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Sample Chapter – Suppling the Armies – Gunpowder

Sample Chapter

Suppling the Armies

Gunpowder

Classed as a “low explosive” substance, gunpowder produces a large amount of pressure and gas after a rapid burn. This explosion of gas and pressure is ideal for propelling a projectile down the barrel of a firearm or cannon, as it is not intense enough to destroy the device. Gunpowder is composed of three ingredients, potassium nitrate, carbon and sulfur. Sulfur comprises the smallest component at about ten percent. The colonies imported it from Sicily, which has huge deposits. Carbon, the next biggest component at about fifteen percent,  they could manufacture from charcoal, an abundant resource made by burning wood. Potassium nitrate is the most important at seventy-five percent and is the most difficult to obtain.

Potassium Nitrate

Potassium nitrate, or salt peter, accumulates in caves as the composted remains of bat manure, or guano. The substance acts as an oxidizer during the explosion, decomposing high temperatures. It provides oxygen for gunpowder’s chemical reaction when ignited. The early colonists knew of no natural sources of salt peter in the New World. Sources were found later on, but the need for this critical material during the Revolutionary War forced the colonists to find foreign sources. There is another way to produce salt peter, but it is a long process. Any organic matter that contains nitrogen is a potential source for potassium nitrate. Manure, blood from slaughterhouses, plant material of all kinds they gathered and put in a huge pile. They would water this pile from time to time with animal and human urine. This pile of organic matter would decompose, leaving compost behind. They would then leach the salt peter out of this compost with water. They could then recrystallize the salt peter by evaporating the resulting liquid in the sun. This process typically took a year to produce the salt peter needed for gunpowder. Caves in the Appalachian Mountains mountain provided another source, as the bats that lived in them produced an ample supply of guano from which they could procure saltpeter.

Ingredients and Recipe

Charcoal

Gunpowder manufacturers could use charcoal made from a variety of sources, however charcoal made from wood made the best, most powerful, gunpowder. Manufacturers also used charcoal made from other materials like grapevine, hazel, elder, laurel and even pine cones. Most manufacturers prefer light woods because they leave less ash after the charring process than heavier woods like oak, hickory and maple. Gunpowder mills in during the Colonial and Revolutionary period in the United States preferred to use cottonwood, soft pine and cedar. To make charcoal, they tended to cut trees between two and ten years old in the spring. At this time the trees contained the most sap, which lessens the dissolved salt content in the wood which creates less ash when charred. At this time of year it is also easier to debark the trees. Bark produces more ash when charred, so they preferred not to use it. After cutting and debarking they cut the wood into pieces about three feet long, split the pieces and placed them in an iron cylinder called a slip. After sealing the ends of the cylinder, they placed the slips in huge ovens to bake. The cylinders were placed in such a way as to expose its entire surface to the flames to produce an even temperature. They used different temperatures and baking times to produce different types of gunpowder, however generally it took from between three to six hours at approximately 300 degrees.

Sulfur

Sulfur and charcoal, or carbon, act as the fuel that provides the explosion when the gunpowder is ignited. Natural sources of sulfur were scarce in North America at this time, thus most sulfur was imported from the volcanic regions of Italy..

The Situation at the Beginning of the War

An army needed gunpowder to function. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War the supply of gunpowder available to Washington’s fledgling army proved wholly inadequate to its needs. One reason that the Siege of Boston lasted so long is that Washington did not have an adequate supply of gunpowder to evict the British from the city. Historians estimate that the amount of powder available in early 1775 was only sufficient to supply each soldier with about 20 cartridges. In a heated battle, this would last less than 15 minutes. The powder stored in magazines had been there since the end of the French and Indian War in 1763. The end of that war had ended the need to produce vast quantities of gunpowder and the colonial powder mills that produced it had fallen into disuse. The men that knew how to make the critical substance were also in short supply. It was cheaper to produce gunpowder in England and ship it to the colonies than it was to produce it locally, so domestic production had become almost extinct. If British General Howe, cooped up in Boston, had gained information on the sorry state of the rebel’s gunpowder supplies he could have ended the revolution before it had a chance to start.

