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Armament 77th Ohio

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Jim:

I know you are looking for some info on armament of the various units at Shiloh. Was reviewing some of my notes on the battle. According to statements made at last years battlefield hikes the 77th Ohio was armed with Belgian muskets. Allegedly, these weapons were only slightly more dangerous to the enemy than they were to the guy that was firing them. They had a tendency to explode after the 5 or 6 shots.. Don't know the accuracy of that statement.. Just what was said..

Your Obedient Servant

Rebel

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From Private John Beach, 77th Ohio.

 

..wrote in his diary that the Belgian Muskets that his unit had drawn in Paducah "were about as much danger behind as a rebel was in front".

 

From 'Shiloh Conquer or Perish' by Tim Smith

 

'Major Fearing in the 77th Ohio noted that the Confederate attack came 'with a rush and a shout,' and for a time it shook part of the 77th Ohio, which had a difficult enough time with their ponderous Belgian rifles.  Indeed, one of the Ohioans commented that the regiment "was not in line of battle more than five minutes before the rebels opened fire on us"  Still, they fought well.  "We mowed them down by hundreds," Fearing wrote home, "and drove them back over the run they leaving many of their comrades behind."  The Ohioans followed the retreating Confederates part of the way, retaking some of the ground they had earlier held, but the regiment soon returned "to our old position on the brow of the hill".

 

Thank you.

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Great information Roger. In case anyone was wondering what the other two regiments in Hildebrand's brigade were armed with, I can round out the brigade with the following information from Executive Documents, Annual Reports Ohio 1862 on page 457 and 458: 

53rd Ohio - Austrian Lorenz muskets .54 calibre 
57th Ohio - mixture of Austrian Lorenz muskets and Enfields  

https://books.google.com/books?id=7-pMAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA427&lpg=PA427&dq=Ohio+Executive+Documents++Annual+Report+of+the+Quartermaster+General+to+the+Governor+of+the+State+of+Ohio+for+the+year+1862&source=bl&ots=SFqi3QLpF0&sig=XlfC7ccEcTRiqiDjaLu6nMHefx0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjS0tCu7_vOAhVQySYKHT2KCcYQ6AEIHjAB#v=onepage&q=Ohio Executive Documents Annual Report of the Quartermaster General to the Governor of the State of Ohio for the year 1862&f=false

 

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Hello Billy, thanks for  the excellent reference you posted. I've seen before that the 77th was the only regiment listed as 'armed in the field.' Sometimes their guns were referenced as French as Belgium had only become independent a few years before. As closest I can come is that they were issued .69 caliber rifled muskets manufactured at the armory in Liege, Belgium. One company in the 77th were described as coming close to 'mutiny' and refusing to follow orders when they were issued these guns in Paducah, they felt they had been lied to, believing they had been promised Enfield's.

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This may explain documents that show my GGG Grandfather Daniel Thatcher of the 77th Ohio Co D which indicated his arrest and pay deducted for damaging his rifle,later to be released by request of Col Hildebrand,sounds like he smashed it against a tree,lol.

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