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Login Name Post: Canoe Gun?        (Topic#306496)
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6917
Loyalist Dave
02-10-18 10:18 AM - Post#1668704    

    In response to RJDH

  • Quote:
Just a word of caution, the vast majority of "Officer's Fusils" aren't. Officers at that time carried a sword to signal their men. There are a Few fusees out there, but not one in a hundred is the real thing. Most are sales pitch.



RJHD, what is "at that time"?

Regardless of whether or not a particular extant example of a fusil is a true "officer" fusil, there are examples in journals of officers carrying fusils, and artwork with them. John Knox documented a double barreled fusil belonging to a brother officer when in North America, for example. Swords were not used to "signal" the men, unless you mean it signaled to the men that the fellow was an officer, coupled with the red sash, the embellished hat, and the gorget.


LD

 
Grenadier1758 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2388
Grenadier1758
02-10-18 10:20 AM - Post#1668706    

    In response to RJDH

Most officers would have carried a sword or spontoon (a shafted weapon having a pointed blade with crossbar at its base, used by infantry officers in the 17th and 18th centuries) to signal to the troops under their command. The shape pf the spontoon would identify the specific unit being commanded. NCO's would carry a halberd (a shafted weapon with an axlike cutting blade, beak, and apical spike, used especially in the 15th and 16th centuries) to relay the commands from the officer and to identify the company being commanded.

Back to firearms. An officer may have commissioned a lighter caliber (0.66) fusil in the pattern of a land pattern musket. Cut to a shorter length would be very unlikely. It may or may not have been carried by the officer depending on a perceived need at the moment. Command would take precedence over the need for firepower.

Tenngun, good find on the Middlesex short fusil.

 
Cruzatte 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1134
Cruzatte
02-10-18 11:43 AM - Post#1668728    

    In response to Grenadier1758

  • Grenadier1758 Said:
Most officers would have carried a sword or spontoon (a shafted weapon having a pointed blade with crossbar at its base, used by infantry officers in the 17th and 18th centuries) to signal to the troops under their command....


The use of the word "signal" is misplaced. The Musick, that is fifers and drummers of 18th century British and American armies, were used to signal the men, and even summon the officers to report to their superiors.

Swords, spontoons, and such ephemera were symbolic badges of authority. Those who generated orders, and those who transmitted those orders carried swords; officers, non-commissioned officers, and the drummers and fifers.

 
RJDH 
40 Cal.
Posts: 314
02-10-18 02:17 PM - Post#1668751    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

Dave,

An officer had to be clearly definable on the field. His sword or whatever was his badge of office. He was not expected to provide musket power to the ranks, he was meant to keep his focus on the event in question, and to Direct his men.

"At that time"..... I did not think a question, as we were talking about Officer's fusils, and these are generally flintlock pieces, so Georgian, or broadly, 18th century. :-)

I believe many officers took a light fuzee on campaigne, for sporting purposes in slack periods. Many have been well documented for this purpose. It is just that an officer's rank Normally precluded him from carrying a fusil/ firelock into battle, where it would only divert his attention from his main job at hand.
(Directing the course of battle)

Best,
Richard.

 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 8043
tenngun
02-10-18 04:17 PM - Post#1668773    

    In response to RJDH

Officers fusil is very much like canoe gun, so rightly I should of said a private fusil made to resemble a Bess. Who owned such a gun is anyone’s guess. As it was small caliber it may have been the toy of a ‘tween’ who fancied himself as a cadet. Or the gun of a ‘company’ man to lend a little officaness to his persona.
Lisa had a ‘sporterized’ Bess I wonder if this was that sort of arm. It was shortened so we don’t know if it was fitted for a bayonet.

 
stantdm 
40 Cal.
Posts: 158
02-13-18 01:19 PM - Post#1669219    

    In response to tenngun

Back in the 1960's I used to play poker with a medical doctor who worked for the federal government by treating patients on Indian Reservations. He had been doing this work for about twenty years at the time. Most of these reservations were in Wyoming, Montana, and South Dakota. He collected all manner of clothing, knives, tools, and firearms. He had a large number of short barreled percussion rifles that were sold to him by the Indians. Most of these appeared to be cut down with a hacksaw as they were sometimes uneven. He called them blanket guns which is what he believed they were. Most of them were muzzle loading guns although he did have a couple of short cartridge rifles in his collection. In the time I knew this doctor he never used the term "canoe gun".

