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Thread: Buck and Ball

  1. #1

    Default Buck and Ball

    If you don't know, this.

    A type of load for a musket. Seems to have been somewhat popular in the US Army but I don't know of any references to it's use elsewhere. Did this sort of thing see use in European conflicts?
    "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do."
    -Last words of Oscar Wilde

  2. #2

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    That strikes me as damned dangerous, some poor squaddie bits the bullet on that cartridge and he's likely to swallow the stupid little pellets.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz View Post
    That strikes me as damned dangerous, some poor squaddie bits the bullet on that cartridge and he's likely to swallow the stupid little pellets.
    American firing drill involves biting off the paper at the powder end IIRC. Once the powder is poured into the pan and the barrel, the paper is used as wadding and is pushed down while still wrapped around the bullet.
    "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do."
    -Last words of Oscar Wilde

  4. #4

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by SMIDSY View Post
    American firing drill involves biting off the paper at the powder end IIRC. Once the powder is poured into the pan and the barrel, the paper is used as wadding and is pushed down while still wrapped around the bullet.
    Ah! well that would be safer, but I'm pretty sure Euorpean drill involved biting the bullet and then pourning the powdered from the cartridge into the pan and barrel before spitting the bullet down on top of it. I think the cardridge case was still used as wadding but merely to keep the ball in place before firing. That might explain why these buck and ball cartridges never caught on.

    The other thing that occurred to me looking at the image you posted is the the buck-shot is remarkably small. I can understand how it might still cause serious injury to a semi-naked savage, but i wonder how effective the light shots would be aganst a soldiers wearing thick woolen overcoats, leather crossbelts and in some cases a cuirass. It doesn't look to me as though those balls would have much penetration, and we know that many European soldiers went into battle wearing their greatcoats just to reduce the risk of injury from full sized musket balls at longer ranges.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz View Post
    Ah! well that would be safer, but I'm pretty sure Euorpean drill involved biting the bullet and then pourning the powdered from the cartridge into the pan and barrel before spitting the bullet down on top of it. I think the cardridge case was still used as wadding but merely to keep the ball in place before firing. That might explain why these buck and ball cartridges never caught on.
    Actually biting the bullet from a cartridge is a myth, Various Authors have made this mistake, a 50/50 guess that was wrong. Bernard Cornwell spread the myth further with Sharpe, but the ball is at the bottom of the cartridge and is put in the barrel after the powder. I would not like to see the results of putting your mouth over a loaded musket once too often!

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz View Post
    The other thing that occurred to me looking at the image you posted is the the buck-shot is remarkably small. I can understand how it might still cause serious injury to a semi-naked savage, but i wonder how effective the light shots would be aganst a soldiers wearing thick woolen overcoats, leather crossbelts and in some cases a cuirass. It doesn't look to me as though those balls would have much penetration, and we know that many European soldiers went into battle wearing their greatcoats just to reduce the risk of injury from full sized musket balls at longer ranges.
    The Americans used this load during the War of 1812, I have read it several times, but cant find a quote at the moment. You are absolutely right, thick clothing would often deflect the smaller shot. Even when the small ball hit flesh it would often not cause a serious wound at longer distances.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by LaSallian View Post
    Actually biting the bullet from a cartridge is a myth, Various Authors have made this mistake, a 50/50 guess that was wrong. Bernard Cornwell spread the myth further with Sharpe, but the ball is at the bottom of the cartridge and is put in the barrel after the powder. I would not like to see the results of putting your mouth over a loaded musket once too often!
    Hmm! well you have surprised me as I've always believed that the bullet was bitten from the top of the cartridge and held between the teeth whilst the rest of the loading process was completed and then dropped (or spat) down the barrel just before the empty paper cartridge before being rammed home.

    This seems to be a quite common error if it is one, as I've just checked several references and they all confirm that process. But if I can get a primary source to confirm it I shall let you know.

    I can certainly see the logic of your procedure, particularly when loading 'buck and ball', but I have just always understood the biting the bullet was the approach used presumably because it was easier to grip between the teeth and provided a better purchase to obtain a clean tear without spilling the powder. Hence the term.

    Quick update - I've just found the following described in a copy of Military Parade.

