Jul 5, 2015

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to information on the Fort Crevecoeur Annual French & Indian War Event held at  Fort Crevecoeur Park, Creve Coeur, IL.  Join us August 1st and 2nd, 2015 to help the IL Co. to do battle with the French.  If you're on the French side, please come too, the French will need some help if they plan to do battle with us Rangers!

May 15, 2015

Myths of the Blunderbuss (updated link)

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a great article about myths of the Blunderbuss.  Please also note the paragraph where in July 8, 1773, Captain Stedman said: "During this, however, I met with a small accident, by firing myself one of the blunderbusses, which I placed like a musquet against my shoulder; when I received such a stroke by its rebounding, as threw me backward over a large hogshead of beef, and had nearly dislocated my right arm. This however it seems was owing to my ignorance of the manner of using the blunderbuss, as I have since been informed that all such weapons ought to be fired under the hand, especially when heavily charged; and then by swinging round the body suddenly, the force of the rebound is broken, and the effect scarcely sensible. I insert this only to shew [sic] in what manner the heavily-loaded muscatoons [sic] ought always to be fired; especially since, without any aim, the execution from their wide mouth is always equally fatal.”

May 5, 2015

Will the REAL Robert Rogers please stand up?

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a very interesting article about the real Robert Rogers and Queen’s American Rangers of 1776 written by Todd Braistedabout.  If you've been watching the AMC TV show TURN, you might be surprised at some of the facts.  Plus please see the reader's comments at the end of the article - especially the comment by jegrenier who said: "AMC should have stayed with zombies and drunken-philandering ad execs."  :-)

Apr 24, 2015

Coning a Rifle Barrel

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a great article with historical info & pictures showing the coning of a .58 cal rifle barrel by Ed Hamberg, using a coning tool he has developed for coning barrels from .32 cal to .75 cal.  Ed manufactures his tool and sells it, but doesn't advertise, so this information is presented FYI.  If you hate ball starters, then one of these coning tools may be what you need.  If you're interested, Ed can be contacted at longknife1776@sbcglobal.net or at:
Edward Hamberg
1008 Logan
Alton IL 62002

Here's a picture of Ed's coning tool, and the tool in use:

There's many more pictures and instructions for using Ed's coning tool at CLICK HERE FOR LINK

Apr 21, 2015

Forgotten War: The Struggle for North America

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a great article “Robert Rogers: ‘A Man of Uncommon Strength’” By Tim J. Todish".

Please also CLICK HERE FOR LINK to other great American Colonials articles (where this article was found) at the Mountain Lake PBS website Interactive Museum - Documentaries - Forgotten War: The Struggle for North America.

And last but not least - CLICK HERE FOR LINK to explore the entire website for a wealth of information about the French & Indian War.

Apr 15, 2015

Larry Plecher's BlackPowderMag.com

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to Larry Plecher's great black powder website where there are articles on:
Artists of Note, Experiments & Tests, Lock Timing, Priming Powder, Vent Liners, CLA, CLA 2013, CLA 2014, Gallery, Friendship National Shoot, Gun Shows, Interviews, Resources, Videos. Especially interesting are Experiments & Tests articles including Filled Vent Test – Is it Slower? and Lead vs Leather Flint Attachment Study.

Fort Crevecoeur Rendevous

Apr 3, 2015

The Tarnished Tale of Robert Rogers

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an interesting article "The Tarnished Tale of Robert Rogers".  Love him or hate him, he was like all men and had his good and bad side.  But none can deny he was a famous man because his deeds and what he wrote lives on today!  Robert Rogers' Rangers are often credited with turning the tide in French and Indian Wars, and in the words of Ranger historian Burt Garfield Loescher, the rich heritage of Rogers' Rangers has been preserved in the history of two great nations:  "They won Canada from France so that the American Colonies might be free to win their independence from England, and then strove to defend Canada from American occupation so that two great countries might be born..."

Mar 28, 2015

10 Things You May Not Know About Rogers' Rangers

1. Rogers' father was shot and killed by his father's friend, he was mistaken for a bear.

2. Rangers took scalps and like all soldiers of that time, looted the enemy when there was an opportunity.

3. Rangers sometimes knocked prisoners on the head with a hatchet (killing them) when attacked by an enemy force.

4. Smallpox killed Rogers' brother, and many other Rangers too.

5. More Rangers used rifles than previously thought.

6. One detachment of Rangers ate the remains of other Rangers found in a stream, another detachment of Ranger Stockbridge Indians killed a squaw and ate her, plus it's rumored that Rogers killed a squaw and fed her to the men in the detachment he was leading – all 3 incidents when they were starving on the return from St. Francis.

