forum: Archive
Topic: 1859 sharps rifle
Replies: 37
Views: 13425

Re: 1859 sharps rifle

Pat, At the end of the war, as units were disbanded and mustered out, it was customary to allow the men to keep their weapons if they wanted them. Their mustering-out pay was docked for the amount. Off-hand I don't know what the amounts were but I am certain it was discounted from the price the gove...
by JV Puleo
Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:54 pm
Forum: Archive
Topic: 1859 sharps rifle
Replies: 37
Views: 13425

Re: 1859 sharps rifle

My understanding is that marking weapons was against regulations... but that the frontier army was a good deal less rigid in enforcing the regulations strictly than we would think using the modern army as a model. As to marking the weapons of the black regiments - I doubt it had anything to do with ...
by JV Puleo
Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:38 pm
Forum: Archive
Topic: Russian Horses, 1914-1939
Replies: 6
Views: 1856

Re: Russian Horses, 1914-1939

The Imperial Army had an extensive remount program. One of the interesting features of it was that the government purchased very high quality studs (probably more valuable horses than any independent breeder could have afforded) which were then let out to breeders at very reasonable rates (like 5 ro...