American Chuck Wagon

American Chuck Wagon

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Revolutionary War 1776 

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the American War of Independence, was a global war that began as a conflict between Great Britain and its Thirteen Colonies which declared independence as the United States of America.
After 1765, growing philosophical and political differences strained the relationship between Great Britain and its American colonies. Patriot protests against taxation without representation followed the Stamp Act which escalated into boycotts. In 1773, heated emotions of the colonist increased which culminated with the Sons of Liberty destroying a shipment of tea in Boston Harbor. Britain responded by closing Boston Harbor and passing a series of punitive measures against Massachusetts Bay Colony. Massachusetts colonists responded with the Suffolk Resolves, and they established a shadow government which wrested control of the countryside from the Crown. Twelve colonies formed a Continental Congress to coordinate their resistance, establishing committees and conventions that effectively seized power. 
The British made numerous attempts to disarm the Massachusetts militia in Concord which led to open combat on April 19, 1775. As the Militia forces then besieged Boston, forcing a British evacuation in March 1776, the new Congress appointed George Washington to command the Continental Army. Concurrently, an American attempt to invade Quebec and raise rebellion against the British failed decisively. On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted for independence, issuing its declaration on July 4. Sir William Howe launched a British counter-offensive, capturing New York City and leaving American morale dwindling.  Although, with victories at Trenton and Princeton help restored the American confidence. In 1777, the British launched an invasion from Quebec under John Burgoyne, intending to isolate the New England Colonies. Instead of assisting this effort, Howe took his army on a separate campaign against Philadelphia, and Burgoyne was decisively defeated at Saratoga in October 1777.
Burgoyne's defeat had drastic consequences. France formally allied with the Americans and entered the war in 1778, and Spain joined the war the following year as an ally of France but not as an ally of the United States. In 1780, the Kingdom of Mysore attacked the British in India, and tensions between Great Britain and the Netherlands erupted into open war. In North America, the British mounted a "Southern strategy" led by Charles Cornwallis which hinged upon a Loyalist uprising, but too few came forward. Cornwallis suffered reversals at King's Mountain and Cowpens. He retreated to Yorktown, Virginia, intending an evacuation, but a decisive French naval victory deprived him of an escape. A Franco-American army led by the Comte de Rochambeau and Washington then besieged Cornwallis' army and, with no sign of relief, he surrendered in October 1781.
Perhaps two of the most important lessons in this revolution are (Representation of taxation) as this also started the American Civil War between Southern States and Northern States nearly 100 years later. People should run the Government and the government should be fair to the people. Second, is to try and disarm the people. The 2nd amendment of the Constitution reads; "  A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  This is often argued between pro and anti gun feelings. However, it means that people have the right to own and bear arms. A well regulated Militia can be easily consider the State National Guard, but the words strongly indicate that people have the right to own guns. 
In the failed attempts to disarm Massachusetts, a nation was able to grow and gain independence.  One may state, alright, we now have a great nation with a strong military. We no longer need to be armed.  True and not true. Yes the United States has grown to be able to take care of her people, nevertheless, like many great nations, history has over and over seen uprising within governments that infringe on the people unjustly.  During the Revolutionary War,  these weapons were mere single shot musket rifles and pistol.  Today, modern weapons are numerous ranging from 5.56 M2, M4 carbines, AK47, etc.  Once more, further argument as to what is dictated by the meaning of arms. The answer during the revolutionary war was the same firearms that the military carried.  Surely, our forefathers did not see the great advancements that would come in the future, but the meaning implied then should remain as today. 
However, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase gives three examples of the "unalienable rights" which the Declaration says have been given to all human beings by their creator, and which governments are created to protect. This is highly important to understand. This means, that while the 2nd amendment gives me the right to bear arms, it does not give me the right to interfere with your right to pursuit happiness. Gun owners need to be responsible and people need to live comfortably never fearing some gun toting radical may come about blazing the will ends one life, their liberty or pursuit of happiness. Perhaps education is the answer and the lack of it the problem in a modern society.  

