Author Topic: Plug bayonet in the AWI  (Read 1390 times)

Offline ChrisB

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Plug bayonet in the AWI
« on: May 05, 2023, 06:47:11 PM »
Do any of you have any evidence of plug bayonets being used in the Rev War please? I have just joined an AWI group here in the UK, most in my unit use socket bayonets with their brown bess muskets, I use a custom made mid 1700's full stocked fowling piece, I sold my bess last year. I have searched the interbox and cannot find any information. It shows plug bayonets in the Illustrated Collectors Encyclopedia of the Am Rev., but no evidence that they were actually used. I am thinking that in the early years they might have been.
Thanks in advance,
Chris
England

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2023, 07:29:27 PM »
I read somewhere, not sure where, that the Patriots at Kings Mountain cut down their personal knives to fit in the muzzle of their rifles. This was done to counter the enemy's bayonet charges that came after the first volleys were fired. I have no idea if this was factual or not but it does make sense. I had a friend (Don Litton) make and give me his idea of a patriot's plug bayonet. It fit the bore of my 54 cal Dickert rifle.
Dennis
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson

Offline ChrisB

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2023, 11:58:23 AM »
Thank you Dennis, it does seem possible that this was done, I'll do a bit of searching and see if anything comes up.
Take care, Chris

Offline OLUT

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2023, 06:07:44 PM »
Based on the extensive studies by George C Neumann, military usage of plug bayonets in the 1770's is extremely doubtful. In his classic book Swords & Blades of the American Revolution, he discusses the evolution from plug bayonets to socket mounted designs , with the former's primary usage from about 1660 to 1715. In his discussion of English bayonets, he states that "The standard British bayonet pattern emerged in the 1720's and remained basically unchanged until the early 19th century". His illustrated English plug bayonets are circa 1700, with the typical socket ones starting circa 1710 and having many different minor pattern changes. Surprising to me is an American plug bayonet "circa 1700-1740"

Offline Daryl

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2023, 07:01:29 PM »
Here's a plug bayonet & the 1728 Bess it fit.


« Last Edit: May 10, 2023, 08:34:28 PM by D. Taylor Sapergia »
Daryl

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Offline Hawkeye2

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2023, 11:21:17 PM »
King's Mountain: The epic of the Blue Ridge "mountain men" in the American Revolution by Hank Messick makes no mention of riflemen having any form of bayonet.

Offline wormey

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2023, 11:50:01 PM »
Dennis is correct!  In Lyman Draper`s book Kings Mountain and its Heroes he repeats the references provided to him by either participants or their first generation decendents that blacksmiths in the area of Gilbertown made or altered knives to fit into the muzzles of their rifles.  I have his book and a couple of others and will cite chapter and verse in a short while after I look it up.  wormey

Offline wormey

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2023, 02:29:05 AM »
Lyman Draper, the author of Kings Mountain And It`s Heroes (published in 1881) actually corresponded with several participants of the battle who were still living.  I forget the exact number.  He also corresponded with dozens of decendents of the battle who recounted events as told to them by participants.  On page 237 is the following....".The Provincials were well trained, and Ferguson relied largely upon them in consequence of their practiced skill in the use of the bayonet; and in case of necessity, for such of his Tory troops as were without that implement, he had provided each with a long knife, made by the blacksmiths of the country, the butt end of the handle of which was fitted the proper size to insert snugly in the muzzle of the rifle, with a shoulder or button two inches or more from the end, so that it could be used as an effective substitute for a bayonet".....wormey

Offline ChrisB

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2023, 12:53:56 AM »
Thanks all for your time and help,
much appreciated. So it seems doubtful apart from the Kings Mountain reference.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2023, 07:54:11 AM »
Can't prove anything, but there is a J.P. Beck, with a wood lid patch box cover that is bored out to .68 cal, smooth and the muzzle is funneled to a considerable degree. Would likely take a plug bayonet and it will shoot Brown Bess balls. The gun also has provisions for sling swivels, making it a likely candidate for service in the Rev War. You will find a photo of this rifle on page 64 of "KENTUCKY RIFLES & PISTOLS, 1750-1850".
Dick

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2023, 02:15:40 PM »
Lyman Draper, the author of Kings Mountain And It`s Heroes (published in 1881) actually corresponded with several participants of the battle who were still living.  I forget the exact number.  He also corresponded with dozens of decendents of the battle who recounted events as told to them by participants.  On page 237 is the following....".The Provincials were well trained, and Ferguson relied largely upon them in consequence of their practiced skill in the use of the bayonet; and in case of necessity, for such of his Tory troops as were without that implement, he had provided each with a long knife, made by the blacksmiths of the country, the butt end of the handle of which was fitted the proper size to insert snugly in the muzzle of the rifle, with a shoulder or button two inches or more from the end, so that it could be used as an effective substitute for a bayonet".....wormey

Thanks Wormey, I read that book and am sure that is where I read about the plug bayonets. It makes sense to me, many of the patriotic militia were armed with their personal rifles and were very aware of the British forces notorious bayonet charges after the first shots were fired. Without bayonets those militia men only had the option of running or be bayoneted!
Dennis
"I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend" - Thomas Jefferson

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Plug bayonet in the AWI
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2023, 02:21:23 AM »
Lyman Draper, the author of Kings Mountain And It`s Heroes (published in 1881) actually corresponded with several participants of the battle who were still living.  I forget the exact number.  He also corresponded with dozens of decendents of the battle who recounted events as told to them by participants.  On page 237 is the following....".The Provincials were well trained, and Ferguson relied largely upon them in consequence of their practiced skill in the use of the bayonet; and in case of necessity, for such of his Tory troops as were without that implement, he had provided each with a long knife, made by the blacksmiths of the country, the butt end of the handle of which was fitted the proper size to insert snugly in the muzzle of the rifle, with a shoulder or button two inches or more from the end, so that it could be used as an effective substitute for a bayonet".....wormey

Thanks Wormey, I read that book and am sure that is where I read about the plug bayonets. It makes sense to me, many of the patriotic militia were armed with their personal rifles and were very aware of the British forces notorious bayonet charges after the first shots were fired. Without bayonets those militia men only had the option of running or be bayoneted!
Dennis

My 1st inclination would be to somehow scrounge a pistol, plus having a plug bayonet. I'm surprised more didn't have one