    Upon the command "Prime and load". The soldier will bring the musket to the priming position, with the pan opened.
    Upon the command "Handle Cartridge". The soldier will draw a cartridge. Cartridges consist of a spherical lead bullet wrapped in a paper cartridge which also holds the gunpowder propellant. The bullet is separated from the powder charge by a twist in the paper.
    The soldier should then bite off the top of the cartridge (the end without the bullet) and hold it closed with the thumb and index finger.
    Upon the command "Prime". The soldier should pour a small pinch of the powder from the cartridge into the priming pan. He should then close the frizzen so that the priming powder is trapped.
    Upon the command " 'Bout" (About). The butt of the musket is then dropped to the ground by the left foot with the trigger guard facing to the rear and the soldier having just poured the rest of the powder into the barrel. Once all of the powder is poured into the barrel, the soldier should have stuffed the paper and the ball into the barrel, the paper acts as wadding to keep the gunpowder in the barrel and also packing it down.
    http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/mil...ket-drill.html

    So, that seems to support your point nicely, and that was for a Brown Bess musket.
    Last edited by Didz; July 24, 2010 at 07:57 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by LaSallian View Post
    The Americans used this load during the War of 1812, I have read it several times, but cant find a quote at the moment. You are absolutely right, thick clothing would often deflect the smaller shot. Even when the small ball hit flesh it would often not cause a serious wound at longer distances.
    Well the idea was it could still kill at 100 yards but was designed for engagement at 70 yards or less where the buck shot would be more deadly. This type of shot was used up into the American Civil War. The Union's Irish Brigade used this type of shot to great effect even in the face of mini-ball rifles.


    PS
    US firing drill (as I understand it) is exactly the same as that link you posted, but instead of "present" we said "aim".
    Last edited by SMIDSY; July 24, 2010 at 01:31 PM.
    "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do."
    -Last words of Oscar Wilde

  8. #8

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    However, it does cast doubt on the whole concept of taploading, which relied upon the ball being dropped down the barrel. Something which would not be possible if it was still wrapped in the cartridge paper. It would also raise questions about the use of the patch by riflemen, although I must assume that they didn't use cartridges as there is no mention of the ball being wrapped in paper, and if it was how would the patch be applied.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz View Post
    However, it does cast doubt on the whole concept of taploading, which relied upon the ball being dropped down the barrel. Something which would not be possible if it was still wrapped in the cartridge paper. It would also raise questions about the use of the patch by riflemen, although I must assume that they didn't use cartridges as there is no mention of the ball being wrapped in paper, and if it was how would the patch be applied.
    I'm not historian by any means, but I am a re-enactor and I like to read, and as far as I've seen that in the British army at least tap-loading never happened. I have never seen evidence to the contrary. (apart from Sharpe!) I have a link to a copy of the British Manual of Arms from 1807, revised in 1816. The drill movements are exactly as per your previous post. (I think its about page 27-28 in my link) I see nothing related to tap loading.

    http://glengarrylightinfantry.ca/drillmanual.pdf

    I can think of a couple of reasons at least that tap loading would not work. Firstly, the ball would not always seat fully next to the powder. Proper seating of the ball (ramming) is crucial. If sufficient gap existed between the powder and the ball the musket could turn itself into a form of pipe bomb, proving deadly to the soldier firing it. The second reason would be that some musket springs could be less reliable than others. At half cock, when banging the musket butt on the ground if the spring failed the musket would fire. Bad news for the chap in the rank in front of you!

    As far as i know, the Baker rifle needed the leather patch to make sure that the ball was tight to the barrel to ensure the rifling effect worked.

    Here is a link showing the loading and firing sequence for the Baker rifle.

