Monday, June 14, 2010

An interesting list of "Top Ten Snipers," but woefully incomplete.

Rifleman Tim Murphy, firing from a tree, mortally wounds British General Sir Simon Fraser and changes world history.

Thanks to Typeay for this list of The Top Ten Snipers in History.

Unfortunately, the listmaker leaves out the rifleman who fired the most important single rifle shot in history -- Tim Murphy.

At the second battle of Saratoga as American troops were falling back under a vigorous British attack, Murphy, on the orders of General Dan Morgan, shot British General Sir Francis Clerke and General Simon Fraser. Fraser was the single most effective British troop leader on the field at Bemis Heights. When Murphy mortally wounded him from a distance estimated to have been about 300 yards, the British attack collapsed and the fate of "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne's army was sealed. Though Murphy served through the rest of the war, his shot downing Fraser was the single most important shot he -- or any other rifleman -- ever fired in battle.

With the British defeat and subsequent surrender at Saratoga, the French decided to come into the war on the Colonists' side. Without Tim Murphy's incredible shot (from a tree, no less) the history of the Revolution likely would have been dramatically different.


Mike in KY said...

They missed one very important one. If you ever get the chance, you must check out the book, "Jack Hinson's One Man War; a Civil War Sniper" by retired USMC LtCol Tom McKenney.

Jack Hinson was a farmer with a large family (and a few slaves) who lived near Dover, Tennessee. He maintained a somewhat neutral position, being acquaintances with both union and confederate generals in the area. After the fall of Fort Donelson, that all changed when two of his sons were falsely accused of bushwhacking by a union commander, executed, and their heads delivered to the front doorstep of the Hinson house.

After that, Jack had a custom rifle made specifically for long range sniping. When news reached him that his family was to be arrested by union troops in the area he moved his family across the across the Tennessee River to stay with relatives, handed over the farm to his slaves so they would be provided for and left alone by the union troops, and set off on a legendary crusade. He was never captured.

He also helped guide an expedition by General Nathan Bedford Forrest to attack and destroy a union supply base.

It's an amazing story and a great read. I particularly liked this book because the events took place very close to where I live. I know the McKenney family well and the Colonel spent many years researching Jack Hinson after reading a vague historical marker along Hwy 68 in the Land Between the Lakes that mentioned a civil war sniper from the area.

BrianF said...

No mention of Hezekiah Wyman. Although he may be a mere rifleman and not a sniper.

Dennis308 said...

It´s amazing what one man/woman can do,If they have the skill and determination they need to do the deed.
How many Generals,Senators,etc
will be prepared to fall for the Constitutional Revolution.


Walter said...

The article does not mention that the man with the most confirmed kills was a US Army sniper. Here is a little more about this soldier and the weapon he used:

In the first half of 1969, 36-year old Sgt Waldron was credited with 109 confirmed kills, making him the highest scoring US sniper in history. Unique among the highest scoring US snipers, who were all marines with bolt action rifles, Waldron was a soldier with a semi-automatic weapon. He used an accurized M-14 rifle, known popularly as an M-21. The M-21 Waldron used was a National Match quality weapon with a Leatherwood 3X-9X Adjustable Ranging Telescope (ART) and the standard leather M1907 sling. Rock Island Arsenal converted some 1,435 of these weapons for use as sniper weapons and sent them to Vietnam in 1969. From then on it was the primary Army sniper rifle until 1988. The M21 was accurate out to 800m and fired the M118 standard NATO 7.62mm round. Waldron at times used an early Starlight night vision scope coupled with a suppressor and sniped targets in the middle of the night. On one such night he took no less than nine confirmed targets.

Read more at Suite101: Adelbert Waldron US Sniper Ace: Highest scoring US sniper in history

quibono50 said...

To the Feds: I know you're watchin' but I'm old, been smokin' for almost 50 years, my life expectancy is minimal, so as The Fonz would say..."up your nose with a rubber hose".
To my friends: Keep your own counsel, stay small, do your duty as circumstance allows.
To Jack Hinson: would've liked to buy you a drink.

Toaster 802 said...

This country has been made by Timothy Murphys, the men in the ranks. Conditions here called for the qualities of the heart and head that Tim Murphy had in abundance. Our histories should tell us more of the men in the ranks, for it was to them, more than to the generals, that we were indebted for our military victories...FDR

...Something the current crop of the master class should remember...

Trey said...

Let me second Mike's recommendation, this is a great book!

The whole time I read it, I prayed that our nation would never have to face a confligration like that again.

James M. said...

Read it twice Mike in KY. OUTSTANDING sniping. Great American that Mr. Hinson was.

Texas Cigar said...

John L. Plaster impresses me not just as a sniper but also as a teacher.

Anonymous said...

The very greatest sniper in the history of America has yet to be heard from.

May he make his presence felt... soon.