On this day

23 February 1836

Den 13 dager lange beleiringen av Alamo ble innledet under revolusjonen i Texas i 1836. Da speidere fra den texanske garnisonen i San Antonio oppdaget den mexicanske hærens fremrykkende kavaleri, beordret oberstløytnant William Barret Travis en... Read more ...

23 February 1836

Beleiringen av Alamo begynte
Den 13 dager lange beleiringen av Alamo ble innledet under revolusjonen i Texas i 1836. Da speidere fra den texanske garnisonen i San Antonio oppdaget den mexicanske hærens fremrykkende kavaleri, beordret oberstløytnant William Barret Travis en tilbaketrekning til den gamle misjonsstasjonen Alamo. Resten av den mexicanske styrken ankom etter hvert, og besto av en blanding av regulære infanteri- og kavaleri-enheter. De var utstyrt med britiske Baker-rifler og Brown Bess-musketter.

Under et forhandlingsmøte med den mexicanske obersten Juan Almonte ble texanerne beordret til å overgi seg eller bli drept. Travis svarte med et kanonskudd fra garnisonens 18 punder.

Fiendtlighetene mellom Mexico og opprørere i Texas begynte med slaget ved Gonzales 1. oktober 1835. Etter at general Martín Perfecto de Cos overga seg til texanerne ved San Antonio var det ikke lenger noe meksikansk militært nærvær i Texas. Den meksikanske presidenten Antonio López de Santa Anna bestemte seg derfor for å sette i gang en offensiv med mål om å slå ned opprøret. Mange av opprørerne hadde amerikansk bakgrunn, men opprøret ble også støttet av mange lokale mexicanere kalt tejanos.

Oberstløytnant William Barret Travis kommanderte Texas' regulære hærstyrker ved Alamo. Forskjellige andre menn var også blitt samlet for å hjelpe til i forsvaret, inkludert et antall uoffisielle frivillige under kommando av Jim Bowie. Travis og Bowie kranglet ofte om kommando og autoritet, men ettersom Bowies helse skrantet, tok Travis hele kommandoen..

Forsvarerne av Alamo kom fra 28 forskjellige land og stater. Fra Tennessee kom en liten gruppe frivillige ledet av den tidligere kongressmannen og legenden Davy Crockett. Den tolv mann store gruppen «Tennessee Mounted Volunteers» ankom Alamo 8. februar. En annen gruppe, «New Orleans Greys», kom for å kjempe som fotsoldater i revolusjonen.



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      Shooting the Percussion Revolver

    • Shooting the Percussion Revolver

      The percussion revolver, also called cap and ball revolver, is perhaps the most common black powder weapon in use by modern black powder shooters. It was invented in the 1830s and was extensively used during the American Civil War (1861-1865). This article focuses on the history of the percussion revolver and shows you how to load and shoot it.

    Making Powder Horns

    Category: Miscellaneous
    Published: 15. November 2008 by Øyvind Flatnes.
    Edited: 15. November 2008.
    Views: 12358

    Home-made powder horn.

    The powder horn is the container traditonally used for carrying powder. This container had to be as air and water tight as possible to prevent the powder from attracing moisture. The term 'powder horn' is used by some as a term for all kinds of powder containers such as copper flasks, but this article consentrates about powder horns made from cow or buffalo horns. In Norway it was common to use flat powder horns, especially in Western Norway and the area around Gudbrandsdalen. The flat horns were simple to carry and could be carried in a bag or in a pocket. Other areas, such as Telemark and Agder, seems to have preferred natural powder horns.

    Making a powder horn is not difficult. To make a powder horn you need these tools: a cow horn, some files, a drill, a saw or hack saw, a piece of wood and glue.

    Find out more!
    You can learn more about powder horns and black powder shooting in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

    Preparing the horn

    Cut-away cow horn

    Cow horns can be obtained from slaughterhouses or do-it-yourself shops. Stores that sells equipment for knife smiths and cutlers often have cow horns lying around. Horns that are obtained from slaughterhouses are raw and most probably have the core intact. There are two ways to remove the core. The most time consuming is to place the horn in a bucket of water for a couple of months. The core will let go when it starts to rot. A simpler method is to boil the horn, but you should know that the process smells! Never boil a horn with a core indoors. I usually place the horn in an oil bucket filled with water and boil it over a fire in the garden. To prevent the horns from cracking it is recommended that you put some linseed or olive oil or similar in the water.