Supplying the Armies

Description:

Keeping an army in the field supplied with food, clothing, munitions and all the other necessities to keep a soldier fighting requires a complex network of departments within an army. Supplying the Armies will provide readers with an understanding of the task that faced the British and Continental Armies as they struggled for dominance.

Published Sometime in late 2020 or 2021

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Sample Chapter – Indiana’s Timeless Tales – The Indiana Territory – Book 1 – Harrison Grants Trading Licenses

Sample Chapter – Indiana’s Timeless Tales

The Indiana Territory – Book 1

Harrison Grants Trading Licenses
During November 1801 Governor William Henry Harrison granted trading licenses to several men in the future state of Indiana.
Beginnings of the Fur Trade in North America
Early French explorers in North America searched for gold and found little. They did find another valuable commodity that proved much more lucrative, furs. French and English fishermen voyaged to the coastal regions of what is now northeastern Canada spent time ashore drying their catch before returning to their home villages. During these times the native populations and these fishermen made contact. During these encounters, the fishermen would sometimes trade the natives European goods for furs. In time, the fishermen discovered that the furs were much more valuable than the fish and began making voyages dedicated exclusively to trading for fur. Soon, exploring parties made up of exploders like Jacques Cartier, John Cabot, Giovanni da Verrazzano and Henry Hudson began probing the North American coast seeking both a passage through to the Pacific and Asia as well as furs to trade. By 1608 permanent fur trading settlements began to appear. Samuel de Champlain established Quebec in 1608, the Dutch established New Amsterdam at the mouth of the Hudson River and later Fort Orange, which is current day Albany, further inland a few years later. During this same time the English established settlements further to the south.
Fur Trade in Indiana
The fur trade formed an important financial resource for the European governments that controlled the Ohio River Valley and to the Amerindian tribes that grew to depend upon the goods the traders supplied. The great abundance of fur bearing animals in the region supplied the natives with needed supplies like blankets, metal cookware and tools and the Europeans with furs to use as clothing, mainly hats. In Indiana there were four main periods of fur trading, the French period, the English period, the American period before 1812 and the fur trade after 1814. Since the fur trade had played such an important role in the years before the establishment of the Indiana Territory and would continue to be vital for many year, it is time to explore the inner workings of the fur industry. To understand the reasons for the establishment of the early important French fur trading posts that existed in early Indiana, it is important to start at the beginning, the beaver hat and other apparel made from fur.
Fur Apparel
Furriers created various forms of clothing from the furs they received from North America. These included coats, robes, trousers and other apparel. The most important item made from fur were hats, which had become an almost mandatory fashion item for both sexes beginning in the late 17th Century. European royalty, commoners and military personnel all wore fur hats of various sizes and styles. Various animals, trapped, traded, transported and processed, supplied the materials for fur apparel. Beaver hats were in vogue from about 1650 – 1850. The hat was an essential component of clothing and most European of both sexes wore them. Most people spent most of their time outdoors and the hat helped protect them against sun, rain and snow. Since the beaver hat was waterproof, it was the hat most in demand.
The Animals
Most of the animals that inhabited North America became popular as sources of fur. These included, hare, rabbit, lamb, wolf, coyote, raccoon, and possum. This group formed the lower quality fur used mainly for hats and apparel for common people. Royalty demanded higher quality furs, which were provided by mink, sable, weasel, squirrel, bear, beaver, lynx, otter, polecat, marten, and fox. These animals all provided a rich source of furs, however the most important animal was the beaver.
The Beaver
The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber)was the most desirable animal used to satisfy the need for fur apparel. The Europeans nearly exterminated the animals before another source appeared, the North American beaver, Castor canadensis, which inhabits much of North America. Animals that inhabited the frigid regions of North America produced thicker, richer fur and were the most valuable in the fur trade.
The Fur
An animal’s fur serves several purposes which include temperature regulation, camouflage, moisture protection and as a sensory organ. Guard hairs form the outermost layer. These hairs contain an oily substance which helps the animal shed water as well as pigmentation which helps the animal blend into its environment. The inner fur, called wool, is denser and provides insulating qualities to the animal’s body. Insulating quality of the fur has little to do with the length of the hair, rather it is the denseness of the fur that helps keep an animal warm in Arctic regions, or cool, in desert areas.
The Hat Maker
The hat maker trade required a great deal of skill to perform. In Europe the earliest men practicing the trade of making felt from beaver fur were in Russia, as the cold winters there allowed the Eurasian beaver to develop the best fur. Russian felt makers guarded their secret processes of felt making well, forcing hat makers in France and Britain to import felt from Russian felt makers. After the Eurasian beaver practically disappeared from over hunting, the America beaver became available. French and English hat makers learned the craft and began producing high quality felt and hats. French hatmakers had begun practicing their trade in New France by the middle of the 1600’s. British hatmakers tended to cluster in London. Like other trades at the time the prospective hat maker apprenticed himself to a practicing hatter and spent several years learning the trade, after which the local hatmaker guild registered him and he could open a shop. The use of mercury nitrate to process the furs led to the hatter attaining a reputation of becoming mad. The phrase “mad as a hatter,” stemmed from the tendency of the mercury in the solution to attack the nervous system of the user, leading to personality changes, depression and sometimes delirium. As the 19th Century progressed felt hats began to fall out of fashion and the hatter profession waned. 
Reader NoteThis large section will cover some of the early fur traders that operated in Indiana, the trade routes and many other aspects of the state’s early fur trade. Visit Mossy Feet Books on Facebook

