Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860-Corrected

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CowboyTutt
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Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860-Corrected

Post by CowboyTutt »

This is amazing tech for the time period that was sub MOA at 500 yards!!!! It was not suitable for a standard issue rifle, but it was perfect for a sniper BP rifle.

Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860

-Tutt

Oops, Ian had to issue a correction for maybe the first time in his career. Still some astonishing accuracy for the time period compared to its rival.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUd2RQGfL7E
"It ain't dead! As long as there's ONE COWBOY taking care of ONE COW, it ain't dead!!!" (the Cowboy Way)
-Monte Walsh (Selleck version)
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Ray
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Re: Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860-Corrected

Post by Ray »

From Sam Watkins' memoir "co. aytch"

TARGET SHOOTING

By some hook, or crook, or blockade running, or smuggling, or Mason and Slidell, or Raphael Semmes, or something of the sort, the Confederate States government had come in possession of a small number of Whitworth guns, the finest long range guns in the world, and a monopoly by the English government. They were to be given to the best shots in the army. One day Captain Joe P. Lee and Company H went out to shoot at a target for the gun. We all wanted the gun, because if we got it we would be sharpshooters, and be relieved from camp duty, etc.

All the generals and officers came out to see us shoot. The mark was put up about five hundred yards on a hill, and each of us had three shots. Every shot that was fired hit the board, but there was one man who came a little closer to the spot than any other one, and the Whitworth was awarded him; and as we just turned round to go back to camp, a buck rabbit jumped up, and was streaking it as fast as he could make tracks, all the boys whooping and yelling as hard as they could, when Jimmy Webster raised his gun and pulled down on him, and cut the rabbit's head entirely off with a minnie ball right back of his ears. He was about two hundred and fifty yards off. It might have been an accidental shot, but General Leonidas Polk laughed very heartily at the incident, and I heard him ask one of his staff if the Whitworth gun had been awarded. The staff officer responded that it had, and that a certain man in Colonel Farquharson's regiment—the Fourth Tennessee—was the successful contestant, and I heard General Polk remark, "I wish I had another gun to give, I would give it to the young man that shot the rabbit's head off."

None of our regiment got a Whitworth, but it has been subsequently developed that our regiment had some of the finest shots in it the world ever produced. For instance, George and Mack Campbell, of Maury county; Billy Watkins, of Nashville, and Colonel H. R. Field, and many others, who I cannot now recall to mind in this rapid sketch.

KILLING A YANKEE SHARPSHOOTER

In our immediate front, at Corinth, Mississippi, our men were being picked off by sharpshooters, and a great many were killed, but no one could tell where the shots came from. At one particular post it was sure death. Every detail that had been sent to this post for a week had been killed. In distributing the detail this post fell to Tom Webb and myself. They were bringing off a dead boy just as we went on duty. Colonel George C. Porter, of the 6th Tennessee, warned us to keep a good lookout. We took our stands. A minnie ball whistled right by my head. I don't think it missed me an eighth of an inch. Tom had sat down on an old chunk of wood, and just as he took his seat, zip! a ball took the chunk of wood. Tom picked it up and began laughing at our tight place. Happening to glance up towards the tree tops, I saw a smoke rising above a tree, and about the same time I saw a Yankee peep from behind the tree, up among the bushes. I quickly called Tom's attention to it, and pointed out the place. We could see his ramrod as he handled it while loading his gun; saw him raise his gun, as we thought, to put a cap on it. Tom in the meantime had lain flat on his belly and placed his gun across the chunk he had been sitting on. I had taken a rest for my gun by the side of a sapling, and both of us had dead aim at the place where the Yankee was. Finally we saw him sort o' peep round the tree, and we moved about a little so that he might see us, and as we did so, the Yankee stepped out in full view, and bang, bang! Tom and I had both shot. We saw that Yankee tumble out like a squirrel. It sounded like distant thunder when that Yankee struck the ground. We heard the Yankees carry him off. One thing I am certain of, and that is, not another Yankee went up that tree that day, and Colonel George C. Porter complimented Tom and I very highly on our success.
m.A.g.a. !
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CowboyTutt
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Re: Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860-Corrected

Post by CowboyTutt »

