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American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume 2

From the 1790s to the End of the Flintlock Period

George D. Moller

Publication Year: 2011

American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume II, contains more than three hundred photographs. As with the previous volume, Volume II is written primarily for students of arms, but also contains material of interest to historians, museum specialists, collectors, and dealers of antique arms.

Published by: University of New Mexico Press

Title Page, Copyright

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Preface

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pp. xi-

This book describes shoulder arms procured by the United States and its political subdivisions for issue to the federal and state armed forces. Because both federal and state laws required members of the militia to supply their own weapons, these privately purchased militia arms are also included....

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xiii-xiv

Research for this book has been conducted over the past fifteen years in many archives and libraries and in public and private arms collections. The help, guidance, and cooperation of archive and library personnel greatly facilitated research and resulted in the great amount of new information published in this work....

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Introduction

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pp. xv-xx

During the half-century period covered by this volume, great changes took place in the manufacture of arms in the United States. In its early years of production, Springfield Armory was capable of producing only three muskets per day. Most of the work involved in the fabrication of muskets at the national armories and by private contractors...

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100. SMALL ARMS PROCUREMENT ACTIONS OF THE U.S. CONGRESS IN 1794

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pp. 1-2

Shortly after the Revolution of 1789, republican France began to engulf Europe in war. In 1792, France declared war on Austria and the Kingdom of Sardinia. In 1793, France declared war on England, Holland, and Spain....

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105. FEDERAL PERIOD IMPORT ARMS

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pp. 3-18

The domestic arms situation, and the international tensions described previously, resulted in a congressional authorization for funds on April 12, 1794, for the procurement of both domestic and foreign arms....

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125. 1792 U.S. CONTRACT ARMY RIFLE

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pp. 19-30

The defeat of General Arthur St. Claire and most of the American army by the Miami Indians under Little Turtle in November 1791 resulted in national recognition of the necessity of a standing federal army to defend the western frontiers. On October 24, 1791, Congress approved...

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130. MODEL 1795 MUSKET, SPRINGFIELD ARMORY

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pp. 31-57

The establishment of a U.S. arsenal at Springfield, Massachusetts, during the revolution is discussed briefly in Volume I of this text. During that war, the arsenal at Springfield was used for the storage of about 10,000 new French muskets. Slightly more than 3,000 French...

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131. MODEL 1795 SPRINGFIELD MUSKET, FIXED BAYONET ALTERATION

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pp. 58-59

Many of the early Model 1795 muskets produced at Springfield Armory had very thin barrel walls near the muzzle. In order to strengthen this section of the barrel, Secretary of War James McHenry (1796-1800) approved the permanent attachment of half-socket bayonets to the barrels of those muskets with this weakness. The practice was continued...

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133. MODEL 1795 SPRINGFIELD MUSKET, 1813 SPRINGFIELD ARMORY ALTERATION

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pp. 60-61

As mentioned in the previous section, a Springfield Armory inventory of April 17, 1813, included 12,915 muskets that had bayonets permanently attached by pewter solder. This inventory also disclosed that many of those muskets were unserviceable because the bayonets had loosened, due to deterioration of the pewter solder....

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134. MODEL 1795 MUSKET, HARPERS FERRY ARMORY

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pp. 62-73

The authorization for two national armories was contained in an April 12, 1794, act of Congress. The locations of these armories were determined by President Washington. In 1796, 125 acres of land were purchased by the government in the near-wilderness that was Harpers Ferry, Virginia. There...

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136. ARMORY AND ARSENAL REPAIRED/REBUILT MODEL 1795 MUSKETS

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pp. 74-80

These muskets are often confused with the Springfield ship muskets described in Section 138.4. The Springfield ship muskets, which also have a 42" barrel length, have component parts and markings consistent with their particular year of production at that armory. Although they have 42" barrels and the quality of their fitting and finishing is excellent,...

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137. MODEL 1812 MUSKET, SPRINGFIELD ARMORY

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pp. 81-100

On August 8, 1812, Captain Callender Irvine was appointed commissary general of purchases. In this capacity, he was in charge of the procurement of muskets for the army. On September 8, Irvine wrote Secretary of War William Eustis that Peter Peleaux was making a new pattern musket under the direction of Marine T. Wickham. On December 2, 1812, Irvine...