Sample Chapter – Indiana’s Timeless Tales – The Indiana Territory – Book 1 April 24, 1801 – Moravian Missionaries

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Indiana’s Timeless Tales  – The Indiana Territory – Book 1
April 24, 1801 – Moravian Missionaries Reach Future Site of Brookville
The current of the Whitewater was even more powerful than that of the Miami. This slowed the progress of the missionaries and their companions considerably, as they made only six miles the first day. This would have been at a point somewhere south of current West Harrison, Indiana.
Dining on Bear
They spent a full day at this site. A nearby resident shot a bear, which he gave to the missionaries and their party. Sister Kluge fried the meat over a campfire. They found the meat of the fat animal quite good. A party of the White River Lenape visited them at this spot.
Purchasing a Cow
During their short stay at this site they purchased a cow and a heifer and her calf to take with them. Residents told them that they should buy the cow before they reached Indian country, as there a cow in poor condition would cost them $40 or more. They purchased their cow for $13. On the morning of the 17th of April, the party departed, this time traveling in separate companies.
Pressing On
They had sold two of their canoes, so part of the party traveled upstream in the remaining 3. The remainder of the expedition traveled along the bank of the Whitewater driving the cattle along as they went. Over the next couple of days they managed to make contact with a Lenape family camping near the river that lived at Woapicamikunk. The Indians told the missionaries that they were about a 3 day ride by horseback from Woapicamikunk. They agreed to take a message back to the chiefs of that village that the missionaries were in the area and would arrive in several days. They also told them to remind the chiefs that they had promised to provide horses for the Moravian party, as they would be unable to proceed much more than 20 miles by water and that they would need horses. The Lenape departed, bearing the message and the Moravian party proceeded on.
Arrival at the Forks
They arrived at the forks of the East and West Branches of the Whitewater River, the future site of Brookville, Indiana, on April 24, 1801. The Moravian party set up camp near the trail that led west towards Woapicamikunk, and still about 100 miles to go to reach their goal.

