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The Army of the Potomac--A Sharp-Shooter on Picket Duty

Winslow Homer

American Art

As a result of the development in the 1860s of a far more accurate telescopic rifle, sharpshooters were first used extensively in the Civil War. A contemporary account noted: “Some of those Yankee sharpshooters . . . had little telescopes on their rifles that would fetch a man up close until he seemed to be only 100 yards away from the muzzle. I’ve seen them pick a man off who was a mile away. They could hit so far you couldn’t hear the report of a gun. You wouldn’t have any idea anybody was in sight of you, and all of a sudden, with everything as silent as the grave and not a sound of a gun, here would come . . . one of those ‘forced’ balls and cut a hole clear through you.”
MEDIUM Wood engraving
DATES 1862
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 9 1/16 x 13 5/8 in. (23 x 34.6 cm) Frame: 16 3/4 x 22 3/4 x 1 1/2 in. (42.5 x 57.8 x 3.8 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Harvey Isbitts
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Winslow Homer (American, 1836–1910). The Army of the Potomac--A Sharp-Shooter on Picket Duty, 1862. Wood engraving, Sheet: 9 1/16 x 13 5/8 in. (23 x 34.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Harvey Isbitts, 1998.160.10 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1998.160.10_print_bw.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1998.160.10_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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