7. Several Rangers had dogs (particularly the officers) who accompanied them on their scouts and in their battles. A Wolf Dog named Sergeant Beaubier was present in several of the Rangers' Indian battles, and it is said, assisted in the destruction of more of them than any individual of the Corps.

8. Sometimes a patch of snow or some rotten wood, which in the night has a phosphorescent glow – could be mistaken for a fire when seen from a distance.

9. Unlike what's shown in the 1940 Northwest Passage Movie, Rangers didn't leave their wounded behind if there was any way possible to carry them out.

10. Rangers and some British units did regularly practice shooting their Brown Bess muskets and could shoot them fairly accurately – and did aim to kill. Don't believe various TV channel historians that say British soldiers shot wildly not caring what they hit.

Mar 27, 2015

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Any comments or email messages will be sincerely appreciated - positive or negative.  Plus if you have any suggestions for future posts or have information to post - please comment or send email.

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Or you can send email to the Illinois Rangers by clicking on the CONTACT tab at the top of the blog, or click fill in the CONTACT FORM on the blog itself on the right hand side.

Mar 23, 2015

Why British Major Robert Rogers Does Not Deserve a Statue Nor a Days Ceremony nor a Park in His Namesake.

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an article by Raymond Pibunki Awasos LeMay, a Koasek Abenaki.  Raymond claims Major Rogers was known as a Butcher of the Abenaki and a Traitor to our Nation. Also Raymond says it's an insult to present day Native Americans in honoring his accomplishments. Why doesn't he deserve a statue, Raymond hopes to answer that or at the least educate the public as to why.

So Raymond obviously doesn't like Rogers' Rangers, but we want to present fair and balanced news in our blog for your enjoyment, so please read his article and see his website.  It's always good to get both sides of the story, even if you may have other opinions.

As Raymond pointed out, the Abenaki are still there at St. Francis and are doing well, but I wonder why I read elsewhere where it said: "Rogers’ Raid was one attack, on just one Abenaki village, but it has had a lingering impact on Abenaki history ever since. The Abenaki community at Odanak is recognized as a First Nation by the Canadian government, but the Abenaki community at Missisquoi, which has also persisted to the present, has yet to be federally-recognized by the United States government.  Enclaves of Abenaki families persisted in other places, around Lake George, Pennacook territory, and elsewhere, but the connections throughout Ndakinna are still poorly understood by many historians today, in part because of the emotional impact of Rogers’ Raid, and the mistaken illusion that Odanak was the only homeplace of Abenaki people. During the 1950s, and 1960s, many Abenaki elders tried to protect their children from prejudice by not teaching them their Native language, and not talking to them about their history. Some, especially those who lived in New England lived in fear that one day, the descendants of Rogers’ Rangers would come to finish them off."

So the Illinois Ranger wonders why if Rogers' raid was so unsuccessful and killed only about 30 women and children, then why were the Abenaki during the 1950s & 1960's in New England living in fear that one day, the descendants of Rogers’ Rangers would come and finish them off?

Plus the Illinois Ranger also has never seen an Abenaki website that explained why in the St. Francis raid, Rangers found the Abenaki had hanging on poles over their doors, etc. about 600 scalps, mostly English.  And there were scalps of women and children too!

If you disagree with anything said above, then please make a comment.

Mar 20, 2015

Native American Ice Cannibals of Myth and Legend

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to Native American Ice Cannibals of Myth and Legend.

Now that I have your attention, please also CLICK HERE FOR LINK to the parent website where the link above was found:  Native Languages of the Americas: Preserving and promoting American Indian languages.  This great website contains a wealth of information, and they are a small non-profit organization dedicated to the survival of Native American languages, particularly through the use of Internet technology.  This site has inner beauty, for it is, or will be, a compendium of online materials about more than 800 indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere and the people that speak them.

Mar 19, 2015

Ray Mears' Extreme Survival - Roger's Rangers

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a great YouTube video Ray Mears' Extreme Survival S03E02 - Rogers' Rangers.  Follow in the footsteps of Major Robert Rogers as Ray tells of their epic withdrawal through New England where Rogers' Rangers fought off both the pursuing enemy and starvation as the seasons changed rapidly from Autumn 

Mar 14, 2015

Calender of 2015 Events

Here is a list of events that Capt. Lt. Harvey Anglum and other Illinois Rangers will try to attend:

April 10,11,12 Ft De Chartres Trade Faire
April 17,18,19 Mascouten Bay Rendezvous
May TBA Clayville Historic Site Pleasant Plains IL
June 6,7 Ft De Chartres Summer Rendezvous
July 18,19 Forces of Montcalm & Wolf Muster at Forest Glen Westville IL
Sept 19,20 Forces of M&W Ko Ko Mah KoKomo IN
Oct 10,11 Ft De Chartres 250th Surrender to British Forces end of French & Indian War
Nov 7,8 Ft De Chartres Winter Rendezvous

Mar 8, 2015

Pictures of the Illinois Ranger firing his Brown Bess.