Sample Chapter – A Timeline of Indiana History – 1795 – 1800 – Moravians Approve Mission to the Delaware

Sample Chapter 
Indiana’s Timeless Tales  – The Indiana Territory – Book 1
Moravians Approve Mission to the Delaware
August 15, 1800 – Moravians Approve Mission to the Delaware
In August 1800 the Moravians approved the mission to the Lenape that lived in the White River Region.
History of the Mission
The call to the Moravians to establish a mission among the Delaware had originated from an old Delaware Indian named Isaac. Isaac had been among the survivors of the Gnadenhutten Massacre, which had taken place in 1782.
Gnadenhutten Massacre
The Moravians had established three settlements in what is now southeaster Ohio along and in the region of the Muskingum River in 1772. These settlements were Gnadenhutten, Schoenbrunn and Salem. Many natives in this region listened to the Moravian missionaries, which had included Heckewelder and David Zeisburger, and converted to Christianity. During the Revolutionary War these peaceful natives, many of whom belonged to the Delaware tribe, stayed neutral in the war. The British had managed to recruit most of the other tribes to their cause. The British and the unconverted tribes distrusted the Moravian converts. The British removed the native residents of Gnadenhutten in 1781 and imprisoned them near Detroit. After removing them the British destroyed all the cabins and other improvements to the land that the natives had accomplished.  The British allowed about a hundred to return in the fall to harvest their crops. These Delaware resettled the town, however in March a band of Pennsylvania militia that had entered the area looking for Indians that had been conducting raids in that state found the Delaware. They mistook them for the Indians that had been raiding and murdered ninety-six Delaware in an incident that has become known as the Gnadenhutten Massacre on March 8, 1782.
Fled to Woapicamikunk 
Some of the survivors of Gnadenhutten fled to Woapicamikunk to live among other Delaware that had settled on the region. Some of these had reverted to the native beliefs of the Delaware, however some remained converted to Christianity. Isaac, now an old man, was one of these. Isaac had heard that David Zeisberger, who had founded the three missions in Ohio, had established another mission among the Indians at Goshen, Ohio in 1798. Isaac was too old to make the 16 day journey to Goshen, however he prevailed upon other tribal members to travel to Goshen and talk to the missionaries. Delaware Chief Tedpachxit decided to send a communication to the Moravians.
Tedpachxit
Historical lore indicates that Tedpachxit was a small man, however he was a proficient warrior. An incident that took place after St. Clair’s massacre had Tedpachxit at an event in which several American officers were present. When one of the generals heard mention of Tedpachxit, he asked “who the devil is Tedpachxit,” who thereupon strode over to the general and shook a string that had 27 dried human tongues strung on it and shook it in his face. Thus, he introduced himself to the general, saying, “He know me now.” Tedpachxit had later been Christianized and had been a part of Zeisberger’ s mission in Ohio. Tedpachxit had led a band of Delaware into the region around the White River near what is now east central Indiana and established 6 towns. The largest town they called Woapicamikunk, or “Place of the Chestnut Trees.” Tedpachxit, at Isaac’s urging, sent a message to Zeisberger, at Goshen sometime in 1797.
Delegation
The Moravians sent a deputation to the village on the White River with the mission of finding out if the Lenape really wanted a Moravian mission. After their arrival they spoke with Tedpachxit and asked him if the Lenape were willing to host the missionaries. The Lenape chief Pachgantschihilas, also known as Buckongahelas, happened to be present. He inquired the source of the message. The members of the delegation told him that it was a member of their tribe that had formerly lived among the Moravians. Pachgantschihilas advised them to disregard the message, that if the Lenape had sent them a message, the messenger would be accompanied by a string of wampum. The delegation returned to the Moravians with this message. The Moravians at Goshen allowed the matter to rest.
Buckongahelas (c. 1720 – May 1805) 
