As this is a blog about marksmanship, and it is the 4th of July, I thought it appropriate to share an excellent read about the marksmanship feats of patriots during the Revolutionary War. Read and Enjoy.
Most American frontiersmen became deadeyes and could accomplish shooting feats such as snuffing-the-candle or driving-the-nail as a matter of course. The British marveled at the marksmanship of these riflemen during the Revolutionary War, calling them “widow-makers.” Captain Henry Beaufoy, a British veteran of several wars, remarked,
The Americans, during their war with this country, were in the habit of forming themselves into small bands of ten or twelve, who, accustomed to shooting in hunting parties, went out in a sort of predatory warfare, each carrying his ammunition and provisions and returning when they were exhausted. From the incessant attacks of these bodies, their opponents could never be prepared; as the first knowledge of a patrol in the neighbourhood was generally given by a volley of well-directed fire, that perhaps killed or wounded the greater part.
Beaufoy later noted, “It has been readily confessed … by old soldiers, that when they understood they were opposed by riflemen, they felt a degree of terror never inspired by general action, from the idea that a rifleman always singled out an individual, who was almost certain of being killed or wounded.”