Civil War

Newspaper Articles

No. 6

WRITTEN BY:
Charles E. Bunnell
9318 Fairway Ct
La Plata, MD 20646

Source: This information was contibuted by Charles E. Bunnell, the owner of the original receipt.

Copyright 1997 Charles E. Bunnell

Material may be freely used by non-commercial entities, as long as this full paragraph remains on all copied material. These electronic pages, with original information, commentary, and underlying source code, cannot be reproduced in any format for profit or other presentation, nor may this copyrighted original electronic text be used on any other site or CD-ROM.

The Bunnell Newspaper Clippings

SRC NO. N6

NEWSPAPER: Unknown; possibly Whitney Point NY Reporter
DATE: Circa 1940 - 1946
AUTHOR: Herman E. Bunnell

STORY OF THE OLD FRENCH MUSKET

Historic Flint Lock Now Owned by
Berkshire Man

As one goes from Caldwell school ---- towards Center Lisle perhaps ----- mile, one comes to a small hill ----- with a small house on the left side of the road and after you get down to the lower ground, the road is up an easy grade for perhaps another half mile, and to the right well back in the fields, used to be several large stone piles; but they are all gone now since the good roads were built. To the right of the road after you get up the grade in an orchard there used to be an old-fashioned farmhouse. That is where my great grandfather, Gardener Livermore (died May 27, 1865, aged over 82 years) used to live.

I have heard my father tell about being over to his grandfather's helping him, and somehow it seems that he helped to pick up those old stone heaps. I heard him say one time that he might have been a farmer if they had not kept him picking up so many stones.

At the same time he was there, there was another cousin, a girl that stayed there a considerable time, and sometimes they would get to quarreling and their grandmother would say, "Now children, you must stop multiplying words."

Grandmother Livermore's maiden name was Lucina Lamb; she died in 1869, aged 80 years.

In that home was an old French musket, a flint lock, and the stock was broken, the bayonet fitted over ----- barrel but there was no device ----- locking it on; such bayonets were ----- about 1700 and the ----- part of that century.

This musket came into my father's possession when he was a young man and he had a gunsmith make a new stock just like the old one, and changed the firing device from a flint lock to a percussion cup; the lock plate still bears the name of the French arsenal where it was made.

Among my earliest recollections are the stories my father told me about the old French musket, and I don't remember being restricted in handling it and I can remember about getting and toting it around when quite a small boy.

The store begins on the July day, 1755, in western Pennsylvania near the Monongahela river where the French and Indians lay in ambush waiting for the British to come up under General Braddock. You can read about that in the history; how two-thirds of the officers and about one-half of the privates were killed or wounded; how General Braddock had three or four horses shot from under him, and General Washington was the only mounted officer not wounded.

The man who carried that gun said he aimed that gun at General [Bra]ddock and fired and that General [Brad]dock fell like a deer before the [----]er.

Of the man who carried it, nothing is known, whether he was an Indian or a Frenchman, but the story was handed down with the musket.

Of the story in regard to the American Revolution, the musket was carried by a man named Lamb at the Battle of Bunker Hill and the story seems to center around incidents in the life of General Putnam.

Another incident which was related was that some place where the army was to pass there was water. The other soldiers could fill their canteens and drink and a guard was placed with order to bayonet any soldier who should roil the water; and in a book entitled "Memories of General Putnam," written by his son, page 58, in the retreat of the army after the Battle of Long Island, it speaks of soldiers dying where they drank, but from the wording of the passage, I concluded that they died from exhaustion and not from any violence.

In the winter of 1778 - 1779 General Putnam was visiting one of his outposts at Horseneck where he had 150 men on picket duty. they discovered the approach of 1500 men under General Tryon. They (Putnam) had two cannons which they fired at the enemy several times and as General Putnam discovered they were about to charge he directed his men to escape to the swamp and he rode down the stone steps and made his escape and obtained reenforcement [sic] and pursued the enemy in their retreat.

This concludes the stories of the old French musket but at a general training a company of veterans were charged on by a company of recruits who were to charge bayonets and when the companies came together every bayonet was knocked from the guns of the recruits.

This is the story told me more than sixty years ago by my father. This musket is now in my possession.

H. E. BUNNELL


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This page was updated Wednesday, 26-Mar-2008 06:35:51 PDT.