The main weapons of the American Revolution were the muzzleloading flintlock musket, its attached bayonet, and the cannon. Secondary weapons were the pistol, swords and other cutting weapons. By far, the most common weapon was the smoothbore flintlock musket, of a large caliber, .62 to .75 inch bore, or equal from a 16 to 11 gauge shotgun.
A review of the weapons of the Revolutionary War.

Flintlocks and Muskets

Charleville muskets   1717  French 

"Brown Bess" 1722  Bristish

Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle  

Kentucky Rifle

The great Kentucky flintlock-hunting rifle was more accurate than any known previous firearm and soon became famous. The history of Tennessee, Kentucky, and certainly the history of the United States, are each very much connected with the history of the Kentucky Long Rifle. This rifle is also known as the Pennsylvania, Kentucky, the hog rifle, or the long rifle. It was designed to be light, slender and graceful, and was the first truly American firearm. Created in the 1730s in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by skillful immigrant craftsmen from Germany and Switzerland, the Kentucky rifle was the supreme implement created as a state of the art, ultimately for over a century, until the coming of the "cap and ball" percussion rifle in 1840.

The guns of the first American colonists were not rifles at all.
They were smoothbore flintlock muskets
imported from Europe. For a number of reasons, these old muskets were not suitable for the American frontier. First of all, they were so heavy that to go hunting with one became a significant chore.

The Brown Bessies, as they were called, fired spherical balls of lead and required large balls in order to get weight and striking force. Their diameter was gauged from 0.60 to 0.70 inches in caliber, with corresponding robust recoil when fired. They were therefore wasteful of powder and lead, both being in short supply on the American frontier.

The large balls of the Bessies created other problems. They had high air-resistance, which slowed them greatly, giving them shorter range. Since the balls had no spin to balance the turbulence caused by slight surface imperfections, they curved viciously in flight, much like a pitched spitball does in the game of baseball. This unpredictable motion rendered these muskets ineffective beyond a range of about 60 yards.

These assorted imperfections were prevailed over by the Lancaster gunsmiths. First they reduced the bores of the Kentucky to 0.45 to 0.50 caliber, so that one pound of lead, poured into iron molds, would produce from 70 to 120 round balls to be used for bullets, therefore conserving valuable lead.

Next the barrel length was increased to 40 inches, in essence, so as to get extra thrust from the expanding gunpowder. The Kentucky Rifle had a greatly improved range compared to the Brown Bessie, which was fitted with a 30-inch barrel.

In its finality, the Kentucky was "rifled," with helical grooving in the barrel. This conveys rotary motion to the fired bullet on an alignment that coincided with the line of its flight trajectory. This spin gives rifles greater range and accuracy, compared to smoothbores.

The Kentucky Long Rifle was more accurate than any known previous firearm, and it soon became famous with a flight being deadly at over 200 yards, which was an astonishing range at that time. This rifle became the primary weapon of the frontiersmen, especially in the isolated and hazardous wilds of
Tennessee and Kentucky. The extensive use in Kentucky led to the adoption of the name " Kentucky" for this rifle. Daniel Boone carried a Kentucky Rifle through Cumberland Gap.

During the Revolutionary War the British soldiers trained for volley shooting, and were fitted wholly with Brown Bessies; surprisingly, the volume of the American Armed Forces also carried muskets. George Washington made a special effort to recruit frontiersmen who owned Kentucky Rifles.
Advantages of the Brown Bessie muskets over the Kentucky Rifles were that they could be loaded easily and more rapidly than rifles, and did not require custom-made bullets. They would fire anything dropped down the barrel of the gun and would even function as a shotgun. Moreover, some of Washington's raw recruits were not good enough shots to require the extra accuracy of the Kentucky Rifle.

General Washington was able to assemble about 1,400 riflemen or backwoodsmen carrying Kentucky Rifles. In training camps their feats of marksmanship astonished onlookers, some of whom were British spies. Word of these buckskin-wearing riflemen quickly spread to the British Army. Washington soon
observed that the British gave his backwoodsmen wide latitude. As a hoax, he dressed up some of his musket-bearing soldiers in buckskins, knowing that the British assumed that anyone wearing frontier garb was carrying a Kentucky.

Riflemen, when available, were used by the American Army as pickets and snipers. These skilled soldiers operated from the flanks of the regular Army. At the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, riflemen were used to pick off British officers. This feat greatly contributed to the American victory there, which was a decisive battle of the war.

