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French Infantry Musket, Model 1777, flintlock with round 44.750" long barrel of .69 caliber. Brass butt plate and brass trigger guard with finger ridges. Brass sling swivel attached to front of guard. 6.5" long lock has slanted brass pan and double throat cock. Jaw screw is an early replacement. Frizzen wider at top than bottom and has slanted top. Plate has engraved maker's name between cock and pan but it is illegible. Brass side plate. Barrel held with three brass bands. Clamp-type center band is held with screw joint for front sling swivel, which is missing. Front and rear bands with retaining springs and front band. Front band may be the later "Year 9" band adopted during Napoleonic Era. Front band is the entry pipe for trumpet-head iron ramrod and brass blade front sight. Barrel has lug for bayonet. Swelled trumpet-head iron rod is present but lower end of rod has been broken. Walnut stock with cheek recess. Stock shows patina and age from handling. Cartouche in right side of butt stock consisting of an anchor and below that, two lines of writing which are largely illegible except for "C" in first line and "L" in second line. Marks "D.I.II" below a fleur-de-lis on left side of barrel near breech. An engraved square brass plate affixed to right side of butt stock with four brass nails reads: April 19 1775 Micah Leach Revolution Feby 12 1780 On left side of butt stock are carved the letters "L.L." The forestock is actually twisted near front band, resulting in front band being loose. This may have been the result of water damage suffered during 1994 museum fire. Micah Leach was born in 1756 and served in the Massachusetts militia, was a Minuteman at Lexington, and later served in the Continental Army and fought in the Revolutionary War. When the Leach family moved to Wisconsin in the 1800s, they brought Micah's musket. It was useful for both hunting and self-defense. The 1777 model was developed by France in 1776 and adopted in 1777. With minor modification, it was used throughout the Napoleonic Wars. The 1777 model was used during the American Revolution by both French and American soldiers. This musket appears to have the later "Year 9" front band adopted during Napoleon's reign and it may be a replacement. The United States based its first musket, the Springfield 1795, on this arm.
Musket -PIONEERS AND IMMIGRANTS -Copyright Oshkosh Public Museum

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Last modified on: December 12, 2009