Thank you for that Ray!!! -Tutt
"It ain't dead! As long as there's ONE COWBOY taking care of ONE COW, it ain't dead!!!" (the Cowboy Way)
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Re: Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860-Corrected

Post by 3leggedturtle »

Have either of you guys read or heard about Jack Hinson?
30/30 Winchester: Not accurate enough fer varmints, barely adequate for small deer; BUT In a 10" to 14" barrelled pistol; is good for moose/elk to 200 yards; ground squirrels to 300 metres

ITS 5:56pm DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR 223 IS?
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Re: Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860-Corrected

Post by CowboyTutt »

Admittedly, first I have heard of him. Have no idea of what design rifle this was, but by it looks not the same one mentioned on this thread I think. I'd be curios to know what design it was. Good story and important part of US history though. It should not be forgotten. -Tutt

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJ1L5NNXXek
"It ain't dead! As long as there's ONE COWBOY taking care of ONE COW, it ain't dead!!!" (the Cowboy Way)
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Ray
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Re: Confederate Whitworth Sniper: Hexagonal Bullets in 1860-Corrected

Post by Ray »

CowboyTutt wrote:
Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:23 pm
Thank you for that Ray!!! -Tutt
https://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/13 ... mages.html

https://www.amazon.com/CO-AYTCH-MAURY-T ... oks&sr=1-7

An excerpt of one of the most profound wartime personal narratives ever penned......

DEAD ANGLE

The First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiments will ever remember the battle of "Dead Angle," which was fought June 27th, on the Kennesaw line, near Marietta, Georgia. It was one of the hottest and longest days of the year, and one of the most desperate and determinedly resisted battles fought during the whole war. Our regiment was stationed on an angle, a little spur of the mountain, or rather promontory of a range of hills, extending far out beyond the main line of battle, and was subject to the enfilading fire of forty pieces of artillery of the Federal batteries. It seemed fun for the guns of the whole Yankee army to play upon this point. We would work hard every night to strengthen our breastworks, and the very next day they would be torn down smooth with the ground by solid shots and shells from the guns of the enemy. Even the little trees and bushes which had been left for shade, were cut down as so much stubble. For more than a week this constant firing had been kept up against this salient point. In the meantime, the skirmishing in the valley below resembled the sounds made by ten thousand wood-choppers.

Well, on the fatal morning of June 27th, the sun rose clear and cloudless, the heavens seemed made of brass, and the earth of iron, and as the sun began to mount toward the zenith, everything became quiet, and no sound was heard save a peckerwood on a neighboring tree, tapping on its old trunk, trying to find a worm for his dinner. We all knew it was but the dead calm that precedes the storm. On the distant hills we could plainly see officers dashing about hither and thither, and the Stars and Stripes moving to and fro, and we knew the Federals were making preparations for the mighty contest. We could hear but the rumbling sound of heavy guns, and the distant tread of a marching army, as a faint roar of the coming storm, which was soon to break the ominous silence with the sound of conflict, such as was scarcely ever before heard on this earth. It seemed that the archangel of Death stood and looked on with outstretched wings, while all the earth was silent, when all at once a hundred guns from the Federal line opened upon us, and for more than an hour they poured their solid and chain shot, grape and shrapnel right upon this salient point, defended by our regiment alone, when, all of a sudden, our pickets jumped into our works and reported the Yankees advancing, and almost at the same time a solid line of blue coats came up the hill. I discharged my gun, and happening to look up, there was the beautiful flag of the Stars and Stripes flaunting right in my face, and I heard John Branch, of the Rock City Guards, commanded by Captain W. D. Kelly, who were next Company H, say, "Look at that Yankee flag; shoot that fellow; snatch that flag out of his hand!" My pen is unable to describe the scene of carnage and death that ensued in the next two hours. Column after column of Federal soldiers were crowded upon that line, and by referring to the history of the war you will find they were massed in column forty columns deep; in fact, the whole force of the Yankee army was hurled against this point, but no sooner would a regiment mount our works than they were shot down or surrendered, and soon we had every "gopher hole" full of Yankee prisoners. Yet still the Yankees came. It seemed impossible to check the onslaught, but every man was true to his trust, and seemed to think that at that moment the whole responsibility of the Confederate government was rested upon his shoulders. Talk about other battles, victories, shouts, cheers, and triumphs, but in comparison with this day's fight, all others dwarf into insignificance. The sun beaming down on our uncovered heads, the thermometer being one hundred and ten degrees in the shade, and a solid line of blazing fire right from the muzzles of the Yankee guns being poured right into our very faces, singeing our hair and clothes, the hot blood of our dead and wounded spurting on us, the blinding smoke and stifling atmosphere filling our eyes and mouths, and the awful concussion causing the blood to gush out of our noses and ears, and above all, the roar of battle, made it a perfect pandemonium. Afterward I heard a soldier express himself by saying that he thought "Hell had broke loose in Georgia, sure enough."