    http://www.militaryheritage.com/bakerrifle.htm

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    In 1799 Baron Francis de Rottenberg wrote the British Army’s first manual for the Riflemen entitled Regulations for the Exercise of Riflemen and Light Infantry and the Instructions for their Conduct in the Field.
    Born in Poland , de Rottenberg served in nine years in the French army and in 1791 returned to his native Poland to fight in the unsuccessful struggle to turn back foreign encroachments into his country. After being wounded in 1794 at the Battle of Praga, De Rottenberg left Poland again and joined the British Army the following year. As a lieutenant colonel, De Rottenberg was instrumental in the forming of Hompesch’s Light Infantry. Three years later in 1798 this corps was combined with the 60th Regiment and became that regiment’s 5th Battalion. That same year de Rottenberg’s Battalion was called into service in the Irish Rebellion. It was after the rebellion that de Rottenberg found time to pen his manual for Riflemen. Shortly after it went to print, de Rottenberg and 60th Riflemen were off to serve in the capture of Surinam ( Dutch Guiana in South America ) in August 1799. De Rottenberg eventually rose to the rank of Brigadier General and served in Canada during the War of 1812.
    The manual itself was universally adopted by the Army and saw numerous reprints. The following are orders and explanations for the loading and firing of the Baker Rifle, commonly referred to at the time as the Platoon Exercise.
    “PLATOON EXERCISE FOR THE RIFLE
    The words of command for firing and loading are as follows:
    Caution – Prime and Load
    At which the flugelman steps in front.
    I. Prepare to Load
    1st. Is the same as the first motion in the present.[The rifle is to be raised about two inches by the right hand, and brought forward a little from the shoulder, at the same time the left hand is brought briskly across the body, and seizes the rifle with a full grasp even with the shoulder.]
    2d. The soldier half faces to the right, and in the motion brings down the rifle to an horizontal position just above the right hip, the left hand supports it at the swell of the stock, the elbow resting against the side, the right thumb against the hammer, the knuckles upwards, and elbow pressing against the butt, the lock inclining a little to the body to prevent the powder form falling out.
    II. Load
    1st. The pan is pushed open by the right thumb; 2d. the right hand then seizes the cartridge with the three first fingers and draws it from the pouch; 3d. the cartridge is brought to the mouth, and placed between the two first right double teeth, the end twisted off and brought close to the pan.
    III. Prime.
    1st. The priming is shaken into the pan; in doing which, to see that the powder is properly lodged, the head must be bent; 2d. the pan is sut by the third and little finger, the right hand then slides behind the cock, and holds the small part of the stock between the third and little finger and ball of the hand.
    IV. (Cast about) for brevity “’Bout.”
    1st. The soldier half faces to the left; the rifle is brought to the ground with the barrel outwards, by sliding it with care through the left hand, which then seizes it near the muzzle, the thumb stretched along the stock, the butt is placed between the heels, the barrel between the knees, which must be bent for that purpose; the cartridge is put into the barrel, and the ramrod seized with the fore finger and thumb of the right hand.
    V. Rod.
    The ramrod is drawn quite out by the right hand, the left quits the rifle and grasps the ramrod the breadth of a hand from the bottom, which is sunk one inch into the barrel.
    VI. Home.
    The cartridge will be forced down with both hands, the left then seizes the rifle about six inches from the muzzle, the soldier stands upright again, draws out the ramrod with the right hand, and puts the end into the pipe.
    VII. Return.
    1st. The right hand brings the rifle to the right shoulder; turning the guard outwards; 2d. the left seizes it above the hammer-spring till the right has its proper hold round the small of the stock; 3d. the left is drawn quickly to the left thigh…..
    To fire on the spot with closed ranks, the following words of command will be given:
    Caution – The Company will Fire.
    I.Company.
    At this word, the right hand file of each platoon takes three quick paces to the front, the rear rank man steps to the right of his file leader.
    II. Ready.
    At this word, the rifle is brought by the right hand before the centre of the body, the left seizes it, so that the little finger rests upon the hammer spring, and the thumb stretched along the stock raising it to the height of the mouth, the right thumb on the cock, and four fingers under the guard; when cocked, which must be done gently, the right hand grasps the small of the stock.
    III. Present.
    The soldier half faces to the right, the butt is placed in the hollow of the right shoulder, the right foot steps back about eighteen inches behind the left, the left knee is bent, the body brought well forward, the left hand, without having quitted its hold, supports the rifle close before the lock, the right elbow raised even with the shoulder, the fore finger on the trigger, the head bent, and cheek resting on that of the rifle, the left eye shut, the right taking aim through the sight: as soon as the rifleman has fixed upon his object, he fires without waiting for any command. When he has fired, the right hand quits its hold in facing to the right about, the left swings the rifle round into an horizontal position with the barrel downwards; the rifleman resumes his post in the platoon, in fronting to the left about, brings his rifle into the position to prime and load, half cocks, and proceeds to load, going through the motins as above without further words of command.”


