Powered By Article Dashboard Confederate Military Ranks

1 Set Young. Bn* I* ! Jtthill, 1641 Kind™. 1967 p 18 1 Sir John CiwiSTrt to Cjpl John Mrnnt» aTWibrot's Hone. Auguii tS^i, CaUnJar 0/ Suit pjptn 1641-4}, P 71. and *x Young, H4t*hUI, p. 1 to pound tight-fitting or 12 to the pound 'rowling'l could inflict the most terrible injuries.

Increasingly in use were firearms with more modem methods of ignition. Some wheel lock muskeis even rifled ones may have been used by officers, but were expensive and difficult to maintain, having a complex mechanism in which the gun was 'cocked' ready for firing by means of a spanner used to turn the wheel mechanism which ignited the charge by producing a spark when the serrated wheel revolved against a piece of pyrites. The wheel lock was prone to jamming or breaking if left cocked or 'spanned'1 for any length of time, 'too curious and too soone distempered with an ignorant hand'1*". More popular was the 'snaphance' mechanism, an early flintlock, in which a spark was struck 10 ignite the charge when a piece of flint, held in the jaws of the 'cock', crashed down upon a 'steel'. The name snaphance reputedly came from the Dutch snaphaan or 'snapping hen', which the cock resembled, but more common names included 'dog lock', named from the 'dog' or safcty-catch which prevented the cock

Snaphaunce Musket

11 Officer, Royalist horae

12 Trooper. King's Lifeguard 1M2

Confederate Navy Ranks

Organization, I-qitifmknt an» Tactics

Wheel lock musket, mid 17lh century (Wallis & Wallis)

from moving accidentally, or 'English lock", named because it was so popular in this country, incorporating a combined 'steel' and pan cover. These muskets, or •firelocks', were more expensive than the matchlock i the New Model paid up to 15s, 6d. each in 1645) but infinitely better. preventing the stray sparks which always blew from lighted matches (thus troops guarding munitions and artillery' trains were armed, whenever possible, with firelocks), easier to use, more waterproof, invisible at night when lighted matches might 'bewray Enter prizes' and. in Orrery's words, with a firelock 'you have only to cock and are prepared to shoot'. Other firearms were in limited use; a few 'birding pieces' were used by snipers 1500 fowling pieces with five-foot t.5-metre 1 barrels were ordered for service in Scotland in 1652), mostly privately-owned items in the hands of ex-gamekeepers and chosen marksmen At Lathom House and Sherborne Castle, for example, the defenders sniped enemy officers and gunners very successfully, hut one supposed example, the killing of I ,ord Brooke at Lichfield in 1643, shot through his open window, was apparently achieved by a deaf-mute Sir Richard Dv oil's son; or 'a common soldier with a musket'" rather than by a trained sniper. Monck considered that each company should include six men armed with 'Fouling-pieccs' to act upon the flanks and pick off enemy officers1*. Some fowling pieces had riHcd barrels, which had been produced for over a century, but these and such curiosities like breechloaders and even repeaters were rare. Differing calibres led to problems with ammunition, musketeers having to use 'pruning-irons' or even chew their musket balls to make them fit. but 1» extremis, as at Goodrich Castle, even stones could be fired.

Due to the lack of accurate statistics, it is difficult to assess the effectiveness of musketry. Muskets were wildly inaccurate but when firing at a target several times bigger than the proverbial barn door, a volley at

Pike exercise A pan 1 B. part 2; C. parr 3: D. part 4 (engravings by N C Goodnight after Hexham's Principles 0/ the Art Mihtarie (1637))

close range could do appalling damage; witness the shattering of Pappenhetm's cavalry at Hreitenfeld (1631) by Swedish musketry. As late as the Napoleonic Wars the 'common musket' had a maximum effective range of between 200and 300yards 11X3 and 274 metres;, whilst Roquerol's L'artiUeru uu dibut des gwrres de Ia Revolution estimates that only 0.2 to 0.5 per cent of bullets

Musketeer with matchlock musket, with match detached and showing use of forked rest Style of clothing predates Civil War (engraving after de Gheyn)

