Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Battle of Monmouth was fought on this date in 1778, it took place in Monmouth County, New Jersey.

"Washington Rallying Troupes at Monmouth"

The Continental Army under General George Washington attacked the rear of the British Army column commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Henry Clinton as they left Monmouth Court House (modern Freehold Borough). 

Unsteady handling of lead Continental elements by Major General Charles Lee had allowed British rearguard commander Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis to seize the initiative, but Washington's timely arrival on the battlefield rallied the Americans along a hilltop hedgerow. Sensing the opportunity to smash the Continentals, Cornwallis pressed his attack and captured the hedgerow in stifling heat. Washington consolidated his troops in a new line on heights behind marshy ground, used his artillery to fix the British in their positions, then brought up a four-gun battery under Major General Nathaniel Greene on nearby Combs Hill to enfilade the British line, requiring Cornwallis to withdraw. Finally, Washington tried to hit the exhausted British rear guard on both flanks, but darkness forced the end of the engagement. Both armies held the field, but the British commanding general Clinton withdrew undetected at midnight to resume his army's march to New York City.


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Sunday, June 25, 2017

This late 18th century appearing long rifle has no markings, is it contemporary or is it original?





















The patch box, carving, and stock designs very similar to identified Lehigh Valley rifles and may have been built by John Moll or possibility a contemporary makers look alike. 

Note for example the incredibly similar patch boxes on the John Rupp and John Moll (also similar cheek piece inlay) on pages 176, 182, and 183 of "Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in Its Golden Age" and the Peter Neihart and Herman Rupp rifles in "The Bethlehem School" section in "The Kentucky Rifle." Lehigh Valley rifles are noted for the rounded "Roman Nose" stocks. The rifle has all the other Lehigh style features, standard sights, a single trigger, and full length maple stock with brass furniture and intricate rococo carving at the ramrod entry pipe, stock flats, breech, and both sides of the butt. 

You be the judge, regardless of who, what or where it is a craftsman’s work of art.




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Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Battle of Beaver Dams



On this date in an American column lead by Colonel Charles Boerstler of the 14th U.S. Infantry, marched from Fort George, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, in an attempt to surprise a British outpost at Beaver Dams, Thorold. Ontario. 
Billeting themselves overnight in the village of Queenston, Ontario. A resident of Queenston, Laura Secord, learned of the American plans, and had struck out on a long and difficult trek to warn the British at Decou's stone house near present-day Brock University. When the Americans resumed their march the next day, they were ambushed by 300 Caughnawaga and 100 Mohawk warriors and eventually surrendered to the commander of a small British detachment. About 500 Americans, including their wounded commander, were taken prisoner.
The loss of Boerstler's detachment demoralized the Americans at Fort George. From then until they abandoned the fort on 10 December, they rarely dared send any patrols more than a mile from the fort. To reinforce their fear of the Indians.


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Monday, June 19, 2017

Fort Presque Isle falls during Pontiac's War


In 1763, the Treaty of Paris brought the French and Indian War to a close, and all lands previously controlled by the French were now under British control. American Indians in the Ohio Country, Illinois Country, and Great Lakes region feared the loss of their French allies and the influx of colonists from east of the Appalachian Mountains settling on their land. To prevent the incursion of colonial settlers,  Odawa war chief chief Pontiac encouraged Ohio Country tribes to unite and to rise up against the British.

One event in Pontiac's War occurred on this day in 1763, when the British built Fort Presque Isle, present-day Erie, Pennsylvania, was assaulted by a force of about 250 Ottawas, Ojibwas, Wyandots, and Senecas. After holding out for two days, the garrison of approximately sixty men surrendered on the condition that they could return to Fort Pitt. Most were instead killed after emerging from the fort.
Is it estimated that by late fall of 1763, Pontiac's forces had killed or captured more than six hundred people. 





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Saturday, June 17, 2017

On this date in, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill, which was actually fought on Breed's Hill, took place.