    Also, back to the original post re the American buckshot cartridge. In the war of 1812 there is evidence that the British did use captured American ammunition. Although it was disliked. The brown bess, being of a larger caliber than the American musket could handle US ammo. Interestingly, today I was reading the court martial transcript of a British Officer during the war of 1812. There is a question and answer that confirms that American buckshot rounds were captured and used by the British army.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    From the testimony of General Proctor, 41st Regiment of foot and the court martial of Lt Bender regarding an action at the River Raisin in 1813.

    Q. Have you a knowledge that any men came up from the rear, and that any ammunition was brought up to the position on the left?

    A. I think I remember some men having come up from the rear, and I am certain that ammunition came up, from its having been emptied into a blanket. The men objected to it, as being American ammunition with buck shot in it.





    The Americans could not fire captured British ammo in their issued muskets, due to their smaller caliber.

    However I have read that the Americans could and did sometimes melt down British musket balls and re-mold them to their own caliber.

    I am aware of a Canadian Light Infantry unit, the Glengarry Light Infantry that used a variety of different muskets, Brown Bess, American and Indian Trade muskets. Each man had their own ball mold and would melt lead and mold his own ammo to suit his particular weapon.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Being a reenactor you must know how spectacularly easy it is to melt lead. Naturally stocks of bullets would just be used as raw lead to cast new bullets.


    Is there any info on why the English didn't like our ammunition? That is the key to the discussion.
    "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do."
    -Last words of Oscar Wilde

  11. #11

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by LaSallian View Post
    I'm not historian by any means, but I am a re-enactor and I like to read, and as far as I've seen that in the British army at least tap-loading never happened. I have never seen evidence to the contrary. (apart from Sharpe!) I have a link to a copy of the British Manual of Arms from 1807, revised in 1816. The drill movements are exactly as per your previous post. (I think its about page 27-28 in my link) I see nothing related to tap loading.
    I was interested in the re-enectors copy of the drill manual which was a nice addition to my reference folder. However, there is no reason that taploading would be included in it.

    If taploading was practiced it would have been an unofficial practice, as indeed it is portrayed by Bernard Cornwell. The only clue that it did take place that I've come across is in the descriptions for the benefits of the Baker Rifle, and in the first hand accounts of riflemen contained in Mark Urban's history of the rifles. Both mention the habit of dropping an un-patched ball directly down the barrel of the rifle in such a way that it did not engage the rifling and thus allowed the rifle to be loaded as fast as a musket. This isn't exactly taploading, as its possible the rammer was still used to seat the ball, but it does suggest that in the rifles at least the ball was free of the cartridge paper when it was dropped down the barrel.

    Having said that, thre is confusion over the standard laoding procedure for a Baker Rifle anyway. Most re-enactors I've seen use paper-cartridges to load the rifle, and that certainly makes sense from a health and safety viewpoint, in fact its difficult to think how it could be done any other way given that you can't really load a ball. But as I understand it historically the rifle was loaded with loose powder and ball, the powder coming form a powder horn rather than a cartridge. The rifles are certainly depicted with a powder horn, but I'm not sure whether it was actually used as a standard method of loaded or whether they used cartridges and under what conditions. If they did use seperate powder and ball then this would fit in with the accounts of the ball being dropped down the barrel, and would also facilitate the idea of taploading, but only for rifles.

    Quote Originally Posted by LaSallian View Post
    I can think of a couple of reasons at least that tap loading would not work. Firstly, the ball would not always seat fully next to the powder. Proper seating of the ball (ramming) is crucial. If sufficient gap existed between the powder and the ball the musket could turn itself into a form of pipe bomb, proving deadly to the soldier firing it. The second reason would be that some musket springs could be less reliable than others. At half cock, when banging the musket butt on the ground if the spring failed the musket would fire. Bad news for the chap in the rank in front of you!
    Both good points but perhaps risks that were considered acceptable in the heat of battle. It would really be interesting to find out where this idea originated.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by Didz View Post
    Having said that, thre is confusion over the standard laoding procedure for a Baker Rifle anyway. Most re-enactors I've seen use paper-cartridges to load the rifle, and that certainly makes sense from a health and safety viewpoint, in fact its difficult to think how it could be done any other way given that you can't really load a ball. But as I understand it historically the rifle was loaded with loose powder and ball, the powder coming form a powder horn rather than a cartridge. The rifles are certainly depicted with a powder horn, but I'm not sure whether it was actually used as a standard method of loaded or whether they used cartridges and under what conditions. If they did use seperate powder and ball then this would fit in with the accounts of the ball being dropped down the barrel, and would also facilitate the idea of taploading, but only for rifles.