Native to present day Delaware, Buckongahelas was also known as Pachgantschihilas and Petchnanalas. The name means “fulfiller” or “one who succeeds in all he undertakes.” “fulfiller” or “one who succeeds in all he undertakes.” Bu-kon-ge-he-las means “Giver of Presents.” Pressure from white settlers forced the tribe to move west, some think to Buckhannon in Upshur County, West Virginia. Historical lore suggests that present day Buckhannon, West Virginia and the Buckhannon River’s names derive from that of the Delaware Chief. During their sojourn in the area  Captain William White shot and killed  Buckongahelas’ son, Mahonegon. A Boy Scout camp in the Buckhannon area bears the name of Mahonegon. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War Buckongahelas was associated with the Lenape chief White Eyes, who became allied with the Americans. Buckongahelas broke away and joined with Blue Jacket in the Ohio Country. During this time he visited with the Moravian Delaware, who had converted to Christianity, at Gnadenhütten, Ohio. During his visit he gave what John Heckeweller termed, a speech that was given “with ease and an eloquence not to be imitated.” In the speech he warned the natives that the Americans would kill them if they got in their path and it would not matter if they were Christians. Eleven months after the speech, militia men from Pennsylvania did kill them in an incident known as the Gnadenhütten massacre in 1782. Buckongahelas was associated with Miami Chief Little Turtle and quite active during the Northwest Indian War and a member of the Northwest Indian Confederacy. He had participated in many raids against the settlers. He fought at St. Clair’s Defeat and at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Buckongahelas signed the Treaty of Greenville for the Lenape. He later moved his tribe into the area now known as Muncie, Indiana along the White River. He signed the 1803 Treaty of Fort Wayne and the 1804 Treaty of Vincennes. Buckongahelas died the following year, near Muncie, Indiana. A 650 pound bronze statue honors him at Buckhannon’s Jawbone Run Park in Buckhannon, West Virginia.
Chief Hockingpomsga Visits Goshen
Lenape Chief Hockingpomsga visited Goshen on May 5, 1799. The Moravian missionaries were absent at the time of his visit, thus Lenape Chief William Henry Gelelemend spent time with the chief. During their activities Gelelemend mentioned that the respected Lenape Chief Netawatwes had been instrumental in bringing members of the various tribes into the mission established by the Moravians at Schoenbrunn Village, which was the first Moravian mission in what would become Ohio. Indeed, it had been Netawatwes that had initially invited the Moravians to establish a mission at the site and one of his fervent wishes was that the Lenape adopt the religion. Hockingpomsga was opposed to the missions, however respect for the venerated chief led him to carry the invitation to the Lenape to come to Goshen to hear the Word.
Chief Hockingpomsga 
The author has been unable to uncover much information about Chief Hockingpomsga other than that he lived in a village that bore his name, Hockingpomsga’s Town. local historians believe that this village was on the banks of the White River near Priest Ford Road southwest of Yorktown, Indiana. Priest Ford Road connects Indiana State Road 32 with County Line Road 165 S.
Invitation Extended
In April 1800 a messenger, Tulpe Najundam, brought a message from the Lenape living along the White River extending an invitation for the Lenape living in Goshen to come and live with them in a large tract of land near their village of Woapicamikunk that they had available. The original message sent to the Lenape living along the White River had in no way indicated that the Goshen Lenape would consider moving away from their lands. Tulpe Najundam indicated that the chiefs had suspected that the Goshen Lenape would not wish to move, but had set aside the land any way in hopes that they would accept and move anyway.
Unwilling to Move
The Goshen Lenape were quite satisfied with their situation and were unwilling to move. The Moravian missionaries at Goshen knew this and had no illusions about the reasons for the chiefs of the White River Lenape to extend the invitations. It was rumored that many of the Christianized Lenape living along the White River wished to return to the missions in Ohio. The missionaries felt that the invitation, which the chiefs knew would include the missionaries, was to prevent any more Lenape from leaving the White River and to perhaps bolster the numbers of the tribe living in one area along the White River. In spite of this, the Moravians believed it was a tremendous opportunity to spread the Gospel among the Lenape. The sent a non committal answer to the White River Lenape, informing them that they were considering the offer, but that their leaders had the final say and that would take time.
Approval
Shortly after Tulpe Najundam’s message to the Moravians, David Zeisberger dispatched a letter to the Moravian Helpers’ Conference, which was the mission administerial board in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, urging them to approve the mission to the White River. He indicated that some of the Lenape families living in Goshen might be willing to relocate to Woapicamikunk. He suggested that the brethren should assign a married couple or a single brother take part in the mission.
Luckenbach and Kluge
In time, the brethren approved the mission and chose Abraham Luckenbach and John Peter Kluge to make the journey into the White River region to undertake the mission. Neither man was married, however Kluge had indicated that, if chosen, he would marry before going.

