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American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion Military history of North America. .

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  #91  
Old 29 Apr 12, 08:10
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I don't know why a musket ball must be unaimed, I only know that is the way the British taught their men to use the weapon. They (particularly Cornwallis) believed the rifle was beyond use by regular troops who failed to show the attention and desire necessary to learn the more complicated piece of equipment. As I recall, that is the explanation for Cornwallis rejection of Ferguson's rifle corps.

Still with the refusal to recognize the vital contribution made by militia forces in the revolution? Too bad. Some of our most colorful and successful rebel leaders led militia. And, of course the opposite is also true, some of our biggest boobs in the revolution came from the CA. (Gates, Lee, etc.)
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  #92  
Old 29 Apr 12, 09:38
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More militia nonsense...

You are suffering from an idee fixee which is not only wrongheaded, but very inaccurate and all you're doing to beating the drum of myth and legend, whcih is absolutely ridiculous.

You're also ignoring the fact that the British put to good use throughout the war of the German jagers, who were rifle armed and were much feared by the Americans.

One of best light infantry officers in the British Army in North America was Johann Ewald, an officer of Hessian jagers.

Sincerely,
M
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  #93  
Old 29 Apr 12, 10:11
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Originally Posted by Massena View Post
More militia nonsense...

You are suffering from an idee fixee which is not only wrongheaded, but very inaccurate and all you're doing to beating the drum of myth and legend, whcih is absolutely ridiculous.

Actually, we went through all this. I saw nothing to make me think the militia don't deserve equal footing with the CA when it comes down to measuring the final value of their contribution in the revolution.

You're also ignoring the fact that the British put to good use throughout the war of the German jagers, who were rifle armed and were much feared by the Americans.

One of best light infantry officers in the British Army in North America was Johann Ewald, an officer of Hessian jagers.

Did you misunderstand me above? I am with Jonbryan's assertion that the rifle was a major contributor at New Orleans and the AR. Why does the fact of German Jager corps also using rifles fail to support our assertion?

Sincerely,
M
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  #94  
Old 29 Apr 12, 10:17
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If you believe that the rifle was a major player at New Orleans, then support it.

There is nothing here that has been presented that supports that viewpoint.

Sincerely,
M
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  #95  
Old 29 Apr 12, 10:23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
If you believe that the rifle was a major player at New Orleans, then support it.

There is nothing here that has been presented that supports that viewpoint.

Sincerely,
M
I think Johnbryan dealt with the subject very well in the above posts. Not sure what you feel is the threshold for 'major player'?
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  #96  
Old 29 Apr 12, 11:03
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I feel the British Army was going for a more "area effect" when they did not precisely aim their muskets. Did any professional army in Europe aim their muskets? In the Napoleonic Wars I think the British Light Infantry and French Light Infantry had gone over to this type of fighting. The Light Infantry would deploy between the two lines and go under cover to fire at the other side. The British Rifle troops would also so the same.

The only similar troops I can think of are the Croats used by the Austro-Hungarian Army.

Pruitt
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  #97  
Old 29 Apr 12, 17:10
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'Not sure what you feel is the threshold for 'major player'?'

If you don't understand the excerpts from the source material that I have quoted in this thread on New Orleans, then I suggest you get the references and read them for yourself.

All of the source material that I have referenced state that the big killer on the battlefield was the American artillery arm and musket fire. The greater majority of the rifle-armed American infantry, Coffee's command, was stationed on the far left of the American line facing the large swamp. The major British attack was to their right-the riflemen were barely engaged.

The American artillery swept the field and dominated it. Most of the British casualties were inflicted out of range of musket or rifle fire. According to Robin Reilly in his book on the battle, which is the definitive source for the campaign and three battles during the campaign (23 December, 1 January, and 8 January), the British sources give credit to the American artillery for the inflicting of the heavy British casualties.

You can't be more to the point than that.

Sincerely,
M
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  #98  
Old 29 Apr 12, 19:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Massena View Post
'Not sure what you feel is the threshold for 'major player'?'

If you don't understand the excerpts from the source material that I have quoted in this thread on New Orleans, then I suggest you get the references and read them for yourself. Actually, I understood the materials posted by Johnbryan well enough to realize he made a good point with his quotes. I understood your posts to make the point about the artillery being the biggest contributor to the victory. I don't doubt it. However, I think the real answer to distinguishing the responses is below.

All of the source material that I have referenced state that the big killer on the battlefield was the American artillery arm and musket fire. The greater majority of the rifle-armed American infantry, Coffee's command, was stationed on the far left of the American line facing the large swamp. The major British attack was to their right-the riflemen were barely engaged.

The American artillery swept the field and dominated it. Most of the British casualties were inflicted out of range of musket or rifle fire. According to Robin Reilly in his book on the battle, which is the definitive source for the campaign Always lookin' for a definitive source. Funny, you don't seem like a fellow lacking in self-confidence. and three battles during the campaign (23 December, 1 January, and 8 January), the British sources give credit to the American artillery for the inflicting of the heavy British casualties.

