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Drummer of the Compagnies franches de la Marine of Canada, between 1701 and 1716

 

Notice the large size of the military side drum used during the 18th century. Contrary to the modern myth of the little drummer boy, European armies of this time period used adults as drummers. No child could have carried and played the instrument. Reconstruction by Michel Pétard.

 

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Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these.
But of all the world’s great heroes, there’s none that can compare
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadier.
(last 2 lines of each verse can be repeated as chorus.)

Those heroes of antiquity ne’er saw a cannon ball
Or knew the force of poweder to slay their foes withal.
But our brave boys do know it, and banish all their fears,
Sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadier.

Whene’er we are commanded to storm the palisades
Our leaders march with fusees, and we with hand grenades.
We throw them from the glacis, about the enemies’ ears.
Sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.

And when the siege is over, we to the town repair
The townsmen cry, “Hurra, boys, here comes a Grenadier!
Here come the Grenadiers, my boys, who know no doubts or fears!
Then sing tow, row, row, row, row, row, the British Grenadiers.

Then let us fill a bumper, and drink a health to those
Who carry caps and pouches, and wear the louped clothes.
May they and their commanders live happy all their years
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, for the British Grenadiers.

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El 4 de juliol és una data clau per a la història dels Estats Units d’Amèrica. Però també per a la història d’En Jordi Ferragut (també conegut amb el nom de George Farragut), un menorquí que va emigrar a aquell país i en va esdevenir un militar i un home exemplars. L’Andreu Barnils ens ho recorda en aquest article, aparegut a Vilaweb.

Retrat d’En Jordi Ferragut atribuït a William Swain.
Museu Nacional d’Història Americana.

He joined his new country at the beginning of the American Revolution, initially as a lieutenant in the South Carolina Navy, and anglicized his first name to George. Farragut fought the British at Savannah and was captured in the Siege of Charleston in 1780. After being released in a prisoner exchange, he fought as a volunteer at the Battle of Cowpens and at Wilmington.

Només arribar a Amèrica, l’any 1775, Jordi Ferragut va decidir ajudar ‘amb la meva vida i fortuna la lluita per la independència americana’.

Avui, 4 de Juliol, és oportú parlar d’En George Farragut, menorquí que només arribar a Amèrica l’any 1775 va decidir ajudar amb la seva “vida i fortuna la lluita per la Independència americana”. En Farragut va ser un soldat de la causa americana, “a truly revolutionary warrior”, i un cas curiosíssim. Molt peculiar. En primer lloc, per la seva brutal història militar. Després, per la seva increïble història familiar. I en tercer lloc, per la rocambolesca manera com el seu manuscrit, ‘Memorial of George Farragut’, ha arribat fins a les nostres mans.

En Farragut va arribar a Amèrica quan tenia vint anys, ple de força, i el primer que va fer va ser contraban d’armes a favor dels revoltats. Després es va allistar a l’exèrcit americà i la seva guerra demostra que la seva carn era carn de canó: ens el trobem a les pitjors batalles i sempre a primera línia. La batalla de Savannah, per exemple, una de les més grans desfetes dels americans, la va viure a bord d’un vaixell del qual ‘no vaig abandonar-ne la coberta fins que estava a vessar de morts i moribunds’. També lluita en el setge de Charleston, desastrós també, on el caos va ser tal que Farragut va haver de traslladar els canons del seu vaixell a terra ferma, per combatre des d’allà. No va servir de res i el van fer presoner. Un cop alliberat, una altra desgràcia el marcarà per a tota la vida: perdrà un braç. No li amputaran però li quedarà inútil per sempre més. Doncs és així, amb un sol braç útil, que En Farragut degué salvar la vida del futur president George Washington a la batalla de Cowpens. Segons l’historiador Marshall Delancey, ‘entre els descendents de George Washington sempre s’ha dit que En Farragut li va salvar la vida; i en part aquesta creença es confirma gràcies als relats publicats de la batalla, ja que afirmen que el Coronel Washington fou rescatat d’un encontre perillós per un sergent (del qual no se’n dóna el nom) i per un corneta anomenat Ball. Aquest sergent podria ser Farragut, ja que ell i Washington eren tots dos a la cavalleria’.