    I have to say I don't know a great deal about rifle drill of the period. I have read the Mark Urban book rifles, but it was a while ago. I should check it out again.

    From the link I posted in my previous thread regarding British rifle arms drill it shows that the British Rifles at least used cartridges. I think this was fairly standard amongst most European armies, not so sure amount North American Militia's.

    http://www.militaryheritage.com/bakerrifle.htm


    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 


    Just a small section from the followind document.

    Loading and Firing the British Army Baker Rifle, 1799-1815

    II. Load
    1st. The pan is pushed open by the right thumb; 2d. the right hand then seizes the cartridge with the three first fingers and draws it from the pouch; 3d. the cartridge is brought to the mouth, and placed between the two first right double teeth, the end twisted off and brought close to the pan.
    III. Prime.
    1st. The priming is shaken into the pan; in doing which, to see that the powder is properly lodged, the head must be bent; 2d. the pan is sut by the third and little finger, the right hand then slides behind the cock, and holds the small part of the stock between the third and little finger and ball of the hand.
    IV. (Cast about) for brevity “’Bout.”
    1st. The soldier half faces to the left; the rifle is brought to the ground with the barrel outwards, by sliding it with care through the left hand, which then seizes it near the muzzle, the thumb stretched along the stock, the butt is placed between the heels, the barrel between the knees, which must be bent for that purpose; the cartridge is put into the barrel, and the ramrod seized with the fore finger and thumb of the right hand.
    V. Rod.
    The ramrod is drawn quite out by the right hand, the left quits the rifle and grasps the ramrod the breadth of a hand from the bottom, which is sunk one inch into the barrel.
    VI. Home.
    The cartridge will be forced down with both hands, the left then seizes the rifle about six inches from the muzzle, the soldier stands upright again, draws out the ramrod with the right hand, and puts the end into the pipe.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by SMIDSY View Post

    Is there any info on why the English didn't like our ammunition? That is the key to the discussion.
    I would need to recheck some sources, but cant remember where I have seen the reasoning before

    I think its mainly because American cartridges were simply not made to fit British muskets. The caliber was smaller. Maybe the men the men liked the extra stopping power of the bigger ball. I wish I could remember where I have read accounts of the buckshot sometimes being deflected or causing lesser wounds. Maybe by being on the receiving end of it they saw it as simply being less effective than their own rounds. Also there was a greater chance of a smaller ball rolling from a muzzle due to its a smaller caliber during movement.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by LaSallian View Post
    I would need to recheck some sources, but cant remember where I have seen the reasoning before

    I think its mainly because American cartridges were simply not made to fit British muskets. The caliber was smaller. Maybe the men the men liked the extra stopping power of the bigger ball. I wish I could remember where I have read accounts of the buckshot sometimes being deflected or causing lesser wounds. Maybe by being on the receiving end of it they saw it as simply being less effective than their own rounds. Also there was a greater chance of a smaller ball rolling from a muzzle due to its a smaller caliber during movement.
    I don't see the problem with the lack of effectiveness of the buckshot as they are welded onto a musket ball. Perhaps ease of manufacture? Seems like such a useful thing. Dare I ask if Europeans thought it an ungentlemanly thing to use in battle?
    "Either the wallpaper goes, or I do."
    -Last words of Oscar Wilde

  15. #15

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by SMIDSY View Post
    I don't see the problem with the lack of effectiveness of the buckshot as they are welded onto a musket ball. Perhaps ease of manufacture? Seems like such a useful thing. Dare I ask if Europeans thought it an ungentlemanly thing to use in battle?
    Thats a good point, how were were they manufactured?