You can't be more to the point than that.

Sincerely,
M
I guess that doesn't leave much room for any other contributions. Why don't you just say the 'single dominant factor' instead of being coy and pretending there could be room for another 'major player'.
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  #99  
Old 29 Apr 12, 22:05
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Again, I would suggest that you read the appropriate source material and figure out for yourself what the facts are for the battle.

Sincerely,
M
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  #100  
Old 29 Apr 12, 23:22
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Massena,

Please tell me how many cannon were in the American line? I know they ranged from 6 pounder to one 42 pounder and some were old Spanish guns.

Pruitt
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  #101  
Old 30 Apr 12, 04:49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
I feel the British Army was going for a more "area effect" when they did not precisely aim their muskets. Did any professional army in Europe aim their muskets? In the Napoleonic Wars I think the British Light Infantry and French Light Infantry had gone over to this type of fighting. The Light Infantry would deploy between the two lines and go under cover to fire at the other side. The British Rifle troops would also so the same.

The only similar troops I can think of are the Croats used by the Austro-Hungarian Army.

Pruitt
I am pretty sure that at this time the British army was trained to fire at the body of the enemy rather then an individual in it.

They used the light infantry as a preliminary to try to drive in the enemies light infantry and once that was done to harass the enemy and throw his line into disorder by shooting officers and NCOs so that when the enemy closed to receive or exchange vollies the line infantrys job was half done.

Muskets being so inactivate the vollies were exchanged at close ranges meaning that there wasn't really time to take careful aim at individuals, your probably best thinking of a line of napoleonic infantry as a walking talking claymore mine.
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  #102  
Old 30 Apr 12, 05:00
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Inactive in the post above should be inaccurate
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  #103  
Old 02 May 12, 12:12
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Massena,

Please tell me how many cannon were in the American line? I know they ranged from 6 pounder to one 42 pounder and some were old Spanish guns.

Pruitt
According to Tim Pickles book, the guns along Line Jackson were: Battery 1, 2-12 pound guns and a cohorn mortar in the old brick kiln. Battery 2, 1-24 pound gun. Battery 3, 2-24 pound guns. Battery 4, one 32 pound gun. Battery 5, two six pound guns. Battery 6, one eighteen pound and one four pound gun. Battery 7, one twelve pound gun and one 4 pounder. Battery 8, one 9inch howitzer. Battery 8's gun was never fired because its carriage was too rotten and would have been more dangerous to the Americans than to the British. Meanwhile, the guns in the marine battery, 500 yards across the river could have only affected the British troops attacking the far right of Jackson's line.
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  #104  
Old 02 May 12, 12:59
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That does not seem like enough artillery to cause all those British casualties.

Pruitt
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  #105  
Old 02 May 12, 20:02
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According to Robin Reilly in his The British at the Gates, by nightfall on 31 December 1814 the Americans had one 32-pounder, three 24-pounders, one long 18-pounder, three 12-pounders, three 6-pounders and a 6-inch howitzer-twelve pieces emplaced in seven batteries (taken from Latour's account-Jackson's chief engineer).

On the morning of 8 January, the American artillery consisted of 13 pieces of ordnance mounted in eight batteries-five 6-pounders, three 12-pounders, one 6.5-inch howitzer, one 24-pounder, one 32-pounder, one long 18-pounder, and a brass carronade.

These were emplaced from the river to the inverted redoubt, about 900 yards of front (about 980 meters). With the calibers present and the rate of fire, and opening at about 1000 yards, I can see no problem with firing enough rounds down range to inflict very heavy losses on troops attacking in columns of companies. Round shot would carry through the ranks, especially the heavier calibers.

12-pounders and larger had a sustained rate of fire of 1 round per minute. The smaller calibers had a sustained rate of two rounds per minute. In an emergency, however, as this certainly was, the gun crews would fire as fast as they could (if you had to you'd fire until the gun tube melted).

So, for a twenty-five minute engagement, at say 2-3 rounds per minute on average, that would be 26-39 rounds per gun, for a total of between 338-507 rounds going down range. It is more than possible for just the artillery to knock down about 2,000 men in that time period.

At the battle of Friedland in June 1807 French General Senarmont fired 30 field pieces, none larger than a 6-pounder, for twenty-five minutes at the Russian center and knocked down 4,000 Russian infantrymen and defeated a Russian cavalry counterattack for good measure. And a good portion of the American artillery ranged from 12 to 32-pounders for a much heavier throw weight.

Senarmont attacked with his artillery, beginning firing at about 600 yards and ending at 120 yards. New Orleans was just the opposite, the Americans had the British coming to them, making excellent deep targets in column, and kept firing to within slingshot range until the British quit.

I would suggest not underestimating what well-served and well-commanded artillery can do when it is massed. Senarmont massed his in one large 30-gun battery. The Americans massed their fire on their targets from well-chosen and well-constructed prepared positions.

Sincerely,
M
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