Monday, March 13, 2017

1777 Dunmore County Volunteers equipment appraisals

In the fall of 1777, volunteer companies from several Virginia counties formed and elected their officers in preparation for a relief mission to Fort Pitt.  An appraisal of personal arms and equipment from Captain Thomas Buck's Dunmore (later renamed Shenandoah) county company survives, ostensibly to aide in repayment should those arms be lost or damaged while on the campaign.

Thomas Buck's headstone

 Although not a complete account for the entire 44 man company (the remainder may have been using public arms), several interesting things jump out, such as the ratio of rifles (6) to smooth bores (8) and the extreme high cost of rifled arms in comparison (£11-8 vs £2.5) to the smooth bores.  For the most part the listings are typical for militia "accouteraments" and contain guns, shot bags and horns, although a few men have a "belt" appraised as well, possibly a belt or sling for a "tomehawk" as the belts are only listed with tomahawks. Sadly the knives are not specifically described. Many of the men also bring blankets, although Jacob Stover has "one quilted blanket" appraised at 10 shillings.