The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

China is the odd man out in the transition from archery to musketry. Almost every other nation had given up archery for firearms, the Chinese still used large numbers of archers as late as the 19th century. While firearms were certainly not unknown in China, and muskets made up a significant portion of the Qing … Continue reading The Nemesis in China and Chinese archery in the 19th Century

Plymouth Plantation Bow vs Musket Battle

A Relation or Journal of the Proceedings of the English Plantation Settled at Plymouth, by Edward Winslow and others (London, 1622) About midnight we heard a great and hideous cry, and our sentinels called, Arm, Arm. So we bestirred ourselves and shot off a couple of muskets, and noise ceased; we concluded, that it was … Continue reading Plymouth Plantation Bow vs Musket Battle

Andrew Battell of Leigh in Angola

Andrew Battell was an English trader who spent a very long time as a prisoner and conscript in Portuguese West Africa. He made multiple failed escape attempts. After Battell's first attempt to escape by stowing away aboard a Dutch ship, he was sentenced to military service. He spent six years in Fort Massangano before making … Continue reading Andrew Battell of Leigh in Angola

Samuel Champlain, Part 1

I'm going to make two or three posts on French explorers and their battles against native archery. This post will focus on Samuel Champlain, explorer of Quebec and the Great Lakes region. Champlain fought in several battles against the Iroquois on behalf of his allies, the Huron and Algonquins. In July 1609, Champlain and two … Continue reading Samuel Champlain, Part 1

Saukamappee: Plains Indians Use Guns in Battle for the First Time

This is an account by the Peigan Indian Saukamappee, whose life and times were recorded by the explorer David Thompson. Saukamappee describes the radical effect of firearms on Plains Indian warfare. Before, battles were fought with stone clubs and bows, and ended in stalemate unless one side was much larger. With only a handful of … Continue reading Saukamappee: Plains Indians Use Guns in Battle for the First Time