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"The Care and Cleaning of Firelocks in the 18th Century: A Discussion of Period

Methods and Their Present Day Applications," published in The Brigade Dispatch,
vol. XXII, no. 2 (Summer 1991), 2-11, and Muzzleloader, vol. XXI, no. 4,
(September/October 1994), 62-66.

(Image previous page) William Windham and Viscount George Townshend, A plan of
discipline for the use of the Norfolk militia ..., The 2d ed., greatly improved. To which is now
added, the present manual exercise for the army, as ordered by His Majesty and the Adjutant
general. With encampments for infantry and cavalry (London: Printed for J. Millan, 1768),
Plate 1 (after page xxxii).
1. Errata for "The Care and Cleaning of Firelocks in the 18th Century: A Discussion of Period
Methods and Their Present Day Applications."
2. Sweet oil
3. Brick Dust
4. Tying Tow to a Ramrod
5. Metalwork: Brown or Shiny?
6. Excerpts from Four Manuals
7. Soldiers Access to Musket Tools
8. More on Bell Tents
9. Scans of complete article, "The Care and Cleaning of Firelocks in the 18th Century , : A
Discussion of Period Methods and Their Present Day Applications," Muzzleloader, vol. XXI,
no. 4, (September/October 1994), 62-66.
10. Scans of endnotes from "The Care and Cleaning of Firelocks in the 18th Century , The
Brigade Dispatch, vol. XXII, no. 2 (Summer 1991)
11. Scans of article, Richard Claydon, Crown Forces (Summer 1973). Research on the use and
construction of cloth muzzle stoppers, based upon an original.
12 When the whole are completely formed, they may ground their arms : Grounding
versus Stacking Arms in the Continental Army (With Notes on British and German Practices)

Musket rack of the form used by Continental troops.

(Image courtesy of the His Majestys 40th Regiment of Foot (recreated))

Having intended for a long time to update my article on period musket cleaning, an
online request prompted me to post the original. I still hope to revise the work, but for the
moment I will compromise and add new material and images to this reissue. On the whole
the core of the piece does not need much revision, but here are two minor corrections:

1. On page 63 there is described a method of removing the feather spring can be removed
with two turnscrews (screwdrivers). In actuality, it may be done with a single turnscrew.
Here is the revised description. A spring vise is usually not needed to remove and replace
the hammer and feather spring on a firelock. Instead, all that is required is a single
turnscrew. First, loosen the screw that holds on the hammer. Then, place the turnscrews
flat blade between the bottom of the pan and the top of the feather spring. Using that as a
lever, depress the feather spring, removing the pressure on the bottom of the hammer, and
then twist out the hammer screw with your fingers. To replace the hammer, just reverse
the process.
2. On page 64, in the section headed A Summary of Necessaries, item 6 lists a spring vise
and pliers under recommended tools. Neither would be carried by a common soldier,
though an artificer would certainly have had them.
Now for a few recommendations backed by experience.
Sweet Oil. I now use light canola oil for my firelocks. Over the years, due to faulty
recollection, I have several times asked Stuart Lilie (beginning long before he was Fort
Ticonderogas Senior Director of Interpretation) his recommendation for oil. His answers
were as follows: I've always had good luck just using 'sweet' oil, like was used at
the time. Take the time to rub or burnish the oil in with a dry rag. It shouldn't be greasy to
the touch.; CHEAP Olive oil is great stuff for period guns. It's a lot like how plain
neatsfoot oil is way better for high-quality reproduction saddlery than any
modern leather product. The last time I posed the query, it was in regard to the oil used at
the Fort, to which Stuart responded, We use canola or similar light weight cooking oils.
Brick Dust. When making brick dust, not any old brick will do. Modern bricks are too
abrasive, so old ones (preferably very old) are needed. The dust I currently have was found
at Fort Niagara, just north of Buffalo, New York. I felt bad about borrowing their dust, but
recently read an old article (18th Century Musket Cleaning, Lions Roar [A publication of
the British Brigade], vol. no. 1) that notes, Old Fort Niagara is fortunate in being able to
sweep up the brickdust in their casemates. Funny thing, thats where I harvested it.
Tying Tow to a Ramrod. If you dont have a worm for your ramrod, but your firelock has a
button-head ramrod, there is an alternative. Tightly tie tow or a cloth rag to the button end
of the ramrod or borrow a ramrod and worm from a messmate.

