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Login Name Post: Location of 400 yard shot against George Hanger        (Topic#306218)
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7058
01-11-18 02:47 AM - Post#1662704    


Many people have read or heard of the example of an American Rifleman firing from 400 yards at Lt.Col. Bannistre Tarleton and Major (later Colonel) George Hanger in the Carolina's during the war.

I remember Elnathan posting his guess on where it happened and it seems he pretty much got it right, if I remember what he wrote some time ago.

I ran across the following looking for something else and thought others might enjoy reading the article.

"Hanger was appointed major in the British Legion in June 1780 and his active service ended in October of that year when he fell ill with yellow fever at Charlotte. Therefore we can fix the month of August as being August 1780 in South Carolina. My biographical essay on Hanger[2] details the ground that he covered during that month and from it may be gleaned the only instance in which Hanger and Tarleton, while preparing to attack, served together during August on ground that Hanger traversed on several occasions ― ground that included a mill. Taken together, these circumstances pinpoint August 18 and White’s Mill on Fishing Creek as the date and place at which the incident occurred, that is to say, during Tarleton’s and Hanger’s pursuit of Brigadier General Thomas Sumter."

https://allthingsliberty.com/2017/03/prowess-american-riflem...

Gus

 
Artificer 
Cannon
Posts: 7058
01-11-18 11:08 PM - Post#1662923    

    In response to Artificer

Here is then British Major George Hanger's account of the incident:

"I never in my life saw better rifles (or men who shot better) than those made in America; they are chiefly made in Lancaster, and two or three neighboring towns in that vicinity, in Pennsylvania. The barrels weigh about six pounds two or three ounces, and carry a ball no larger than thirty-six to the pound; at least I never saw one of the larger caliber, and I have seen many hundreds and hundreds. I am not going to relate anything respecting the American war; but to mention one instance, as a proof of most excellent skill of an American rifleman. If any man shew me an instance of better shooting, I will stand corrected.

Colonel, now General Tartleton, and myself, were standing a few yards out of a wood, observing the situation of a part of the enemy which we intended to attack. There was a rivulet in the enemy's front, and a mill on it, to which we stood directly with our horses' heads fronting, observing their motions. It was an absolute plain field between us and the mill; not so much as a single bush on it. Our orderly-bugle stood behind us, about 3 yards, but with his horse's side to our horses' tails. A rifleman passed over the mill-dam, evidently observing two officers, and laid himself down on his belly; for, in such positions, they always lie, to take a good shot at a long distance. He took a deliberate and cool shot at my friend, at me, and the bugle-horn man. (I have passed several times over this ground, and ever observed it with the greatest attention; and I can positively assert that the distance he fired from, at us, was full four hundred yards.)

Now, observe how well this fellow shot. It was in the month of August, and not a breath of wind was stirring. Colonel Tartleton's horse and mine, I am certain, were not anything like two feet apart; for we were in close consultation, how we should attack with our troops, which laid 300 yards in the wood, and could not be perceived by the enemy. A rifle-ball passed between him and me; looking directly to the mill, I observed the flash of the powder. I said to my friend, "I think we had better move, or we shall have two or three of these gentlemen, shortly, amusing themselves at our expence. The words were hardly out of my mouth, when the bugle horn man, behind us, and directly central, jumped off his horse, and said, "Sir, my horse is shot." The horse staggered, fell down, and died. He was shot directly behind the foreleg, near to the heart, at least where the great blood-vessels lie, which lead to the heart. He took the saddle and bridle off, went into the woods, and got another horse. We had a number of spare horses, led by negro lads."

Gus

 
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