There are a series of 12 actions needed to load and fire a flintlock musket – this soldier is on step eight. He has already primed the pan and returned the frizzen. He has poured gunpowder down the gun’s barrel, seated a ball in a portion of wadding paper at the barrel’s opening. He has removed the ramrod from its storage pipe and channel beneath the barrel and is preparing to ram the wadding and ball down the barrel to the end of the tube (the breech), where the spark will take place. The charge is now properly seated and the weapon is ready to fire.