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French Imperial Guard Tearing Cartridge, 1815
A paper cartridge combines a pre-measured amount of powder with a ball in one sealed unit. A typical cartridge consisted of two compartments: The first compartment was a tube of sturdy, thick paper which contained the projectile. The second compartment contained a premeasured charge of powder. While there are several steps in the drill manual for the proper way to load a flintlock musket, here is the process somewhat simplified: Hold the musket level, place at half cock, and open the flash pan. Bite open a cartridge, pour a small quantity of powder into the pan and close it. Tip the musket vertically, and pour the remaining powder down the barrel. Seat the ball and remaining paper in the barrel and ram it down with the ramrod.