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WI16thJim

Belgian musket

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Not long before the battle of Pittsburg Landing the 16th WI were issued Belgian muskets.  I am unable to find what caliber they were. In my search I've found stories of shoulder busting 78 cal. on down.  Does anyone know where I can find what cal. they went into battle with?

Jim

 

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Jim,I suggest Reed McKee's book on minie's and balls from the civil war. the belgian's were typically .69 but I'm not sure that was what was issued to the wis. boys..

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found you a photo of one Jim, go to http://www.relicman.com/bullets/bul313.htm. second minie down is the belgian .69. the book is projectiles of the civil war by McKee and mason and all collectors refer to minie's as being m&m 185 or whatever number. the m&m refers to mckee and mason. Reed re. tired from his insurance agency in the late 50's and traveled the battlefields buying and photographing various projectiles. reed lived in nashville tn. and shiloh was one of his favorite battlefields, because of the early time of the battle and there were a mixture of issued firearms and firearms brought from home. some

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I have the image above listed as Sgt. Freedom Gates, 72nd Ohio, killed at Shiloh.  But, doing some more research, potentially an image mix up at play.  There is ANOTHER image that is actually of Freedom Gates, and the man above is potentially William Brown.  More to follow later............

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Stan's post (above) of William Brown is timely, because it is a mirror-image of "Freedom Gates" (posted by CSuniforms, also above.) One is obviously a "knock-off" of the other -- a forgery -- but which is which?

When one thinks of Civil War infantry firearms, Springfield, Enfield, Richmond (Model 1855 Springfields manufactured to 1861 specifications at Richmond using dies taken from Harpers Ferry Arsenal), Lorenz and Vincennes... all come to mind. On further reflection, the Sharps, Henry and Spencer company rifles and carbines are added to the list.

But, what was a "Belgian Musket?"

Upon review, it appears that a Belgian Musket was [my definition] "any European musket, manufactured in Prussia, Bavaria, Potsdam, France, or elsewhere, originally a smoothbore and with flintlock firing mechanism, that was acquired by Arms dealers (such as Herman Boker) and sent in bulk to Belgium (usually Liege) and there modified:

  • with firing mechanism altered from flintlock to percussion, and possibly
  • barrel re-bored (in attempt to standardize all that consignment, usually as .69 or .71 calibre, for ease of providing projectiles en masse) and sometimes
  • rifling added to barrel (which technically produced a "Belgian Rifle," but which was often still referred to as Belgian Musket).

Usually, the above weapons possessed no "maker's mark" (otherwise, they would be referred to as "Dresden Rifles" and etc.)"

Although the Belgian Arms industry, centered at Liege, also manufactured weapons, only the above "modified weapons, manufactured elsewhere," were referred to as "Belgian Muskets." For example, nearly everyone knows that Belgium manufactured Enfield Pattern 1853 Rifle Muskets (under contract before American Civil War; without contract during Civil War) and those "knock-offs" are still referred to as "Pattern 1853 Enfield," or, sometimes, "Belgian Enfield." [But the P-1853 Enfield manufactured in Belgium is never referred to as a "Belgian Musket."]

Just an attempt to add clarity to the muddied waters of Civil War weapons...

Ozzy

References:   http://archive.org/details/Civil_War_Guns  especially pages 66, 74 - 77 (Liege) and 28 - 35 & 262 - 271 (Boker)

http://www.regtqm.com/product-p/gun-646.htm   just one of many "Belgian Muskets"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_rifle  not a Belgian Musket, even if modified in Belgium, because of the maker's label: Lorenz

http://www.ima-usa.com/products/original-british-p-1853-enfield-rifle-musket-produced-in-belgium-dated-1857?variant=26169131077  Belgian Enfield

http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/british-military-longarms/enfield/p53-enfield-production-markings  Enfields produced elsewhere

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-question-about-belgian-rifle-calibers.141769/   Belgian Musket and Rifle discussion at civilwartalk.com

 

 

 

 

 

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On 7/4/2018 at 7:47 PM, Ozzy said:

Stan's post (above) of William Brown is timely, because it is a mirror-image of "Freedom Gates" (posted by CSuniforms, also above.) One is obviously a "knock-off" of the other -- a forgery -- but which is which?

