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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    226

    Ramrods & Fortifications

    I came across this interesting quote on pg. 92 in, Trench Warfare Under Grant & Lee, by Earl J. Hess: William C. Jordan of the 15th Ala. commented how the troops learned to reload faster.

    "Jordan noted that his fellow Alabamians learned to secure their ramrods under the headlog in such a way that they stuck straight out. This way, they could reload more quickly by shoving the barrel forward onto the metal rod, jerk the gun back, put on a cap and fire."

    How would that be accomplished if there's not much ramrod left to brace it in the headlog??? Obviously, I know of removing the ramrod from the channel so that you don't have to replace it every time but this has me stumped!!! Anyone else know how this is accomplished??? I can't see a a visual of this and have it make sense.

    Anyway, just wanted to share this comment....
    James Ross

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    State of Mind
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    6,050

    Re: Ramrods & Fortifications

    Hallo!

    Interesting, if actual and not apocryphal.

    In loading, there is some "slack" between the ramrod length and the space taken up by the ball sitting on the powder charge. It is possible for that amount of space to be taken away from the ramrod's end being held fast enough in the logs to still be able to seat a charge and not create an ' dead air space' that could lead to bursting.

    I don't know. It wooul seem to me that unless done carefully, and not under the press and stress of combat firing- that one one runs a very high risk of bending the ramrod trying to seat the charge and rendering it useless.
    But, I can see it being done. I think though the time needed to align the ramrod to effect a ramming without bending as compared to just leaving the ramrod out or stuck in the ground would not be worth the hassle or the risk.

    Curt
    Who has used trees to force ramrods down to pound/hammer down and fully seat stuck balls in a dirty bore Mess
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    -Hard and sharp as flint...secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.
    -Haplogroup R1b M343 (Subclade R1b1a2 M269)
    -Pointless Folksy Wisdom Mess, Oblio Lodge #1
    -Vastly Ignorant

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    New Madrid, Missouri
    Posts
    2,268

    Re: Ramrods & Fortifications

    I don't see how that would be more efficient personally.
    Michael Comer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Union Depot, TN
    Posts
    109

    Re: Ramrods & Fortifications

    I would think the chance of bending and ruining your ramrod would far outweigh the 2 seconds you might gain by it, if that. Yes, I've tied mine to a tree to pull out a stubborn patch but I can't see doing it the other way around.
    Mike McGee
    Cure All Mess ~ Hard Case Boys
    Co A, 4th Tennessee Infantry Regiment "The Shelby Greys"
    Co C, 25th Regiment, Indiana Infantry


    Pvt. Francis "Frank" Agee- G, G, G-Uncle
    Co H, 22nd Tennessee Infantry Regiment
    KIA Battle of Shiloh-April 6, 1862
    Resting in Peace on that Hallowed Ground

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Tidewater
    Posts
    882

    Re: Ramrods & Fortifications

    I have hunted lots of Petersburg and Cold Harbor trenches during my relic hunting days. I have never found a ramrod in such a position. Most of the trenches had a firing step. The soldier would have to have stepped back to place the barrel over the ramrod and would have stepped off of the fireing step. Most of the ramrods I have found have been outside the trenches in areas where there was a running battle or camps. Now sticking the ramrod in the dirt and picking it up and ramming and returning it to the dirt instead of the channel seems to have been done.
    Jim Mayo
    Portsmouth Rifles, Company G, 9th Va. Inf.

    CW Show and Tell Site
    http://www.angelfire.com/ma4/j_mayo/index.html

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