A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia – Thomas Harriot 1590

Thomas Harriot was a multi-talented associate of Sir Walter Raleigh, the founder of the Roanoke colony (known as the "lost colony" because all of the colonists mysteriously disappeared). Harriot learned the Algonquin language from a pair of Croatan who had been brought back to England by an earlier expedition. Harriot spent a short time attached … Continue reading A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia – Thomas Harriot 1590

Range, Power, Penetration, Velocity of a Brown Bess – Roberts, Brown, Hammett and Kingston

A DETAILED STUDY OF THE EFFECTIVENESS AND CAPABILITIES OF 18TH CENTURY MUSKETRY ON THE BATTLEFIELD N A ROBERTS, J W BROWN, B HAMMETT & P D F KINGSTON Abstract During the mid 18th century, the standard British Army issue weapon was the Brown Bess Musket. There are various accounts of the performance of this early … Continue reading Range, Power, Penetration, Velocity of a Brown Bess – Roberts, Brown, Hammett and Kingston

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

John Smythe on archers at Kett’s Rebellion and the Prayer Book Rebellion

The fiercest advocate of the longbow during the period of the Elizabethan bow vs. gun debates was John Smythe, a nobleman and a cantankerous soldier of long experience. Smythe had first served in France during the short reign of Edward VI, and afterwards had fought in the Netherlands (on the side of the Spanish) and … Continue reading John Smythe on archers at Kett’s Rebellion and the Prayer Book Rebellion

Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 2

More incidents from the Imjin War. These are taken from Firearms: A Global History to 1700 by Kenneth Chase. Bizarrely, Chase takes the typical position that bows were a superior battlefield weapon to firearms despite his book being full of evidence to the contrary. This quote by the Korean official Yu Song-nyong, for example, is … Continue reading Bows Vs. Muskets in the Imjin War, part 2