Firing a demiculverine from a bastion at “James Fort.” (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Jamestown soldiers carrying polearms (a halberd and a bill). (conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
A Jamestown sentry on duty shouldering his heavy matchlock musket. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)
Like Miles Standish, some of the soldiers had swords at their sides, and all carried either flintlock or matchlock muskets so big and heavy that, before they could fire them off, they had to rest them upon supports stuck into the ground for the purpose.
Brewster's and Standish's Swords
French Garrison Gun (1650-1700). The gun is on a sloping wooden platform at the embrasure. Note the heavy bed on which the cheeks of the carriage rest and the built-in skid under the center of the rear axletree.
Gustavus abandoned the leather gun, however, in favor of a cast-iron 4-pounder and a 9-pounder demiculverin produced by his bright young artillery chief, Lennart Torstensson. The demiculverin was classed as the "feildpeece" par excellence, while the 4-pounder was so light (about 500 pounds) that two horses could pull it in the field.
Under the Swedish warrior Gustavus Adolphus, artillery began to take its true position on the field of battle. Gustavus saw the need for mobility, so he divorced anything heavier than a 12-pounder from his field artillery. His famous "leatheren" gun was so light that it could be drawn and served by two men. This gun was a wrought-copper tube screwed into a chambered brass breech, bound with four iron hoops. The copper tube was covered with layers of mastic, wrapped firmly with cords, then coated with an equalizing layer of plaster. A cover of leather, boiled and varnished, completed the gun. Naturally, the piece could withstand only a small charge, but it was highly mobile.