Metalwork: Brown or Shiny? (Courtesy of Reed Millsaps)

To Lord Viscount Weymouth
January 12, 1776

I have the honor of enclosing your Lordship the opinion of the Board
of Ordinance in answer to an official letter form the Earl of
Rochford dated the 4th November last relative to small arms in
Ireland, for my own part I shall add that I do not conceive how it is
possible for the soldiers in many cases of service to avoid taking
the Firelocks to pieces; but I apprehend that in every Regiment there
are or ought to be certain men who are capable, having been
gunsmiths, of acting as armourers. The Adjutants and officers of the
Companies should know when the arms are in such a state as to require
any care above the knowledge of the common soldiers. Each Regiment
should in my opinion have an armourer. Each Company might have one
amongst the common men, and a small allowance out of the non
effective money, or otherwise to the Principal Armourer might greatly
contribute under the care of the Officers to the preservation of the
The great expenditure of arms is I am persuaded owing in a great
measure to the unnecessary high polish, and injudicious manner in
which some Regiments treat them.
I am my Lord & Etc.
(Great Britain, War Office 46/10, p. 31)
In response, the Board of Ordnance, (through Lord Weymouth)responded:
From the Board of Ordnance to Lord Townshend and sent by Lord
Townshend to Lord Weymouth 12 Jan 1776
Office of Ordnance
December 8, 1776
My Lord
In obedience to your Lordship's reference, we have taken into
consideration the Earl of Lord Rochford's letter to your Lordship of
the 4th ultimo enclosing several reports and letters relative to the
small arms in Ireland
And we be leave to acquaint your Lordship that from the experience we
have hitherto had, we are of opinion the several proposals for
browning the barrels and making the stocks with hinges will be of no
utility, and that the arms may be kept sufficiently clean by rubbing
with an oiled rag and the only regulation we judge necessary for the
preservation of arms is not to suffer any of the private men or other
unskillful persons to unscrew or take the flintlocks to pieces or to
file the barrels.
The method practiced in the Sea Service is to allow an armorour to
each of His Majesty's ships, which by long experience is found to be
very useful.

With regard to the time that arms ought to last, it depends so much
upon the circumstances of the service and accidents, that it is
impossible to form any judgment on any stated time they may last,
some Regiments 10 or 12 years, and others more or less, but the rule
in England is never to exchange arms without sufficient reasons being
given of the old ones as being worn out by time or accidents.
We are etc. etc. etc.
Jeff Amherst
Charles Frederick
Chas Cook
(Great Britain, WO 46/10, p. 32)

Excerpts from Four Manuals.

Bennett Cuthbertson, System for the Compleat Interior Management and Oeconomy of a Battalion of
Infantry, (Dublin, 1768)
(92) The flints should always be screwed in firm, between a thin piece of lead, it having a more
certain hold, than leather, or any other contrivance: besides a good one in his piece, a Soldier ought to
have another in his pouch, and a small bit of wood, shaped like a flint to use at exercise, in practising
the firing motions, as the frequent striking up the hammers, must unavoidably break and spoil the
flints, without answering any useful end.
(93) It is absolutely necessary, that every Soldier should be furnished with a Worm and a Turn-key,
else it will be impossible for him to clean the inside of the Barrel of his Firelock, in the manner which
ought to be expected; or to manage the Screws about the Lock, without having recourse to his Bayonet
and to render matters ready and convenient to the Soldier, in the cleaning of his Firelock, Screws
should be made to the points of all the Ramrods, to fix the Worms on.
(93) On Service, leather Hammer-stalls are undoubtedly an advantage to a Battalion, when loaded,
and resting on their Arms, as accidents may be prevented by having then fixed upon the hammers of
the Firelocks; but at other times they can certainly be of little use.
(94) Was every Soldier to have a painted linen case, to fit exactly upon the Lock of his Piece, and to
be fastened by two small buttons, it would be of the utmost use and consequence, upon a march, in
damp and rainy weather, and might in an instant (if occasion required it) be taken off, and carried in
his Pouch.
(101) A picker being often useful to a Soldier, for cleaning the touch-hole of his Firelock, in the
firings, one of strong wire should be fixed, by a small chain, to the edge of his Pouch-belt, under the
front Buckle, and as close to the Pouch as possible, but never to hang in view, as it may be troublesome,
in raising the flaps of the Pouch, to take out a Cartridge.

A recreated hammer stall based on one pictured by David Morier in 1751.

(Images courtesy of Andrew Watson Kirk and Gregory Theberge.)

