Union Sharpshooter vs Confederate Sharpshooter: American Civil War 1861-65

Union Sharpshooter vs Confederate Sharpshooter: American Civil War 1861-65


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This fully illustrated study assesses the fighting techniques, armament, and combat record of the Union and Confederate sharpshooters who clashed in battles and sieges throughout the American Civil War.

During the American Civil War, the Union and the Confederacy both fielded units of sharpshooters. Sometimes equipped with firearms no better than those of their infantry brethren, they fought in a manner reminiscent of Napoleonic-era light infantry. Siege warfare placed a premium on marksmanship and the sharpshooter became indispensable as they could drive artillerymen from their guns. They could also become expert scouts and, for the Confederacy, impressive raiders—one raid netted almost 250 prisoners. Initially, Union marksmen enjoyed the upper hand, but as the Confederates began raising and training their own sharpshooters, they proved themselves as worthy opponents. In this study, Gary Yee, an expert in firearms of the period, assesses the role played by sharpshooters in three bloody clashes at the height of the American Civil War—the battle of Fredericksburg, the siege of Vicksburg, and the siege of Battery Wagner.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472831859
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Series: Combat
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 785,026
Product dimensions: 7.33(w) x 9.82(h) x 0.23(d)

About the Author

Gary Yee is a former firearms and relics curator at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center and a curator/conservator at Francisco Fort Museum in Colorado. An active member in the Civil War community, he is the author of Sharpshooters 1750–1900: The Men, their Guns, their Story, and Sharpshooters: Marksmen through the Ages as well as many articles for magazines such as Muzzle Blasts, Muzzle Loader, The Gettysburg Magazine, The Skirmish Line, Crossfire, and The Military Collector and Historian. Trained as a gunsmith at Trinidad State College, Gary lives in Aguilar, Colorado.

Johnny Shumate works as a freelance illustrator living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his career in 1987 after graduating from Austin Peay State University. Most of his work is rendered in Adobe Photoshop using a Cintiq monitor. His greatest influences are Angus McBride, Don Troiani, and Édouard Detaille.

Table of Contents

Introduction 4

The Opposing Sides 8


Recruitment and training

Sharpshooter roles and tactics

Leadership and communications

Fredericksburg 33

December 11-15, 1862

Vicksburg 47

May 18-July 4, 1863

Battery Wagner 59

July 19-September 6, 1863

Analysis 73



Battery Wagner

Aftermath 76

Select Bibliography 78

Index 80

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