French and Indian War era weapons accouterments

Discussion in 'French & Indian War' started by Sicilian Hunter, Aug 31, 2019.

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  1. Aug 31, 2019 #1

    Sicilian Hunter

    Sicilian Hunter

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    I am targeting a period roughly from the end of the F&I War to the time just before the Rev War for accouterments for weapons of a military or militia issue and whatever civilians might have used for musket or rifle.
    They would include military combination tools, tow worms, turn screws, ball pullers, pliers and bag molds from roughly 1750-1775.
    Pictures and documentation to back them up is what I am looking for.
    Additionally, links to archaeological findings would be a jack pot!!
    Google searches have revealed little, or at least they way I am wording my searches has.
    Any info would be helpful.

    Thanks
     
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  2. Aug 31, 2019 #2

    Grenadier1758

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    Take a look at books such as "A Soldier Like Way". It focuses on the material culture of a soldier in your time period. The companion book "Of Sorts for Provincials" looks at the material culture for militia use.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2019 #3

    tenngun

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    Ted Spring put out some good sketch books on French and Indian war soldier life..... drawings are not the best but well researched.
    Gospel truth? Well some folks will argue details, so you need research on your own.
    On the Townsends web site is some good works on everyday life as described by people who lived in the colonies.
    The longhunter sketch book is another good work, and the cut of men’s clothes is another good work.
     
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  4. Sep 1, 2019 #4

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Many thanks!
    I will keep digging
     
  5. Sep 5, 2019 #5

    Artificer

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    Hi S.H.,

    UNLESS you are portraying a New Englander who took part in or received French Arms from taking Fortress Louisbourg in 1745 or 1758, you can pretty much forget "military combination tools, tow worms, turn screws, and ball pullers" for Muskets with Steel Rammers. This because the Colonial Militia used Wood Ramrod Muskets for this period almost exclusively. You can also forget the British "Y" or Triangular Shaped Musket Tools for the same reason.

    Since I don't study French Arms that much, I can't help you with accoutrements for those arms. Maybe someone else can.

    For more info on Military/Militia Accoutrements, I suggest opening the Slide Shows in this link:
    https://materialculture18t.wixsite.com/18thcmcrc/arms--accoutrements-accoutrements

    Gus
     
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  6. Sep 5, 2019 #6

    Artificer

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    These are EXCELLENT resources for the kind of info the OP is looking for and I further heartily recommend them as well.

    I've gone back time and again finding new things I may have missed the importance of the first few times around or to put things together from different parts of the books.

    Gus
     
  7. Sep 9, 2019 #7

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Artificer,
    Thanks for the heads up, I know a lot less about the F&I war than I wish and had not even thought about the Bess having a wooden rammer then.
    Although I love the lines of the French weapons the British weapons would've been what was issue.
    For the first time I am considering a Bess as my next smoothbore.
    However, the accouterments I am looking to document would be for a rifle of that era
     
  8. Sep 9, 2019 #8

    tenngun

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    Loyalist arms (and I’m not recommending or not not recommending them) has a sea service Bess and some early French and a doglock gun. Such a gun is easier to get in to civilian arms. The sea service was also the type of musket carried and traded off of ships. A civilian gun could well be matched with rifle arms as it would be civilian supplied.
    Unless you plan on doing military, you could well have a mishmash of equipment.
    So farmer Bob could well have his goods stuffed in a nonmilitary bag and take something from military stores. And even pick up some French equipment post a fight.
    But...
    Keep in mind folks like to travel light. They weren’t gadget minded. I have turnscrews in my bags, but a knife can do much of the job if needed.
     
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  9. Sep 10, 2019 #9

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Tenngun,
    Although my immediate thoughts go to militiamen having much more of the battlefield pick ups that you mention as a part of their kit, it always seems hard to document.
    French gear and weapons being used by English settlers appears always as more of a romantic notion than something that can be backed up with printed fact.
    Military units had and still do have stringent criteria to follow that may not have allowed for troops to keep and maintain enemy gear and weapons unless ordered to do so.
    Personally, I would not pass up anything I could find or capture that would help me be a more effective fighter...
     
  10. Sep 10, 2019 #10

    tenngun

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    That’s absolutely true. Military would rarely if ever use anything except powder food and lead, from the enemy, it would only be rare, but possible for a civilian.
    One needs think how would a person have got x
     
  11. Sep 10, 2019 #11

    Straekat

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    There is a very long documented history of soldiers scrounging for whatever they could use, and the use of captured military and civilian items. (Should I mention southerners during the ACW by way of one of the best known periods when southern soldiers sometimes wore so much Federal uniform items and equipment they were mistaken for Federals by other southern units?)

    The visual media of the 18th century is limited to artists renderings, some of them made years or even decades after events happened. The accuracy of those renderings or paintings are not always considered accurate. That leaves us with having to consider written documentation, and there are indications that yes, captured items were used (or can be documented for specific time periods). Any use of "captured" items should be used, only with documentation that shows time/place instead of re-enacting and living historians do....for the entire war.

    The light companies of the first battalion of the 60th Foot in 1758/9 swapped out their Besses for captured Charlevilles. Because they were not regimental/Crown property, they were permitted to cut them down so they be used as improvised fusils that were lighter to carry, easier to handle in dense woodlands and in potential close combat situations that arise when these companies were used as skirmishing and scouting elements. The light companies also heavily modified their issue regimental by cutting them down, removing "bulk" to the point that a regimental started to resemble a sleeved waistcoat.