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 14374
BrownBear
02-13-18 01:59 PM - Post#1669226    

    In response to stantdm

I look at canoe guns just as I look at barn guns. If barn guns are valid, so are canoe guns.
"Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
Merle Haggard


 
Rifleman1776 
Cannon
Posts: 14814
Rifleman1776
02-13-18 02:14 PM - Post#1669231    

    In response to BrownBear

  • BrownBear Said:
I look at canoe guns just as I look at barn guns. If barn guns are valid, so are canoe guns.



  • Quote:
blanket guns



That is the term I have long been most familiar with when referring to short barreld flint smoothies. Not sure how the term originated although I am certain there are several "explanations".
Firearms terminology, especially in America, evolves sometimes without reason. Some of the olde timey terms we use today never existed 'back in the day'.
My take on the whole issue is, go with it and enjoy. Save the debate for when the jug is being passed around the campfire.

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6996
02-13-18 02:16 PM - Post#1669232    

    In response to BrownBear

If my memory serves, barn guns are called that because they are found in barns, right? So, if I find a gun in a canoe, is it legit to call it a canoe gun?

Spence

 
nhmoose 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2241
nhmoose
02-13-18 02:44 PM - Post#1669242    

    In response to Spence10



 
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6917
Loyalist Dave
02-13-18 02:46 PM - Post#1669243    

    In response to RJDH

  • Quote:
An officer had to be clearly definable on the field. His sword or whatever was his badge of office. He was not expected to provide musket power to the ranks, he was meant to keep his focus on the event in question, and to Direct his men.



Nobody suggested they were to add firepower to the volleys.

Actually an officer was identified by his solid red sash, and most importantly his gorget. Swords were also carried by sergeants, who also wore a sash but it had a contrasting stripe through it matching the facing of the regimental coat, and the sergeant's hat too had metal braid.

[Officers' Coats] may be without embroidery or lace; but, if the Colonel thinks proper, either gold or silver embroidered or laced button-holes are permitted....The hats to be laced either with gold or silver, as hereafter specified, and to be cocked uniformly...,The sashes to be of crimson silk, and worn round the waist. The King's arms to be engraved on the gorgets; also the number of the regiment. They are to be either gilt or silver, according to the colour of the buttons on the uniforms.

[Serjeant's Sashes] The sashes to be of crimson worsted, with a stripe of the colour of the facing of the regiment, and worn round the waist. Those of the regiments which are faced with red, to have a stripe of white....The hats of the Serjeants to be laced with silver.

All the Serjeants of the regiment, and the whole grenadier company, to have swords.


Royal Clothing Warrant 1768

So one can plainly see that the only singularly unique items on the Officers were the solid sash and the gorget. Now it's true that within a regiment the officers could have very different coats from the privates, but from regiment to regiment the only universals were those.

  • Quote:
"At that time"..... I did not think a question, as we were talking about Officer's fusils, and these are generally flintlock pieces, so Georgian, or broadly, 18th century. :-)



While yes, flintlocks, but The Georgian Era ended post War of 1812 ( George III died in 1820, and the Georgian Era ended with the death of George IV Three full decades into the 19th century) and there were loads of changes between the AWI and the War of 1812, let alone by 1830 and the beginning of Queen Victoria.

  • Quote:
I believe many officers took a light fuzee on campaigne, for sporting purposes in slack periods. Many have been well documented for this purpose. It is just that an officer's rank Normally precluded him from carrying a fusil/ firelock into battle, where it would only divert his attention from his main job at hand. (Directing the course of battle)



I've heard that proposed in the past, but in fact it is not so actually, the sword for the Officer as well as the sergeants (not to mention the sergeant's halberd) were for use when the muskets and fusils were put away...they still might need a weapon to maintain the discipline of the privates. Combat was quite a different thing.

The Officers of the grenadiers to wear black bear-skin caps; and to have fuzils, shoulder-belts, and pouches. ...., The battalion Officers to have espontoons....,

That tall spear, contrasting with the sergeant's halberd, identified the officer to the men at a distance in combat..., unless of course he was on a horse but not with a cavalry unit. Yet we see, not only are the officers in one company in every regiment to carry not only fusils, but they carried cartridge boxes so, they were expected to reload and fire. When they reached North America the officers diverged from the clothing warrant, but you will find more fusils than ever being carried by officers, and less uniform embellishments, plus the Sergeants stopped carrying the halberds, the officers stopped the spontoons... (makes it more difficult for the Continental Riflemen to pick them out). They armed all the fifers with muskets and the sergeants too. In fact they ran out of regular muskets, and the sergeants were carrying artillery carbines toward the end of the AWI.

