Biscuits appear to have arrived in one of three states: hard, jaw-breaking and alive with maggots, as Napier indicates forcibly enough, or crushed to crumbs and mouldered to dust, or sometimes good but old. One day in November 1813 each man in the 43rd Light Infantry secured a biscuit of American make: nearly an inch thick, they were so hard as to require the stamp of an iron heel or some such hammer to break them. These American biscuits were even thick enough to save a man’s life. During the march to La Petite Rhune a fortnight before Christmas 1813 the officers of that regiment ate some for breakfast at two o’clock in the morning, when Lieutenant Wyndham Madden remarked that their thickness would turn a bullet aside, at the same time stuffing one into the breast of his jacket. ‘Never was prediction more completely verified,’ wrote a brother subaltern, ‘for early in the day the biscuit was shattered to pieces, turning the direction of the bullet from as gallant and true a heart as ever beat under a British uniform.’
Mythbusters has boards on www.discovery.com where one can submit new myths. In the historical myths section, I found someone has posted something similar related to the American Civil War, so I added this Napoleonic bit to that thread. It would be fun to see this one tested!
Do any of you enjoy Mythbusters? Have any favorite episodes? Any myths, Regency related or otherwise, that you’d like to see them try to bust?