Online Encyclopedia

MATROSS

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 890 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MATROSS, the name (now obsolete) for a soldier of artillery, who ranked next below a gunner. The duty of a matross was to assist the gunners in loading, firing and sponging the guns. They were provided with firelocks, and marched with the store-wagons, acting as guards. In the American army a matross ranked as a private of artillery. The word is probably derived from Fr. matelot, a sailor.
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