Currently trying to wrap my head around the (apparently quite vital) differences between a cartridge pouch and a cartridge box in 18th century British military terminology. I can’t tell if I’m having fun or not.
I have acquired the power!
So, British soldiers during the Revolution were issued two things to keep ammunition in – a cartridge pouch and a cartridge box.
This is a cartridge pouch (sometimes spelled after the French “cartouche”). It’s the thing we most commonly think of re. 18th century soldiers carrying ammo. It’s a leather pouch which contains a block of wood drilled with holes for each individual cartridge, and attached to a crossbelt worn over the shoulder;
Meanwhile, the thing below is a cartridge box. This is literally a block of wood with holes in it, and a leather cover attached (as opposed to an actual leather pouch with a block of wood inside it). These were worn round the waist, at the front. Note the thing on the belt in the first pic is a frog for a bayonet scabbard.
The cartridge box was poorly designed in that it would regularly flip over and dump its cartridges. They were rarely worn during the Revolutionary War, and if they were they were slung over the shoulder, as per the image below (that’s the box on the left and a powder horn on the right);As an added bonus fact, light infantry soldiers were issued two cartridge boxes, one for 18 cartridges and one for 9. They wore the biggest box over the shoulder and the smaller around the waist (though, again, regularly didn’t wear either in the field and instead just relied on the cartridge pouch).
So, to summarise, catridge pouch – leather pouch containing a wood block with catridges in it, worn over the shoulder;
Catridge box – block of wood with cartridges in it and a leather flap or two attached, worn around the waist or sometimes over the shoulder, if worn at all;