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138. U.S. NAVY MUSKETS

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pp. 101-121

Although ship muskets had been in use since the Revolutionary War, a large demand for these arms resulted from the construction of the frigates Constitution, Constellation, and United States in the 1790s. These frigates were authorized by Congress on April 20, 1796, and all were...

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139. 1794 U.S. CONTRACT MUSKETS

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pp. 122-137

The deteriorating international situation and the depletion of domestic inventories of small arms that led to the congressional act of April 12,1794, have been described in Section 100. This law provided for the establishment of the national armories and for foreign and domestic procurement of arms....

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140. 1798 U.S. CONTRACT MUSKETS

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pp. 138-163

During the 1790s the international situation continued to deteriorate as a result of the French Revolutionary Wars. Because of the depredations of the French Revolutionary government, an actual, if undeclared, war existed between U.S. and French ships at sea during the latter part of the decade. It seemed that a declared war was imminent....

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141. 1808 U.S. CONTRACT MUSKETS

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pp. 164-182

On April 23, 1808, Congress approved "An Act making provision for arming and equipping the whole body of the militia of the United States." Under this act, the federal government undertook the procurement of muskets to supply each of the states' militias. The funds for this procurement were to be appropriated by Congress each year, and a formula...

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142. 1812 U.S. CONTRACT MUSKETS

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pp. 183-190

On June 18, 1812, the United States declared war on Great Britain. One month later, on July 18, Eli Whitney contracted to manufacture 15,000 muskets for the United States, which "shall be in all respects conformable to the model of the muskets which the said Whitney hath heretofore manufactured for the state of New York excepting only as to length...

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144. STATE-OWNED, MILITIA, AND OTHER MILITARY MUSKETS

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pp. 191-287

Following the Revolutionary War the individual states maintained strong militias. The federal government's armed forces were relatively weak. In 1790 the small U.S. army under General Arthur St. Claire was almost wiped out by Indians in Ohio. This resulted in a reorganization of the army in 1791, and on May 8, 1792, Congress approved "An Act...

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145. STATE-PROCURED AND MILITIA MILITARY RIFLES

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pp. 288-326

Although there was an increased use of rifles in the U.S. armed forces during the early 19th century, the proportion of riflemen to line infantry remained very small....

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146. MILITIA MUSKETOONS

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pp. 327-331

From the end of the Revolutionary War until the 1830s, Congress authorized and abolished federal cavalry forces many times. Whether the federal government had a force of cavalry usually depended upon whether or not there was a war or conflict with Indians. When in existence, the...

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147. NAVAL BLUNDERBUSSES AND SWIVEL GUNS

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pp. 332-335

There are, in several American collections, a number of American-made or assembled blunderbusses. Some of these are intended to be hand carried and fired from the shoulder; others are fitted with swivels and are intended to be fired from the railings of ships....

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149. MODEL 1803 HARPERS FERRY RIFLE

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pp. 336-346

The Model 1803 rifle is historically important because, prior to its introduction, the rifles used by the U.S. Army were essentially the same as their civilian counterparts. There was no regulation pattern, and many of the details of the arms produced for the federal government...

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151. 1807 U.S. CONTRACT ARMY RIFLES

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pp. 347-357

During much of the last decade of the 18th century and the first decade of the 19th century, British ships continued their depredations on U.S. commercial shipping. Americans knew that another war with Great Britain was imminent. Tempers were running high even before the "Chesapeake incident" in 1807....

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152. MODEL 1807 SPRINGFIELD INDIAN CARBINE

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pp. 358-363

A March 3, 1807, letter from Secretary of War Henry Dearborn to Superintendent Benjamin Prescott at Springfield Armory stated: "One thousand small muskets or carbines are wanted for the Indian Department." This letter also furnished general information regarding the configuration...

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153. U.S. CONTRACT ARMS FOR THE INDIANS

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pp. 364-397

Few previous writers in the field of American military shoulder arms have included the arms procured by the U.S. government for the Indians. This procurement is included in this text for several reasons. During its early years, the United States' Indian policy was an extension...

