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 Posted: Tue Feb 5th, 2008 01:11 am
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ole
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Berdan broke all the rules. There were sharpshooters before, but never regiments of them. With a distinctive uniform already.

I don't remember the exact specs, but you didn't get to be a sharpshooter in Berdan's outfit unless you could plunk one in a 12 inch square at 500 yards. (Or something like that.) Don't know about your eyes, but at 500 yards, I wouldn't be able to see the target, let alone a one-foot black square.

Favorite story. At Gettysburg when the sharpshooters were dueling, the Confederates in a stone barn could see the smoke and duck away from the window before the slug would arrive. So the Federal shooters teamed up. One would shoot at the window and the next would shoot at the same window about 3 seconds later. The Confederate would stick his head and rifle out just about in time to receive the second ball.

Second favorite story. Forgot which book but it was about Ft. Donelson. Seems like, when Grant got into his assault mode, the sharpshooters were called forward. And "they melted into the ground." Seems that shooting wasn't their only talent. They could vanish. Now that's scary!

ole

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