Re: Info on French 1822 Musket
"I am by no means an expert on the French pattern 1822 family of weapons but I do own one so I'll post what I've been able to determine.
"First, I don't think all the original pieces of that pattern were .72 cal. Mine is a smoothbore .69. As you might know, the French had standardized their arms to .69 cal quote some time before this pattern so I wonder if the .72 that you linked to was originally .69 as well. (Perhaps Curt can chime in on this.)
"Regarding units using them, I've run into a lot problems determining that. The difficulty lays in that period Ordnance returns are cooperative enough to use our terms for such arms. This problem is excerbated by the fact that the Belgians produced arms of the same pattern. So, one can find "Converted Belgian Musket," "Converted French Musket," "French Musket", "Belgian Musket" etc... in returns. In some of these cases, are they talking about French pattern 1842 muskets? I don't know.
"As a rule of thumb, I generally considered references to "converted" Belgian or French muskets to be off this type. I know such assumptions can be dangerous, but sometimes a conjectural argument is the best we have."
Like John, I am somewhat of a student of these arms stretching back into the 18th Century as well. Likewise, I have my limits in expertise in the area. Nevertheless, for what it's worth I offer the following. As you may know, our earliest American-made arms were based on French weapons. I do not think your weapon was made in .72 cal. but that it has become .72 cal from its original .69 cal standard French caliber through use and the passage of time. I also share John's and others' frustrations as the precise descriptive terms that we use today seem not to have been as important to our forebears when applied to the various arms. And, interesting to note, what may have been taken as "French" conversion arms may very well have been unmarked contractor arms made on the "French pattern" as applied to early conversion models.
Who knows for certain? Certainly no one above ground. It may be that you have an early war Iron Brigade piece. I'm certainly not one to say as I am not an Iron Brigade student. Nonetheless, the old smoothbores were widely used even into mid- and late-war by both sides. I have in hand a personal account of a veteran of SC troops who took Federal shot ( as in buckshot ) lodged in his temple at Gettysburg. Some items just fall in the gray area of what we'll never know. But if it's been shot out to a .72 from a .69, someone used it pretty regularly for something.
The Rowdy Pards