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

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  #136  
Old 08 May 12, 05:55
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The sources I listed were not by any 'professors' of the 1980s. Col Elting taught at West Point for eleven years in the 1950s and 1960s.

Robert Quimby certainly isn't 'revisionist' nor is Robin Reilly.

So, what is your definition of 'revisionist'? Is it merely someone with whom you disagree?

In the source material that I've listed and used in this thread, there is no denigration of the American soldier. Again, you seem to be creating a strawman argument because you cannot, with any of the material you've offered, prove that the rifle was a deciding or important contribution to the US victory at New Orleans and it is quite evident from your postings that you do not understand artillery-either its employment of its capabilities.

New Orleans was an artillery battle, both on 1 January and 8 January 1815. The British could not defeat the American artillery with their own, which was admitted by their artillery commander, Colonel Dickson.

That is the crux of the issue, and one which you have missed.

Sincerely,
M
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  #137  
Old 10 May 12, 18:54
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I have just received a copy of the Encyclopedia of the War of 1812 by David Heidler and Jeanne Heidler.

On page 81, under the topic heading of 'Cannon, Naval' it does read 'The long guns were just that: cast-iron cannon ranging in length from about 8 feet to more than 10 feet and weighing upward of 4 tons each.' The author of this topic is Tyrone G. Martin and there are no primary sources listed under 'Further Reading' at the end of the entry.

On page 370 in the same volume under the topic heading of 'Naval Ordnance' by Spencer C. Tucker (who is the author of Arming the Fleet: United States Navy Ordnance in the Muzzle-Loading Era) there is a table assembled giving the weights of different calibers of naval guns (both long guns and carronades). The weight for a 42-punder long gun was 7,504 pounds, of a 32-pounder long gun 6,496 pounds, of a 24-pounder long gun 5,824 pounds, and of an 18-pounder long gun 4,704 pounds. Seems the quoted weight, which wasn't exact in the first place, is incorrect. Tucker has done his research.

You might want to actually research as Tucker has done-from primary source material that is credible, as was given to you from Tousard's American Artillerist's Companion.

The Encyclopedia is of varying degrees of scholarship, the section you quoted from is definitely incorrect.

I have ordered Tucker's book on naval ordnance, as well as Struggle for the Gulf Borderlands by Owlsley, The Battle of New Orleans by Smith, Chalmette by Patton, Fire and Blood by Gleig, and Blaze of Glory by Carter (you never did answer my question on that book as to its historical worth). I don't expect you to either have or order the books that I have listed, but I suspect that your information is more hype than fact, or is in error, as I have pointed out to you from the Encyclopedia. By the way, I would never use the Encyclopedia in a reference for any book that I might write or for a graduate level history course as the scholarship is too uneven.

Sincerely,
M
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  #138  
Old 10 May 12, 20:19
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Just for fun, the information on New Orleans and on period artillery in the Encyclopedia is interesting.

The section on New Orleans was done by the books two editors, Jeanne Heidler and David Heidler.

On page 381 in right hand column it reads in part: 'Exposed to Jackson, as well as to Patterson's still-ssecure batteries on the west bank, this British column was cut to pieces. The greatest damage to the British lines, however, was probably done by Jackson's artillery on the east bank and the rifle and musket wielding infantrymen. Waiting steadily as the British came resolutely within range, they opened up with volley after volley of murderous fire. The debate about the relative effectiveness of Jackson's riflemen versus the muskets of the average infantryman in the US lines may never be settled, but it misses the larger point in any event. Most of Jackson's force was probably armed with muskets, but that did not matter. The combined firepower of artillery, rifles, and muskets turned the plain before the Rodriguez Canal into a charnel pen.'

