Marines Drilling Illustration

Marines Drilling


In battle, Constitution’s Marines fired on the enemy with muskets. These guns were loaded with a lead ball and enough gun-powder to fire it, wrapped in a paper “cartridge”. Marines bit off the top, and tipped a little powder into the gun’s pan. They poured the rest – and the ball – down the yard-long barrel, ramming it home with a rod. A badly-loaded gun would not fire, so Marines drilled until they could almost do it in their sleep.

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