I have heard men say that if they ever killed a Yankee during the war they were not aware of it. I am satisfied that on this memorable day, every man in our regiment killed from one score to four score, yea, five score men. I mean from twenty to one hundred each. All that was necessary was to load and shoot. In fact, I will ever think that the reason they did not capture our works was the impossibility of their living men passing over the bodies of their dead. The ground was piled up with one solid mass of dead and wounded Yankees. I learned afterwards from the burying squad that in some places they were piled up like cord wood, twelve deep.

After they were time and time again beaten back, they at last were enabled to fortify a line under the crest of the hill, only thirty yards from us, and they immediately commenced to excavate the earth with the purpose of blowing up our line.

We remained here three days after the battle. In the meantime the woods had taken fire, and during the nights and days of all that time continued to burn, and at all times, every hour of day and night, you could hear the shrieks and screams of the poor fellows who were left on the field, and a stench, so sickening as to nauseate the whole of both armies, arose from the decaying bodies of the dead left lying on the field.

On the third morning the Yankees raised a white flag, asked an armistice to bury their dead, not for any respect either army had for the dead, but to get rid of the sickening stench. I get sick now when I happen to think about it. Long and deep trenches were dug, and hooks made from bayonets crooked for the purpose, and all the dead were dragged and thrown pell mell into these trenches. Nothing was allowed to be taken off the dead, and finely dressed officers, with gold watch chains dangling over their vests, were thrown into the ditches. During the whole day both armies were hard at work, burying the Federal dead.

Every member of the First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiments deserves a wreath of imperishable fame, and a warm place in the hearts of their countrymen, for their gallant and heroic valor at the battle of Dead Angle. No man distinguished himself above another. All did their duty, and the glory of one is but the glory and just tribute of the others.

After we had abandoned the line, and on coming to a little stream of water, I undressed for the purpose of bathing, and after undressing found my arm all battered and bruised and bloodshot from my wrist to my shoulder, and as sore as a blister. I had shot one hundred and twenty times that day. My gun became so hot that frequently the powder would flash before I could ram home the ball, and I had frequently to exchange my gun for that of a dead comrade.

Colonel H. R. Field was loading and shooting the same as any private in the ranks when he fell off the skid from which he was shooting right over my shoulder, shot through the head. I laid him down in the trench, and he said, "Well, they have got me at last, but I have killed fifteen of them; time about is fair play, I reckon." But Colonel Field was not killed—only wounded, and one side paralyzed. Captain Joe P. Lee, Captain Mack Campbell, Lieutenant T. H. Maney, and other officers of the regiment, threw rocks and beat them in their faces with sticks. The Yankees did the same. The rocks came in upon us like a perfect hail storm, and the Yankees seemed very obstinate, and in no hurry to get away from our front, and we had to keep up the firing and shooting them down in self-defense. They seemed to walk up and take death as coolly as if they were automatic or wooden men, and our boys did not shoot for the fun of the thing. It was, verily, a life and death grapple, and the least flicker on our part, would have been sure death to all. We could not be reinforced on account of our position, and we had to stand up to the rack, fodder or no fodder. When the Yankees fell back, and the firing ceased, I never saw so many broken down and exhausted men in my life. I was as sick as a horse, and as wet with blood and sweat as I could be, and many of our men were vomiting with excessive fatigue, over-exhaustion, and sunstroke; our tongues were parched and cracked for water, and our faces blackened with powder and smoke, and our dead and wounded were piled indiscriminately in the trenches. There was not a single man in the company who was not wounded, or had holes shot through his hat and clothing. Captain Beasley was killed, and nearly all his company killed and wounded. The Rock City Guards were almost piled in heaps and so was our company. Captain Joe P. Lee was badly wounded. Poor Walter Hood and Jim Brandon were lying there among us, while their spirits were in heaven; also, William A. Hughes, my old mess-mate and friend, who had clerked with me for S. F. & J. M. Mayes, and who had slept with me for lo! these many years, and a boy who loved me more than any other person on earth has ever done. I had just discharged the contents of my gun into the bosoms of two men, one right behind the other, killing them both, and was re-loading, when a Yankee rushed upon me, having me at a disadvantage, and said, "You have killed my two brothers, and now I've got you." Everything I had ever done rushed through my mind. I heard the roar, and felt the flash of fire, and saw my more than friend, William A. Hughes, grab the muzzle of the gun, receiving the whole contents in his hand and arm, and mortally wounding him. Reader, he died for me. In saving my life, he lost his own. When the infirmary corps carried him off, all mutilated and bleeding he told them to give me "Florence Fleming" (that was the name of his gun, which he had put on it in silver letters), and to give me his blanket and clothing. He gave his life for me, and everything that he had. It was the last time that I ever saw him, but I know that away up yonder, beyond the clouds, blackness, tempest and night, and away above the blue vault of heaven, where the stars keep their ceaseless vigils, away up yonder in the golden city of the New Jerusalem, where God and Jesus Christ, our Savior, ever reign, we will sometime meet at the marriage supper of the Son of God, who gave His life for the redemption of the whole world.

