Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
Beautifully detailed and explained Philip, thank you!
As I had noted, the critique by the author I noted in the material I was reading was described as pretty unwarranted and over three decades later. As you say, the volume of weapons being produced would experience many flawed components, and of course would not match the carefully made sporting or personal weapons.
Again, the goal was not to discredit the muskets nor training or the soldiers themselves, but to illustrate that these weapons apparently required an unusually heavy charge (at least that was the description) in the first place.
If these troops were being supplied with either adulterated powder, or poorly made powder from a Mexican source, then that would explain the heavier charge which caused them to fire from the hip. Not only the recoil, which was powerful as the muskets were initially produced, but the flash and sparks in the face......would have these inexperienced soldiers avoiding such dynamics very quickly.
It seems wherever I have looked, there is patently zero mention or data on any gunpowder supplier, maker or source for the Mexican army. Whether any powder they had was 'damaged' (as Mrs Dickinson described it at the Alamo, and her husband was a gunner) or somehow otherwise adulterated remains a question. Could its transport from Mexico have rendered it inert from weather or some sort of alteration to make it less volatile have been at hand?