Here’s something to chew on
From Fort Bowie National Historic Site, near Wilcox, Arizona.
“In the mid-1800s, Apache warriors were procuring muskets but correct size ammunition was hard to find. To alleviate that problem, the Apaches would find lead ingots or lead bullets, shave them down, and then hammer or chew them into the shape of round ball.
The 3 musket balls on display at Fort Bowie are covered with chew marks from Apache warriors who created the different size ammunition. We have .50 caliber, .44 caliber, and .36 caliber balls on display in the Visitor Center. ”
Maybe that’s where the expression, “mad enough to chew bullets” came from?
The fort was established by the California Volunteers in 1862, garrisoned in turn by the 5th California Infantry and 1st California Cavalry, then regular forces until it was abandoned in 1894.