(Courtesy of Jim Mullins)

George Edie, A Treatise on English Shooting (London 1772)

(7-8) "When a person is master of a good Piece, the keeping it in proper order is a main
article in the doing excecution with it: it is necessary the inside of the barrel, the touchhole, and the lock, be kept clean; and the springs and moving parts of the lock properly
oiled. The barrel should be washed at least after every eighteen or twenty fires, where the
best sort of powder is used; but if the gun-powder is an inferior sort, then the barrel will
require oftener washing. The best method of washing a barrel is, by taking out the
britchpin; but as this can seldom be conveniently done, take the barrel out of the stock, and
put the britch- end in to a pail of warm water, leaving the touch-hole open; then, withh an
iron rod, with tow or a bit of linen rag at the end, draw up and down in the syringe manner,
till it is quite clean; changing the water, and rinsing the inside, as the foulness requires:
when this is done, it will be proper to put in a red-hot iron, of six or eight inches in length
(which any blacksmith will furnish), and move it up and down to dry any remaining damp:
the outside of the barrel should be well dried, and a little oil rubbed over every time of
Thomas Simes, The Regulator: or Instructions to Form the Officer and Complete the Soldier (London,

How to clean the Barrel.

After every firing day the barrel is to be washed, by taking it out of the stock, and putting
the breeching into water, leaving the touch hole open: then with an iron ram-rod and
worm, with a piece of tow or rag, draw up and down the barrel till it becomes quite clean;
when dry, rub it out with another piece of dry rag, and the outside of the barrel with buff
leather. The lock not to be taken to pieces but when necessity requires it and that is, when
the trigger or hammer goes stiff, or sounds unpleasant to the ear.

Was ist jedem Officier waehrend eines Feldzugs zu wissen noethig (trans., "What it is necessary
for each officer to know during a campaign") (Carlsruhe, 1788) Mit zehen Kupferplatten (trans.
"with ten copper plates"); copy of original courtesy of Charles Beale (Transcription by Claus
(19) In a camp which is used longer, the inside of the bell of armes are elevated, erected
over a small mount of soil, which is held in place by posts, which are interwoven with twigs
(see plan 4, no. 3). If the weather is good the Captain of armes has to make sure that the bell of
armes are open, this means that the (canvas) cover is rolled together and stored on top of the
plate, so that the sun could dry the space below. They make sure that the muskets stand with
the barrels facing out and check the muskets for rust, do they find rust, they call out the man
and he cleans it
(20) Every soldier has to have a finger-long roll sewn from wool clothes, on the top end is a
flattened musketball or a flat button fastened, which is pushed into the barrel, the frizzen
[hammer] cover is on, as soon as he arrives at his post he takes the frizzen cover off and
removes the roll.

(21) Every soldier has to have a worm and two sharp flints, in a little pouch fastened under
the cover of the cartridge box, a wool [cloth] covered with Unschlitt [grease?], he uses to rub
his musket before he stands it in the bell of armes. Every tent-group has a little glass of treeoil [?], used to cover the locks.
(22) Every middle NCO has a few good screwdrivers for [pulling] musketballs, their
screwes fit very well into the ramrod nuts [i.e., threaded ramrod end]. On the captains wagon
has to be a ball-puller with handle, the same kind as gunmakers have.

British musket tools excavated on the Saratoga battlefields. (Courtesy of Eric Schnitzer)

Soldiers Access to Musket Tools.

Military Stores On Hand at Philadelphia, 1779
As of 31 March 1779 the Commissary General of Military Stores at Philadelphia listed: Gun
Worms 1544 in store; Brushes & Wires 9973 in store; Screw Drivers 2156 in store. The
1st Maryland Regiment was issued 228 repaired muskets, 228 brushes and wires, and 228
screwdrivers. 10th Pennsylvania received 20 repaired muskets, 20 brushes and wires, and
20 screwdrivers.

"Return of arms and accoutrements Received and delivered out of the Commissary General
Military Store by Majr. Jona Gostelowe , Philadelphia, 30 April 1779, Miscellaneous
Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the War Department Collection of Revolutionary
War Records, 1775-1790's, Record Group 93, National Archives Microfilm Publication M859,
reel 68, item no. 21016.
New Jersey Brigade, 1780
Alan Stein recently gave me a photocopy of a: "Return of Arms, Ammunition,
Accoutrements, Drums and Fifes, in possession of the Jersey Brigade" dated January 26,
1780. This simple document gave me a small view into the conditions in the camp during
the winter of 1779-1780 and it lead to a larger view of the entire army.
A return was a military report that could be filled out on a weekly or monthly basis.
Returns were used to report on such things as troop strengths and available equipment. In
this case of this return, it's dealing with the basic military equipment the soldiers and
musicians should have. For clarity, I've retyped the return in a slightly different format
below, but I'll also include a photocopy of the original.

