The old badge of the light Infantry, the round military bugle, was the insignia of our infantry from 1832
to 1875, when it was superseded by the crossed muskets. The number of the regiment was displayed in the
center of the circle of the old device.
On the reorganization of the Army after World War I, Colonel Charles S. Farnsworth, Infantry, who had been
Major General in command of the 37th Division in France, became the first Chief of Infantry, as of 1 July
1920. In July 1921, the narrator, George M. Chandler, Captain, QM Corps, was detailed to the War Department
General Staff and assigned to O-4, Equipment Section, in charge of uniforms, insignia, heraldry, flags,
One day in the early spring of 1922, in the office of the Chief of Infantry, General Farnsworth made a
remark in substance as follows:
"In 1887,when after graduation leave I joined my regiment on the frontier, the crossed muskets which were
embroidered on the collar of my blue blouse had hammers which were distinctly shown. The musket was the
old Springfield model 1876, .45 caliber, single shot rifle. In 1892, following the rearmament of the
infantry with the Krag-Jorgensen, .30 caliber, magazine, bolt action rifle, the infantry collar mark was
changed to show the bolt action. In 1903, the "new" .30 caliber Springfield taking five cartridges in a
clip replaced the Krag. You see when the Ordnance changed the Infantry weapon, the Quartermaster changed
the Infantry collar mark. The ordnance is now working on a shoulder automatic for the infantry. Do you
think the crossed muskets which our grandsons will wear on their collars will show some sort of a rapid
fire pin wheel breech action? Will it be possible for you to make a study to determine just what the
infantry collar mark should be? And incidentally the infantry collar mark is crossed muskets, not crossed
rifles for any gun with a twisted bore is a rifle."
Obviously, an excellent device foe the infantry would be the oldest American infantry musket. Major Jerome
Clark of the Finance Department was generally known to have the best private collection of small arms in
the Army. I made my way to his office and stated the case. Without a moment's hesitation, Major Clark
reached into the corner behind his desk and produced one of the prize pieces of his collection, with a
remark to the effect that "This is the 1795 model Springfield Arsenal musket, the first official U.S.
shoulder production, caliber .69, flint lock, smooth bore, muzzle loader, the first standardized, quantity
production infantry weapon."
In 1775, the British "Tower" musket, made in the Tower of London arsenal, was the best shoulder weapon in
Europe. The French "Charleville musket, was made in the Charleville arsenal, northeast of Paris, was quite
similar to the British "Tower," the most noticeable difference being that the barrel of the Tower was
fastened to the stock by pins passing through the stock and through lugs on the barrel, while barrel of
the Charleville was fastened to the stock more sturdily with bands.
In March 1777, some 23,000 stand of Charleville muskets were received from France, 12,000 shipped to
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and 11,000 to Philadelphia. The victory at Saratoga followed in October, and
the French Alliance in early spring 1778.
The 1795 Springfield musket was the first model manufactured at Springfield Arsenal and was patterned
after the Charleville model of 1763. It was the Revolutionary War musket refined, standardized, with
interchangeable parts and put into quantity production.
Major Clarke's 1795 Springfield musket was taken to the office of the Quartermaster General; it was
photographed from each side, and drawings made. General Farnsworth and the office of the Chief of the
Infantry were pleased. The record drawing was made; the Chief of Staff, General Pershing, signed the
drawing and later approved the actual metal collar mark. This was in the spring of 1922.
George M. Chandler,
Major, U.S.A., Ret.,
Historical Section, Army War College,
8 January 1944.
1795 model Springfield Arsenal Musket; first official U.S. shoulder arm made in a government arsenal;
interchangeable parts; quantity production; caliber .69; flint lock; smooth bore; muzzle loader; total
length 59.5 inches; length of barrel 44.75 inches; length of stock 56.5 inches; weight 9 lbs. 0 oz;
including bayonet 10 lbs. 0 oz. Described in "Springfield Shoulder Arms," by Claude E. Fuller, published
by Francis Bannerman, New York, 1930, pp. 37-38, cut on Plate IX, facing p 38. Also: "Springfield Arms,"
by Clifford A. Miller in "Army Ordnance," Volume XX, July-August 1939, pp. 12-21, cut on p 18.
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