Snipers in the civil war - Page 2




 
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July 2nd, 2009  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 03USMC
See Above




That's the Skirmisher part of the mission. Although the South seemed to use sharpshooters in a more sniper like role than the north. Witness General Reynolds at Gettysburg.
Gen John Segewick is a better example, range est someting between 1/4 & a 1/2 mile.
July 3rd, 2009  
03USMC
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Gen John Segewick is a better example, range est someting between 1/4 & a 1/2 mile.
Perhaps but niether of the distance are sent in stone and recorded. Some sources put Sedgewicks shooter at about 900 yards still a good shot considering the technology. There is also a theory that Reynolds was killed by volley fire from the 7th Tennessee. No sniper logs back then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by George
Pre Civil war the rifleman's blue uniforms were trimmed in green, musket shooters(infantry) in Blue, cavalry in yellow, & artillery in red. By the C.W. there was no "Riflemen" designation. Berdan's men were issued green for concielment, though sometimes they got standard blue issued to them.
And Dragoons and Mounted Rifle units used an Orange trim pre-war. Berdans uniforms were patterned largely on the British Rifle Unit's that had acted as skirmishers and sharpshooters in europe. To include the Green Color of the uniform.
December 12th, 2009  
Gary of CA
 
Sharpshooters in general. In conducting my own research, I found four types or skill levels of sharpshooters on both sides of the Civil War.

The first is the average soldier. When the journalist or diarist writes something about "their sharpshooters" advancing on us, he is using the term loosely. There was no pocket dictionary or Wikipedia for him to consult with. "Their sharpshooters" could be men who aren't even equipped with rifle-muskets and may have older smoothbore muskets instead.

The second type is the common infantryman who, through practice, learns how to shoot. Generally, this takes place in fixed warfare where he observes his bullets strike high/low/left/right and adjusts accordingly. After some practice, he is able to place his minie ball into his mark at that same distance. Now, if there's another mark to shoot at, he'll have to go through the whole learning curve again.

The third type is the designated sharpshooter (of which there are two types). In the Union Army, these are the men who satisfied the War Department's requirement for marksmanship and then are enlisted into a sharpshooter unit. The Confederate's designated sharpshooter varies in quality and is discussed in my paper, Confederate Sharpshooter Selection. See Summer 2009 issue of The Military Collector and Historian. The designated Confederate sharpshooter can vary from very good to very poor, depending on which theatre he served in and what time frame we're talking of.

The best sharpshooters were the men whose skill was such that the were permitted to carry unconventional rifles - target guns or, using the period venacular, telescope rifles. They would be like the county/state champions of their time and would be able to compete against the Olympic shooters of today. Of course, there are exceptions that I've found in my research that suggests that not all soldiers with telescope rifles were the most qualified soldiers to use them.

Sedgwick
. On the death of Sedgwick, the best paper I read about it is Stuart Vogt. The Fredericksburg National Battlefield Park has a copy if you're in the neighborhood. Contact them in advance if you want to read it.

Camouflage. It was used sometimes, but it wasn't something that was taught by the military. Soldiers who were woodsmen understood it and sometimes took pain to conceal themselves. I read how one company of Indians essentially trained the rest of their regiment (whites) how to camouflage themselves. The whites observed the Indians dab mud on their faces, apply it to their uniforms or roll around in the dirt until their uniforms took the color of the dirt. Another soldier was instructed to "do as I do" and stuck corn stalks into his clothing and gear so that they could crawl up to a Confederate battery and silence it. There is one account of some pissed off Confederates using branches to conceal themselves and then enticing soldiers of the USCT into the open so they could ambush them.

Concerning green uniforms, it is true that the British riflemen of the Napoleonic era had green jackets, but they got it from their own Germanic rifle unit, 5/60. Now, even before Napoleon's time, during the American Revolution, there were two British units that wore green jackets and carried rifles. Ferguson's riflemen were one (100 strong) and the other was the Queen's Rangers (raised by Robert Rogers of Rogers' Rangers fame). About 12 men of the latter were equipped with the Pattern 1776 rifle. Even before Ferguson's men and the Queen's Rangers, the German jaegers wore green jackets (and they served in America at the Battle of Long Island and other battles).
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December 13th, 2009  
03USMC
 
 
Your point is what? Or are you attempting to dazzle with BS?
December 13th, 2009  
Gary of CA
 
Hardly BS. A lot of issues were raised by previous members here and so they were addressed by me.

For verification of my points, you can check out Gettysburg Magazine Issue #39. Check out the Royal Green Jackets museum or website. Check out Patrick Ferguson. There was an article in Muzzle Blasts Magazine by Lance Klein. Read Raymond Herek's These Men Have Seen Hard Service for Indians and camouflage. Also check out the Summer 2009 issue of The Military Collector and Historian for different types of sharpshooter recruitment. You can also verify the use of rifles in the British army in Dr. DeWitt Bailey's book, British Military Flintlock Rifles. Everything I mentioned is documented by someone.

Go down to the base library or if you're around Washington, DC, to the Library of Congress to dig out these books and magazines that I suggested.
December 13th, 2009  
03USMC
 
 
Oh your afreakin author, pin a freakin rose on you and belay all I posted. I'll just go with your interpretation of history....cause yer freakin published.
December 16th, 2009  
mmarsh
 
 
I have a question:

How would a sharpshooter been able to operate effectively under camoflage considering that the weapons they used still produced a considerable amount of smoke and would have thus betrayed the sharpshooters position after the first shot.

This would have been espicially true for the Confederates as some of them were still using black powder.
December 16th, 2009  
George
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmarsh
I have a question:

How would a sharpshooter been able to operate effectively under camoflage considering that the weapons they used still produced a considerable amount of smoke and would have thus betrayed the sharpshooters position after the first shot.

This would have been espicially true for the Confederates as some of them were still using black powder.
Smokeless powder hadn't been developed yet, so everyone was using black powder, & yes it would give away your position.
December 17th, 2009  
Gary of CA
 
Camouflage was once used in an ambush situation where the victims were lured into the open. One volley was all that was needed. There are other examples where sharpshooters used camouflage to stalk into position. For instance, Second United States Sharp Shooter Wyman White (The Civil War Diary of Wyman White) was taught by an Indian to stuff corn stalks into his gear for his approach. One fellow camouflaged himself as a pine shrub and crawled into position. It was barely discernable but one alert soldier caught the movement, watched him and was surprised when he shot a Confederate who had been annoying them. The sharpshooter, an Indian, jumped up, ran and safely leaped back to his side. Some sharpshooters used trees, but once located, were subject to counterfire - often times with fatal results. Nathan Bedford Forrest borrowed a rifle to shoot some Yankee out of a tree.

As a sidenote, some of our guys in World War I never received instruction in tactics and they climbed trees and used them as sniping posts. Russians did this too in World War II.
 


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