I was doing research in the Nat. Archives about 22 years ago and found a letter from a U.S. artillery officer, ca. late? 1840's, describing following incident:
He and his crew were engaged in artillery practice near Fort Monroe, VA. Sam Colt suddenly appears with boxes of his invention, tin foil cannon cartridges. He askes the officer in charge to try some in the six-pounder gun being fired. They fire a few rounds successfully using Colt's tin foil cannon cartridges, then a round fires prematurely, blowing the loader's right arm off (he may have died later, letter does not say.)
Colt sees all this, then asks the officer why they stopped firing. The officer in charge protests, saying he's not going to ask any of his men to load the gun using Colt's cartridges after what's just happened. Colt says "fine, I'll take the injured man's spot and load the gun myself each time." Officer agrees, Sam Colt picks up the ramrod and takes the loader's spot, and they fire the remaining cartridges quite rapidly without another incident.
I found this letter fascinating as it showed what seems to be a ruthless and fearless Sam Colt.
I looked for my copy of the letter for a while yesterday so I could post a transcript of it here, but didn't find it, although I know it is somewhere in my files.
Here's my question: If this letter or the incident is already published and "known" there's no point in my spending a lot more time looking for my copy. If this is "new" information even to people who have studied Colt I'll keep looking, I know it is here somewhere.
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