Civil War Days- Sharpshooters

Copyright © Deborah M. Zajac. All Rights Reserved.

“Ravenous, the gods of war demanded men- lots of men. Northern armies were at first manned solely by volunteers, with each state assigned a quota based on population. But in 1863, after volunteering had slackened off, Congress passed a federal conscription law for the first time on a nationwide scale in the United States.” ~The American Pageant, 9th edition, Thomas A. Bailey and David M. Kennedy


The sign says:

Col. Berdan’s Regiment.

Sharp – Shooters!

30 more Respectable Men Wanted to Complete

Captain J.H. Baker’s Company!-The famous company “C” of Michigan

Many are called but few are chosen!

This company consists of gentlemanly men-none other need apply- as it is the “Crack Regiment” in the Army of the Potomac & “home” of the famous “California Joe”!!


As many furnish their own Rifles, but the Government supplies each man with of Berdan’s Improved Sharp’s Rifles, while will fire 1 ¼ miles, at the rate of 18 times per minute. We have no drill but Skirmish Drill, no Picket duty; our manner of warfare is like the “Guerillas” or Indian. Our uniform is “Green”, color of the grass and foliage, and You are privileged to lay upon the ground while shooting, picking your position; no commanders while fighting. Be one of the elite & join

Co,. “C”, 1st Reg’t. US.S.S.

GENTLEMEN – This  is a beautiful chance for those wishing to see something of this life away from home. The $100 BOUNTY, LAND WARRANT,&c,. same as in all other Regiments.


Jan. 1, 1863                       H.L. HURLBUTT-U.S. Gov’t Authorized Recruiting Officer

Union Colonel Hiram Berdan proposed forming units of outstanding riflemen, largely equipped with Sharps rifles, in 1861, and as a result the 1st and 2nd regiments of US Sharpshooters were organized.

The Sharps weapons were the most advanced breechloaders in America when the war began. The Union bought 9100 Sharps rifles and more than 80,000 Sharps carbines during the war. Confederate forces

bought small numbers of these weapons. The rifles were  used by the US Sharpshooters, while the carbine was mainly a cavalry weapon. Both were single-shot, were accurate up to 600 yards, and could fire at a rate of about 10 rounds per minute.~Chronicles of the Civil War John Bowman, General Editor

The 1st Sharpshooters fought on the Peninsula and at Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. The 2nd Sharpshooters’ first significant action was at Antietam.

Both regiments fought at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. For the entire war, both units had casualty rates approaching 40 percent. ~ Chronicles of the Civil War-John Bowman General Editor


As able-bodied men got scarcer bounties for enlistment were offered by federal, state, and local authorities. A man with a gift for making money might pocket more than $1000.00!

Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-200mm + 1.4x Tamron TC and 28-105mm AF-D.  Duncans Mills, CA.

Related articles


Author: circadianreflections

My name is Deborah Zajac. I'm a photographer living in Silicon Valley. I am a passionate nature, landscape, night/astro photographer. I shoot predominately in color and use Nikon Digital Cameras, and lenses. I hope you enjoy seeing some of the photos I've taken while on my travels. Please feel free to leave a comment I'd love to hear from you.

5 thoughts on “Civil War Days- Sharpshooters”

  1. Thank you for taking the time to come and see us! These photos are wonderful, and I will be emailing a link to the other fellows so they can enjoy them as well. My particular favorite is the one of “Deadeye” Donovan in his slouchy brown hat.

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my photos and for giving me “Deadeye” Donovan’s name!
      I was walking through the camp at the end of the day…unfortunately I didn’t have time to talk to anyone before it was time to leave to get that kind of rich information.

      I enjoy your reenactments very much and plan to go to the September show as well.

      Thanks again I appreciate your comments and time very much

  2. Reblogged this on Stuff That Interests Me and commented:
    I did a post on Company G, 1st USSS. The company was recruited in Wisconsin. I received this ping back and this blog is well worth a read and a look if you are interested in all things Berdan’s Sharpshooters.

A penny for your thoughts...

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.