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Shiloh Discussion Group

Fuzed tompion and Enfield bullet found at Shiloh

Stan Hutson
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Federal and Confederate soldiers, if they could obtain one, would use a tompion to protect their musket.  A tompion was, basically, a wooden stopper for a musket, often with a brass top.  The tompion was theoretically designed to protect the muzzle from rain or moisture in general.  A soldier would load his weapon, and then insert the tompion.  If, however, before firing, the soldier forgot to removed the tompion, the picture is the result of what would happen.  The bullet would blow the tompion out of the barrel, often fusing with the bullet.  This is exactly what has happened with this Enfield bullet.  The soldier fired without removing the tompion.  This could have been done due to carelessness or in the heat of the moment due to intense stress being under fire.  This bullet and tompion top were found at Shiloh (or was said to have been found "at Shiloh")

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Shiloh; Photographs at Shiloh and relics of the battle

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