    The core will let go after a while. After boiling the horn must be hung away for 'de-smelling' since they will be smelling quite rotten for the next couple of weeks. Hang them high, because dogs seem to fancy the smell and consider the horns as a delicacy that is made to be chewn.

    Making the powder horn

    Drilling the spout hole.

    The first thing I do is to bore the hole for the spout. I use a regular hand drill to drill the hole. Some horns are curved and are impossible to drill with a straight drill bit. In such cases I use a curved metal needle that is heated until it is red hot. From the inside the needle is used to burn a hole for the spout. You can use drill from the front end as far as it goes and you will feel when ou have burned a hole through from the other side. Burned horns also smells terribly, almost like burnt hair, and this is also a process that should be done outdoors.

    After the hole is drilled you can cut the horn to desired length. There is always superfluous material on a horn. To make the rear opening as round as possible you can boil the horn and place it on a coned piece of wood. I have turned a wooden cone on a lathe that I use for this purpose. After the horn is boiled it is soft and is easily formed by the cone. You should leave the horn on the cone for at least 24 hours. It needs to dry and if you remove it before it is properly dried it may go back to its original shape.

    Before you insert a plug you may file, shape and polish the horn as you desire. I use files and sand paper. Electrical tools such as Dremel tools is not recommended when working with horns. It is said that the horn may crack from the vibrations of the tools.


    Forming the bottom.

    The plug that is inserted into the rear of the horn is usually nailed to the horn. The horn was filled by pouring the powder into the spout through a funnel. Horns with detachable plugs were made, but these were more difficult to keep water tight.

    The first powder horns I made had plugs which were hand filed to the shape of the horn. This is a time consuming process, and now I use a lathe to turn the plugs. This allows for perfectly round plugs that fits in a horn that has been rounded on a cone. Most tree species can be used. I have good experience with birch, oak, pine, maple, goat willow and European mountain ash.

    It is smart to make the plug a little bit oversize. When you insert the plug you boil the horn first and when the horn is soft you force the plug into the horn. Secure it with nails. The old horns were made water tight by applying molten bee's wax between the horn and the plug. I usually use a good wood glue for this.


    Curly birch plug.

    As mentioned I usually secure the plug with nails. It may be a good idea to drill a little hole for the nail beforehand so that the horn doesn't crack. If you haven't got a drill bit that is small enough you can heat one of the nails and burn a hole for the nail. Before I hammer in the nail I dip it in wooden glue. This is done to keep the area around the nail air and water tight.

    As a last finish I use fine grit sand paper. Wash the horn with hot water a couple of times between sanding for best finish. After I'm finished sanding I oil the horn with a thin layer of boiled linseed oil that is rubbed well into the horn. Vegetable oils such as olive and soybean oil may also be used. The wooden plug may be oiled with an appropriate wood finish.

    Making a flat powder horn

    Flatt krutthorn

    Flat powder horn.

    Not all raw horns are suitable for making flat powder horns. Curved horns are useless. I usually prefer bull horns from relatively young bulls when making flat horns. These have larger volume than cow horns and have thinner walls.

    Before I flatten the horns I give them arough finish. As the horn is going to be boiled soft it is an advantage that the walls of the horn are as thin as possible. Then you have to look for a proper press that can flatten the horn. A vise does the job if you have access to one. Betwen the jaws you must have two hard boards. Inside the horn you must have a piece of wood that is shaped like the internals of the flat horn. The thickness of this piece of wood becomes the thickness of the finished horn.

    Before you flatten the horn it must be boiled to soften it. How long it should boil depends on the thickness of the horn. Thin walled horns require less boiling compared to thick. It does not take many minutes for the horn to start drying after it is taken up from the water, so you must act quickly. Insert the plug into the rear of the horn and with one board on each side of the horn, start to slowly close the vise jaws. Stop when the walls of the horn is touching the inner and outer wood pieces. Leave the horn in the press for at least 24 hours, or perhaps even more to be on the safe side. When you remove it from the press you trim it to desired length and drill a hole for the spout. After that you may even the sides of the horn with a flat file. Some prefer to wait with the finishing until the plug in the rear of the horn is inserted.

    The wooden plug in the rear of the horn must be filed into shape. It is important that you don't boil the horn when you insert the plug on flat horns, because a consequence of boiling is that the horn returns to its natural shape.

    Finish the horn by sanding it as described above.

    Powder horn pictures