The militia of the towns not mentioned in the above lists, were placed under local sergeants, as training-officers, and are not found upon the records of the Colony, from which I have gathered this roster, page by page, as did another gleaner from the same field, some twenty years ago, -- Gen. E. W. Peirce, of Freetown, Mass. I can testify to the fidelity of his labors. I find that the results of my own, made independently, agree generally with his. I have not attempted to record all the officers appointed in the colonies, but only such as were serving near the time of the two great wars.
From an old English treatise, quoted in "Grose's Antiquities," I find the following extracts:
There-fore the souldier must accustom himself to bear a peece or a pike. If he bear a peece, he must first learn to hold the same: to accommodate his match between his two foremost fingers and his thumb, and to plant the great end on his breast with a gallant souldier-like grace; and being ignorant, to the intent he may be more encouraged, let him acquaint himself first with the firing of the touch-powder in his panne, and so by degrees both to shoote of, to bow and bear up his body, and so consequently to attaine to the levell and practise of an assured and serviceable shot; readily charge and with comely couch discharge, making choise at the same instant of his marke, with a quick and vigilant eye; his flaske and touch-box must keep his powder, his purse and mouth his bullets. In skirmish, his left hand must hold his match and peece and the right-hand use the office of charging and discharging . . . let him ever first load his peece with powder out of his flaske, then with her bullet, and last with annuring and touchpowder, foreseeing ever that the panne be cleare, the cover close, the touchhole wide, or else well-proined, etc.
From the same work above quoted, in tables illustrated with quaint pictures, I find the following manual: 1. March with your rest in your hand. 2. March, with your Musket carry your rest. 3. Unshoulder your Musket. 4. Poise your Musket. 5. Join your rest to your Musket. 6. Take forth your Match. 7. Blow off your Coal. 8. Cock your Match. 9. Try your Match. 10. Guard blow and open your pan. 11. Present. 12. Give fire. 13. Dismount your Musket. 14. Uncock your Match. 15. Return your match. 16. Clear your pan. 17. Prime your pan. 18. Shut your pan. 19. Cast of your loose powder. 20. Blow of your loose powder. 21. Cast about your Musket. 22. Trail your rest. 23. Open your charge. 24. Charge your Musket. 25. Draw forth your scouring stick. 26. Shorten your scouring stick. 27. Put in your Bullet & Ram home. 28. Withdraw your scouring stick. 29. Shorten your scouring stick. 30. Return your scouring stick. 31. Recover your Musket. 32. Poise your Musket and recover your rest. 33. Rest your Musket. 34. Draw out your Match. 35. Blow your Match. 36. Cock your Match. 37. Try your Match. 38. Guard your pan. 39. Present. 40. Give fire. 41. Come up to your Musket. 42. Return your Match. 43. Take up your rest. 44. Blow off your loose powder and cast about your Musket. 45. Trail your rest & open your charge. 46. Bring up your Musket. 47. Poise your Musket & recover your Rest. 48. Shoulder your Musket.
Halberds and pikes had their proper manuals in this work, but were of little use in Indian warfare, and we hear nothing of them in active service. The above manual, if ever in use in the colonies, was superseded, some time before Philip's War, by Elton's "Compleat Body of the Art Military." Elton's formula differs slightly in language from the preceding, and has eight more commands, which relate to the putting on and taking off of accoutrements.
Troopers were armed with a sword, and either two pistols or a carbine, to each man. After pikemen were discarded in active service, the soldiers were furnished with long knives, with handles to fit into the muzzles of their muskets, for close-quarter fighting; and these were replaced by bayonets, named from the place of their first manufacture, Bayonne, in France; these were at the first fitted into the muzzles of the guns. The regulation musket had a barrel four feet in length. In 1673 the Court ordered from England "five hundred new Snaphances or fire-lock Musketts, for the country's use." At the same time they ordered from Bilboa sixty cannon, or "great gunns," of the dimensions viz.: "twelve whole culverin, twelve demy culverin cutts, sixteen sakers, and twenty or thirty shott, proportionable for each gun." The cannon were mostly for coast defence, being useless in Indian warfare.
The following accounts show the harsh custom of the times, and reveal a source of Colonial revenue not open to our country since that day.
HTML by Debbie
[King Philip's War Index Index][NY][VT]
[King Philip's War Index Index][NY][VT]