By Kyle James   |  04-09-2018   News
Photo credit: William Barnes Wollen

The American Revolutionary War was the birth of a nation that took place from 1775-1783. The war was a global conflict between Great Britain and it's Thirteen Colonies which sought to break free from the tyrannical British rule. The war started after the Stamp Act which was protested as taxation without representation. The conflict soon escalated into boycotts until the Sons of Liberty destroyed a tea shipment in Boston Harbor in 1973. Britain then passed a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony which resulted in an uprising of militia and the formation of a Continental Congress to lead them.

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Let's take a look at the type of weaponry used by the American colonies' militia and their adversaries, the British army. Starting off we have the muzzleloading flintlock musket with an attached bayonet. A variation of this gun called the smoothbore flintlock musket was the most common weapon of the war. The smoothbore musket will shoot both balls or shot or even a combination of the two. Another version of the musket supplied by the French is the French musket called the Charleyville. The Charleville was 69 caliber and fired a 65 caliber ball with a barrel length of about 42 inches. Each ball or shot had to be painstakingly loaded by hand along with black powder to propel the bullet. These muskets were capable of firing one shot every 15 seconds for about 4 minutes before fouling in the barrel became an issue.

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">outwatersmilitia.com</span>

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Soldiers and militia also carried a sidearm that worked just like the musket and was known as a Flintlock Pistol. The American militia used guerrilla tactics such as ambushing and using cover to their advantage which was against the combat norms of the day. The weapons used by both sides were very inaccurate over 75 yards and it was common for armies to stand in lines and confront one another in the open. This way it was much easier to spray a volley of shots and actually hit something since aiming for and hitting a specific target was extremely difficult. The militia opted for a more tactical approach and changed from the open-field style of combat to a more strategic approach that utilized timing and cover to their advantage.

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Next up, there is the Cannon. This was the heavy duty artillery of its day and it too also worked like the muskets requiring each round to be muzzle loaded and packed by hand. When infantry did not have the support of a cannon, and the enemy did, usually they lost the battle. American Militia units quickly realized the cannons were only effective when troops attacked with a frontal assault in the open. If they knew they were facing a cannon they Militia would just avoid standing up them altogether.

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Most cannons in the Revolutionary War were 3, 4, and 6-pound guns mounted on wooden carriages with large wheels that allowed the gun to be transported and adjusted more easily. These beasts fired either a solid ball or various small shot such as shells which are a hollow iron ball with black powder inside and fitted with a fuse. Cannons could also be loaded with miscellaneous objects such as musketballs or grapeshot which is a round packed with several metal balls or slugs. Both sides also employed mortars which were similar to a cannon but fired an exploding shell called a bomb at a much higher trajectory. Mortars consist of a shorter barrel mounted on a flatbed such as a large block of wood. When fired properly, the mortar would detonate an exploding shell in the air above the enemy raining shrapnel on the enemy troops.

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Another variation of the cannon was the Howitzer which combined the principles of both the cannon and the mortar giving troops the ability to fire explosive projectiles with the versatility of a cannon. The Howitzer barrel is short and stumpy like a mortar but it is mounted on a set of large wheels for easy maneuverability and transportation.

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Finally, we have the combat weapons of the Revolutionary War. Hand to hand combat was no small part of the war and troops often finished battles with melee weapons such as the Saber. The Saber is a long metal blade that sounds like a sword but is actually skinnier than a sword. Sabers consist of a pommel, a hilt (the part you hold), and the crossguard which protects your hand. Sabers were most commonly used by officers and their lightweight, sharp blades were deadly in hand to hand combat.

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You may think only Indians used Tomahawks but think again. Tomahawks were originally created by the Indians but the colonists made their own version of the weapon and it became known as an Axe. State Militia became known for carrying both axes and Tomahawks and a proficient user could throw one with devastating accuracy. You may know the weapon from the iconic film The Patriot starring Mel Gibson in which he brutally kills British soldiers to protect his family.

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These weapons provided the means for the colonies to separate from the oppressive British government with a little help from the French navy. Without them, the states would have never been able to stand up for themselves and become independent. At the time, the American Militia's had access to the same weapons the military was using and it is important that they retain the freedom to do so. If the Militia (the people of America) are not allowed to bear arms, it opens up the possibility for a tyrannical, oppressive government to take over and while weapons have changed over time, the idea behind them remains an integral part of America.

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4 Comment/s


Anonymous No. 22749 1523317024

Commenting issue still needs attention

Anonymous No. 22755 1523318206

broken

Anonymous No. 22783 1523362299

OK so everybody understand the 2nd amendment.

It allows citizens to arm themselves equal to Federal Ground troops. Thus keep a Federal Government from becoming a Dictatorship, or Totalitarian Government. Like some many countries have become after banning citizen ownership of firearms.

wendyj No. 22839 1523428056

Awesome old Americana, informative … TY !

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