Eugene Blackford letter excerpt January 14, 1861

by Fred Ray March 3, 2016

In this letter home to his father, Blackford seems to understand better than the politicians what is coming. Although opposing secession, he also opposes coercion by the Federal government. Ere this I suppose you have received the intelligence that Alabama has seceded, and that I am for the first time in my life without the […]

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Eugene Blackford letter excerpt January 5, 1861

by Fred Ray February 28, 2016

I will be periodically posting excerpts from Eugene Blackford’s letters in the next few months, all of which are included in Volume I of my upcoming book (which may still be ordered at a prepublication discount). This letter finds Blackford, a Virginian, in the small town of Clayton, Alabama (near Eufaula) working as a school […]

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The Turner Rifle

by Fred Ray February 17, 2016

I was recently fortunate to acquire a Turner rifle. Thomas Turner (1834-1890) was a 19th Century gunsmith who lived and worked in Birmingham, then the center of the gun trade. He was “a prolific manufacturer of Volunteer rifles in the 1859-1862 period. His small-bore (.451) rifles were very popular into the mid 1860s, rivaled only […]

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Short Takes

by Fred Ray February 11, 2016

Capandball, whom we have met before, does a very nice video about light infantry jaegers in Central Europe. He is Hungarian, which was at the time part of the Austrian empire. As you will see, these old jaeger rifles were quite accurate but rather slow to load. He also discusses the theory of how and […]

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Sharpshooter: The Selected Letters and Papers of Maj. Eugene Blackford C.S.A.

by Fred Ray January 27, 2016

Sharpshooter: The Selected Letters and Papers of Maj. Eugene Blackford, C.S.A. Fred L. Ray, Ed. ISBN-13 978-0-9882435-1-4 / ISBN-10 0988243512 6×9 inch hardback / 230 Pages 10 Maps 30 Illustrations Footnoted / Indexed / Complete Bibliography Publication date: March 2016 Price after publication $39.95 I am nearly finished with the first phase of the biggest […]

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A Look at the Whitworth rifle

by Fred Ray January 25, 2016

The Whitworth rifle, used by Confederate sharpshooters during the Late Unpleasantness, has acquired an almost mythic status and a matching price tag. American Rifleman takes a look at current specimen in private hands. Whitworths were prized sharpshooter arms during the Civil War, some numbers of them being run through the blockade by the rebels and […]

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Review: Lee’s Lost Dispatch and Other Civil War Controversies by Philip Leigh

by Fred Ray January 24, 2016

Lee’s Lost Dispatch and Other Civil War Controversies By Phillip Leigh Illustrated, photos, maps, notes, bibliography, index, 224 pp. softcover $18.95 Westholme Publishing 2015 Phillip Leigh, whose last book, Trading With the Enemy, I reviewed a while back, has produced another volume for the Civil War reader. This one is a series of essays […]

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