Minuteman.

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Ursus, Aug 13, 2006.

  1. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    Where does the term "Minuteman" came from? I have it is about the ability of the Militia men been able to fight at a "minute's notice". Am I right?
  2. Essentially correct, Bear. In the years immediately prior to the American Revolution, when resistance to British colonial authority was growing ever stronger among the colonists, some of the better educated colonists formed what were called "Committees of Correspondence." These were formed for the purpose of discussing resistance to British authority in America. Over time, some of the committees evolved into paramilitary groups when armed resistance seemed inevitable. The idea was indeed that these armed groups could form up "on a minute's notice" to resist British efforts to control the colonies. The culminating event occurred in 1775 on Lexington Green when shots were exchanged between the Minutemen and British regulars sent to confiscate powder and shot stored in Concord for possible use against the Brits. The British won that round, but not the long walk back from Concord when the colonists rallied around and sniped the Redcoats all the way back to their base. The Revolution was on!
  3. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    Thanks.
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    "The Shot heard 'round the WORLD" was supposedly when the first ragged line of "Minutemen" which DID in the eyes of the British Commander "apear out of nowhere" fired on the British crossing the bridge. That "Ragged Line," which scattered QUICKLY when the British formed up and fired back, was really the very beginning of what became the "Continental Line" which stood up to the best Army of the world toe to toe later in the war, even winning a few major battles, and again at Lundy's Lane in the NEXT war....April 1775 should have as much celebration in America as July 1776, but it doesn't.....

    but PS is right, the British tactically accomplished their goal, of capturing the powder and shot, but that same ragged line of "Minutemen" fought "Indian Style" all the way back to Boston, and caused CARNAGE to the British forces, so many casualties that the road "ran red," and which not only hardened a lot of colonists hearts FOR "a" war, but also hardened a lot of BRITISH hearts to "teach the Americans a lesson..." using military means. Up to THAT point many on BOTH sides still thought and wished that everything could be "worked out," but now that a LOT of blood had been spilled, THAT option disappeared.

    And it led directly to the Siege of Boston, Bunker Hill, and the Declaration of Independence about a year later....


    Ursus, you ask GREAT questions, keep it up!!!!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2006
  5. Which was actually the Battle of Breed's Hill, not Bunker Hill. :eek: :D :p :p

    That was back in a time when real AMERICANS still predominated in New England, instead of the "Blue Staters" who live there today. :mad:
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Yeah, but then again, there really was never a naval battle in "Leyte Gulf," and Teddy never charged up "San Juan Hill," either...:cool:

    We should have a post on "Misnamed Battles and Wars....":D
  7. Sackett

    Sackett New Member

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    Well according to what I've read TR was involved in the charge of the San Juan Hills.
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Actually, Teddy and the Roughriders charged up "Kettle Hill", AFTER the 10th Cavalry had already charged up and secured the adjacent "San Juan Hill" where MOST of the Spanish troops were...it was taller and steeper than Kettle and had more "fortifications." (buildings) "Kettle Hill" was so named because in the middle of the clearing on top there was a big black cauldron, some say used to boil sugar cane, some say the Spanish were using it for cooking....

    "San Juan Hill" sounded better to the accompanying reporters than "Kettle Hill," plus there was little "press" coverage of the 10th's role, probably because there was some institutionalized rascism involved, since the 10th Cavalry were also famous as "The Buffalo Soldiers" in the West...it just wouldn't DO to have the battle won by THEM....when the "Roughriders" had captured the imagination of the reading public through press coverage to date!

    Don't get me wrong, it WAS a great brave charge by Teddy and the RRs under accurate Spanish Mauser fire, uphill all the way, with the 1" Gatlings firing support overhead, but the outcome was never in doubt once the 10th had cleared San Juan...and there are reports the 10th Troopers also then fired on Kettle with a hot enfilading fire which helped a lot too, all the while cheering the "White Boys" on....or from some reports, to "catch up!":p

    BOTH charges were exciting and brave, it's just one of those little known tidbits of History that the 10th actually did more, against more opposition, and suffered more casualties, than the Roughriders...and got little or no credit.
  9. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    I guess in my last post I sounded a LITTLE bit too rough on TR...

    There HAVE been "Revisionist" attempts to belittle TRs role in the battle, and give ALL the credit to the 10th Cavalry, and claim it was ALL rascism that gave the credit to the 'Rich White Boys" but that is simply not true.