For several nights they made attacks upon our lines, but in every attempt, they were driven back with great slaughter. They would ignite the tape of bomb shells, and throw them over in our lines, but, if the shell did not immediately explode, they were thrown back. They had a little shell called hand grenade, but they would either stop short of us, or go over our heads, and were harmless. General Joseph E. Johnston sent us a couple of chevaux-de-frise.

(cheval-de-frise
shə-ˌval-də-ˈfrēz
NOUN
plural chevaux-de-frise\ shə-​ˌvō-​də-​ˈfrēz \
a defense consisting typically of a timber or an iron barrel covered with projecting spikes and often strung with barbed wire.)

When they came, a detail of three men had to roll them over the works. Those three men were heroes. Their names were Edmund Brandon, T. C. Dornin, and Arnold Zellner. Although it was a solemn occasion, every one of us was convulsed with laughter at the ridiculous appearance and actions of the detail. Every one of them made their wills and said their prayers truthfully and honestly, before they undertook the task. I laugh now every time I think of the ridiculous appearance of the detail, but to them it was no laughing matter. I will say that they were men who feared not, nor faltered in their duty. They were men, and today deserve the thanks of the people of the South. That night about midnight, an alarm was given that the Yankees were advancing. They would only have to run about twenty yards before they would be in our works. We were ordered to "shoot." Every man was hallooing at the top of his voice, "Shoot, shoot, tee, shoot, shootee." On the alarm, both the Confederate and Federal lines opened, with both small arms and artillery, and it seemed that the very heavens and earth were in a grand conflagration, as they will be at the final judgment, after the resurrection. I have since learned that this was a false alarm, and that no attack had been meditated.

Previous to the day of attack, the soldiers had cut down all the trees in our immediate front, throwing the tops down hill and sharpening the limbs of the same, thus making, as we thought, an impenetrable abattis of vines and limbs locked together; but nothing stopped or could stop the advance of the Yankee line, but the hot shot and cold steel that we poured into their faces from under our head-logs.