When one thinks of Civil War infantry firearms, Springfield, Enfield, Richmond (Model 1855 Springfields manufactured to 1861 specifications at Richmond using dies taken from Harpers Ferry Arsenal), Lorenz and Vincennes... all come to mind. On further reflection, the Sharps, Henry and Spencer company rifles and carbines are added to the list.

But, what was a "Belgian Musket?"

Upon review, it appears that a Belgian Musket was [my definition] "any European musket, manufactured in Prussia, Bavaria, Potsdam, France, or elsewhere, originally a smoothbore and with flintlock firing mechanism, that was acquired by Arms dealers (such as Herman Boker) and sent in bulk to Belgium (usually Liege) and there modified:

  • with firing mechanism altered from flintlock to percussion, and possibly
  • barrel re-bored (in attempt to standardize all that consignment, usually as .69 or .71 calibre, for ease of providing projectiles en masse) and sometimes
  • rifling added to barrel (which technically produced a "Belgian Rifle," but which was often still referred to as Belgian Musket).

Usually, the above weapons possessed no "maker's mark" (otherwise, they would be referred to as "Dresden Rifles" and etc.)"

Although the Belgian Arms industry, centered at Liege, also manufactured weapons, only the above "modified weapons, manufactured elsewhere," were referred to as "Belgian Muskets." For example, nearly everyone knows that Belgium manufactured Enfield Pattern 1853 Rifle Muskets (under contract before American Civil War; without contract during Civil War) and those "knock-offs" are still referred to as "Pattern 1853 Enfield," or, sometimes, "Belgian Enfield." [But the P-1853 Enfield manufactured in Belgium is never referred to as a "Belgian Musket."]

Just an attempt to add clarity to the muddied waters of Civil War weapons...

Ozzy

References:   http://archive.org/details/Civil_War_Guns  especially pages 66, 74 - 77 (Liege) and 28 - 35 & 262 - 271 (Boker)

http://www.regtqm.com/product-p/gun-646.htm   just one of many "Belgian Muskets"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_rifle  not a Belgian Musket, even if modified in Belgium, because of the maker's label: Lorenz

http://www.ima-usa.com/products/original-british-p-1853-enfield-rifle-musket-produced-in-belgium-dated-1857?variant=26169131077  Belgian Enfield

http://www.researchpress.co.uk/index.php/firearms/british-military-longarms/enfield/p53-enfield-production-markings  Enfields produced elsewhere

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-question-about-belgian-rifle-calibers.141769/   Belgian Musket and Rifle discussion at civilwartalk.com

 

 

 

 

 

Ozzy, actually no forgery is involved.  There are 2 images in the collections at Shiloh.  The one above, and another image.  A "mix-up", or slight confusion took place or so it seems.  I saw this image, the real deal, with my own eyes in storage at Shiloh.  I originally posted this image as being Freedom Gates, but the man, "I think" above is actually William Brown.  Waiting for a reply from Shiloh, hopefully with a scan of the OTHER image.  The OTHER image I know believe is the real Freedom Gates, and the one above is William Brown.  Although the image above was originally posted as being Freedom.

If that makes sense, ha!  The park has other relics that belonged to Freedom as well.

And you are right, civil war weaponry is a headache to understand, especially at Shiloh.  It is mind boggling when you think that one brigade may need 3 or 4 different caliber bullet sizes.  Supply, especially during the battle, would have been a nightmare.  

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 Stan

I was simply giving you credit for revealing the "other" image of the same soldier, taken from the same glass-plate negative, but flipped over, and printed in reverse (resulting in mirror-image of man with pipe hanging from other side of his mouth; and bugle on cap facing the wrong way.) The letters "U.S." on the belt buckle, in both images reading correctly, is simply curious; and leads one to believe that fifty years ago or more, someone deliberately created a "mirror-image" ...but for what purpose? 

Thanks again for revealing the existence of the pair of  images.

Ozzy

 

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