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Johan Steele
05-25-2004, 10:34 PM
In my research of various ACW small arms a question has risen, just how many Whitworth Rifles did the CSA actually import? In my own meandering research I can document no more than 200 and only about 20 Kerr Rifles. With such limited numbers of precision rifles why has the Whitworth rifle recieved such attention? Are my numbers way off? To go one step further I have been able to document the importation of only about 20 brass scopes into the CSA. Has anyone else come across primary source material?

I understand the excelent accuracy of the Enfield, though at normal combat ranges it isn't all that much better than a Springfield... I've been told by a recent addition to another board that the Lorenz was comparable to the Springfield in accuracy and in some ways favorable to the Enfield. I can't really fathom why. Anyone who has live fired one care to comment on that statement? As I've only ever handled one in relic condition I don't know and can only offer conjecture.

THanks in advance for any input or information.

marlin teat
05-26-2004, 07:21 AM
In my research of various ACW small arms a question has risen, just how many Whitworth Rifles did the CSA actually import? In my own meandering research I can document no more than 200 and only about 20 Kerr Rifles. With such limited numbers of precision rifles why has the Whitworth rifle recieved such attention? Are my numbers way off? To go one step further I have been able to document the importation of only about 20 brass scopes into the CSA. Has anyone else come across primary source material?

I understand the excelent accuracy of the Enfield, though at normal combat ranges it isn't all that much better than a Springfield... I've been told by a recent addition to another board that the Lorenz was comparable to the Springfield in accuracy and in some ways favorable to the Enfield. I can't really fathom why. Anyone who has live fired one care to comment on that statement? As I've only ever handled one in relic condition I don't know and can only offer conjecture.

THanks in advance for any input or information.

I found some interesting info on the subject in the "Confederate Veteran" magazine (not the newer edition but the old, original publication). The index volume references "Cleburnes' Sharpshooter Squad." This is from memory but I believe that one of the vets recalled that they had only six Whitworths and one "short, heavy weapon of large caliber" during the Franklin campaign and that Cleburne borrowed one of their scopes to survey the Federal works.

This small number of weapons makes one wonder what happened to the rest of them during the Atlanta Campaign. I'll try to find the details but at one time I found in the O.R. that an astonishing number of Whitworth rounds were issued during the hundred days battles indicating a much larger number of weapons.

"The Confederate Whitworth Sharpshooter" by John Morrow contains a wealth of technical details and specs for the weapon. I believe it is out of print but a copy shows up every once and a while.