LD



 
tenngun 
Cannon
Posts: 8043
tenngun
02-13-18 03:13 PM - Post#1669247    

    In response to BrownBear

One thing I oft wondered about was the metal drives of ww1 and 2. A fine golden age rifle full of brass silver bone and ivory was fit for a mantle or museum. A plane gun was just an ‘old gun wern’t worth nothin’ ‘. Something butchered up was worth even less. Patriotic duty got all sorts of important historical artifacts melted down.

 
RJDH 
40 Cal.
Posts: 314
02-13-18 03:29 PM - Post#1669249    

    In response to Loyalist Dave

David,

There are Very Many instances of officers giving signal with the sword, and yes, I Do know when the Georgian period was, and am aware of change over that period.
To me it is alarming though, that you think an Officer Needed an arm to discipline his men!...as though He himself did such work. (!)

It is well documented, and am aware of many sporting guns taken on campaigne by British officers. To deny this is either a bad case of ignorance, or merely looking for something to fight about. In your case, I wonder which.

Very best wishes,
Richard.

PS,

I will not be replying to any further posts you may direct at myself in this thread.

 
Capt. Jas. 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2378
02-13-18 05:01 PM - Post#1669265    

    In response to Smokey Plainsman

A more historical version having characteristics of a "canoe" gun would be what collectors call a coaching carbine

Most "officer's" fuzzees I have seen were really just sporting arms.

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6996
02-13-18 07:32 PM - Post#1669287    

    In response to RJDH

I don't know about all this that idea they were carried to make officers and serjeants easy to identify in combat. Seems they were sometimes expected to be a bit more involved than that.

THE SOUTH CAROLINA AND AMERICAN GENERAL GAZETTE
July 8, 1774
EUROPEAN INTELLIGENCE.
April 14. We hear from Winchester that the commanding officer of the regiment quartered there, and which is shortly to embark for America, is practising the officers and serjeants in a new kind of exercise, viz. throwing the espontoon and halbert after the manner of the javelin; which our greatest connoisseurs in the art military think vastly superiour to the fuzee, and that it will give these troops a great advantage over the Indians at bush-fightings, being better calculated for surprises, as doing execution without giving any alarm.

Don't know that it would add to the 'firepower', unless a few Indians died from laughing, I'm in danger of that, myself.

Spence

 
Heelerau 
45 Cal.
Posts: 570
02-17-18 08:18 PM - Post#1669946    

    In response to Britsmoothy

G

 
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6917
Loyalist Dave
02-18-18 09:07 AM - Post#1670026    

    In response to RJDH

  • Quote:
that you think an Officer Needed an arm to discipline his men!...as though He himself did such work. (!)

It is well documented, and am aware of many sporting guns taken on campaigne by British officers. To deny this is either a bad case of ignorance, or merely looking for something to fight about. In your case, I wonder which.



My friend you have a huge tendency to reply with remarks objecting to that which I never wrote.

First, there are numerous court martials from the time period where the officers had to use their swords against men. So I guess they did need the sword to discipline the men. Second, I demonstrated that the sword was also part of the rank display of a sergeant..., and that officers were to carry spontoons (those that weren't aremed with fusils)...., demonstrating rather than asserting that the sword did not "clearly" define the officer on the field. Now I've seen manuals on how to use the sword on parade, and how to use it to fight, and I suppose it's possible there were sword-signals for the men.... perhaps you'd like to provide a reference?

AT NO TIME did I write that officers did not have sporting arms, never having denied it, whether in garrison or on campaign. WHAT I DID DO was to demonstrate that your asserting about officers thus, " It is just that an officer's rank Normally precluded him from carrying a fusil/ firelock into battle,..." was again an assertion, and I did so by showing that several years before hostilities even began in North America, British peacetime orders to the contrary..., a large number of officers were armed with fusils and cartridge boxes.

I'm simply disagreeing with what you wrote and giving reason why I disagree in the form of evidence. If you think this is somehow a "fight", that's on you....

LD

 
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