From John Defever
Fort Cumberland [Md.] Sept. 18th 1755
Return of the stores Belonging to the Royal Trane of Artillery Left at Fort Cumberland: viz:
|Sling Cart Compleat||1|
|Round Shot with Wooden Bottoms||6 pts||100|
|Tin Cases fill’d with iron shot &||12 pts||112|
|Fix’d with Wooden Bottoms||6 pts||392|
|Grape shot with Wooden Tampeons2 and
pins Compleat for Howitzers
|spare Round shot 6 pounders||1100|
|Corn’d powder Copper hoop’d3 Whole Barrells||291|
|spare laddle staves6||12|
|Pick axes helv’d||24|
|Intrenching Tools||Felling axes||39|
|Do without helves8||44|
|Cross cut saws||2|
|sand Bags||½ Bushel||6000|
|Wheel Barrows Compleat||8|
|Bottoms for Do||23|
|Wheels for Do||87|
|Hand Grenadoes fix’d||1000|
|For Whole Barrells||Bundles 26 4 in Each||104|
Your Humble Servant
John Defever was in charge of the king’s stores left at Fort Cumberland after Braddock’s defeat. He was still in charge as late as July 1756 and was always referred to as the conductor of the train. On 28 May 1757 GW reported to Gen. John Stanwix that “there never has been any person appointed (since Mr De Fever left us) to take charge of” the king’s stores. At GW’s orders of 17 Sept. 1755, Defever compiled this return of what remained at Fort Cumberland of Braddock’s train of artillery. One day out of Fort Cumberland, during the march to Fort Duquesne, a shortage of wagons forced Braddock to send two 6–pounders and four Coehorns, with ammunition and other stores, back to the fort. When Col. Thomas Dunbar retreated to Fort Cumberland with the remnants of the army after the Battle of the Monongahela and then shortly afterward marched to Philadelphia, he left at Fort Cumberland only the arms and stores that he considered essential to the fort’s defense.
1. A tumbril was a two-wheeled cart used to carry tools and money; the covered wagons, also called caissons, carried ammunition; and the sling cart, with its oversized wheels, conveyed mortars or other heavy guns short distances, its cargo slung beneath the axle on ropes or chains.
2. The “Wooden Bottoms” and “Wooden Tampeons” were attached to the shot to prevent the exploding powder from losing force by escaping between the gun’s barrel and the projectile.
3. Corned powder was granulated gunpowder which was easier to use than dust or meal powder. Copper hoops were less likely to produce dangerous sparks than were iron ones.
4. Both hides and wadmill (woolen cloth) tilts were used as covers to protect powder and ammunition from the rain.
5. Haircloth was put on the floors of powder magazines to reduce friction which might produce sparks.
6. The ladle was a copper scoop which, when attached to a long handle (called a stave here), was used to charge artillery with loose powder.
7. Hand bills were small hatchets.
8. The wooden handles for hammers, hatchets, or axes were called helves.
9. Pickets were 5– or 6–foot-long spikes tipped with iron which were driven in the ground around the “Park,” the section of the camp where the artillery train was kept. Wooden mauls were used to drive the pickets into the ground.
10. Mantlets were musket-proof shields to protect soldiers digging trenches.
11. A wall piece was shoulder arm equipped with a swivel fork to support the weight of the gun.