Ogden Shreve Dayton Spencer Total













Bayonet Belts









Cartridge Boxes






Brushes & P. Wires 6




Gun Worms



Screw Drivers











5280 7801









Examples of turnscrews and worms.

George C. Neumann and Frank J. Kravic, Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American
Revolution (Harrisburg, PA, 1975)

2d Massachusetts Brigade, 1781

Rank & File
2nd Regiment, Colonel Sprout, 239
4th Regiment, Colonel Shepard 235
9th Regiment, Colonel Jackson 252

& Picks
53 good
9 good, 247 wanting
40 good, 16 wanting 57 good, 189 wanting
19 good , 1 wanting 167 good, 94 wanting

Rank & File Screwdrivers
2nd Regiment, Colonel Sprout, 239
34 good, 222 wanting
4 Regiment, Colonel Shepard 235
65 good, 181 wanting
9th Regiment, Colonel Jackson 252
93 good, 168 wanting
To complete the present force of the Regiments, total needed are 763 brush and picks
763 screwdrivers
129 worms
Present State of the Arms Ammunition and Accouterments in the 2nd Massachusetts Brigade
, West Point, 25 May 1781, miscellaneous returns, Revolutionary War Rolls, National
Archives, reel 136.

3d Massachusetts Brigade, 1781

Brushes & Wires
Rank & File Good Wanting Good Wanting
1st Regiment, Vose
44 219
5 Regiment, Putnam
39 200
7th Regiment, Brook
New York Regiment, Van Schaik 342
Rank & File Good Wanting
1st Regiment, Vose
5th Regiment, Putnam
7th Regiment, Brook
New York Regiment, Van Schaik 342
Present State of the Arms, Ammunition and Accoutrements in the Third Massachusetts
Brigade , 25 May 1781, Miscellaneous returns, Revolutionary War Rolls, National Archives,
reel 136.
2d New York Regiment, 1780 and 1782
Rank and file strength, 165 (plus 27 sergeants); 133 muskets, 1 screwdriver, and 18 brushes
and picks on hand.
Inspection Return of the Second New York Regiment for February 1780, 3 March 1780,
Revolutionary War Rolls, National Archives, reel 67.
Rank and file strength, 451 (plus 39 sergeants); 488 muskets, 9 worms, and 21 screwdrivers
on hand.
Inspection Return of the second New York Regiment for the Month of April 1782, 12 May
1782, Revolutionary War Rolls, National Archives, reel 67.
2d New Jersey Regiment, May and December 1782
27 sergeants and 300 rank and file, present fit for duty (8 sergeants on command, 16 rank and
file sick absent); equipment on hand, 373 muskets, 363 bayonets, 144 screwdrivers, 144
worms, 9 brush and picks (398 brush and picks wanting). Optimal establishment, 45
sergeants, 612 rank and file.
In Use, 41 camp kettles, 21 bowls, 52 trenchers, 25 portmanteau, 9 canteens, 64 knapsacks,
20 axes, 7 shovels.
Inspection Return of the 2d. New Jersey Regiment commanded by Colo. E. Dayton for the
Month of May, 1782 (signed by Friedrich Wilhelm Steuben), Rev War Rolls, National
26 sergeants and 265 rank and file, present fit for duty (2 sergeants sick present, 2 on
command, 2 on furlough; 19 rank and file sick present, 5 sick absent, 37 on command, and 23