Here's some pictures of the Illinois Ranger firing his Brown Bess.

In the picture below, the hammer with flint had just slammed against the frizzen​, to throw sparks into the flashpan.

In this second picture, the powder in the flashpan exploded, driving flames into the touch-hole to ignite the powder and ball inside the barrel.

In this third picture, flames and smoke on both ends, and the ball has already left the barrel.

Mar 7, 2015

Reading Abenaki Traditions And European Records Of Rogers

CLINK HERE FOR LINK to an informative .PDF article about Rogers' Rangers attack on St. Francis on October 4, 1759.  The Abenaki and French claimed 32 were killed by Rogers' Rangers, most of them women and children.  However Major Rogers claimed fires consumed many of the Indians who had concealed themselves in the cellars and lofts of their houses, and claimed the Rangers had killed at least two hundred Indians.  Which do you believe?  The St. Francis Abenakis dispersed after the raid and were effectively taken out of the war.

10 Things You May Not Know About the French and Indian War

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to History.com - 10 Things You May Not Know About the French and Indian War

Mar 6, 2015

Northwest Passage Video Clips

Most video clips of the 1940 Northwest Passage Movie have been removed from YouTube because of copyright restrictions.  But Click Here for Link to 4 video clips by TCM.  And Click Here for Link for a Youtube video Northwest Passage (Original Theatrical Trailer).  Plus,  Click Here for Link for a Northwest Passage (Preview Clip) by Warner Archive.

Feb 23, 2015

Blowing Down the Barrel

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an interesting posts about "blowing down the barrel" in the Muzzleloading Forum, which is a great website for all types of muzzleloading topics and information.  Whether you blow down the barrel or not after shooting your muzzleloader is your business, this information is presented merely to make readers aware of the controversial viewpoints on this subject.  Here's an interesting comment in the first of a series of posts on that subject:

Anonymous said on 09/21/07 02:56 PM - Post#463160
Not to reopen this can of worms, but I re-discovered a quote I had read years ago from Audabon in 1810 that described a loading procedure he took to be common then and it contains several things that some recent folks have thought were "modern". Like blowing down the barrel between shots--he allowed it was to see if the touchhole was clear or if one needed to pick it. Another observation: a narrow strip of linen was hung from the bag--for patching, which was cut at the muzzle! The patching was 'lubed' by rubbing it in grease kept in the patch box. The cutting was done by a knife hung on the bag! I'll have to reread the quote and see if there is anything I missed...but 1810 is a pretty early date for all these things...I have seen us question all of these things--blowing down the barrel, patch knives hung from the bag, cutting at the muzzle....oh, and he said a feather was often placed in the touchhole while loading, and when removed, a few grains of the charge would spill into the pan, showing the hole was open...Audabon is responsible for several period descriptions of loading and hunting--and was an avid hunter as well as artist...

Feb 19, 2015

More interesting stories about Slipperyskin

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to another interesting story about Slipperyskin.

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to yet another interesting story where Samuel de Champlain wrote how numerous Indian tribes had told eerie stories of a giant, hairy man-beast that was known to the natives as "the Gougou".

Another story about Slipperyskin

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to another story about Slipperyskin, seen by a man named Duluth, a scout with Roger’s Rangers.

Slipperyskin – Bear, Bigfoot, or Indian?

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an interesting article at Vermonter.com that says the earliest written report about Slipperyskin came from a scout with Rogers' Rangers, who passed through unsettled country in 1759 returning from the raid on Odanak.

Feb 15, 2015


CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an informative article by Harold L. Peterson about tomahawks, hatchets, and boarding axes used by Americans.


CLICK HERE FOR LINK to great tomahawk site devoted to the exchange of information about, and images of early trade axes and tomahawks.

And please CLICK HERE FOR LINK to another great tomahawk site mentioned in earlier posts called "Fur Trade Axes and Tomahawks".

Feb 12, 2015

The Return of Rogers' Rangers by Michael F. Dilley

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an informative article "The Return of Rogers' Rangers
by Michael F. Dilley" which discusses Ranger units with which Robert Rogers was affiliated after the conclusion of the French and Indian War.

Feb 11, 2015

Short Interesting Video

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a short interesting video about Rogers' Rangers.  It's not in color, it looks old and is patched together clips from a couple of old movies including Northwest Passage - but it's interesting.

