In this issue:
“With knapsacks on their shoulders”
The Other December Raid of 1776
Care and Feeding Your Musket
Maple Pumpkin Pie
March to Trenton
“With knapsacks on their
Methods of Carrying Personal Equipment
for Outwater’s Company – Matt Skic
Dated October 25th, 1775, “An Ordinance for
regulating the Militia of New Jersey,” issued by the NJ
Provincial Congress, states that a man serving in the militia
“shall with all convenient speed furnish himself with a good
musket or firelock and bayonet, sword or tomahawk-, a steel ramrod,
priming-wire and brush fitted thereto, a cartridge-box to contain
twenty-three rounds of cartridges, twelve flints, and a
knapsack.” Since it was a required item for militiamen in New
Jersey, the knapsack is the best choice for carrying personal equipment
(such as an extra shirt, stockings, or even your modern wallet and
keys) when portraying the men of Outwater's Company. In his
recollections of what is now called Simcoe’s Raid, Lt. Colonel
John Graves Simcoe wrote, “At Quibletown, Lt. Col. Simcoe had
just quitted the advance guard to speak to Lieut. Stuart, when, from a
public house on the turn of the road, some people came out with
knapsacks on their shoulders, bearing the appearance of a rebel
guard.”Although we do not know what type of knapsack a militiaman
in NJ would be wearing, the one pictured above is the best option
available. This knapsack is based off one carried by a militia Captain
from Dutchess County, NY just after the American Revolution. The double
bagged knapsack in the collection of Fort Ticonderoga was used by
Benjamin Warner, a Continental soldier, but it is unclear whether a
militiaman would have used it. The one pictured above is of a simpler,
backpack style making it a better option for what we portray. When
buying or making a knapsack, stay away from British knapsacks and the
“new invented knapsack-haversack” and be sure to use linen
or hemp fabric.
For more information on knapsacks: Mark Tully’s, Packet III
A haversack is a bread-bag. It is a typical military item used by
soldiers to carry their rations. It was probably not used to carry
personal items, for that was the job of the knapsack. Remember, regular
soldiers usually carried both a knapsack and haversack. When portraying
Outwater’s Militia, the haversack should not become a man purse.
The only original military haversack known is a British haversack made
out of oznaburg linen. The haversack should sit high and tight on the
body so as to flop around when running or performing the manual of
arms. Make sure it sits just under the armpit as pictured above. When
choosing a bag to carry personal items, choose a knapsack over a
haversack since it was a required item. Note: haversacks can easily be
converted into knapsacks.
See the original British haversack:
The tumpline is a simple way to carry extra clothing
such as a shirt or stockings (see picture). The roll is tied and then
slung across the chest or over the shoulder and sits high on the back
(at the shoulder blades) so as not to get in the way of the canteen or
cartridge box. You can use twine, linen or hemp rope, or leather straps
to tie up and secure the tumpline.
The blanket roll is another simple and unique (at least in the
reenacting world) way to carry extra supplies. It is basically a long
cylinder tied at both ends. Utensils, cups, shirts, and stockings are
just some of the items you can put in a blanket roll. The roll is then
slung over the shoulder and still allows the soldier to be able to
shoulder and fire his musket.
The market wallet is a rectangular linen bag with
two pouches and a center opening. Carried by both civilians and
soldiers, the market wallet is a great item to use when visiting the
sutlers at a reenactment. Slung over the shoulder, arm, or neck, this
bag is easy to carry and holds a lot of stuff. It is also easy to make.
The one pictured is based off an existing example from Pennsylvania.
Buy a market wallet at: http://www.najecki.com/repro/Haversack.html
Pouches or possible bags are another option for
carrying personal items or extra cartridges. Made of linen or leather,
there are a number of 18th century examples that still exist. More of a
civilian method of carriage, pouches are probably a decent choice for
carrying personal goods. Do not forget that pouches or any other method
carriage should not be worn any lower than the top of the hip so as to
prevent them from flopping around when running or performing the manual
Read more about knapsacks, haversacks, etc. at:
The Other December Raid, 1776 –
As Outwater’s prepares to host the first historical reenactment
at Historic New Bridge Landing depicting the March 1780 Raid on
Hackensack and Bergen County, we wanted to share with you an account of
an earlier raid in the region. In upcoming Broadsides, we will have
more information about military actions in the Hackensack Valley,
leading up to our October 2012 event.