One of the most shameful and cowardly acts of Yankee treachery was committed there that I ever remember to have seen. A wounded Yankee was lying right outside of our works, and begging most piteously for water, when a member of the railroad company (his name was Hog Johnson, and the very man who stood videt with Theodore Sloan and I at the battle of Missionary Ridge, and who killed the three Yankees, one night, from Fort Horsley), got a canteen of water, and gave the dying Yankee a drink, and as he started back, he was killed dead in his tracks by a treacherous Yankee hid behind a tree. It matters not, for somewhere in God's Holy Word, which cannot lie, He says that "He that giveth a cup of cold water in my name, shall not lose his reward." And I have no doubt, reader, in my own mind, that the poor fellow is reaping his reward in Emanuel's land with the good and just. In every instance where we tried to assist their wounded, our men were killed or wounded. A poor wounded and dying boy, not more than sixteen years of age, asked permission to crawl over our works, and when he had crawled to the top, and just as Blair Webster and I reached up to help the poor fellow, he, the Yankee, was killed by his own men. In fact, I have ever thought that is why the slaughter was so great in our front, that nearly, if not as many, Yankees were killed by their own men as by us. The brave ones, who tried to storm and carry our works, were simply between two fires. It is a singular fanaticism, and curious fact, that enters the mind of a soldier, that it is a grand and glorious death to die on a victorious battlefield. One morning the Sixth and Ninth Regiments came to our assistance—not to relieve us— but only to assist us, and every member of our regiment—First and Twenty-seventh—got as mad as a "wet hen." They felt almost insulted, and I believe we would soon have been in a free fight, had they not been ordered back. As soon as they came up every one of us began to say, "Go back! go back! we can hold this place, and by the eternal God we are not going to leave it." General Johnston came there to look at the position, and told us that a transverse line was about one hundred yards in our rear, and should they come on us too heavy to fall back to that line, when almost every one of us said, "You go back and look at other lines, this place is safe, and can never be taken." And then when they had dug a tunnel under us to blow us up, we laughed, yea, even rejoiced, at the fact of soon being blown sky high. Yet, not a single man was willing to leave his post. When old Joe sent us the two chevaux-de- frise, and kept on sending us water, and rations, and whisky, and tobacco, and word to hold our line, we would invariably send word back to rest easy, and that all is well at Dead Angle. I have ever thought that is one reason why General Johnston fell back from this Kennesaw line, and I will say today, in 1882, that while we appreciated his sympathies and kindness toward us, yet we did not think hard of old Joe for having so little confidence in us at that time. A perfect hail of minnie balls was being continually poured into our head-logs the whole time we remained here. The Yankees would hold up small looking-glasses, so that our strength and breastworks could be seen in the reflection in the glass; and they also had small mirrors on the butts of their guns, so arranged that they could hight up the barrels of their guns by looking through these glasses, while they themselves would not be exposed to our fire, and they kept up this continual firing day and night, whether they could see us or not. Sometimes a glancing shot from our head-logs would wound some one.

But I cannot describe it as I would wish. I would be pleased to mention the name of every soldier, not only of Company H alone, but every man in the First and Twenty-seventh Tennessee Consolidated Regiments on this occasion, but I cannot now remember their names, and will not mention any one in particular, fearing to do injustice to some whom I might inadvertently omit. Every man and every company did their duty. Company G, commanded by Captain Mack Campbell, stood side by side with us on this occasion, as they ever had during the whole war. But soldiers of the First and Twenty-seventh Regiments, it is with a feeling of pride and satisfaction to me, today, that I was associated with so many noble and brave men, and who were subsequently complimented by Jeff Davis, then President of the Confederate States of America, in person, who said, "That every member of our regiment was fit to be a captain"—his very words. I mention Captain W. C. Flournoy, of Company K, the Martin Guards; Captain Ledbetter, of the Rutherford Rifles; Captains Kelly and Steele, of the Rock City Guards, and Captain Adkisson, of the Williamson Grays, and Captain Fulcher, and other names of brave and heroic men, some of whom live today, but many have crossed the dark river and are "resting under the shade of the trees" on the other shore, waiting and watching for us, who are left to do justice to their memory and our cause, and when we old Rebels have accomplished God's purpose on earth, we, too, will be called to give an account of our battles, struggles, and triumphs.

Reader mine, I fear that I have wearied you with too long a description of the battle of "Dead Angle," if so, please pardon me, as this is but a sample of the others which will now follow each other in rapid succession. And, furthermore, in stating the above facts, the half has not been told, but it will give you a faint idea of the hard battles and privations and hardships of the soldiers in that stormy epoch—who died, grandly, gloriously, nobly; dyeing the soil of old mother earth, and enriching the same with their crimson life's blood, while doing what? Only trying to protect their homes and families, their property, their constitution and their laws, that had been guaranteed to them as a heritage forever by their forefathers. They died for the faith that each state was a separate sovereign government, as laid down by the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of our fathers.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

and......a song inspired by the above chapter.......https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6mE_uKEwCTw
m.A.g.a. !
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