on furlough); equipment on hand, 365 muskets, 351 bayonets, 114 screwdrivers, 115 worms.
Optimal establishment, 45 sergeants, 612 rank and file.
In Use, 33 camp kettles, 13 bowls, 27 portmanteau, 223 canteens, 359 knapsacks, 25 axes
and hatchets, 2 picks, 5 spades.
Inspection Return of the 2nd New Jersey Regiment commanded by Colo. Dayton for
December 1782, dated 24 January 1783 (signed by Francis Barber), Rev War Rolls, National
Lincolns Company, 7 th Massachusetts Regiment, 1782
In July 1782 Captain Rufus Lincoln's company, 7th Massachusetts Regiment, contained one
sergeant, three corporals, and forty-three privates. An April company equipment return listed
37 firelocks, 37 bayonets, no bayonet belts, 37 cartridge boxes, 15 worms, 4 knapsacks, 1
haversack, 5 canteens; in May knapsacks increased to 40 and canteens to 37. Eventually
during 1782 (April to October) 32 worms were issued, 41 canteens, and 43 knapsacks, but no
B[rush] & Wires, screw drivers, or haversacks. An August return lists equipment on hand
(13 worms, no screwdrivers), and states total numbers for the Establishment (16 worms, 16
screwdrivers); total enlisted men, 43. This means the standard was a worm and screwdriver
for every two to three men. (In March 1782 the company had 3 Gunworms, 1 screwdriver, 9
knapsacks, 2 haversacks, and 11 canteens.)
James Minor Lincoln, The Papers of Captain Rufus Lincoln of Wareham, Mass. (New York: Arno
Press, 1968; reprint of 1904 edition), 125, 136, 137, 138, 140, 154, 162, 172, 175, 176, 197.

Brush and pick on a cartridge pouch belonging to the 38th Regiment of Foot. (Private collection)
(Image courtesy of Andrew Watson Kirk)

An American New Model cartridge pouch, with attached pick and brush. (Private collection)
(Image courtesy of Andrew Watson Kirk)

Several forms of turnscrew. (Courtesy of Fort Ticonderoga Museum)


More on Bell Tents. Bell tents were among the least-used in the Continental Army.
Intermittently issued, their basic purpose was "to shelter the fire arms of the infantry from
rain." The absence of bell tents meant that soldiers had to house "their Arms Accoutts.
Knapsacks &c." with them in their own tents, or leave them exposed to the elements. Exact
numbers in use during the war are not known, but they are mentioned occasionally. In the
summer of 1775 each company of two Virginia Continental regiments were to be issued "one
bell tent." Three years later, a 13 June 1778 order for Washington's army stipulated that
"Commanding Officers of Regiments are to pay particular attention that the Arms be properly
disposed in the Bell-Tents. The Musquets by being leaned against the Canvas covering instead
of the Rack wear it out and are exposed to the Rain." On the same date General William
Maxwell was informed of a shipment of supplies for his brigade in New Jersey. Not all the
promised equipment would be forthcoming, however, since "Mr. Meiss had packed up some
bell tents in a large box, but they could not be carried." These tents may have been part of a
general issue to the army at Valley Forge. In autumn of the same year orders for the 1st
Pennsylvania Regiment directed "The soldiers ... to Put their arms in the best order Possible
by evening, the Major expects the Bill [bell] tents will be Properly pitched, & Sticks put across
to keep the arms from Laying against the tent." A May 1781 letter shows that providing cover
for the men's arms was not a primary concern. "The Distant prospect of a supply of new Tents
for the army and the near Approach of the Campaign require the greatest Oconomy as well as
Dispatch in causing as many as possible of the old Tents to be repaired. To enable you to
accomplish this the more extensively the QM Genl. directs that the Bell Tents may be applied
in repairing the common [tents], the whole of them if wanted for that purpose ..."1
To round out this study of campaign shelter we will look at tentage available to the army in
1780 and 1782 and try to discern some late-war trends. A "Return of Marquees and Tents in
the Q[uarte]r. M[aste]r. Genl. Department," dated 1 March 1780, notes numbers and condition
of tents at various repositories under the auspices of Deputy Quarter Master General Udney
Hay. Listed as fit for service were four marquees, one hundred forty nine horseman's tents,
four wall tents, one thousand seven hundred fifty common tents, eighty four bell tents, and
seven "Hospital Tents." Repairable were one marquee, forty nine horseman's tents, twelve
wall tents, and three hundred eighty two common tents. Condemned articles totaled five
horseman's tents, three wall tents, and one hundred forty common tents. The largest numbers
were held at Fishkill and Fishkill landing, with smaller quantities at Newburg, West Point,
Continental Village, and Kings Ferry.2
Five days later another return was generated listing the "Tents in possession of James Abeel,
Esqr. D.Q.Mr.G." Abeel noted as "Repaired and fit for service," twenty five horseman's tents, six
wall tents, one hundred thirty two bell tents, and three hundred and four common tents. One
hundred seventeen horseman's tents, twenty six wall tents, and one thousand and twenty
common tents were repairable. Listed as "Rotten and condemned" were five marquees,
twelve wall tents, eleven horseman's tents, and five hundred eighty seven common tents.
James Abeel remarked on the bottom of this document, "The Tents we repair will serve one
Campaign, as I have given orders to repair none but such as will serve a Campaign. The above
Tents have been delivered and received [into storage] from the Army."3
To provide a context for the above returns let us look at records for two tent types from
other periods of the war. Spring 1777 saw one of the first attempts to address American

