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The Brown Bess


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#1 ONLINE   TaosGlock

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Posted Jan. 31 2012 - 10:51 AM

These were the weapons, and similar to, that most of the colonial militia's used to birth our nation on April 19th, 1775.
And of course, the British Regulars used the Bess too. The Regulars all had bayonets too.
But only one out of two colonial muskets had bayonets that day.

A good man could get off 3- 4 effective shots in a minute. It was requirement for most militia companies.

It was on that day that the American's superior marksmanship drove the British Army back to Boston, from Concord, in a humiliating defeat. :pirate41:
All things being equal, our marksmanship skills and resolve today do not compare to our forefathers. :sad:

Here:
http://olegvolk.net/...bess-the-movie/


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#2 OFFLINE   rifleman2000

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Posted Jan. 31 2012 - 11:37 AM

Boy I hate to nitpick but your assertions are not very historically accurate. British regulars 'regularly' spanked American militia in straight up fights. 'Marksmanship' was not even a factor with the smoothbore weapons of the period.

Warfare at that time was conducted in mass formations because it made sense. In order to maximize firepower you had to have massed formations that could fire volleys. Disciplined maneuver and reload was far more important than 'marksmanship'. In order to beat the British the Continental Army had to learn to fight effectively in mass formations, hence the importance of Von Steuben teaching drill and discipline to the regulars. George Washington hated the militia, it was considered a 'success' if they got off one good volley before the broke and ran. Riflemen, while useful in certain situations, could rarely win a battle, their weapons were far to slow to reload and required a much better trained and disciplined soldier than was readily available. Riflemen could not compete with the sheer firepower of a disciplined unit of British regulars. Nor could a dispersed formation provide any resistance to the follow up bayonet charge, they could only flee.

The "American's won because we hid behind rocks, walls, and trees and outshot them myth" is just that, a myth. It is contemptibly referred to as the "Rock Wall Tree myth" by few Revolutionary War historians that I know.

It was not until the advent of the minie ball that made rifled weapons easy to reload that the mass formation warfare model became outdated.

Link to article discussing Revolutionary War tactics.

Edited by rifleman2000, Jan. 31 2012 - 12:09 PM.



#3 ONLINE   TaosGlock

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Posted Jan. 31 2012 - 12:37 PM

You are mostly right. And those are great discussions points!
But my OP was not intended (although I set myself up for such :wink: ) to be a discourse on military tactics of the Revolutionary War.

The Brown Bess. One day, April 19. Men and their muskets.

As a side-note, that single day of April 19 is well documented. The causaulty rates on April 19 were about 3-1 in our favor.
Not how we did it but what we did it with: Marksmanship and muskets.

Thanks for the link too. I will add it to my collection.


#4 OFFLINE   rifleman2000

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Posted Jan. 31 2012 - 12:42 PM

You are mostly right. And those are great discussions points!
But my OP was not intended (although I set myself up for such :wink: ) to be a discourse on military tactics of the Revolutionary War.

The Brown Bess. One day, April 19. Men and their muskets.

As a side-note, that single day of April 19 is well documented. The causaulty rates on April 19 were about 3-1 in our favor.
Not how we did it but what we did it with: Marksmanship and muskets.

Thanks for the link too. I will add it to my collection.


We certainly learnt them a lesson that day. :thumb:

There is a good book about the battle of Trenton and the battle of Princeton called "George Washington's Crossing". It talks about one way the militia, specifically the NJ militia really made life difficult for the British. After the battles, the militia was encouraged to come out and began a campaign of ambushing couriers and attacking foraging parties. It got so bad that the British had to send large escorts for even routine couriers or risk loss of communication between units.


#5 ONLINE   TaosGlock

TaosGlock

    Senior Rifle Instructor: RWVA


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  • Joined: Nov. 22 2005
  • Location:30 miles from the $hit hole of Mexico.


Posted Jan. 31 2012 - 12:53 PM

Yeah what a great read that was! I finished it just before Christmas last year.
Fischer is brilliant and such a researcher. He spoke at one of our events once.

I gave a little historical talk to our little gun club on The Miracle of Christmas about GW's crossing the Delaware. I used GW's own words and account as related by Fischer.
Our little club also has few members from the Sons of The American Revolution.

Fischer's other book Paul Revere's Ride is also a good read. A full third of that book is references and letters to support his work.
He pretty much puts the historical revisionists in their place.
Fischer really captures the human element as he weaves in the facts.





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