Tag: sharpshooter

  • 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 […]

  • More on the Origins of “Sharpshooter”

    I’ve addressed the origins of the term “sharpshooter” several times, and it seems to be a popular one for commenters. Lately I’ve dug up a few more comments on its origin and first use in America. One of the more intriguing units in the Revolutionary War is the Althouse Sharp-Shooters, which was a spin-off of […]

  • Origins of “Sharpshooter”

    Some time ago I did a post on the origin of the word “sharpshooter” – that it came into the English language by way of the German mercenary riflemen hired by the British crown in the late 18th Century. A couple of commenters, however, took issue with that analysis and insisted that it came from […]

  • White Death

    A quick look at the world’s most successful sniper, Simo Häyhä of Finland. During the brief Russo-Finnish “Winter War” of 1939-40, Häyhä was credited with killing an astounding 500 Russian soldiers before he was wounded. In spite of being hit in the jaw with an explosive round he survived the war and lived into his […]

  • The Sharpshooter: A Poem

    THE SHARPSHOOTER Frank H. Sweet Strange, fearful man, as shadow-like and keen, Master of all that comes within his sight, With eyes that seem to pierce the very night, Watching the world about, himself unseen; Perched in some lofty tree, among the green And silent branches, and at such height As seems to suit the […]

  • Origin of “sharpshooter”

    When giving presentations I am often asked if the term “sharpshooter” has anything to do with the Sharps rifle. A persistent story attaches it to Berdan’s Sharpshooters, who with their Sharps rifles were then (so the story goes) called “Sharps shooters,” and later just sharpshooters. Trouble is, it’s not true, any more than is the […]

  • Sharpshooter Ammo and Pouches

    I’ve always said that one of the most difficult jobs of the war was that of the Confederate ordnance officer. It was not unusual, especially early in the war, to have units armed with two or even three different types and calibers of weapons. Even when things more or less standardized (at least In Virginia) […]