Battle on the Ice – John Knight, 1606

The explorer John Knight was shipwrecked off the coast of Canada. Upon going to shore with three men, Knight and his party were killed by natives. A member of Knight's crew, Oliver Browne, took over composing Knight's journal for the remainder of the expedition. While in the process of salvaging supplies from the wrecked ship … Continue reading Battle on the Ice – John Knight, 1606

The Amazons of Cartagena – Antonio de Hererra, 1601

From the chronicles of the Spanish historian Antonio de Hererra, a passage describing "Amazonian women" who fought with poisoned arrows and one who slew eight Spaniards with her bow. The first that saw Carthagena, in the year 1502. was Roderick Bastidas, & the year 1504. Juan de la Cosa or John of the Thing went … Continue reading The Amazons of Cartagena – Antonio de Hererra, 1601

John Colman slain- Henry Hudson, 1609

Another post from Henry Hudson's 1609 expedition. This is a rare examples of bowmen defeating musketeers. The natives outnumbered Hudson's crew twenty-six to five. Firearms were frequently enough of an advantage to overcome such odds, but in this case rain disabled them. The sixth [day], in the morning was faire weather, and our Master sent … Continue reading John Colman slain- Henry Hudson, 1609

A stolen pillow causes a skirmish and slaughter – Henry Hudson, 1609

This account from the memoirs of Henry Hudson is one of the most vicious bow vs. musket battles I've found. The people of the Mountaynes came aboord us, wondring at our ship and weapons. We bought some small skinnes of them for Trifles. This after-noone, one Canoe kept hanging under our sterne with one man … Continue reading A stolen pillow causes a skirmish and slaughter – Henry Hudson, 1609

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

Bows Didn’t Outrange Muskets

Myth 1: Bows outranged muskets Bows and muskets co-existed on the battlefield for hundreds of years and during that time, there were plenty of battles between the two weapons. This blog was started mainly for the purpose of cataloging eye-witness accounts of those battles. There are some common threads running through all these accounts, facts … Continue reading Bows Didn’t Outrange Muskets