Indiana’s Timeless Tales – The Indiana Territory – Book 1

Indiana’s Timeless Tales  – The Indiana Territory – Book 1

Description:
Explore the beginning years of the Indiana Territory until the beginning of the second stage of Territorial government in 1804.
To be published sometime in late 2020

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Sample Chapter – Short Indiana Road Trips – Calli Nature Preserve

Sample Chapter

Short Indiana Road Trips

Calli Nature Preserve

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To visit the Violet and Louis Calli Nature Preserve you will need to find County Road 40E. This road is about a mile east of downtown North Vernon, Indiana on US 50. The gravel road begins just east of the bridge across the Vernon Fork of the Muscatatuck River. After turning south on the gravel road, you will travel about a quarter mile to the parking lot, which is on the left. The road comes to a dead end at this point.
Dr. Louis and Violet Calli
Dr. Louis Calli and his wife Violet owned the land for the Violet and Louis Calli Nature Preserve. Dr. Calli was a physician who practiced for over fifty years in North Vernon. His wife Violet established the first Youth Center in North Vernon. She was awarded the Governor’s Award for Community Service. The Jennings County Community Foundation owns the Nature Preserve. The Foundation manages the place in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
The Nature Trail Head
The Violet and Louis Calli Nature Preserve consists of 180 acres. The trailhead for the self-guiding trail is adjacent to the parking lot on the same side of the road. The trail is just a bit over two miles long. There is a brochure available in a box at the trailhead that describes 18 stations along the course of the trail. There is also a notepad for you to register, just for fun.
The Trail
The trail begins with a pleasant stroll in the forest. It then follows the course of a spring fed stream. The best part of this hike is the extensive section that follows the course of the Vernon Fork of the Muscatatuck River. Some of the hike is along high bluffs overlooking the river. However, there are spots that allow access to sand bars extending out into the river. In early to mid April this portion of the trail is emblazoned with thousands of Virginia bluebells in full bloom. These flowers line the riverbank, the trail sometimes passing through vast beds of them. There are also some old hemlock stands along the river on these limestone bluffs.
Great Hike
The trail finishes up by passing through some open fields before finally exiting at the parking lot on the opposite side of the road. The Violet and Louis Calli Nature Preserve Nature Trail is a fun and pretty place to visit for a hike.
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Short Indiana Road Trips

Short Indiana Road Trips
Tourism Guide for Short Indiana Day Trips
Embark on a voyage of discovery with this travel guide that reveals some of Indiana’s finest treasures. From parks to museums and other gems from all over the state, let Short Indiana Road Trips be your guide.

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On the Square in Downtown Greensburg



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Fun Indiana Road Trips

Fun Indiana Road Trips

Fun Indiana Road Trips
The Guide Book to Indiana Cross Country Auto Tours
What could be more fun than a cross-country road trip across Indiana? Discover Indiana’s covered bridges, wineries, caves and much more by taking one of the auto tours listed in this guidebook. The book lists over thirty Indiana road trips for Hoosiers to take while they learn the history, culture, arts and natural wonders of the Hoosier State. Fun Indiana Road Trips includes a description of the Auto Trail, contact information, Indiana county tourism sites and a guide to navigating Indiana’s system of back roads.
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