With Crown Forces chasing Washington through New Jersey and across the
Deleware, another raid took place in December 1776 that surely must
have put the British Supply Lines on edge. This event occurred in
Hackensack, 1776, prior to the formation of Outwater’s Company
and prior to Washington’s daring attack on Trenton. The
below excerpt is taken from “History of Passaic and its environs
...: historical-biographical, Volume 2” By William Winfield
In December, 1776, it was reported that there were at Hackensack about
one thousand of the enemy, and the suggestion of Huntington to
Major-General Heath was to intercept them in their foragings. The
latter on the 14th expressed his purpose to sweep the village, which he
did the next day. Making a forced march by way of Tappan, he came upon
the inhabitants by surprise; but the enemy had left. He says, "The
enemy had left the lower town some days since, except five, whom we
took, two of them being sick. We had taken about fifty of the
disaffeced, and about fifty or sixty muskets, the greater part of which
had been taken from the Whigs, it is supposed, and stored. At the dock
we found one sloop loaded with hay, house furniture, and some spirits,
etc., which we have this day unloaded, etc. A brig, loaded, ran down
the river about seven miles and grounded. I am afraid we shall not be
able to secure the effects. A Schooner loaded with hay, furniture,
etc., which had sailed from the dock, ran on the banks of the river,
the wind being very fresh, and in the night overset, by which the goods
are damaged, if not lost. Two or three, companies have been raising
here and there in the vicinity, and field-officers appointed: one Van
Buskirk, Colonel. At his home we found fifty barrels of flour, a number
of hogsheads of rum, and at one Brown's, who is lieutenant colonel,
about one thousand pounds of cheese. One Tenpenny(Timpanny) is major.
They are all gone to New York to have matters properly settled, get
ammunition, arms, etc., and were to have returned yesterday. I believe
we have luckily disconcerted them. Such inhabitants as are friendly,
received us with joy, but are almost afraid to speak their sentiments,
and indeed, little or no intelligence can be got from the inhabitants."
In referring to the brig that ran aground seven miles below, Mr. Romeyn
writes: "The brigantine which grounded just below the village was
subsequently boarded, but was retaken by the enemy. Among other
articles taken from her was a large chest of plate, said to belong to a
Mr. Yates, but it had been put in his possession for safety at
Hackensack by Mr. William Wallace. It was worth about fifteen hundred
'Care and Feeding' of your musket (Originally printed 2005) - Glenn
Flintlock muskets require special care and maintenance to function
correctly. The barrels need to be kept very clean and oiled, the flint
must be replaced, positioned correctly for the musket, the lock must be
clean and lubricated, and the pan/frizzen assembly cleaned and oiled.
Parts need to be inspected- the lock and flashpan are part of the pre
First, when you show up at an event with your firelock, you are
proclaiming that your musket is safe to use. That means that YOU should
have inspected it before you left home for safety. What do you inspect,
and how? At battle pre-inspection, each musket should be checked for a
well fixed, (not loose) flashpan, a half cock that does not release
when the trigger is pulled, a well set flint, and an empty barrel.
Those are not the entire list of what you should check however.
Inspecting your musket-
1) The barrel is empty. Run your ramrod down the barrel, and listen for
the ping of it hitting metal at the bottom. While it is down, resting
on the bottom, check its length. If it is sticking out abnormally, you
have something solid in there. Sometimes tourist drop something done a
barrel- check it before going out to the field.
2) The pan and frizzen are clean, and so is the pivot and contact point.
3) The Lock works properly- the flint is set, sparks well, and the half
cock holds when the trigger is pulled. CHECK THE LOCK ONLY AFTER YOU
HAVE CHECKED THE BARREL AND PAN and you know the gun is not loaded!
4) The flint is tight, sharp, and it is not hitting the barrel. Tighten
5) The flashguard is positioned properly, and is not loose.
6) The stock is not cracked or broken so that there is a hazard.
7) The barrel is bright and clean.
8) The ramrod is not damaged; especially the tip is not loose.
9) The lock screws are snug.
10) Put your touch hole prick DEEP into the touch hole. This not only
checks that the touch hole is clear, it also checks that nothing is
stuck deep in the bore, like a patch, tool, etc.
