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Thread: Fire is getting hot! Getting to those cartridge packs!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Fire is getting hot! Getting to those cartridge packs!

    Started making cartridge packs and placing them in the storage area of my tins. Noticed last reenactment, it was not the easiest task to get to and unpack the cartridges while on the firing line! (After going through my first 20 unpacked cartridges)

    So how did the boys do it? Was it basically do the best you could as fast as you could?

    Joe Musgrove
    "I fight for Uncle Abe"

  2. #2
    Philip Cav Guest

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    I will usually take cover behind the "dead" on the field or any other object that provides cover and replace the packs.. Just make sure that if you do replace the rounds behind the dead, don't shoot from behind them....

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by SackCoat View Post
    So how did the boys do it? Was it basically do the best you could as fast as you could?
    You were probably firing much faster than that average CW soldier fired. Not much you can do when you have shot your 20 except reload the box.
    Jim Mayo
    Member of the old vets mess.

    http://www.angelfire.com/ma4/j_mayo/index.html

  4. #4

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    Chances are you were being a lot more careful than they were. You wanted your tins back, so you put them back after retrieving the packets. You put the new cartridges in the top of the tins, probably 10 to a side so you can keep track of your rate of fire. How quickly can you get at the bottom 20 if you yank out the tins, throw them away, and tear off the wrapping?
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mayo View Post
    You were probably firing much faster than that average CW soldier fired. Not much you can do when you have shot your 20 except reload the box.
    I agree. I think that in most reenactments we're probably firing much more, too. While I've seen accounts of units running out of ammo in the civil war, it seems to me that they're outnumbered by those accounts that don't mention any ammo shortages. And we'll never know how many of the accounts of ammo shortages were caused by soldiers throwing away their ammo or not bothering with the lower tins, or were penned by officers as an excuse for the unit breaking. Then there's the matter of weapons too fouled or mis-loaded to fire at all, and the famous stat from Gettysburg, where a sizeable number of weapons recovered from the battlefield were loaded with multiple rounds.

    I've just finished reading S. L. A. Marshall's "The Soldier's Load" which takes a more modern perspective. Based on his experience and study he recommended a substantial reduction in the amount of ammunition carried, stating "defeat because of an ammunition shortage is one of the things least likely to happen" -- at least compared to defeat due to exhaustion caused by carrying too much stuff. He also repeated a point he made earlier in "Men Against Fire," that a greater problem was getting men to shoot at all.
    M. A. Schaffner
    Midstream Regressive Complainer

  6. #6

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    Hallo!

    "So how did the boys do it? Was it basically do the best you could as fast as you could?'

    Not much to add other than what was already well covered, except...

    In brief and to over generalize...

    "Fire" many times was a matter of fire being "laid' down" efficiently and effectively to achieve a somewhat immediate result and was purposely, by the Manual, directed by the officers such as volley fire, or fire by -------- (fill in the blank) at left or right oblique's, or straight ahead. (With exceptions so noted such as for skirmishers, independent fire, or end-stage "melee" firing in the assault on a line or position).

    Forty rounds was considered ample for that (exceptions so noted, and exceptions such as extra packets in one's pockets or knapsack).

    Curt
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  7. #7
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    I read numerous accounts that mention moving the box around to be more in front than leaving it behind like most reenactors do. If you think about it, just moving the box 3-4 inches toward your front would greatly facilitate reaching into the box for rounds. It would certainly be easier to do if it was mounted on a belt than a sling though.
    Michael Comer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    "Thanks Pards"

    Joe Musgrove
    "I fight for Uncle Abe"

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