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Brown Bess flintlock musket
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The "Brown Bess" flintlock musket was the standard weapon of the British soldier for over one hundred years. Its official name was the Short Land Pattern. Most American gunsmiths during the American Revolution patterned their flintlock muskets after the Brown Bess. Muskets were notoriously inaccurate and military strategy of the period reflected this. Groups of men massed tightly together fired a shower of lead balls at the enemy. For charges and fighting at close quarters, soldiers fixed deadly, spear-like bayonets to the ends of their muskets. The original owner of this musket carved the initials "R.D." into the stock. John Fellows (1751-1831) of Shelburne added his own initials after he picked up the musket from the battlefield following the defeat of General John Burgoyne's army at Saratoga, New York in 1777.
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