    The standard shot used in British muskets was mass produced using shot towers, but clearly that could not be how a buck and ball combination was made.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Hello all,

    Buck and ball as mentioned above was great favorite of the United States infantry during the War of 1812. It consisted simply of packing three small balls (or "bucks") with a regulation caliber ball when making the cartridge. This combination increased the chance of randomly hitting something, but greatly reduced the accuracy of aimed fire, and the lethality of the projectiles. Although they cost twice as much as single ball cartridges, even when "children of 12 or 14 years of age" made them, some four million were manufactured between July 1813 and February 1814 alone. Buck and ball became the standard American infantry cartridge during the war, and the United States was the only nation to use such ammunition. No doubt American soldiers must have been convinced of its effectiveness, but the British seem to have felt that it was an ineffective and ungentlemanly nuisance. In the assault on Fort George in May 1813, a British officer who was hit by five buckshot, including one that went through his nose, survived! When British soldiers captured cartridges containing buckshot, they often gave them to their Amerindian allies.

    As for the Glengarry Light Infantry using a "variety of different muskets, Brown Bess, American and Indian Trade muskets", I was unaware of this. I do know that in June 1813 a "shipment of 800 New Land Pattern Light Infantry muskets reached Canada and were immediately issued to the Glengarry Light Infantry Fencibles", and that by "1814 the New Land Pattern Light Infantry musket would have been carried by the majority of colonial regular light troops, including the Canadian Voltigeurs, Canadian Chasseurs and Frontier Light Infantry" I would have thought the GLI would have used the standard India Pattern musket in the first year of the war. What's your source LaSallian?

    Regards,

    EK

  17. #17

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Totally my mistake EK. I was thinking of Caldwells Western Rangers, they were the unit who used a variety of muskets and would melt lead to suit their needs, not the Glengarry Light Infantry!

    Sorry if I mislead anyone.

    Thanks for the reminder, lots of great info in your post.
    Last edited by LaSallian; July 26, 2010 at 10:00 PM.

  18. #18
    EmperorBatman999's Avatar I say, what, what?
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    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    I'm curious about those Canadian Voltigeurs and Chasseurs, were they just Quebecois soldiers or were they something special and different from other light infantry?

  19. #19

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Quote Originally Posted by ♔EmperorBatman999♔ View Post
    I'm curious about those Canadian Voltigeurs and Chasseurs, were they just Quebecois soldiers or were they something special and different from other light infantry?
    I find the war of 1812 fascinating. Its certainly a conflict that I was not taught about at school. The more I read about it the more interesting it gets.

    Canadian units were a vital element in the defence of Canada, the British army simply did not have much more than garrison troops at the outbreak of the war to repulse American invasions. Canadian Units and Native Warriors were crucial.

    There were a great deal of locally raised units, mainly from present day Ontario and Quebec (Upper and Lower Canada). Many saw action in a variety of battles during the conflict and on the whole did well.

    Canadian Voltigeurs were a French speaking unit recruited mainly from Quebec. They were used as a light infantry unit and wore grey uniforms. I don't know a great deal more than that until I do some more reading.

    For more info on the Canadian Units during the war of 1812 I found this wikipedia page

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadia...he_War_of_1812

  20. #20

    Default Re: Buck and Ball

    Hello again,

    The Canadain Voltigeurs were raised from April 1812. It was listed as part of the British regular forces in the Army Returns (like the other Fencible regiments raised in British North America). They fought in several battles and skirmishes, but it was at Chateauguay that Lt. Col. Charles-Michel de Salaberry and his Voltigeurs became almost legendary in Quebec. At first armed with India Pattern muskets with browned barrels, this battalion, trained as light infantry, were a cheerful group. Apparently they use to say that their cartridge boxes were full of "pills for Yankees"!

    Ordered formed on 12 March 1814 by converting the 5th Battalion of the Select Embodied Lower Canada Militia into a light infantry unit of six companies, the Canadian Chasseurs were brigaded with the Canadian Voltigeurs. They served in Lower Canada and on the expedition against Plattsburg, NY in Sept. 1814.

    And by the by, there were only 6,034 regulars (British & Canadian) in the Canadas, and another 3,743 in the Maritime Colonies when the war broke out in June 1812.

    Ewan

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