"Bunker Hill" . The Patriot Militia prepare to fire at the oncoming British host during the Battle of Bunker/Breed's Hill , June 17, 1775




Some 2,200 British forces under the command of Major General William Howe and Brigadier General Robert Pigot landed on the Charlestown Peninsula then marched to Breed’s Hill. As the British advanced in columns against the Americans, Prescott, in an effort to conserve the Americans’ limited supply of ammunition, reportedly told his men, “Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” When the Redcoats were within several dozen yards, the Americans let loose with a lethal barrage of musket fire, throwing the British into retreat.
After re-forming their lines, the British attacked again, with much the same result. Prescott’s men were now low on ammunition, though, and when the Redcoats went up the hill for a third time, they reached the redoubts and engaged the Americans in hand-to-hand combat. The outnumbered Americans were forced to retreat. However, by the end of the engagement, the Patriots’ gunfire had cut down some 1,000 enemy troops, with more than 200 killed and more than 800 wounded. More than 100 Americans perished, while more than 300 others were wounded.















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Sunday, June 11, 2017

The blunderbuss dragoon, was typically issued to troops such as cavalry, who needed a lightweight, easily handled firearm. In addition to the cavalry, the blunderbuss found use for other duties in which the shotgun-like qualities were desirable, such as for guarding prisoners or defending a mail coach, and its use for urban combat was also recognized.



























Richard Wilson manufactured firearms for the crown, Honorable East India Co. and Hudson's Bay Company.


John Hall's London shop was active from the early 18th century until around 1770 and was known to have manufactured brass barreled blunderbusses. 


Joseph Heylin was located at 48 Cornhill in London from 1757 until at least 1779. He was known for making very fine pistols.


Twigg dragoons with folding bayonets. These pistols would have been particularly suited to a naval officer or a dragoon. The latter's name actually comes from their use of "dragon" flintlock pistols which was an early name of these blunderbuss style pistols.


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Sunday, June 4, 2017

The work of Jacob Sell the Elder.







         
The Elder (1741-1825) was the patriarch of the Sell gunmaking family and almost certainly the father of Jacob Sell the younger (1780-1855) and Frederick Sell (1781-1869). The family is noted as among the best gunmakers of the early national period. Sell was active as a gunmaker from the era of the American Revolution through approximately 1820. Of the eight examples pictured in "Thoughts on the Kentucky Rifle in Its Golden Age," only two are signed like the example here. 
In the above work, Joe Kindig, Jr. states: "The earlier gunsmiths tried never to repeat themselves; they tried to make each gun different and finer than the one before. I like to see this because to me it exemplifies the spirit of a real artist. I think Jacob Sell the elder represents this type of workman. . . Jacob Sell the elder was a great artist. He was an extremely versatile gunsmith of the early period. Although his engraving and carving are not as fine as some of a slightly later period, they should not be belittled, because he probably was one of the first men to use these details so extensively on Kentucky rifles." 



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Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Siege of Fort Beauséjour


The fort was located on the Isthmus of Chignecto, a neck of land connecting present-day New Brunswick with Nova Scotia, Canada.
British Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Monckton staged out of nearby Fort Lawrence, Nova Scotia began the s
iege in early June, 1755, with the goal of opening the Isthmus of Chignecto to British control. 



Control of the isthmus was crucial to the French because it was the only gateway between Quebec and Louisbourg during the winter months. 
After approximately two weeks of siege, Louis Du Pont Duchambon de Vergor, the French fort's commander, capitulated on June 16, 1755. 


Camp of the British 43rd Regiment during the siege of Fort Beauséjour
Fort Beauséjour today

This marked the end of Father Le Loutre's War and the opening of a British offensive in the Acadia/ Nova Scotia theater of the French and Indian War, which would eventually lead to the end the French Empire in North America. The battle also reshaped the settlement patterns of the Atlantic region, and laid the groundwork for the modern province of New Brunswick.




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