The Battle of King's Mountain in 1780, another decisive victory, was won by rifle-toting backwoodsmen. These heroes were quickly gathered together from the neighboring southern Appalachians. At the close of the war, a British captain wrote in effect that the Americans had riflemen who could hit a man anywhere they liked at 200 paces. He suggested that at King's Mountain the mountain men whipped the British troops.

Another British officer remarked on General Andrew Jackson's great victory at New Orleans in 1815, a battle largely fought by Tennesseans and Kentuckians. He described how a lone Kentucky sharpshooter dressed in buckskins and firing a Kentucky Rifle picked off British soldiers buried in the mud flats, creating total confusion in the British ranks.

The Kentucky Rifle was considered to be a necessity by frontiersmen, and practically every frontier family owned one. Rifle shooting was a way of life on the great American frontier, and nearly every settlement had a shooting match on weekends and holidays. The rifle was thus used for recreation, as well as for protection and hunting.

Flintlocks and Muskets

The original American small arm was the muzzleloading long rifle, also known as the Pennsylvania Rifle or the Kentucky Rifle, which helped the fledgling nation win its independence from Britain. The English musket known as the Brown Bess was also quite common in the colonies at the time, which was the standard British long gun from 1722 until 1838—but unlike the American long guns, the Brown Bess was a smoothbore flintlock with no rifling.

The long guns were mostly modified small frame rifles that were originally designed in Europe and accurate out to about 250 yards, but fired a relatively small caliber projectile, usually somewhere between .32 and .45 caliber, from very long barrels.
A piece of flint was grasped in the vice-like jaws held in place by a screw wrapped in a felt pad to keep it from cracking. When the trigger is pulled, the flint strikes the frizzen which generates a spark that ignites powder in the flash pan, which in turn ignites the main charge in the barrel and fires the weapon.
Each time the weapon was loaded, powder had to be poured into the flash pan as well as the barrel before the rifle could be cocked and fired—not exactly easy to do under battle stress and/or in wet conditions. Even so, these weapons dominated the battlefield for about 100 years.

"Brown Bess" 1722  Bristish

Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle  

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Charleville Musket 1717

Marin le Bourgeoys created the first true flintlock weapons for King Louis XIII shortly after his accession to the throne in 1610.Throughout the 17th century, flintlock muskets were produced in a wide variety of models.
In 1717, a flintlock musket for the French infantry was standardized. This became the first standard flintlock musket to be issued to all troops. While it is more correctly called a French infantry musket or a French pattern musket, these muskets later became known as "Charleville muskets", after the armory in Charleville-Mézières, Ardennes, France.  
The standard French infantry musket was also produced at Tulle, St. Etienne, Maubeuge Arsenal, and other sites. While technically not the correct name for these muskets, the use of the name Charleville dates back to the U.S. Revolutionary War, when Americans tended to refer to all of the musket models as Charlevilles. The naming of these muskets is not consistent. Some references only refer to Model 1763 and later versions as Charleville flint lock muskets, while other references refer to all models as the Charleville. 
The 1763 model French Infantry Musket underwent a number of changes 3 years later in 1766 including lightening the musket, reducing the size of the lock, and utilizing the button-head ramrod design . The French main arsenal producing the 1766 model was the one at Charleville in North Eastern France in the Champagne-Ardenne region. Tens of thousands of this musket were made for the royal army of France, however this was not its claim to fame.

In 1776, with the revolution against British under way, the United States were desperate for muskets. That spring Congress sent Silas Deane to France to plead for assistance in the form of arms, equipment, and financing. Looking to even the score against Britain, France came to the Americans side with shiploads of muskets. Because were not officially at war with Britain until 1778, a fake corporation had to be set up to mask the French government's direct involvement. In addition, ship log destinations were falsified to hid the fact the muskets were being shipped to American ports. Because of the British presence on the high seas, some French ships had to sail to the West Indies, drop off their cargo, and American vessels then picked the muskets up.
In studying the numerous surviving muskets of French manufacture but with U.S. surcharge markings, the vast majority are the 1766 Model with the button style ramrod. Contrary to popular belief, the flared trumpet style ramrod was not used with the 1766 model. So dominant was the presence of the 1766 model in the American forces, that when U.S. began to mass manufacture its own army muskets, the first model off the arsenal at Springfield in 1795 was an exact copy of the 1766 Charleville.

