This light infantry fusil is pictured and discussed on pages 247-250 of "American Military Shoulder Arms, Volume I: Colonial and Revolutionary War Arms" by George Moller. He notes: "The light infantry companies, along with grenadier companies (who were considered to be the army's elite), served on the flanks of the regular infantry. The light infantry were the army's skirmishers and could serve to turn an enemy's flank during an offensive. Defensively, the light infantry carried out patrols and countered enemy skirmishers. The Light Infantry fusil was issued to some of the light infantry units raised during the Seven Years' War. It was not issued to the light infantry during the American Revolution." Light infantry were less encumbered, trained for faster marching and maneuvers, and were meant to be able to quickly engage and counter the enemy. They were also employed as scouts and for small scale raids. This fusil was manufactured during the French & Indian War (1754-1763) that pitted the United Kingdom and its American colonies against the French and their Native American allies. A young George Washington's actions are often credited with causing the outbreak of the war which began over land disputes in the Ohio Country. The victory of the British expanded their territory past the Appalachian Mountains all the way to the Mississippi River as well as north with the take over of Canada and helped set the stage for the tensions that led to the American Revolution. Thus, this rare fusil is connected with the chain of events that led to the founding of our country. The fusil is essentially a lighter, smaller bore musket, but it does not actually share components with the normal Brown Bess. Like the Bess, the front sight doubles as the bayonet lug, and the barrel has Ordnance proofs at the breech along with a "2" and crown and letter mark (barrel maker). The lock has the Georgian cipher and inspector mark at center, engraved double line borders, and "FARMER/1759" marked on the tail. The cock has a "1" on the base. The furniture is brass. The side plate has an "I" marking and a "JC" marking just behind the tail. There is a storekeeper mark on the right side of the stock and two additional markings behind the trigger guard tang. Includes a leather sling, a metal ramrod with trumpet head, and a socket bayonet. Provenance: The George Moller Collection
Very good with smooth gray patina on the lock and barrel, minor spotting, aged patina on the brass, and minor wear overall mostly from age and storage. The re-oiled stock is also very fine and has scattered dings and scratches, some flaking at the barrel tang, and some faint splits in the grain on the forend. Mechanically fine. This is an incredible rare British martial long gun from "the war that made America."
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