    The attacks by the Roughriders and the 10th Cav were SUPPOSED to be simultaneous. It was just a quirk of fate and the disposition of the units in the approach that the RRs got the apparently "easier" of the two hills, and even that is debateable. It CERTAINLY was not a conscious decision of the inept Leadership the Army had at the battle.

    When they got into position at the base of both hills. before the assault, the Spanish started firing. Initially.the Roughriders got the worst of it, they were in a more exposed position, visible and in range from BOTH hills, so were "pinned down" and while San Juan WAS steeper, it's more difficult to fire STRAIGHT down so the 10th initially was NOT under as much fire as Teddy.

    So while the Gatlings were being rolled up. under fire, to set up wheel to wheel to cover the assault, someone gave the order to the 10th and up they went up WITHOUT coordinating with the Roughriders. At the top they got into a BRISK fight at close quarters, and overran the Spanish firing positions, which pretty much took care of the fire the RRs were receiving from S J Hill, and then shortly after, the Gatlings put up a steady suppressing fire that suppressed most of the fire from Kettle, which is when the RRs up and charged. The 10th secured San Juan by the time the RRs were getting close to the top of Kettle, and lent a hand firing at the remaining Spanish on Kettle, that they could see.

    BOTH the RRS and the 10th actually did a FINE job. It was a brisk tough fight under blistering fire, with both regiments doing their jobs bravely. The 10th was a crack REGULAR unit with a lot of experience fighting Indians, while the RRs were more or less green but enthusiastic Volunteers, but they complimented each other well.

    The ONLY bad thing about the battle WAS the press, and the fact so LITTLE immediately went out about the 10ths role, and so MUCH went out about Teddy and the RRs (granted, a bunch of rich kid volunteers is PROBABLY the better story) that the 10ths role has been overlooked.

    The "Revisionist" Accounts claim almost NO role for Teddy and the RRs, that the 10th did it all, and the "White Boys" stole the "glory" due to pure rascism.

    All it was was just an All-American Fighting ARMY, fighting an intense, confused battle, and WINNING, doing a job, without ANY respect to color, race, religion and ALL doing it well, supporting each other, cheering each other on, DESPITE bad leadership, bad supply, wool uniforms in the tropics, and a LOT of other problems, BESIDES "rascism." EVERYBODY was tired and thirsty that day on the tops of both hills, and there are stories of Black and White troopers sharing canteens and water cups, and rations. helping each other's wounded, and patting each other on the back when it was over.

    We can be proud of ALL of them there that day.
  10. I do note, Polish, that you neglected to mention what the Spanish were using to lay down that "blistering fire." It was, of course, the Mauser rifle, while our boys were armed with obsolete Springfield 45-70 trapdoors. :D :p
  11. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Right on about the Spanish "small ring" Mausers in 7x57, PS, but the RRs and the 10th all had Krag Carbines in .30 Government, which did pretty well against them. It was the "Volunteers" and some off the regular infantry that had the Blackpowder .45-70s. The GOOD news is after the first volley, the Spanish couldn't SEE the Infantry to shoot them!:cool:

    Now there were complaints that the Mauser with strippers gave a better sustained rate than our Krags with the side gate, but the .30 cartridge did pretty well.

    The BIGGEST complaint about the Krag was not the rate of fire, but that "our smokeless powder was less smokeless than theirs....":cool: Our guys couldn't see smoke where the Spanish were shooting at THEM, but the Spanish had no trouble seeing the smoke even from our Krags....

    Interestingly, we had a couple of Colt "Potato Diggers," in Cuba, but interestingly in 7x57 Mauser! I forget the reason now, (maybe they were originally made for the Spanish and we took them over?) but that was strange...

    But the weapon that REALLY devastated the Spanish were the 4 carriage mounted blackpowder 1" Gatlings lined up wheel to wheel and firing at maximum elevation to reach up the hill...that's when they broke and ran, "when the Gatlings began to play their positions with devastating fire." (I LOVED that quote from the one report!;) )
  12. True, the Krag was indeed there, Polish. I had forgotten about that. Brain fart, as it were. :D There's no doubt the Krag was a decent weapon, though I don't think it was equal to the Spanish Mausers. It is significant to note that the Krag was not a long-lived general issue rifle for the U.S. They went to the Springfield 03 rifle in 1903, which was, of course, modified to the slighly redesigned 30-06 in 1906. It is also significant to note that the new round was chambered in a rifle action based on the Mauser design. :p