A Confederate Whitworth

by Fred Ray March 29, 2017

Auctioneer James D. Julia has a rare Confederate Whitworth up on the block. This one even has the four power Davidson telescope. The brass tube Davidson scope was adjusted for elevation by turning the knurled knob on the right side of the forearm. This loosened the clamp on the left side so the 1-1/2″ bar […]

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Ft. Stedman Anniversary

by Fred Ray March 25, 2017

Today, March 25th, is the anniversary of the battle of Ft. Stedman, the last offensive of Lee’s Army. Civil War Trust is featuring an article I wrote a while back for America’s Civil War on the battle. By this time, of course, the battle—one of the shortest of the war—was long since over. Near Petersburg, […]

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Wheellocks, Fergusons, and Sharps

by Fred Ray March 11, 2017

As part of our continuing look at old weapons, we go back some 500 years to the beginning of the modern era and the first really practical firearms. Ian McCollum of Forgotten Weapons does the honors, and first up is the wheellock, which dates back at least to the early 1500s and probably before then. […]

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New 109th New York Book from the Author of Dear Friend Amelia

by Brett Schulte March 7, 2017

I was pleasantly surprised to receive a short note from Mary Jordan, editor of Dear Friend Amelia: The Civil War Letters of Private John Tidd. Since editing that collection of letters, she has been busy in a collaboration with Joyce Hatch working on a larger effort transcribing and preserving the writings of other soldiers from […]

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A Whitworth of One’s Own

by Fred Ray March 5, 2017

Couple of very nice period Whitworths have come up for sale recently, and the outfit selling them has been kind enough to allow me to post the photos of them. First up is target model. Whitworths were the rifle to beat in 1860s long-range matches and were competitive well into the 1880s in Britain, and […]

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A Most Uncivil War

by Fred Ray February 8, 2017

There was gallantry during the conflict and the larger armies generally observed the rules of war. However, in smaller actions the conduct of both sides was often extremely brutal. Here’s a letter from Thomas J. Bond of the 2nd Ohio, who describes how some suspected guerillas were summarily dealt with. The letter is up for […]

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More on the Origins of “Sharpshooter”

by Fred Ray February 7, 2017

As part of the continuing quest to find the origins of the term “sharpshooter,” I directed a query to the Museum of Military History (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum) in Vienna, Austria. The Austrians, after all, were the first to employ rifle units and true light infantry in the 18th Century, and Central Europe (the Tirol, southern Germany, […]

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