Gheyn Matchlock

fired hit their target in the seventeenth century various methods of'giving fire' were employed, including those in which each rear rank of musketeers would move between the forward ranks and fire, so attempting to maintain more or less continuous fusillade, two shots per minute being about the average; when advancing, this tactic was known as 'Fire by Introduction', and when retiring, 'bv Fxtraduction*. Other methods included formation three-deep as employed by the Irish Brigade at Tippermuir, to make possible one massive volley), or even one volley fired from six- or eight-deep ranks, to 'pour as much I.ead in your enemies bosom at one time ... do them more mischief, you quail, daunt, and astonish them one long and eontinuated crack of Thunder is more terrible and dreadful to mortals then ten interrupted and several ones .. .*

The musketeer's equipment usually included a buff-leat her bandolier from which hung a number of wooden or leather tubes, each containing a measured amount of powder sufficient for one shot, which the musketeer could pour directly into the muzzle of his musket. These tubes, known from their usual number as the 'Twelve Apostles', were a constant hazard: when moving or in a strong wind 3 regiment's tubes would rattle together so much as to announce the presence of the corps and even ilrown shouted orders; worse still, they could accidentally take fire, damaging the wearer and all around him and causing {in Gwvn's words) 'an incredible confusion' -".On the bandolier went one or two powder flasks (one to use when the 'Twelve Apostles' ran out and one to take finely-ground priming powder), a bullet bag, priming wire to clean the toudlhole of the musket, and often a small oil bottle; total cost of this assemblage in 1629 was sei at 2s. 6d.,but the New Model bought many in 1645 at half that price. More efficient methods of carrying ammunition were coming into use; for example, after listing the defects of the "Twelve Apostles' I.ord Orrery recommends the use of prepared cartridges

Matchlock mechanism, the smouldering match poised above powder in pan

Alexander Popham

13 Colonel Alexander Popham

14 Trooper. Popham's Horse

Preserved at Littlecote House in Wiltshire 1$ a remarkable collection of buff-coats and weaponry, the equipment of the troop of horse and regiment of foot formed by Colonel Alexander Popham. who features in this plate, taken from a contemporary portrait Despite the artistic convention which often demanded that commanders be depicted in atmour, the harness illustrated includes a number of singular features which suggest that rt was actually worn Note the matching horse furniture and sword belt, the latter supporting a broad-bladed sabre or hanger a weapon which probably saw considerable service in the Civil War The black-enamelled armour includes defences for the lower leg and foot instead of the usual boots, though only the left gauntlet is armoured Popham carnes the usual bâton of office, and visible on the original portrait is a crescent-shaped silver plate on the horse's head strap

The trooper wearsclassic 'harquebusier' equipment, though it is likely that few troops were accoutred so well as Popham s: as described by Monck, it comprised A Carbine, or a M usque!-barre! of the length of a Carbine-barrel, well stock! with a Snapance the which 1 hold to be much better than a Carbine for Service Also a case of Pistols, and a good stiff long Tuck, and a belt An Head-Piece with three small iron Bars to defend the Face, Back, and Breast: all three Pistol proor a Gauntlet for his left hand, and a good long 8uff Glove ' ' Cruso's description of (he harquebusier is similar, with the harquebuso of two foot and a half [76 centimetres] long (the boreof 17 buffets in the pound [37 per kilogramme] rowling in) hanging on a belt by a swivel! . His horse should be not under 15 hand high, being swift and wall managed'and he notes the 'carabinier' in the same mould, save that the carbine or 'petronell' should have 24 bullets in the pound (53 per kilogramme). In 1629 regulated prices stood at C3 for a pan of firelock pistols and all equipment, f 2 for a pair of snap ha nee pistols. El 16s. for a firelock harquebus, belt and equipment, and £1 for a sriaphance carbine1 The contract books of the New Model Army give other details three-barred English helmets Ss each, 'backs brests and potts' at 20s a 'sulfa'*, pistols and holsters at 18 to 26s a pair, snaphaunce pistolls fuil bore is [pro] ofe with holsters of Calveskms inside Er outside well sewed Et liquored at xx> iiii* a pa y re"4 carbines 12s 3d each, swords and belts 4s. Sd each, and carbinebefts 'of good leather Et strong buckles'*, 8d each

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