11) Check your cartridges: You should be carrying only blanks. Keep
live rounds ALWAYS separate from your blanks.
So you have your gun and it’s time for fun! Wipe the frizzen and
pan off with a rag, to remove the oil. If you heavily oil your barrel,
you might run a dry clean patch down the barrel to remove it
When you prime, add enough powder to the pan to cover the bottom. Do
NOT fill the pan. Maximum for good ignition is up to the touch hole.
The sparks should flash up into the touch hole; the powder shouldn't
have to burn down to it. This will speed ignition and keep flash and
external fouling reduced.
If you have a misfire, keep the musket pointed down range and in a safe
direction! You might only have a hang-fire. If it goes off slowly, you
want it go off safely!!!
Check the pan. If the powder in it did not ignite, dump and reload, and
try again. Never reload without dumping if you are not sure the gun has
fired. For safety, never reprime and hold an open cartridge in your
hand as you fire. A spark could blow off your hand, and your fingers
might poke someone in the eye as they leave!
When the gun does fire, you can easily tell by looking at the open pan-
a just fired flintlock will have smoke rising from the touch hole.
Since you may not, in a volley fire, see if you gun belched smoke, and
probably won't feel any recoil with blanks, ALWAYS check the touch hole
for smoke before you prime!
Most misfires are caused by a problem with the flint. Keep an eye on
your flint as you prime. Is it still sharp and properly set in the
cock? Is it loose, turned or askew?
Battles usually have fast and slow periods. When you get a slow period,
check your piece! Use your brush on the pan, the pick on the touch
hole, Carry a bit of rag to wipe off the frizzen and the pan. Look over
the frizzen swivel point, and clean it if it is getting fouled. A
fouled frizzen won't spark well. If the fouling stops the pan from
opening, you may misfire- or worse, the flash might be channeled into
your face. Check your flashguard as well. How is your flint doing? When
in doubt, change it! 6 or 8 blanks cost as much as a flint- don't be
cheap with flints. Check that your flint is tight.
Keep the barrel pointed in a safe direction while you prime and load
(in particular), and after you load, and in fact, ALL THE TIME! Black
powder does go off while people are loading sometimes, so be safe in
your muzzle direction.
BEFORE you clean it, check it to be sure it is unloaded. Open pan,
dump, and check barrel with ramrod. EVEN if you already checked when
leaving the field, check AGAIN! "I didn't know it was loaded" is not an
excuse, it is a complete failure!
There are several ways to clean your musket. Whatever method you use,
make sure it leaves the barrel shiny, inside and out!
I recommend you remove your lock and place it and the lock screws in a
safe place while you clean the musket. They are hard to replace!
Pour a generous amount of water down the barrel, letting the dirty,
foul water run out (not on to your feet) several seconds, and then dump
the barrel. Repeat until the water comes out looking clean. Warm water
not only works faster, but warms the metal, which will dry faster
Run a wet patch down the barrel. Replace with new patch and repeat
until the patch comes out fairly clean. Use one of the cleaner patches
to wipe off the outside of the barrel. Repeat until the patch doesn't
get dirty from wiping.
Run a dry patch down the barrel. Wipe the outside dry. Place the musket
muzzle down to drain any remaining water.
Take your lock, and run water over the pan and frizzen area. Using a
clean patch, scrub off any stubborn fouling. Make sure to get the pivot
and contact points of the lock clean.
Dry the lock, place inside down while you oil the barrel. Run another
dry patch down barrel. Oil the patch, and run it down the barrel. Use
that patch to rub over the outside of the barrel. Use fine steel wool
on any rusting on the outside of the barrel. If the barrel is bright
and shiny, it is not rusty. If it is not rusty, you probably have
maintained it right. In the 18th Century, muskets were kept bright and
shiny, so the officers could see if your musket was clean.
Oil the ramrod and replace. Oil the lock and lock screws. Replace the
lock. Polish your brass. You should not have to oil down the stock more
than once or twice a year. Too much oil will make the stock soft and
Inspect your musket, top to bottom for damage, problems, or
malfunctions. Replace the flint as needed. After cleaning your musket,
do a THROUGH inspection. When you bring it to the next event, KNOW that
it is ready to work, and nothing was left in the barrel. People have
gotten hurt because someone lost a cleaning tool inside their barrel.
