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Having assembled all the component parts, how were the cartridges loaded? An interesting step-by-step set of instructions was published in "Rules to be observed in the Laboratories of C.S. Arsenals and Ordnance Depots" (ISBN 1-57747-095-8. Thomas Publications, USA, 2002. These rules are a rare Confederate document, and the publishers have kindly given permission to reprint the following instructions for loading the English pattern of Enfield cartridges.

C.S. Central Laboratory, (Ordn.)

Macon, Ga., Feb. 9, 1864.

It has been recently ordered by the Chief of Ordnance that the only patters of cartridge to be hereafter used with muzzle loading rifled small arms shall be that known as the English pattern of Enfield cartridge.
It is important that the troops should be taught to load this cartridge properly - the following instructions upon the subject are therefore published - Ordnance Officers on field service will endeavour to secure their observance, and to correct any irregularities which they may notice.

  1. - If the powder end of the cartridge has been "pinched" or folded straighten out the folded portion of the paper - if it has been twisted (as is the case with the cartridges made in England) untwist the end with the finger and thumb.
  2. - Tear off the part of the paper at the powder end beyond the stiff inside cylinder, taking advantage of leverage upon the edge of this stiff cylinder, and tearing off as close as possible to the edge.
  3. - Pour the powder from the end of the cartridge thus opened into the barrel of the gun, taking care not to lose or scatter any of the powder - Hold the barrel vertically, so that but few grains may remain adherent to the inside surface.
  4. - Invert the cartridge, and insert the lubricated end into the muzzle of the piece (without tearing off any of the paper from the ball).
  5. - Press the bullet end of the cartridge down into the barrel until the top of the cylindrical portion of the ball is just flush with the muzzle taking acre that the axis of the bullet coincides with that of the barrel, and that the cartridge is pressed directly down - not twisted.
  6. - Break off the empty powder cylinder from the bullet, taking advantage of leverage against the edge of the muzzle, and being careful not to twist or pull the bullet out of its place.
  7. - Ram the ball steadily down, using no more pressure than is necessary, and avoid twisting the ramrod. Settle the bullet in its place by one or two light taps.
  8. - Cap the gun, which is then ready to be discharged.

In case of the gun becoming excessively foul, so as to prevent easy loading in the proper way, as above detailed, the paper of the cartridge may be torn off from the bullet, and the latter loaded naked. As the lubricant is upon the outside of the paper and not upon the bullet this practice is not to be recommended unless it be rendered necessary by the cause mentioned.

J. W. Mallet, Maj.
Supt. C.S. Laboratories

J. Gorgas, Col.
Chief of Ordnance
Richmond, Va., Feb. 15, 1864.



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