By Olivia Blanchard | July 6 2010 05:45

For those of you interested in the historical aspect of firearms, and particularly muzzle loaders, Gary Yee’s Sharpshooters 1750-1900: The Men, Their Guns, Their Story is an invaluable resource. At over 800 pages, it functions as an excellent sharpshooting reference book, with chapters divided under many different headings for easy access to subjects.

Although Civil War buffs will love Yee’s meticulous attention to detail in covering everything from the Peninsula Campaign to the Siege of Mobile, the first few chapters delve into sharpshooting’s earlier roots in the French-Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Napoleonic Era.

NRAblog had the chance to ask Doug Wicklund, Senior Curator at the National Firearms Museum, why he enjoys Yee’s approach to firearms history:

"This is a reference work long-overdue for collectors and historians on the art of sharpshooting that truly captivates. Yee continues to bring man and machine together in a voluminous, well-written Civil War section that reveals the differences in arms and tactics of Confederate and Union marksmen. From riflemen armed with crude telescopic rifles, perched in trees overlooking the battlefield, to skirmishers armed with repeating Henry rifles, the evolution and deployment of armament in the conflict that divided America is carefully related. The lessons learned then, in battles ranging from Antietam to Appomattox, still provide insight for modern land warriors in foreign lands. If I had to choose one outstanding reference dealing with sharpshooting this year, Gary Yee’s book would be it."

As the book’s jacket cover says, sharpshooters have shaped history “like an unseen hand that plucked life from among the unwary.” If you’d like to learn more about this rich history and the amazingly skilled sharpshooters who determined the fate of the Civil War and many other historical events, then visit the National Firearms Museum store here at NRA headquarters or call Store Manager Benjamin Van Scoyoc at 703-267-1608.


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