Check it carefully after cleaning!
Flints are harder than steel. Hard contact of flint and steel shaves
pieces of steel off. Those pieces struck off are very hot and show up
as sparks. To get a good spark, your flint must make proper contact
with the frizzen. It should strike squarely, and not hit the barrel or
pan when the cock drops. The flint should be almost razor sharp! Most
muskets like the edge down, (bevel up) but some like it reversed. The
flint/cock should play nice with the frizzen, without unnecessary
roughness or contact. The frizzen should be struck by the flint alone,
about 1/4 of the way down from the top, and drag along the about a
third of the face. You may need to use flints that are shorter than
average, or larger than average. If your cock falls hard and you break
flints too often, you may want to try using a lead strip instead of a
piece of leather to hold the flint. Reportedly they are more shock
resistant than leather. However, lead does not compress as well, and
you might find that your flints come loose.
If everything seems to be set up right, working correctly, but you are
not getting sparks, you may have a dirty or oily frizzen face. Wipe it
off and try again. If it still does not work, you may need to have your
frizzen face hardened. Case hardening of the face should suffice. If
your spring is too soft, you may need to replace it.
Both the B.A.R. and Continental Line require that blanks cartridges be
limited to under 120 grains, made of bond paper, not newsprint, and not
be sealed with tape, or staples. You shouldn't use large amounts of
glue either. In fact, you can make cartridges without any glue, and
save time and effort. Roll the cartridge, then pull your former out
from the end the diameter of the cartridge. Push the end in, once from
the paper edge, then from the left and right. Once you have folded them
flat, pull the former another eighth of an inch or so, and press the
outer edge of the cartridge into the center. This will lock the bottom
of the cartridge.
Once your cartridge is filled with a measured amount of powder, fold
the cartridge top flat, fold the flat edges into the center, then fold
the tail formed back over the bottom of the cartridge.
Keep your musket clean and oiled. Carry a wisk, pick and wiping rag
with your cartridge box, and a musket tool to change and tighten
flints. Check your flint at the first sign of trouble. If you get a
flash in the pan, check the touch hole with your pick. Use slow periods
to check your musket, clean the pan and frizzen, check the flint.
Change flints often- after every battle should be a good start.
To keep your musket from rusting and to make the fouling easier to
remove, you can use some light grease on the barrel area above the pan.
It is easier to prevent rust than to remove it, and once pitted, your
barrel can't be like new again. Too much oil in the barrel or pan will
interfere with powder ignition.
A well maintained musket is dependable. So is the soldier who keeps it!
Maple Pumpkin Pie – Michele L
Perfect Pie Crust (I made without sugar, for Julie)
Recipe for filling
1 ½ C pumpkin (fresh or puree)
¾ C maple syrup (real maple syrup, not Log Cabin)
½ C honey
1 C heavy cream
½ C milk
2 TBsp flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. ground ginger
a pinch of ground cloves
Beat with mixer and pour into crust.
Bake pie at 425 F for 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and continue to
bake for approx. 40-45 minutes. (Note – I use aluminum foil
strips around the edge of the pie to keep the crust from burning).
Women’s Shifts- Michele
Shifts were the first layer of a woman’s multi-layered
ensemble. They were a simple, loose fitting A-line garment with
elbow length sleeves and a deep neckline that was usually made out of
white linen. Shifts were a washable liner that protected the
outer clothing from body soil and perspiration. It also protected
a woman’s skin from abrasions that could be caused by the boned
stays, hoops, woolen petticoats (skirts) and other discomforts of
“fashionable” clothing. Many middle-class and wealthy
women would have used a finer quality linen in the construction of
their shifts, while poorer and servant class women wore coarser tow
linen shifts that were a “brown” or unbleached tan color.
Many women slept in the same shifts that they wore during the
day. Wealthy women, who usually had larger wardrobes, may have
had separate nightshifts. As a rule, a woman did not expose her
shift in public by removing the top half of her outer garment, such as
a jacket or gown. Most textile historians feel that there may be
two exceptions; slave women working in rural areas and free women far
removed from social settings.
