The National Park Service has a very strict set of guidelines and requirements for re-enactments which take place on Park Service lands. The excellent video below was produced by the NPS to illustrate Civil War era artillery firing. Below the video are some comments.
The gun drill shown here conforms very closely to that promulgated by Instruction for Field Artillery in 1864.
There are significant differences between the gun drill illustrated here and the one we use for re-enacting.
The Instruction for Field Artillery, which was published in 1864, does not mention the worm at all! The worm was found in Civil War artillery use, as proven by the many worm relics found in battlefield museums and purported period implement drawings of worms, but the practice of worming between each shot is probably a modern re-enactment safety measure. This warrants further research.
This also appears to be a modern re-enactment safety measure. Examinations of the literature of the time fails to turn up mention of this rule and examination of period photos shows thumbs pointing both downrange and at the muzzle.
Once again, although purported period drawings detail the construction of this accoutrement, literature fails to mention it and it appears to be a modern safety measure.
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