La següent guerra en què En Farragut va participar va ser contra el indis al Far West americà. Aquí ho tenim, un menorquí pelant cherokees. Literal. En Farragut, al Memorial, només hi escriu que ‘vaig servir en una expedició contra els cherokees el 1793 sota el general Sevier’, però els historiadors ens informen dels detalls: Sevier era un home brutal i En Farragut va ser el cap de les milícies armades. Durant la guerra, En Farragut també va fer de correu personal del governador Blount. En una ocasió va haver de creuar 650 quilòmetres de territori Cherokee dalt del seu cavall. Me l’imagino arribant al destí i entregant el correu amb el seu únic braç útil. Segons el seu amic coronel McKee, el nostre home ‘era un caçador d’indis gloriós’, i un altre amic el descriu així: ‘Era un home baix i fornit, molt valent i divertidíssim, que va decidir casar-se amb una criada vella i va anunciar l’esdeveniment amb una carta molt típica d’ell: Dear Willie: I’m married and my wife’s name is Shine: and, by heavens, he shine wherever he go.’

Tot i el bon humor inicial, la història familiar d’En Farragut és igual de bèstia que la seva història militar. En Farragut es va casar amb Elizabeth Shine quan tenia 40 anys i va tenir cinc fills: William, James, Nancy, George i Elisabeth. Tretze anys després de casats, Farragut, navegant per un llac, va veure un cos inert dalt d’una barca. Va portar el cos a casa i la seva dona va cuidar el moribund, l’oficial de l’exèrcit Porter. Lamentablement, l’oficial no només va acabar morint de febre groga, sinó que la va encomanar a la senyora Shine. Ella també va morir. Després de l’enterrament, doble, el fill de l’oficial mort es va presentar a casa de Farragut per agrair-li el tracte dispensat al seu pare. Com a mostra de gratitud, i veient que En Farragut era un pobre vidu amb cinc fills al seu càrrec, es va oferir a adoptar-ne un. El segon, James, es va presentar voluntari. Només tenia 8 anys i mai més no veuria el seu pare biològic. De fet, s’acabaria canviant el nom en honor al seu pare adoptiu. De James a David G. Farragut, l’almirall Farragut. El menorquí, doncs, va donar en adopció un dels grans herois de la història americana. Anys després, va anar altre cop al llac, aquesta vegada amb el seu fill petit, George. En un mal pas el fill George va caure al llac i va morir ofegat.

Són els moments més baixos de la vida d’En Farragut. És un vell de gairebé 60 anys de qui l’exèrcit, veient el seu precari estat de salut, decideix prescindir dels seus serveis i negar-li la paga. Indignat, En Farragut escriu aleshores una carta dirigida al secretari de marina William Jones, titulada ‘Memorial of George Farragut’ on reclama un retorn al servei i la paga. És una carta dolguda on fa un repàs extens a la seva vida, una vida al servei de l’exèrcit dels Estats Units. L’anglès d’En Farragut és ple de faltes, unes precioses faltes d’ortografia que sobretot es poden llegir en altres seves cartes que s’han trobat. Hi llegim ‘owever’, ‘I let you no’, ‘smol childrens’, ‘den’, ‘becos’ i el magnífic ‘anderwent’. Sigui com sigui, el Memorial d’En Farragut és realment colpidor. De fet, algunes parts del text són il·legibles, segons l’historiador, ‘perquè en el text original hi havien caigut llàgrimes’. La carta no va fer l’efecte necessari i En Farragut, pare de l’heroi militar, va morir abandonat per l’exèrcit. Escrita el 1814, la carta va quedar enterrada als arxius durant més d’un segle, fins que el 1929 l’historiador local Samuel C. Williams la va trobar i en va fer públics alguns extractes. Finalment, l’any 2007, Robert L. Caleo, la va fer publicar sencera del tot al número 79 de la revista The Journal of East Tennessee Story.

Avui, 4 de Juliol, els EUA arriben als 236 anys. En Farragut ja hi era.