When choosing linen for your shift, your best choice is medium-weight
white linen that will withstand frequent wear and washing. ALWAYS
preshrink any fabric before using it in clothing.
March to Trenton
2011 is the 235th anniversary of the Battle of Trenton.
George Skic had the wonderful idea of doing a march from the
crossing to Trenton to commemorate the battle this year.
After talking to some people we quickly found support and now we will
not only be doing the March to Trenton, but a special Crossing of the
Delaware in the Durham boats on New Years Eve morning. All men at
arms capable of a 10 mile road march are encourage to participate!
This is a once in a lifetime event.
Participants will be bussed from Trenton to the NJ park,
walk across the bridge, get on the boats and cross the river at first
light, and begin the march.h
Volunteers are needed to help with this event. We will
need a 'chase car' driver to pick up anyone injured on the march, and
maybe someone to man a watering station, and a
Suggestions on March to Trenton clothing
We will of course be wearing proper Whig clothing, not
modern gear. Make sure your shoes are broken in- and wear them
within a few days of the event to make sure they have not shrunken.
Make sure they are treated with leather preservative, minks oil
or saddle soap. You may want to put a pair of very light socks
on under your stockings to reduce the chance of blisters.
Temperatures may be well below freezing, or up to 50 or
more...and might start below freezing and end up mid-day at 50.
Dress in layers you can open as it gets warmer, or even remove.
If it is cold, long underwear can really help- if it is good
stuff. Cotton is just bad in the cold. You walk and get warm and
sweat, and the cotton loses all insulation. Then you stop and
cool down and have no protection. Wear long underwear tops and
bottoms made of artificial fabrics like polypropolyne hich
absorbs only 3 percent of its weight in water. It wicks your
sweat away from your skin, leaving an insulated layer.
Needless to say, you need an outer garment, preferably of wool.
If you don't have a coat, a wool shirt is pretty inexpensive from
Townsend and Sons on line. Gloves or mittens are needed when cold
to keep your hands from getting cold holding your musket. Putting
a bandanna under your hat down over your ears helps if it is
The time is coming when outer garments will be REQUIRED in
the unit, meaning no more showing up in shirt and waistcoat. This
is a good opportunity to get one! You can get a linen sleeved waistcoat
for $110, or a smock for $70, which will cover you for 8 or 9 months of
the year. For cold weather you can get a coat which run from $200
to $400, or an overcoat, or just get a wool shirt for $50. You
can even make a wool shirt or overcoat from a blanket quickly and
easily, without a pattern, in a few hours by hand. Ask Glenn for
directions or look up those published in a previous newsletter.
Holidays are also coming...put outer garments on your Wish List!
ORDER NOW is you want things made and delivered by Christmas!
News and Notes:
The summer has been a busy one for the unit. The unit kicked things
off, literally at the Battle of Connecticut Farms in early June. Matt
S. and Jim S. had the honor of starting the festivities on Saturday in
a scenario that was very militia friendly. The unit also participated
in the Annual Battle of Monmouth and had a great showing both
days. With an increase attention to unit authenticity, the unit
did the Commander proud.
The month of July saw the unit participate in the Ridgewood 4th of July
Parade and the memorable Escape from Wyoming event in North Eastern,
PA. This event was a combined C.L. and B.B., resulting in over 1000
participants. Outwater’s constructed a brush lean-to that
provided some much needed shade in the short down time that there was.
Once again, the unit performed admirably in the face of superior Crown
Forces. On a few occasions when the lines were buckling,
Outwater’s was called in, sprinting over 100 yards to fill in
gaps, to prevent the entire line from being turned. It was truly
a memorably event and we give a hearty HUZZAH to the 24th Connecticut
for organizing it.
August saw Outwater’s return, once again, to Washington Crossing
State Park. The unit had a very large turnout, with many members
displaying 18th century trades and crafts, with still other members
participating in a children’s drill and patrols.
September saw us go to Mt. Harmon. Though the rain was hard until
late Friday night, Saturday and Sunday were sunny and the sandy soil
dried out nicely. Due to the rain only half the projected people
came to the event, but Outwater's had its expected numbers and did
well, and had a good time.
The first Sunday of October is the Lord Stirling 18th Century
Craft festival. We had a good crew that spoke to many, many
people who came by. A very good job making presentations!
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