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155. MODEL 1814 U.S. CONTRACT RIFLE

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pp. 398-407

Shortly after his appointment as commissary general of military stores in August 1812, Callender Irvine caused the transfer of Marine T. Wickham, master armorer of Harpers Ferry Armory, to the Schuylkill Arsenal in Philadelphia. Wickham directed Schuylkill armorer Peter Peleaux...

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157. MODEL 1816 MUSKET

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pp. 408-439

The construction of pattern muskets, representing various features of a proposed new model of musket, started at Springfield Armory in 1815. The particular pattern musket that was adopted was sent from Springfield Armory to Chief of Ordnance Colonel Bomford on August 27, 1816. On...

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158. MODEL 1817 ARTILLERY/CADET MUSKET

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pp. 440-444

On January 29, 1817, Chief of Ordnance Colonel Decius Wadsworth wrote Springfield Armory Superintendent Roswell Lee that Captain Partridge, who was "in charge of' the cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, wanted a short, lightweight musket for cadet use. Colonel...

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159. MODEL 1817 U.S. CONTRACT RIFLE

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pp. 445-453

The earliest known correspondence referring to the model for this rifle was a letter from Chief of Ordnance Colonel Decius Wadsworth to Harpers Ferry Armory Superintendent James Stubblefield, dated January 16,1817: "I hope you are going on with the Model of the Rifle, & hope...

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163. JENNINGS MULTI-CHARGE RIFLE

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pp. 454-459

The Jennings rifle was based on a sliding lock repeating flintlock rifle invented by Joseph Belton at the time of the American Revolution. In 1784, Belton went to London and unsuccessfully tried to interest the British Ordnance in his repeating arm. The musket used in the trials was subsequently transferred to Woolwich and was in the Rotunda Museum...

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165. HALL 1817 U.S. CONTRACT BREECHLOADING RIFLE

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pp. 460-464

On November 20, 1816, Maine gunmaker John H. Hall proposed to furnish the government with 100 of his patent breechloading rifles with bayonets at $25 each. Chief of Ordnance Decius Wadsworth accepted the proposal on January 10, 1817, with the provision that the rifles were to be delivered within one year. Hall completed the 100 rifles...

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166. MODEL 1819 HALL BREECHLOADING RIFLE

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pp. 465-473

The Model 1819 Hall rifle was the first regulation breechloading arm adopted by this country and was also the first breechloading arm made at a national armory. It was also the first U.S. military shoulder arm to achieve true parts interchangeability....

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168. MODEL 1830 CADET MUSKET

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pp. 474-477

In 1830 the U.S. Military Academy at West Point requested a lighter, scaled-down musket for the cadets' use. Similar requests, fifteen years earlier, had resulted in issuing the academy Model 1807 Indian carbines equipped with sling swivels and Model 1817 artillery/cadet muskets....

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170. JENKS MUZZLELOADING RIFLE

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pp. 478-481

No contract or delivery information has been located regarding these rifles, but all observed examples bear the inspection and proof markings of U.S. inspectors James Harris and Nahum W. Patch, which indicate at least limited government procurement. Because Ordnance...

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171. JENKS BREECHLOADING MUSKETOON

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pp. 482-486

This breechloading system was patented by William Jenks of Columbia, South Carolina, on May 25, 1838, and was first tested by the government at Watervliet Arsenal in August or September of that year. On November 26,1839, the Ordnance Department ordered 100 Jenks...

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173. MODEL 1840 MUSKET

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pp. 487-

Order Number 74 of the Adjutant General's Office, dated December 24, 1831, convened an Ordnance Board of officers to study and recommend various improvements for the Ordnance Department and Ordnance stores, including (as subsequently defined on March 28, 1832): "the proper...

Appendices

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pp. 493-512

Glossary

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pp. 513-516

Bibliography

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pp. 517-523

Index

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pp. 525-534


E-ISBN-13: 9780826349996
E-ISBN-10: 0826349994
Print-ISBN-13: 9780826349989
Print-ISBN-10: 0826349986

Page Count: 556
Illustrations: 365 halftones
Publication Year: 2011