View Full Version : Author to Speak at COI

Wild Rover
07-10-2006, 08:02 AM

Fred Ray, author of "Shock Troops of the Confederacy" is attending the Sharpshooter Camp of Instruction hosted by the Princess Anne Grays at Pamplin Park, September 8-10, 2006.

He will be speaking onthe evolution of the battalions and their application on the Civil War Battlefield.

"Shock Troops of the Confederacy" has been described as-

"A most welcome and long overdue study of a neglected subject." - Jeffry Wert, author of The Sword Of Lincoln: The Army of the Potomac.

"Tells The story of the Army of Northern Virginia's sharpshooter battalions here for the first time." - Robert K. Krick, author of the Smoothbore Volley that Doomed the Confederacy.

"Provides our first and most detailed to date look at the development of the concept and practice of Civil War sharpshooting." - William C. Davis, author of Look Away!: A History of the Confederate States of America.

The Camp of Instruction will be centered around the training of Dunlop's Battalion of Sharpshooters, on the actual ground where it occured. In the fall of 1863 the Sharpshooters were pulled off of the line, and given special training which paid huge dividends in the coming campaigns. We will replicate portions of this training including-

- markmanship
-judging distance
-battalion as skirmishers
-grand guard and outpost
-specialized tactics created for these battalions

Many thanks to Mike Hendricks for arranging this program, and we look forward to your attendance.

For more information please go to www.chesapeakevolunteerguard.com and do pre register, as registration is limited to 85 participants


07-18-2006, 05:13 PM
do i need a scope on my rifle to come?

07-18-2006, 08:46 PM

Take some time and red over the evnet web site, and you will see these troops were used more as "light infantry" than "snipers"

That is a common misconception and to often this cutting edge impression is overlooked due to a lack of understanding.

We hope to address that fully at the COI.


07-18-2006, 10:45 PM
do i need a scope on my rifle to come?

Actually, if you read "Shocktroops of the Confederacy," the author makes a point that most Confederate sharpshooters were using Enfields with open sites. The sites on the Enfield and its low cost made the Enfield the most practical things available. One of the last chapters is about the weapons and it points out that "two-band Enfields became the top choice for Confederate sharpshooters." It seems the liked the two banders because they were "lighter and handier." The book praises the Enfield and says the Springfields sighted to 500 yards "lacked the pinpoint accuracy of the Enfield and Whitworth." The author writes about Whitworths and seems impressed with them, but they were in very limited supply. The diagrams provided of the Whitworth show them equipped with a scoped mounted on the right side, not on top as one might expect. Plus, it sounds like guys armed with Whitworth ended up with a black eye from the recoil. There are other weapons like the Sharps, Spencers, Henry, American Target Rifles, etc. mentioned, but the basic two or three band Enfield seems to have been very popular with Confederate sharpshooters.

I've really enjoyed "Shocktroops of the Confederacy." The sketches of rifle pits are interesting and perhaps very different from what most reenactors assume. Hopefully, we will get to learn more about Major Wooten's Seine-hauling tactics and other cool stuff while at the COI.

John A. Wyman
Chesapeake Volunteer Guard

07-19-2006, 06:31 AM
Interesting about the easier handling/lighter 2 bander comments. Other 'shock' troops were also issued 2 banders as well, though this was as much purchasing power as it was obtaining 'modern' weaponry.

Am speaking specifically about the Austrian Lorenz in .54 caliber, often rebored to .577. 4th most common weapon of the American Civil War, used by roughly 29 regiments...including the 4th TX, and the 2nd and 7th WVI...shock troops indeed.

Understand about the event ban on mixing 2 banders and 3 banders in a company line and trying to line up the bands on the front ranks ear..... but this was a significant part of the ACW scene.

Am looking forward to reading this book.

07-19-2006, 08:18 AM
I also thought the thinking regarding two banders was interesting. After doing so much research on the 1st and 2nd MD Infantry (Confederate), it helps me understand why the Mississippi Rifle was one of their favorites. The 1st Maryland had about 500 Mississippi Rifles and the men spoke very highly of them. I don't know if a Mississippi is much lighter than a three bander, but it is easy to handle especially if your fighting from a prone or kneeling position on a skirmish line. The sharpshooters would have been fighting from more awkward positions to conceal their location, so it makes sense that a short rifle that is easier to opperate would have been preferred. One problem with the Mississippi for sharpshooting is the primative sites. It wasn't really set up for long range shooting. I don't know about the sites on the Austrian Lorenz, but I would not be surprised if the Lorenz and Mississippi Rifles were used by confederate sharpshooters.

John A. Wyman
Chesapeake Volunteer Guard

08-15-2006, 08:27 AM

Registration closes on August 25th, so do not miss out on this groundbreaking event!

Go to www.chesapeakevolunteerguard.org for forms and information


Jim Mayo
08-15-2006, 10:06 AM
One problem with the Mississippi for sharpshooting is the primative sites. It wasn't really set up for long range shooting.

John A. Wyman
Chesapeake Volunteer Guard

The above was true for a M-1841 in "as built" condition. There were many conversions done on these rifles at the beginning of the war. Many of the old V sights were replaced with leaf sights ( I think Colt's conversion was one) as part of the conversion. It is getting somewhat difficult to find an origional today with the V sight. When one is found, it is usually one that never had any conversions done. They may have been selective and used the 41s that had been equipped with better sights.