Ghosts of Rogers' Rangers

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an interesting article by commentator Willem Lange, who likes to row on the Connecticut River, where he reflects often on the ghosts of former Valley dwellers.

Feb 8, 2015

Indian Captives & Their Stories

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to great stories about Indian captives.

Muzzleloading Experiments

CLINK HERE FOR LINK to a great web page devoted to black-powder and muzzleloading experiments and topics related to the physics of black powder shooting.

Feb 4, 2015

The Guns of 1776 – Musket Replicas from Davide Pedersol

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to an interesting article about the Brown Bess.  We may not agree with everything in the article, but it makes some good points:
1. Brown Bess puts .75 holes in everything it hits.
2. Brown Bess is deadly - delivers twice the lead of a .45 ACP at about the same or more velocity.
3. Brown Bess can shoot a ball through more than one person (historically accurate).
4. Crisco is good lube.  (Note beeswax can also be mixed with Crisco for lubing paper cartridges.)
5. You can "dry ball" .715 balls (i.e. load without patches) after the first couple shots dirties the bore.
6. Cloth or paper patches can catch fire after the shot.  (So be careful in dry leaves or grass.)
7. Buckshot does work great in a Brown Bess, it's devastating at close range.
8. Shotgun brushes with patches wrapped around them works great for cleaning a Brown Bess bore.
9. Best cleaning solvent is standard dish soap in warm water.

Feb 2, 2015

Journal of Pvt. Thomas Brown

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a plain narrative of the uncommon sufferings and remarkable deliverance of Thomas Brown, of Charlestown, in New England who returned to his father's house the beginning of Jan. 1760, after having been absent three years and about eight months: containing an account of the engagement between a party of English, Commanded by Maj. Rogers and a party of French and Indians, in Jan. 1757 ... how he was taken captive by the Indians and carried to Canada, and from thence to the Mississippi; where he lived about a year, and was again sent to Canada ...

Thanks to Dale Ford for bringing this story to the Illinois Ranger's attention.

'Northwest Passage' (Book I -- Rogers' Rangers) Quotes

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to great quotes from the movie Northwest Passage.

Jan 31, 2015

Indian Wooden Post - for War,Torture, or Fantasy?

Can anyone provide any information on the wooden post in the Movie Northwest Passage that Hunk Marriner pulls a tomahawk out when the Rangers enter the village of Fort St. Francis.  The wooden post is painted with blue/green, red, and yellow stripes and had two tomahawks stuck in it before Marriner pulled one out.

Possibly it's an Indian torture post - or a post Indians danced around and stuck their tomahawks in before going off to war - or just movie fantasy?  Anyhow, if anyone has some ideas, please comment to this post or CLICK HERE to send an email to illinoisranger@gmail.com .  Thanks for any information anyone can provide.

The Spike Tomahawk

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to look inside the book “The Spike Tomahawk: A Popular Tool and Weapon in Colonial North America” by Jack Vargo.  This author presents excellent information in the book such as the origins & manufacture of the spike tomahawk, celtiform tomahawks, dissection of trade axes to create iron celt axes and other tools, halberd tomahawks, boarding axes, and much more.  Although the book is only 86 pages, it contains a wealth of information and like one reviewer said: “I found this book to very informative to what I need it for in primitive weapons. I'm glad I bought it.”

Jan 28, 2015

Cold Steel Spike Frontier Hawk

CLICK HERE FOR LINK to a great Spike Tomahawk that really excels when it's used as a weapon. Like it says at Cold Steel's website, "With one highly effective edge and a long spike, it puts any adversary on the horns of a fierce dilemma: Face the edge in brutal chopping, cutting, slashing and gouging attacks, or risk getting huge deep holes punched in you by the fearsome spike.  To make matters even worse for an attacker, either end of the hawk can be used to hook or trap an opponent's weapon, neck, arm or leg, to control or manipulate the situation to one's advantage. Furthermore, the overall length of the of the hawk measures 9" across making it a wide, stiff platform that can be punched into an incoming weapon arm to momentarily stop its forward motion and immobilize it."

Please note we have no commercial or advertising interests in Cold Steel other than you let you know they make great, reasonably priced spike tomahawk.

Staining Hickory Tomahawk Handles

Staining hickory tomahawk handles to a dark brown color can be difficult with wood stains.  Try Fiebing's dark brown leather dye and seal it in with several coats of boiled linseed oil.  It also helps if you sand the handle with a medium or course grit sandpaper before staining.

Jan 26, 2015

Illinois Ranger is back

The Illinois Ranger has been lost in the woods for over a year, now he's back.  He's missed publishing many comments and posts lately.  He sincerely apologizes for disappearing for so long.