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Login Name Post: Rogers Rangers Guns        (Topic#192814)
Gene L 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1174
08-26-17 09:47 PM - Post#1641577    

    In response to graybeard

I read somewhere that the sergeants used the halberds to "dress up" the ranks, held in the horizontal position against the soldiers' backs. Kinda pushed them forward if needed.

 
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6029
Loyalist Dave
08-28-17 07:47 AM - Post#1641724    

    In response to Gene L

Again, that may be so for the Continentals, but not for the British nor the Germanic troops. Professional soldiers when not on campaign need to be kept busy, so drilling and drilling going from column into line, very quickly, and as straight as possible to lessen the time needed to "dress" the ranks was one of the hallmarks of a properly regulated regiment. Not to mention advancing that line with bayonets. When not drilling, one polishes the musket.

"Idle hands are the devil's tools."

LD



 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 6145
08-28-17 02:03 PM - Post#1641749    

    In response to Gene L

  • Gene L Said:
I read somewhere that the sergeants used the halberds to "dress up" the ranks, held in the horizontal position against the soldiers' backs. Kinda pushed them forward if needed.



By the FIW and even in the British Army, these spear pointed pole arms were called "Espontoons" and usually no longer had even a small or stylistic/ceremonial axe blade incorporated in them that would have made them a true Halbeard.

Plainer ones were carried by some Sergeants and some fancier ones were carried by very Junior Officers when they were on the right side of a front rank. Junior Officers would have been what they called "Sub Alterns" or third or fourth Lieutenants. The idea was the soldiers looked to the right to dress ranks, even a soldier down on the end of the line could see the Espontoon to better align himself, besides using the soldiers to his right to "guide on" to ensure the ranks were straight as possible.

When Sergeants used them, they would sometimes even in the early stages of a battle, get out in front of the soldiers and hold the Espontoon parallel to the ground about chest high, so as to help align the Soldiers by giving them something to guide their dress on.

However, Espontoons were much more useful for Continental style warfare than here in the colonies. So during the FIW here where such fighting was not often done; Officers would be given the choice of using their privately purchased "Officers Fusil" and British Sergeants were issued Carbines instead of the Espontoons.

Gus

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 6145
08-28-17 02:27 PM - Post#1641751    

    In response to Artificer

BTW, in the early 80's, I walked into a shop that normally dealt in Civil War militaria and saw an 18th century Espontoon on the wall. The owner of the shop knew Civil War stuff very well, but not much about War of 1812 stuff and earlier. Someone in the past had long ago cut the end of the wood off so the overall length was down to a bit under 6 feet and I believed that was to easier hang it above the fireplace.

So I asked to see the "spear" and when I looked at the price tag, I initially thought it read $175.00 and that would have been a VERY good price for it. THEN I noted the metal boss or support right behind the blade had a small piece missing, but it was real SILVER (though discolored with age and neglect) and not Iron/Steel or Brass. OMG this was an OFFICER'S Espontoon!! So I looked at the price tag again and realized I had misread the $ dollar sign that had two upright lines in it and the price was actually $ 75.00. Had to take a moment so my voice would not fail when I asked if he could come down any on it. He said he could not, so I then had to control myself not to rip my back pocket off while getting my wallet out to buy it.

I had another good friend who actually collected such items and he almost had a heart attack when he saw it. He was pretty sure it was American, though it might have been British. Because he was a good friend, I offered it to him for what I had paid for it, but he said that would be cheating me. So it was part of a trade for an 18th century cutlass that he had and I wanted and we both walked away VERY pleased with the deal.

Gus

 
dakota tim 
32 Cal.
Posts: 45
dakota tim
09-10-17 07:34 PM - Post#1643476    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

  • Loyalist Dave Said:
IT WAS IN THE 18TH CENTURY....,

HA!

But Gus you do win the prize for spotting my intentional spelling of the word with a J...

LD



And the 19th and 20th century! I think "Serjeant" was used until about 1930. I believe it's still used in Parliament today.


 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 6514
tenngun
09-16-17 09:57 AM - Post#1644378    

    In response to dakota tim

An I always wondered who told Webster he knew how spell?

 
Wes/Tex 
Cannon
Posts: 7700
Wes/Tex
09-17-17 07:09 PM - Post#1644566    

    In response to dakota tim

Still in use in some British regiments, particularly the Rifles.

 
Wes/Tex 
Cannon
Posts: 7700
Wes/Tex
12-03-17 04:59 PM - Post#1654946    

    In response to Wes/Tex

Yeah...short barrels, that's the ticket!

http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/wp-content/upload...

 
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