While the 1777 model began to be issued to French Regiments almost immediately, the 1766 model continued to be carried by some French soldiers all the way up into the time of Napoleon. The Charleville musket's design was refined several times during its service life. Later models of Charleville muskets remained in service until 1840, when percussion lock systems made the flintlock mechanism obsolete
U.S. Continental Marines illustated here armed with this musket during
John Paul Jones' daring raid on Whitehaven, England in 1778 (by Col Charles Waterhouse - USMC)

Flintlocks and Muskets

Charleville muskets   1717  French 

"Brown Bess" 1722  Bristish

Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle  

Brown Bess Flintlock Musket 1722

Nickname of uncertain origin for the British Army's muzzle-loading smoothbore Land Pattern Musket and its derivatives. This musket was used in the era of the expansion of the British Empire and acquired symbolic importance at least as significant as its physical importance. It was in use for over a hundred years with many incremental changes in its design. These versions include the Long Land Pattern, the Short Land Pattern, the India Pattern, the New Land Pattern Musket and the Sea Service Musket.
The Long Land Pattern musket and its derivatives, all .75 caliber flintlock muskets, were the standard long guns of the British Empire's land forces from 1722 until 1838, when they were superseded by a percussion cap smooth bore musket. The British Ordnance System converted many flintlocks into the new percussion system known as the Pattern 1839 Musket. A fire in 1841 at the Tower of London destroyed many muskets before they could be converted. Still, the Brown Bess saw service until the middle of the nineteenth century.
Most male citizens of the American Colonies were required by law to own arms and ammunition for militia duty. The Long Land Pattern was a common firearm in use by both sides in the American War of Independence.
In 1808 during the age of Napoleon, the United Kingdom subsidized Sweden in various ways as the British anxiously wanted to keep an ally in the Baltic Sea area, this included, among other things, deliveries of war material including significant numbers of Brown Bess muskets for use in the Finnish War.
During the Musket Wars (1820s–30s), Māori warriors used Brown Besses, having purchased them from European traders at the time. Some muskets were sold to the Mexican Army, which used them during the Texas Revolution of 1836 and the Mexican–American War of 1846 to 1848. Brown Besses saw service in the First Opium War and during the Indian rebellion of 1857. Zulu warriors, who had also purchased them from European traders, used them during the Anglo-Zulu War in 1879. One was even used in the Battle of Shiloh in 1862.

"Brown Bess" 1722  Bristish

Pennsylvania - Kentucky Rifle  

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


You can send us your photo's of Chuck Wagons in use at any Competition. We will be happy to post your recipes, pictures and story. Our sight is for the educational purpose of American History as Cowboys worked the trail drives. Where Chuck wagons were the mobile kitchen and supply wagon which enabled caring for the crews which moved the herds to market. We would like to express our appreciation to the Troy, Texas chamber of commerce for their assistance along with the King Ranch keeping the history of Texas and this great nation alive. You can reach us at an again, thank you for those who have selected to post comments, following us and assisted in providing this information for you. 

History of the Chuck Wagon 


Competition Chuck Wagon Cooking:

Chuckwagon Competition: Troy, TEXAS 

Pikes Peak or Bust Chuck Wagon Cook-Off Colorado Springs, Co 

"He Paid your Fees" Chuck Wagon Cook-Off Hartford, South Dakota 

Chandler, Arizona Chuck Wagon Cook-Off 

Georgetown, Texas "Up the Chisholm Trail" Chuck Wagon Cook-Off 

Bobby Flay vs Kent Rollins in THROW-DOWN  

Spirit of the West, Ellensburg, Washington 

Booby Flay Throw-Down with Kent Rollins                            


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Early Cookware that Tittilated Mans Appetite

If you never do much cooking, likely you never gave much thought to the cookware we use preparing meals. Modern technology has made most meals so easy to prep, cook and serve at the dinner table. It takes longer to shop for the groceries. Plus the fact of fast food chains, one rarely is without so many choices of what and where to eat be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.