Jesse Mustain: Is There a Revolutionary War Record?

I’ve found no Jesse Mustain Revolutionary War Record. If anyone has details, please alert us by commenting on this post. Here’s a list of Virginian’s serving in the Revolution, and Jesse is not listed (source: Ancestry.com).

We know about Avery’s military service from the details in his pension request.

Can we guess that Jesse enlisted in the Revolution at the same time as his younger brother, Avery (the other 9 of 11 children were sisters)?

Jesse was born in 1750 and Avery in 1756.

There is no pension request record for Jesse, who died in Jun 1794, before pension benefits were available. It seems that Jesse’s wife, Jenny (I’ll check further for her maiden name), died in 1792…so she would not have been alive to request a widow’s benefit. These dates are from Carolyn Mckenzie’s “tree-format” research.*

Delores M. Mustaine’s research agrees with the dates in Carolyn’s research (see information about Jesse, beginning on page 55 of Delores’ book). Delores also had no maiden name for Jesse’s first wife or any mention of his military service. Here are details of his second marriage, about one year after Jenny’s death:

Jesse married second June 11, 1793, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Polly Brewis, daughter of Robert Brewis.

Please know that any blood descendant of Jesse’s and Avery’s father, Thomas Mustain, is eligible for Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), based on Thomas donating a firearm and signing the oath of allegiance.

Thomas Musteen for 1 smooth Bore Gun impressed for the use of the Militia on their march to join General Green. 1 pound, 12 shillings, 6 pence
November 10, 1783, Thomas Mustain furnished one gun for the Southward Expedition.

Thomas also signed the Oath of Allegiance in 1777.

Looking to see if I might find an illustration of a “smooth bore” gun, I found that it was a musket. Wikipedia includes some interesting information about how complicated it was to load and shoot one:

A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smooth bore long gun, fired from the shoulder. Muskets were designed for use by infantry. A soldier armed with a musket had the designation musketman or musketeer

 

musketeer training

“A Seventeenth-Century manual of arms; step-by-step procedure in the handling of the musket by ranked [arranged in ranks] men was essential to avoid fatal accidents.”

  …In the 18th century, as typified by the English Brown Bess musket, loading and firing was done in the following way:

  • Upon the command “prime and load“, the soldier would make a quarter turn to the right at the same time bringing the musket to the priming position. The pan would be open following the discharge of the previous shot, meaning that the frizzen would be tilted forward. If the musket was not being reloaded after a previous shot, the soldiers would be ordered to “Open Pan“.
  • Upon the command “Handle cartridge“, the soldier would draw a cartridge from the cartridge box worn on the soldier’s right hip or on a belt in front of the soldier’s belly. Cartridges consisted of a spherical lead ball wrapped in a paper cartridge which also held the gunpowder propellant. The end of the cartridge opposite from the ball would be sealed by a mere twist of the paper. The soldier then tore off the twisted end of the cartridge with the teeth and spat it out, and continued to hold the now open cartridge in his right hand.
  • Upon the command “prime“, the soldier then pulled the hammer back to half-cock, and poured a small amount of powder from the cartridge into the priming pan. He then closed the frizzen so that the priming powder was trapped.
  • Upon the command “about“, the butt of the musket was then lowered and moved to a position against the soldier’s left calf, and held so that the soldier could then access the muzzle of the musket barrel. The soldier then poured the rest of the powder from the cartridge down the muzzle. The cartridge was then reversed, and the end of the cartridge holding the musket ball was inserted into the muzzle, with the remaining paper shoved into the muzzle above the musket ball. This paper acted as wadding to stop the ball and powder from falling out if the muzzle was lowered.
  • Upon the command “draw ramrods“, the soldier drew the ramrod from the musket. The ramrod was grasped and reversed when removed, and the large end was inserted about one inch into the muzzle.
  • Upon the command “ram down cartridge“, the soldier then used the ramrod to firmly ram the wadding, bullet, and powder down to the breech of the barrel. The ramrod was then removed, reversed, and returned to half way in the musket by inserting it into the first and second ramrod pipes. The soldier’s hand then grasped the top of the ramrod.
  • Upon the command “return rammers“, the soldier would quickly push the rammer the remaining amount to completely return it to its normal position. Once the ramrod was properly replaced, the soldier’s right arm would be held parallel to the ground at shoulder level, with the right fingertips touching the bayonet lug, and lightly pressing the musket to the soldier’s left shoulder. The soldier’s left hand still supported the musket.

(At no time did the soldier place the musket on the ground to load)

  • Upon the command “Make Ready“. The musket was brought straight up, perpendicular to the ground, with the left hand on the swell of the musket stock, the lock turned toward the soldier’s face, and the soldier’s right hand pulled the lock to full cock, and grasped the wrist of the musket.
  • Upon the command “present“, the butt of the musket was brought to the soldier’s right shoulder, while at the same time the soldier lowered the muzzle to firing position, parallel to the ground, and sighting (if the soldier had been trained to fire at “marks”) along the barrel at the enemy.
  • Upon the command of “fire“, the soldier pulled the trigger, and the musket (hopefully) fired. A full second was allowed to pass, and the musket was then quickly lowered to the loading position, butt against the soldier’s right hip, muzzle held off center to the left at about a forty-five degree angle, and the soldier would look down at his open pan to determine if the prime had been ignited.

This process was drilled into troops until they could complete the procedure upon hearing a single command of “prime and load“. No additional verbal orders were given until the musket was loaded, and the option was either to give the soldiers the command “Make Ready“, or to hold the musket for movement with the command of “Shoulder your firelock“. The main advantage of the British Army was that the infantry soldier trained at this procedure almost every day. A properly trained group of regular infantry soldiers was able to load and fire four rounds per minute. A crack infantry company could load and fire five rounds in a minute.

If you have any details about Jesse’s military service, please click on the comment icon and share details or online links.

*After the tree information loads in Carolyn’s research, click inside the box before you type F for a list of all names. That is not clear in the directions on the research page.

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