On page 20 of the Encyclopedia, contributing author David T. Zabecki writes on New Orleans:

'To the credit of the US gunners, they ignored the Royal Artillery's counterbattery fire during the attack on 8 January and concentrated their own fire on the British infantry with canister and grape. Despite the long-cherished belief in the performance of the Americans' rifles that day, many historians now agree it was primarily artillery fire that mauled the attacking troops. An analysis of British casualties does much to support the claim. Some regiments, such as the 4th Foot, were out of rifle range, yet suffered disproportionately higher casualties than regiments such as the 44th, which led General Samuel Gibbs's column. The Rifle Brigade, which covered Gibb's front with a skirmish line, suffered only 11 killed. This was because a widely spread skirmish line was among the most difficult of targets for artillery to engage. Finally, George Gleig and other British eyewitnesses have described the mangled condition of the troops who died in the assault. That only could have been the work of artillery.'

Seems that you failed to consult the Encyclopedia on other topics of the battle or chose to ignore them. Which was it?

Further, you have ranted and wailed about 'revisionist' professors (none of which are quoted in any of my postings-Zabecki is a retired US Army general officer by the way), as well as 'political correctness' which you would 'spit on.' Could you give examples of this, especially in the sources that I have quoted?

Sincerely,
M
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  #139  
Old 14 May 12, 17:22
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From Struggle for the Gulf Borderlands: The Creek War and the Battle of New Orleans 1812-1815 by Frank Lawrence Owsley, Jr, pages 163-164:

'Among the most significant additions to the American forces were Jean Lafitte and his Baratarians, who provided Jackson with supplies and a large number of expert artillerists. Other help came from the navy, which provided additional gun crews, artillery, and munitions. The American artillery, which was probably superior to the British, was manned by French-trained United States regular army artillerists, United States naval artillerists, and the Baratarians, all well-disciplined and experienced in their work. According to Chevalier Anne Louis de Tousard, the French consul in New Orleans and an old artillery officer in both the French and Americaqn armies, it was the fire from Jackson's artillery that broke the British ranks. Tousard reported that the artillery 'was nearly all handled by Frenchmen, especially too, by the amnestied rebels of Barataria, who, in truth, performed miracles.'

'Although the long rifle has been credited with much of the damage done to the British ranks during the Battle of New Orleans, there is evidence to indicate that the British suffered at least as many casualties from ordinary musket fire as from rifles. All of the rifles used were individually owned; none in this battle were furnished by the federal government. For this reason, only Beale's Rifle Company, part of Coffee's men, and a small number of Carroll's and Adair's units were armed with rifles. Most of Jackson's army were equipped with the standard musket of the day. No record has been found of the number of rifles in use at New Orleans but it is reasonable to suppose that there were between 800 and 1200. Lambert reported January 29th that the wounded were recovering fast and that the ammunition used by the Americans was for the most part composed of buckshot, which was the ammunition of muskets. This statement supports the belief that muskets were the basic weapons used by Jackson's army. Also since the main British attack was on Carroll's part of the line, his statement that before the battle his men made 'fifty thousand cartridges in the best manner, each containing a musket ball and three buckshot' is significant in confirming the conjecture that the major portion of his unit was armed with muskets.'

Footnotes from pages 163-164:

-Tousard was especially interested in Jackson's artillery and delighted with its good record in the battle, because the Frenchman had written the artillery manual then used by the United States Army.

-Probably no more than half of Coffee's men had these weapons, but since most of his command was in the woods and swamps they did not receive the main attack. At best, only a part of Coffee's rifle companies were in this engagement. Carroll had a force of 1414 men in the line, of which 1100 were furnished with muskets. Of the remaining 314, probably not all had rifles. Adair's armed Kentuckians, amounting to 520 men, were also placed in Carroll's section, but certainly not all, perhaps no more than half of these men, had rifles.

Once again it certainly looks like the big killer was artillery, followed by the musket. Carroll's comment about making up 50,000 musket cartridges is telling.

Sincerely,
M
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  #140  
Old 01 Jun 12, 10:44
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Looks like there are some great items on the site - love the powder horns especially, they are stunning.
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  #141  
Old 22 Jul 12, 23:12
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I have visited this site many times in researching my ancestor, William Whitley's rifle that was made by Jacob Young, and was the weapon that killed Tecumseh at the Battle of the Thames. These are the best phoyographs of that beautiful and historic rifle.
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