Colonial marksmen, via the 'London Paper', circa 1775

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Watch out ye lads for them thar' armed wid twisted barrels!

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Watch out ye lads for them thar' armed wid twisted barrels!

View attachment 148355
Watch out ye lads for them thar' armed wid twisted barrels!

View attachment 148355
Neat-o quote! A local radio commentator mentioned today, when the Founders placed their signatures on the Declaration, they knew they were to be hunted by the Crown....they knew what they were doing when they placed the 2nd Amend in the Constitution.
 

dave_person

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Hi,
That is a great quote and I've heard it many times from my brother who is a member of Morgan's Rifle Company in the Brigade of the American Revolution. However, consider that Washington did not want any more "riflemen" after the first year of the war. He wanted troops armed with muskets and bayonets. The British learned very quickly how to combat the riflemen using the German jaegers and teamwork. That quote is from 1775 when riflemen were picking off British soldiers holed up in Boston. It was before they ever really faced riflemen in battle and the fear of them diminished considerably thereafter. Moreover, it wasn't riflemen who picked off British officers at Lexington, Concord, and Breed's Hill. Focusing on officers was a general American practice.

dave
 
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Hi,
That is a great quote and I've heard it many times from my brother who is a member of Morgan's Rifle Company in the Brigade of the American Revolution. However, consider that Washington did not want any more "riflemen" after the first year of the war. He wanted troops armed with muskets and bayonets. The British learned very quickly how to combat the riflemen using the German jaegers and teamwork. That quote is from 1775 when riflemen were picking off British soldiers holed up in Boston. It was before they ever really faced riflemen in battle and the fear of them diminished considerably thereafter. Moreover, it wasn't riflemen who picked off British officers at Lexington, Concord, and Breed's Hill. Focusing on officers was a general American practice.

dave
Dave
It pains me, but I have to disagree with you. A biography of George Washington that I read (have to search my many books to see if I still have) spent some time describing how much George liked the 'indian style' of fighting using riflemen. This was not so much a 'sniping' style as it was a fast moving attack. e.g. sneak up-shoot-run to another tree and reload-shoot again and keep moving. Also, it is my understanding the German jaegers, even though they were using rifles, fought in mass confrontations, European style, similar to the musketeers and did not take advantage their rifle might have given them.
 
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We like to remember us as a nation of rifleman. When the facts are it was musket men that in most cases gave us victory during the war.
I am put in mind also of the battle of New Orleans where most of the ‘Kentucky Rifles’ ended up shooting muskets and locally procured fusils in the fight
We should keep in mind a few facts. Rifles were effective enough that it drove England to develop military rifles. A few years later Napoleon poo-pooed rifles and the French made little use of them.
He never faced Americans. And while the English/Germans won oven Napoleon with muskets, I wonder if just enough of an edge came from what was even then light use of rifles.
Here in America muskets played THE roll on the army. But I wonder how Saratoga would have played out with out rifleman
 

ronaldrothb49

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Hi,
That is a great quote and I've heard it many times from my brother who is a member of Morgan's Rifle Company in the Brigade of the American Revolution. However, consider that Washington did not want any more "riflemen" after the first year of the war. He wanted troops armed with muskets and bayonets. The British learned very quickly how to combat the riflemen using the German jaegers and teamwork. That quote is from 1775 when riflemen were picking off British soldiers holed up in Boston. It was before they ever really faced riflemen in battle and the fear of them diminished considerably thereafter. Moreover, it wasn't riflemen who picked off British officers at Lexington, Concord, and Breed's Hill. Focusing on officers was a general American practice.

dave
Odd statement considering Washington commissioned Daniel Morgan to raise the Corps of riflemen in 1777
 

dave_person

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Hi,
Here is a link to a paper discussing the riflemen.
As an added bonus here is a link to the story of Timothy Murphy.
If you want to know how the Jaegers fought, please read the diaries of Johann Ewald.
dave
 

smoothshooter

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Dave
It pains me, but I have to disagree with you. A biography of George Washington that I read (have to search my many books to see if I still have) spent some time describing how much George liked the 'indian style' of fighting using riflemen. This was not so much a 'sniping' style as it was a fast moving attack. e.g. sneak up-shoot-run to another tree and reload-shoot again and keep moving. Also, it is my understanding the German jaegers, even though they were using rifles, fought in mass confrontations, European style, similar to the musketeers and did not take advantage their rifle might have given them.

IIRC, Washington generally liked the shooting and tactics of the frontier riflemen, but their general lack of discipline and an annoying habit of pretty much doing as they pleased when they pleased nearly drove him crazy at times. To the point that he grew to view them as more trouble than they were worth most of the time.
 
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IIRC, Washington generally liked the shooting and tactics of the frontier riflemen, but their general lack of discipline and an annoying habit of pretty much doing as they pleased when they pleased nearly drove him crazy at times.
I am sure that is true. But, still, they were an effective fighting force, albeit of a different style than the European mass of men facing off.
 
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