Muzzleldrs Smoothbore - How Common Were They?

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
FWIW I read a description of some partisan rangers and a "Queen Bess" musket was mentioned. Obviously a Brown Bess of the India Pattern. But there were older models still knocking about. Some Texas Rangers were described toting flinters in 1864. And the California state arsenal still had the 1817 "Common" rifle in store in 1860. Here in Texas they were buying up all rifles, shotguns, muskets and revolvers in sight and turning to civilians for more. It's hard to image a shortage of handguns in Texas at that time, but that was the case
 

Peter Stines

Sergeant
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Gulf Coast of Texas
Even for infantry shotguns or smoothbores loaded with buck & ball loads had advantages. In close range and especially in clouds of smoke where accurate aiming was near impossible, buck & ball made making of hit of some kind more probable. A wound in any extremity that contacted bone took your opponent out of the fight most of the time.
Also infection for poorly treated wounds and lack of anti-biotics, etc.
 

rebracer

Corporal
Joined
Jan 29, 2014
Location
Southern Louisiana
Interesting that I stumbled upon this thread today because I am very excited to have recently discovered a copy of an Ordnance Receipt for Co. E of the 42nd Alabama (my gggrandfather) from September 30, 1862. This would have been right before they left for Corinth (the Receipt says Tupelo, MS). As you can see they were issued "Percussion muskets 1840" which I take to be US 1840 Conversion Muskets. Based on this the 42nd fought in the battle of Corinth with smoothbores. Based on what information I have the 42nd had Enfields at Vicksburg so somewhere in the months after Corinth they did away with their smoothbores.

42nd AL CO.E ORDINACE RECEIPT 9-30-62.jpg
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
Location
Texas
View attachment 347641
Death of General Zollicoffer, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper.

Most of the regiments in the Tennessee State Army were armed with muskets from state arsenals. Some of them were Brown Bess that had been captured during the War of 1812. Confederate General Zollicoffer was killed & the nine mile retreat to their camp turned into a stampede. After defeat at the Battle of Mill Springs in Kentucky, the men smashed their muskets against tree trunks. It had rained during the battle & the muskets could not be made to fire no matter how hard the frantic men tried. Most of the frustrated men then went home. A.S. Johnston's right flank was gone & Grant was on the move in the west.
That's astonishing to me, I know Long-arms hadn't changed much, but the fact that they were using the Brown Bess is interesting to me.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Corporal
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I love me some smoothies, my faves is the Bavarian M1842.
View attachment 347635

"The Union Army purchased a number surplus Bavarian M-1842 for usage during the American Civil War.[9] Of the Bavarian equipment offered to the United States for purchase, the M-1842 was evaluated as the only weapon of sufficient quality for Union usage. An unknown number of the weapons were sold to the Union, with sources referencing around 3000 muskets being sold as surplus by the US government in 1865 after the conclusion of the Civil War.[2][1]"


I've owned a lot of foreign imports, but never one of these - that rear sight with the notched base looks like you could grate parmesan cheese by rubbing the hard cheese across those notches!
 

TerryB

Major
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Location
Nashville TN
FWIW I read a description of some partisan rangers and a "Queen Bess" musket was mentioned. Obviously a Brown Bess of the India Pattern. But there were older models still knocking about. Some Texas Rangers were described toting flinters in 1864. And the California state arsenal still had the 1817 "Common" rifle in store in 1860. Here in Texas they were buying up all rifles, shotguns, muskets and revolvers in sight and turning to civilians for more. It's hard to image a shortage of handguns in Texas at that time, but that was the case
I'm paraphrasing Fremante's Diary here. In 1863 he noted that all Texans he met were extremely polite and wondered whether that had anything to do with the fact that "they all go about armed."
 
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