Andreu Barnils

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To commemorate and honor the 120 martyrs of La Gleva who died to defend Catalonia from the spanish troops in 1714, 210 people gathered at Holy Sanctuary of La Gleva, located in Les Masies de Voltregà, and sequentially fired muzzle-load arms – setting the world record for the Most people sequentially firing muzzle-load arms, according to the World Records Academy: www.worldrecordsacademy.org/

Photo: Adrià Costa

The world record attempt took place by the Holy Sanctuary of La Gleva, located in Les Masies de Voltregà, to commemorate and honor the 120 martyrs of La Gleva who died to defend Catalonia from the spanish troops in 1714.

The Guinness world record for the Oldest manufacturer of weapons was set by the arms company Beretta (Italy), which has earliest recorded mention: 1526. The business has been passed down through 16 generations, but its headquarters are still based in the village of Gardone Val Trompia near Brescia, Italy.

Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the Largest exporter of arms, set by the USA wich exported an annual average of $7,964,100,000 (£4,000,271,235) worth of arms in the ten years between 1998 and 2007.

Many shooters came from all the country and even from abroad.
Mr. Marc Puig, coming from Barcelona, explained: “I feel so excited about achieving this world record. This is a real hommage to the heros who died here about 300 years ago”.

Mr. Ezio Lazzari, who came expressly from Italy with his historical soldier company to attend and participate in this record, said:   “I feel so happy for our contribution to achieve this world record. Everyone has put his small but nevertheless important part on that team achievement.”

This historic day for the Voltreganès county finished with a flower bouquet offering to the Virgin of La Gleva at her Holy Sanctuary.

The final parliaments were made by the Catalan Business Center President, Mr. Ramon Carner (event sponsor), and by the Professor of the University of Barcelona, Mr. Francesc-Xavier Hernández-Cardona, who remarked the importance of this historical facts that were commemorated.

The world record attempt was sponsord by: CCN – Centre Català de Negocis and Omnium Cultural.

Òmnium Cultural (the main sponsor of this event) representatives would like to thank the institutional and citizen support to all these events, and to express their gratitude to all the associations, organizations and individuals who made them possible.

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Tumpline: A tumpline is a blanket wrapped and tied around a carrying strap two to two and a half inches wide, with items being rolled within the blanket. The strap is traditionally worn across the chest, but can be worn over the right shoulder.

Blanket Roll: A simple pack made by placing contents in the middle of a blanket and rolling the blanket into a cylinder, then tying off the ends. The blanket could be tied in more than one place to secure the contents inside and worn over the shoulder.

Haversack: Haversacks are made of a course, unbleached linen. They are a pocket, covered by a flap secured by buttons (horn, bone or white metal) and attached to a strap, which is slung over the right shoulder. Used originally to carry food and eating utensils.

Knapsack: These packs are a tight-woven linen or linen canvas envelope, covered by a buttoned flap, carried by two linen shoulder straps connected by a breast strap.

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L’hora de començament dels actes s’avança a les 11:30 del matí.

Normalment les colles es concentren abans a la Porta del Lleó. El parlament serà a càrrec de l’escriptor xativí Xavier Aliaga i el cantaor Pep Gimeno “El Botifarra” ha confirmat la seva participació.

L’Associació de Recreació Històrica Miquelets del Regne de València, enviarà també una representació del Regiment de la Mare de Déu dels Desamparats, per fer tremolar a tots els botiflers.

Glòria als nostres herois!

Saturday 28th of April 2012, the parade will begin at 11:30 am from nº28 of Montcada Street, Xàtiva

L’associació Miquelets del Regne de València i la Comissió 25 d’Abril xativina, us conviden a participar a l’homenatge als Maulets que tindrà lloc a Xàtiva el dissabte 28 d’abril. La Diada del 25 d’abril commemora al País Valencià la derrota de la Batalla d’Almansa el 25 d’abril de 1707 i rendeix homenatge als valents que defensaren els nostres furs.

Participarem els Miquelets, Escola Valenciana, Acció Cultural del País Valencià, l’Escola de Danses de Xàtiva, la Colla de Pep Gimeno “El Botifarra”, a més de tabalers i dolçainers.

Farem una desfilada pel carrer Montcada, trepitjant l’escenari de la cremà de Xàtiva, acompanyats de les dansaires i la seva música. Es farà una ofrena floral al Monument als Maulets i actuarà la colla de Botifarra a la Plaça de Sant Francesc.

Clica ACÍ per accedir a l’event en Facebook / Facebook event access

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Camp followers

Within all regiments of 1690  – 1715 you will find elements of civilian life, which without whom the army would cease to function properly.

