Short Takes

by Fred Ray on May 24, 2014 · 0 comments

The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting article that covers several Civil War topics – primarily that the bills for a war keep coming in long after the guns go silent, but also that there are still widows from that conflict drawing pensions right here in NC, not to mention theirs was a real May-December marriage. Not only that, the soldier in question, Mose Triplett, deserted from the famous 26th North Carolina just before Gettysburg and joined the infamous Colonel G.W. Kirk in Tennessee. Kirk and his raiders were the Union equivalents of Quantrill in the West. Worth reading.

The 26th NC also provided another set of deserters who became mountain desperadoes, Keith and Malinda Blalock.

Youtube blogger Cap ‘N Ball tries out a period target rifle and sees if he could have met the qualifications for being a Union sharpshooter. While he makes no claim that the rifle was used in the war, it is certainly of the same type. Federal sharpshooters never had a standard weapon but used civilian target rifles they bought themselves. Quite interesting, and don’t miss the comments, where one commenter gives the particulars of the gunmaker.

Cap ‘N Ball is doing this in Hungary but narrates in excellent English. Many European countries severely restrict firearms ownership, so people who want to shoot often turn to vintage black powder arms or reproductions.

UPDATE: Joe Bilby has been doing a “Guns of” series for the American Rifleman, covering various battles and phases of the Civil War. Two are available online – The Guns of Gettysburg and The Guns of 1864. In the latter article Joe looks at the use of repeaters and breech-loading rifles in the Union ranks. “If 1863 was the year of the rifle-musket, when the major armies of North and South were finally completely armed with the standard ‘modern’ infantry arms of the day, 1864 could be called the year of the repeating rifle, as increasing numbers of Spencer and, to a more limited extent, Henry repeaters drew notice in the field. ” For example. Hancock’s II Corps issued Spencer repeaters to one selected regiment per division in mid-1864, and this seems to have been done elsewhere as well. Just as rifles had been issued to the regimental flank companies for skirmishing in 1861-62, so we see repeaters and breech-loaders (e.g. Sharps) given to flank companies in 1864-65 for the same reason.

Memorial Day update: Best wishes to all who served on this Memorial Day. Stars and Stripes has a look at the origins of Arlington National Cemetery, which was originally the home of one Robert E. Lee.



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