The Sharpshooters - New Civil War Book Tells the Story of The Elite Soldiers of The South

From: CFS Press, Inc.
Published: Sun Nov 13 2005

Asheville, NC – "Shock Troops of the Confederacy" and its associated website,, break new ground in military history, and in the Civil War, while reinterpreting many of its major battles. Characterized by one reviewer as "the most significant small unit tactical analysis of the Army of Northern Virginia ever written," the book tells the story of the elite group of men who, whether screening Stonewall Jackson's flank march at Chancellorsville or leading the last desperate assault at Fort Stedman, led the Army of Northern Virginia in the advance, protected it at rest, and covered its retreat. The groundbreaking new Civil War book is available at where, for a limited time, a special pre-publication discount is being offered.

While researching a family history project, author Fred Ray found that one of his ancestors, Lieutenant Jason O. Patton, had commanded a Confederate sharpshooter company. He soon found that although little had been written about them (the last book, written by a former sharpshooter, appeared in 1899), they played an important and sometimes pivotal role in many of the battles and campaigns of 1864 and 1865. By the end of the war the sharpshooters were experimenting with tactics that would become standard practice fifty years later, making them the predecessors of the special operations soldiers of today. Drawn from across the brigade, only the best men were accepted, and any who failed to meet the high standards were sent back to their regiments. All sharpshooters underwent rigorous training in marksmanship and skirmish drill.

The sharpshooters found ready employment in the Overland campaign, in the trenches of Petersburg, and in the fast-moving Shenandoah campaign of 1864. Commanders at Petersburg used them to scout and capture prisoners, and the sharpshooters did much of the fighting in the endless skirmishes of Jubal Early's Valley campaign. As the numbers and quality of the Confederate infantry continued to decline late in the war, the burden of combat fell more and more on the elite sharpshooter battalions.

Making extensive use of unpublished source material, "Shock Troops of the Confederacy" and cover the development of the Army of Northern Virginia's sharpshooter battalions, the weapons they used, how they trained with them, and their tactical use on the battlefield. It also tells the human story of the sharpshooters themselves, who describe in their own words what it was like to be in the thick of battle, on the skirmish line, and at their lonely picket posts.


For additional information contact:
CFS Press, Inc.
68 Finalee Avenue
Asheville, NC 28803

Company: CFS Press, Inc.
Contact Name: Fred Ray, Author
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 828-253-9102

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