officers' campaign housing on a large scale. From Morristown, General Washington wrote
Brigadier General Alexander McDougall on 25 April, "I am so well convinced of the Justice of
your remark upon the necessity of Officers being constantly in the Field with their Men, that I
shall order a Sufficient Number of Horseman's Tents or small Marque[e]s for the Officers, they
will then have no excuse for absence, except want of Health." While British army company and
regimental officers likely continued to use small marquee tents throughout the American
Revolution, horseman's tents remained the preferred shelter for Continental Army officers
below field grade after 1777. It is also interesting to note that in 1779-80 bell tents, used to
house firearms, were present in relatively large numbers. Bell tents were often superfluous
items in an army facing supply difficulties; in 1781 they were being sacrificed to repair other
tentage, "the whole of them if wanted for that purpose."4
1. Lochee, Essay on Castrametation, p. 5. Walter Stewart, Inspection Report, Continental Army,
June 1782, Lloyd W. Smith Collection, Morristown National Historical Park Library, Doc. #LWS
155 (henceforth cited as Stewart Inspection Report, June 1782, Smith Collection, Morristown
NHP). Mary R.M. Goodwin, Clothing and Accoutrements of the Officers and Soldiers of the
Virginia Forces 1775-1780. From the Records of the Public Store at Williamsburg (June 1962),
pp. 4-5 (henceforth cited as Goodwin, Clothing and Accoutrements of the Virginia Forces, 17751780). John U. Rees, "The Care and Cleaning of Firelocks in the 18th Century: A Discussion of
Period Methods and Their Present Day Applications", Muzzleloader, vol. XXI, no. 4,
September/October 1994, p. 66. Regimental orders, 15 November 1778, Orderly Book of the
First Pennsylvania Regiment, 26 July 1778 - 6 December 1778, John Blair Linn and William H.
Egle, Pennsylvania in the War of the Revolution, Battalions and Line 1775-1783, vol. II
(Harrisburg, Pa., 1880), p. 383. Richard [Platt?] to Mr. Forman, 26 May 1781, Numbered
Record Books, Natl. Archives, vol. 127, reel 26, p. 41.
2. Udney Hay, D.Q.M.G., "Return of Marquees and Tents in the Q[uarte]r. M[aste]r. Genl.
Department," 1 March 1780, Miscellaneous Numbered Records (The Manuscript File) in the
War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records 1775-1790's, no. 27344 (National
Archives Microfilm Publication M859, reel 94) U.S. War Department Collection of
Revolutionary War Records, Record Group 93, National Archives, Washington (hereafter cited
as Misc. Nod. Records, NA).
3. "Tents in possession of James Abeel, Esqr. D.Q.Mr.G.," 6 March 1780, ibid., reel 94, no.
4. Washington to Alexander McDougall, 25 April 1777, Fitzpatrick, WGW, 7 (1932), 466.
Richard [Platt?] to Mr. Forman, 26 May 1781, vol. 127, 41, Numbered Record Books
Concerning Military Operations and Service, Pay and Settlement Accounts, and Supplies in the
War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records, (National Archives Microfilm
Publication M853, reel 26) U.S. War Department Collection of Revolutionary War Records,
Record Group 93, National Archives, Washington.
The material on bell tents was excerpted from my series on soldiers shelter on campaign:
"`We ... got ourselves cleverly settled for the night': Soldiers' Shelter on Campaign During
the War for Independence,"
part I, "`Oznabrig tabernacles: Tents in the Armies of the Revolution":
part VI, "`We built up housan of branchis & leavs ...: Continental Army Brush Shelters,

Bell tent from, Was ist jedem Officier waehrend eines Feldzugs zu wissen noethig (trans., "What it
is necessary for each officer to know during a campaign") (Carlsruhe, 1788), plate 4.

Endnotes from first version iteration in the Brigade Dispatch.


Link to article:
When the whole are completely formed, they may ground their arms
Grounding versus Stacking Arms in the Continental Army
(With Notes on British and German Practices)