Two balls are better than one.

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by TranterUK, Aug 20, 2009.

  1. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    One for any history or black powder buffs. I have been reading about the British General Wolf and his attack against French outside Quebec in 1759.

    Apparently he ordered his men to load with two balls, rather than one. delivering devastating volley fire. This helped lead to victory over the French, who heavily outnumbered them, at 9000 to 14,000.

    There is I think an American angle here. Gen. Wolf was killed leading a charge in the battle. Had he not been, his new ideas for open order, fast moving guerilla type action by the troops may have caught on more quickly. Soon enough perhaps to effect the American war of independence?
  2. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

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    Quite interesting, Tranter.

    When you consider the... shall we say "varied" accuracy of non-rifled muskets, the number of balls in a full volley like that would be like a massive shotgun blast. Doubling that number would just make it that much more devastating.
  3. red14

    red14 Active Member

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    ""One for any history or black powder buffs. I have been reading about the British General Wolf and his attack against French outside Quebec in 1759.

    Apparently he ordered his men to load with two balls, rather than one. delivering devastating volley fire. This helped lead to victory over the French, who heavily outnumbered them, at 9000 to 14,000.""




    ;)Interesting, does that make it the first use of 'grapeshot'?
  4. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    No, but possibly the first use of a multiple projectile out of a hand weapon (not including shot guns). I believe grape was used by artillery both on land and sea before this.
  5. 17thfabn

    17thfabn New Member

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    When did "buck and ball" come into use?
  6. delta13soultaker

    delta13soultaker New Member

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    US Civil War

    Correction:

    As early as the US Revolution.

    General Washington ordered 4-8 buckshot to be loaded over a ball in the first volley in a battle in 1777. I'd assume it was not a new concept.


    GENERAL ORDERS
    Head Quarters, Perkiomy, October 6, 1777.

    Parole Fredericksburg. Countersigns Fairfax, Frankfort.

    The commanding officers of regiments are without delay to send to the provost for such of their men as have been tried and their sentences published.

    The Battalion of militia from Virginia, commanded by Col Rumney,52 are to be attended to and do duty with General Scott's brigade.

    [Note:Col. William Rumney, of the Virginia Militia. ]

    Brigadier Genl. Pulaski will make a return of the horse as soon as possible.

    Thomas Mullen Esqr. appointed the 3rd. instant to act as Brigade Major to Genl. Conway, is now, for his gallant behaviour on the 4th. instant, appointed Brigade Major to General Conway, and is to be respected and obeyed as such.

    John Laurens Esqr. appointed on the 6th. of September extra Aid de Camp to the Commander in Chief, is now appointed Aid de Camp to him, and is to be respected and obeyed as such.

    The commanding officers of corps are every morning to report the strength of them to their Brigadiers or officers commanding brigades, that it may be known daily what stragglers have joined.

    Buckshot are to be put into all the cartridges which shall hereafter be made.


    Correction #2:

    Re=reading Tranter's post, I'm thinking buck-n-ball went back even further.

    I got to thinking too, that since our Continental Army was trained by the French (Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur) and Prussian' s (Baron Von Steuben), and not to mention many of the militia and regulars were English, the concept could have came from anywhere in Europe.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2009

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