Fire & Retire !
First hand accounts from
the Napoleonic Wars.
In 1800 'The Experimental Corps of Riflemen' was formed. Three years later it became known as the '95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot' and continued with that name until 1816 when it was renamed the 'Rifle Brigade'.
2The Baker Rifle: The new regiment was armed with the Baker rifle which, though it took two or three times as long to load and required a non-standard calibre of ball (leading to supply problems), it was considerably more accurate and effective at a longer range than the standard issue 'Brown Bess' musket of the line regiments and regular light infantry companies. A a standard issue 'Brown Bess' musket was unlikely to hit a man-sized target at ranges beyond 80 yards. The Baker Rifle was an accurate weapon for its day with reported kills being taken at 100 to 300 yards (270 metres) away. During the Peninsula War, Rifleman Thomas Plunkett of the 1st Battalion, 95th Rifles shot the French General Auguste-Marie-François Colbert at a range that may have been even greater. He then shot a second French officer who rode to the general's aid, proving that this was not just a lucky shot.
3The Pattern 1800 Baker Sword bayonet had a flat, unfullered 24 inch blade, (Further note: A "Fullered" blade is one with a so-called 'Blood Groove'), ribbed brass grips, a brass knuckle-guard and was carried in a leather and brass scabbard. The means of attachment of this bayonet was a bar brazed to the barrel which engaged with a mortise slot on the hilt of the bayonet and was held in place by a sprung locking bolt operated by a press-stud. This method (with some modifications) was later to be adopted almost universally for the attachment of bayonets.
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