Frenchmen and Indians

The idea of America was realized by the sound of the musket volley and the smell of gunpowder. The American republic was born of War.

Once the French and Indian War was over in 1763, the citizens of the American colonies began to think of building a new store of weapons. Those who served in the militias then furnished their own weapons, usually muskets. They bought and carried their own provisions. By 1775 the matchlock musket was obsolete but was still retained by several families as a useful, albeit awkward to fire, firearm.

After the French and Indian War, most of the redcoats were redeployed to England. The colonists were on their own except for small garrisons of British troops mostly clustered around urban areas. A few were stationed on outposts on the frontier.

The Lexington Minuteman and his trusty musket are widely regarded to be Captain John Parker. The Battle of Lexington, recognized as the first Revolutionary War skirmish, resulted in the deal of eight militia. Parker died a few months later. Image credit: Richard F. Ebert

Weapons of War: BYOM (Bring Your Own Musket)

As you might imagine, the colonists used just about whatever they could get their hands on as weapons: muskets, pistols, rifles, long rifles, bayonets, knives, tomahawks, axes, swords, sabers, and polearms. And don’t forget about the cannons. In addition, they carried with them pieces of kit such as shot molds, tinder lighters, and cartridge boxes.