Since the English Civil Wars there has always been a strictly imposed limit on all British regiments as to how many women they were permitted to take with them, but records show that in practice the army rules went out of the window once the regiments left British waters. Officers wrote that the comfort that (preferably British) women provided to their men was great – it was known to reduce desertion for instance. The women also made money on the side by providing sewing, mending and washing, nursing the wounded and cooking. Ex-London seamstresses were very sought after by the army officers who wanted a constant supply of replacement clothes. British army wives or “Camp followers” also developed a formidable reputation during the Spanish Wars for their fast looting abilities after battles, by quickly and efficiently searching the slain soldiers on the fields [sometimes swiftly dispatching the barely alive ones too]. One woman, ‘Mother Ross’,  became famous through her exploits, and Daniel Defoe wrote a book about her:
D. Defoe: The Life and Adventures of Mrs Christian Davies, commonly called Mother Ross (1740)

She-Soldiers

Occasionally, a woman was able to disguise herself as a man and join the army, usually as a musketeer or drummer. This was obviously rare, although a recent European archaeological excavation at a battle site found three women in men’s uniforms in a mass grave of about  500 men. 15 more women were found in the grave, but there was no clue as to what they were wearing when they died. This has naturally started a debate in the academic world. One of these women, Christian ‘Kit’ Cavanagh (or Davies), better known as “Mother Ross” was one of several women who served as dragoons in the British Army. She enlisted in the 1690’s and fought as a soldier first disguised as a man and later openly as a woman. She fought with honours at Blenheim: Born in Dublin, daughter of a prosperous brewer, she married a servant, Richard Welsh. In 1692 he was forcibly conscripted into the army and in 1693 she disguised herself as a man and enlisted to find him. She served against the French with Marlborough in Holland and soon transferred to the cavalry, joining her husband’s regiment the Scots Greys and remaining with them during the renewed fighting of 1702 and 1703. She was reunited with her husband but remained in the army. She was wounded at Ramillies and her sex was then discovered, but she was allowed to stay with the Dragoons as an officers’ cook. Richard Welsh was killed at the battle of Malplaquet, and soon after she married a grenadier with the Royal Greys, Hugh Jones, who was also killed, in 1710. In 1712 she returned to England, became an innkeeper and married a dissolute soldier named Davies. Eventually she was admitted to Chelsea Hospital where she died. She was buried with military honours.

Gentry and the wealthy classes

By contrast officers wives were a very rare sight in the British army. You were more likely to see them while husbands were drilling their men at British musters, and extremely rarely on campaign. Few did travel across the channel to join their men for the winter quarters, when officers usually rented adequate housing, but this was not common. Some local privileged women would travel by invitation to meet the British officers, and this would be more likely who the soldiers saw in camp. Many officers received letters from their wives on a regular basis, and often this was the only way they got news from home. Marlborough wrote regularly to his wife Sarah, as did Orkney and other officers. Marlborough felt that the army was no place for a Lady and disapproved women visiting, even his own wife, although this did not seem to apply to the lower class women frequently found there.

Leaguer Ladies and Widows

There were several types of women found within the army – Although they may have left Britain with a handful of women, by the time they were on active campaign several types could be found. The most common would be Leaguer Ladies or prostitutes, usually from the region they happened to be camped in. There was an unwritten rule that they had to very discreet with the soldiers [both privates and officers used their services], as they risked a public whipping if caught. Many hoped for the outside chance of marriage to get them out of the poverty trap. Less common would be the widow of a soldier. They tended to get remarried very quickly and often, usually to a succession of men due to death in battle. The obvious tally of army brats would follow. Officers sometimes recorded an anonymous birth during a march in their diaries, with the women stopping, giving birth, wrapping up the baby and carrying on. Sutlery cooks employed women to help them with the preparation and serving of the food, so many became sutleresses and managed to earn enough to survive for the duration of the campaign. All women had one aim – to survive the campaign, get enough money to live on and make it back to Britain. Foreign wives followed their husbands back, as a soldier would have to buy his way out of the army if he wished to stay. All women had to pay for their passage on the ships back home, so it was vital to save as much money [by whatever means] as possible.

Originally published HERE

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