Category: Military History

  • Whitworth Rifles and Kerr Revolvers

    Ian at Forgotten Weapons has two recent looks at Civil War weapons. The first is at the fabled Whitworth rifle, used to telling effect by Confederate sharpshooters. This particular rifle actually has a Confederate provenance and a telescopic sight. Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Sub-MOA Hexagonal Bullets in 1860 One of the commenters recommends a book, The […]

  • Col. Harry Maury post updated

    I have updated a post on one of the Confederacy’s most colorful leaders, Col. Harry Maury, which now includes a photograph and info on his burial site.

  • Looking for Major Blackford

    Eugene Blackford is a fascinating character and it’s easy to get drawn into his life. I’m currently publishing his wartime letters, but I’m not the only one who’s interested in him. Here’s someone else, Jared Fuoss, who followed him also, with an emphasis on Gettysburg where he is a seasonal ranger. Studying at Gettysburg College […]

  • Pepperbox and Army sidearms

    Cap and Ball takes a look at the Pepperbox revolver. It’s generic term for a pistol that revolves the entire barrel assembly rather than just the cylinder, and was quite popular in the 1850s. At least a few were probably used in the Civil War, and they were certainly in use then by civilians. As […]

  • Short Takes

    Cap and Ball is at it again, this time with a P56 Enfield Short Rifle. This is the shorter version of the more common P53 Rifle Musket used extensively by North and South. The P56 (which also came in the slightly different P58 and P60 models) was a favorite of Confederate sharpshooters, both because of […]

  • Another Look At Timothy Murphy

    If you are familiar with the Revolutionary War and especially the battle of Saratoga you’ve probably heard of Timothy Murphy. According the story, Murphy, one of Daniel Morgan’s riflemen, shot British general Simon Frazier off his horse with a double-barreled rifle at a distance of 300 yards, thereby winning the battle and perhaps even saving […]

  • Origin of “Sniper”

    In some previous posts we’ve looked at the origin of the word “sharpshooter,” tracing it back to the early 18th Century in German and to the last part of that century in English, when it passed from German to English. But what about “sniper?” Turns out that goes back pretty far as well, although its […]