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How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?
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Author:  Joe Meyer [ Sun May 01, 2016 6:29 pm ]
Post subject:  How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

I have read in different accounts of the ACW about the number of rifle/musket rounds carried into action by each infantryman. The number ranges from the "standard" 40 to as many as 60, the latter being referenced in some Union accounts of the Overland Campaign and elsewhere. I know that the actual ammunition belt boxes, normally carried on the right hip, were constructed to hold 40 rounds and that soldiers must have, of necessity, stuffed additional rounds into their (pants?) pockets, or maybe some kind of an additional sling pouch. Maybe they even tucked them into their haversacks!

What about the Confederate infantry soldiers? What was the standard issue for them?

Does anyone know if a larger capacity ammo box was constructed later in the war to facilitate what was becoming the new standard of ammo issue?

Also, with the number of re-enactors that we have in this club, let me ask if was it actually possible to shoot off all 60 rounds without the rifle fouling? It must have been possible, else the ordnance officers wouldn't have made the issues! What field measures did the soldiers adopt to reduce gunpowder fouling in their pieces? Bacon grease? A quick cleanout with canteen water in the field?

Author:  John Ferry [ Sun May 01, 2016 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

When a 12th Corps easterner asked a 15th Corps westerner what his corps badge was, the westerner slapped his cartridge box and said "here's my corps badge--forty rounds in the box, and twenty in the pocket." His corps commander heard the remark and soon the 15th Corps had as its official badge, an emblem of a cartridge box with forty rounds stamped on it. That was the basic load for a unit going into combat, and many times men would end up scrounging for ammo from the dead and wounded. Muskets would usually foul before those sixty rounds were used up, and water was used to swab the bores, as well as other liquid that nature could provide.
John Ferry
Col 2/20th Corps
Also a reenactor

Author:  cameronm [ Mon May 02, 2016 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

Why waste ammo when a Rebel Yell is just as effective :mrgreen:

Author:  John Ferry [ Mon May 02, 2016 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

Ackshully the first rebel yell was heard when some Johnnies were using liquid which nature provided to clean their bores, when one Johnnie got his spout to close to a hot muzzle.
Or so I've heard.
J

Author:  Joe Meyer [ Wed May 04, 2016 3:33 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

Has any infantry reenactor in our club actually attempted to fire off 40 or more rounds from his rifle? 60 rounds?

At one time long ago I owned a .58 Zouave Rifle replica made by the old Navy Arms Company. I can't remember firing off more than 20-25 rounds before I encountered loading problems. And I was using Minie balls lathered with Crisco. I was loading powder direct from the measured flask tube each time.

Author:  John Ferry [ Wed May 04, 2016 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

Got multiple entries due to terribly slllloooowww computer!

Author:  John Ferry [ Wed May 04, 2016 9:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

The thing about reenactors, we only fire blanks (no bullets) while the North-South Skirmish Association (NSSA) fires real bullets. As a reenactor you can fire lots and lots of blanks without swabbing. At a reenactment, the ramrod is never used, due to the danger of one being fired downrange. You just pour in the powder, tap the butt on the ground to get it all down to the bottom, and aim and fire.
The first musket I bought was at Cedar Creek, seen stashed in the back of a sutler's tent. He was selling it for a friend getting out of the hobby. The bore was caked to the muzzle with burnt powder. All I had to clean it was a cup of black coffee and a quart of motor oil. Took me an hour to get it where I might have fired it.
John Ferry
Col 2/20th Corps

Author:  John Ferry [ Wed May 04, 2016 9:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

The thing about reenactors, we only fire blanks (no bullets) while the North-South Skirmish Association (NSSA) fires real bullets. As a reenactor you can fire lots and lots of blanks without swabbing. At a reenactment, the ramrod is never used, due to the danger of one being fired downrange. You just pour in the powder, tap the butt on the ground to get it all down to the bottom, and aim and fire.
The first musket I bought was at Cedar Creek, seen stashed in the back of a sutler's tent. He was selling it for a friend getting out of the hobby. The bore was caked to the muzzle with burnt powder. All I had to clean it was a cup of black coffee and a quart of motor oil. Took me an hour to get it where I might have fired it.
John Ferry
Col 2/20th Corps

Author:  KWhitehead [ Wed May 04, 2016 9:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

John Ferry wrote:
Got multiple entries due to terribly slllloooowww computer!

Just add cup of black coffee and quart of oil and it will be purring along. :D

Author:  Ernie Sands [ Wed May 04, 2016 4:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How Many Rounds Was It, Anyway?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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