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4739Re: Kentucky Rfiles used in the battle of Sharpsburg

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  • Scott Hann
    Jun 2, 2008
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      Dear Gerry,

      There's a woodcut in August 17, 1861 issue of Harper's Weekly
      depicting Confederate uniforms, one of which is for the Kentucky Rifle
      Brigade. It's unclear if they were armed with Kentucky Rifles, or
      were just a brigade from Kentucky armed with rifled muskets. In
      either case, to the best of my knowledge, there was not a brigade at
      Antietam that was armed exclusively with outdated Kentucky Rifles.
      However, could this longarm have seen use at Antietam?

      I've been corresponding with a 2nd Georgia historian who's heard
      rumors of their use at Sharpsburg, however we're looking for
      definitive proof that at least one solider is documented to have used
      one at Antietam.

      We know for a fact that the Irish Brigade was issued Model 1842
      .69-caliber smoothbore muskets. In my own collection I have an
      English Mortimer shotgun found in the Rohrbach Barn after the battle
      (probably left by a wounded soldier), and a bayonet adapted for use on
      a shotgun documented to have been found on the battlefield.

      So, with a overall range of 700-800 yards, and the ability to kill a
      man at 250 yards, it's at least plausible that the Kentucky Rifle,
      with its' superior accuracy over the above mentioned arms, could have
      seen use at Antietam.

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