Friday, May 7, 2010

Bows and Arrows in the American Revolution?

Imagine a line of redcoated British soldiers marching across the battlefield at Camden. Just as the American army begins to break and run, a crack unit of 500 colonial soldiers armed with longbows dashes onto the field and rains down arrow barrage after arrow barrage on the British soldiers commanded by General Lord Charles Cornwallis.

Would this have made a difference? Given Horatio Gates' incompetence and/or cowardice (take your pick), perhaps not. But it sure would've made things interesting! And it probably would've disrupted the British advance enough to allow more Americans to escape the field.

No one can know for certain, but such "what if" scenarios are fun to contemplate. And, in this case, the scenario really isn't that far-fetched. The use of bows and arrows is something that Benjamin Franklin endorsed.

For more on this possibility, check out an article just published over at "The American Revolution & Founding Era" blog. You can click on the following link to check it out...

"Guns and Bows and Arrows"

3 comments:

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Coach Bennett said...

I think that this is an interesting argument, but one that was not remotely likely. The Continental Army was poorly supplied throughout the war. We were not a manufacturing country, to suggest using bows and arrows showed how far Franklin was from understanding the real problems that the Army faced. They could not get enough weapons, food, clothing, etc. Why would they introduce bows and arrows, where would these have been produced, not to mention you would have to have taught all of them the proper way to shoot. Whereas, almost all men of the army and the militia could handle a gun, but a bow and arrow? Would you have stayed on the field and fired an arrow into the most powerful army in the world, who was bearing down on you with muskets and Ferg. rifles.. No way, you would have ran faster than the continentials normally did when forming against the Redcoats (well in at least New York).

Kalender 2013 said...

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