1861: A recruiter for the new Sharpshooter Regiments arrives at Keene:
From: The Civil War Narrative of Wyman Silas White
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Historical notes & references:
- Hiram Berdan = Founding colonel of the 1st & 2nd US Sharpshooters, inventor of the Berdan rifle, &c., &c.
- White worked at the time at the Bowker mill, which is mentioned as a participant in the “wood industry” of historic Fitzwilliam. Thus, I have depicted him working in a furniture shop.
- Sharps rifle
Homer’s engraving of “The Sharpshooter” inspired the top panel of page 003. At this time in the war, sharpshooters with long-range rifles presented a dramatic evolution in warfare — anonymous instant death without warning, from an unseen enemy! (Some historians and journalists connect the effect of sharpshooters on their targets with that of drones in modern battlezones.)
Homer’s famous observation, after looking through the crosshairs of a target rifle, was that sharpshooting “struck me as being as near murder as anything I could think of in connection with the army & I always had a horror of that branch of the service.”