    Roger's Rangers were issued a uniform, however, the ranger units are also known to have modified whatever they had, in order to fit their own needs. Captured items of all sorts were used, including Indian made items (snow shoes) and mocs and/or bare feet were preferred because any footprints left behind and seen by Indians or French were not as easily identified as a shod foot being European, not Indian.

    The French were notoriously short on script and coinage to use for paying troops. If there was hard currency available in the form of silver or gold coins, what monarch's head was on it was less important than the type of metal and how much it weighted.

    On campaigns, leather footwear could wear out fast, and replacing shoes on the frontier or in your opponents territory, taking the shoes or mocs off a dead man or prisoners feet wouldn't have raised any eyebrows. Add to that, the long established tradition of searching prisoners for valuables and looting the dead.

    In winter, soldiers in the field have often worn as many layers of clothing as they could get to fend off the worst of it. Captured winter-time clothing worn as layers under the outer and visible uniform. Shirts, waistcoats (depending on color, and overdyed if possible) might even be used in fairer weather.

    SH....check out Track of the Wolf's fancy combination French musket tool, with ball puller, knapping hammer and screw-driver combination, but without the kitchen sink. It's patterned after one found at Louisbourg and is a period FRENCH item for use with a Charleville.

    Instead of doing the ever-popular thing of "British" during the F&I Period, I'd suggest checking out French units (they are probably very rare out west where you are!). You might want to consider what aspects of the period appeal to you most. Some units focus on the military aspect, others place importance on camp life rather than a hard-core military impression so it can be a family centered unit instead. Then there are shades in-between.
     
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  12. Sep 10, 2019 #12

    Artificer

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    OK, then that is a different matter.

    Probably the most common worm for a wood ramrod for a rifle was a "cork screw" worm. Think of a coil with one end sharpened to a point. In use, the worm was threaded onto the end of the ramrod with the pointy end sticking out to catch a stuck patch or clear and obstruction in the bore. Not having used one, I don't know if they could grab onto the ball with it and pull it out, but I don't think so. (They most likely used a squib load to shoot out a patched ball when either the powder would not go off or they forgot to load the powder. Even a powder charge that got wet or contaminated could be set off by using the vent pick to stab into the load and get a few grains of good powder into the touch hole to shoot the load out.) They would also tie a hank of tow around the cork screw worm to clean the bore.

    Speaking of Vent Picks, they would have had one and a very simple one made of Iron Wire at most was used. They may also have used a feather or thorn or some natural thing like that, if they did not have the Iron Wire. In an emergency, they may have been able to use the awl that Dodderidge claims everyone carried.

    They did not use Brass tips with a threaded hole in them on their wood ramrods for use with threaded on worms and Ball Screws (Ball Pullers), that are common today. There seems to be some documentation, that I personally can't lay my hands on, for a tapered sheet Iron Cone with a flat end that were used with some wood ramrods. The Flat end was a sort of disc with a threaded hole in the center for "screw in" worms and ball screws. These tapered Iron cones were brazed together and the threaded disc was brazed on the end. They were attached to the wood with an Iron Wire that went through both sides of the cone and through the ramrod and were secured by peening the ends larger on each outside edge of the tapered cone.

    Brass tips on the end of the ramrod to push the patched ball down the bore was probably more common on fowlers or smoothbores than rifles, but they were available during the period for those who wanted them. I'm just not sure how common they were.

    There is documentation for a "Turnscrew" or screwdriver that seems to have pretty common and used to tighten the Top Jaw Screw. There are plenty of excavated examples and most seem to have been locally "blacksmith" made.

    I may think of some other things later, but that's it for off the top of my head for now.

    Gus
     
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  13. Sep 10, 2019 #13

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Thanks!!
    Great info!!
    Appreciate all of the details, let me know if more comes to mind.
    Do you happen to have any references for the documentation I can use?
     
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  14. Sep 11, 2019 #14

    Artificer

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    Grenadier1758 already gave you two of the best reference when he recommended:
    Take a look at books such as "A Soldier Like Way". It focuses on the material culture of a soldier in your time period. The companion book "Of Sorts for Provincials" looks at the material culture for militia use.

    Another one is at the end of your stated time period, but a lot of the information would have been good going back to the FIW. You can find this as a "free" book online, but here is a link to what I'm referring to:

    "Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars of the Western Parts of Virginia and Pennsylvania from 1763 to 1783, Inclusive"
    https://www.amazon.com/Settlement-Western-Virginia-Pennsylvania-Inclusive/dp/B008TZT03G

    Gus
     
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  15. Sep 11, 2019 #15

    Sicilian Hunter

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    EXCELLENT!!
    Many thanks!!
     
  16. Sep 12, 2019 #16

    Snapper Petta

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    http://snowshoemen.com/

    Sicilian Hunter - Check out the link above. These guys are very good at what they portray. There are three time periods they get into but they do this from a non-military perspective so the gear & equipment they carry may be what you're looking for. Hope it helps.

    That's all for now. Take care and until next time...be well.

    snapper
     
  17. Sep 12, 2019 #17

    Loyalist Dave

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    Here are some gun worms and scrapers from a museum in Europe and dated to the 16th, and 17th centuries...,

    17th CENTURY GUN TOOLS.JPG

    LD
     
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  18. Sep 12, 2019 #18

    Artificer

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    The third from the left appears to be very sophisticated in that it was split to scrape fouling off the sides of the bore AND it has two flat scrapers for the breech plug.

    Gus
     
  19. Sep 12, 2019 #19

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Thanks!!
    Those boys have their act together for sure!!
     
  20. Sep 12, 2019 #20

    Sicilian Hunter

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    Interesting how the two on the right are slotted (for a patch?) and they all have a threaded post suggesting a rammer with a threaded ferrel built in
     

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