When you hear the name Division Cavalry Brigade one thinks of the many mounted and dismounted cavalrymen in our ranks. What many may not know is that we also have a growing company of sharpshooters and skirmishers within our Brigade. They historically portray the Western soldiers that served as sharpshooters, skirmishers and light infantry. Depending on the event and scenarios they may be armed with either their target or repeating arms. This helps them take on many different roles serving with the Division Cavalry Brigade and First Federal Division.
Their company of 30 rifles is growing and they are working to reach the numbers needed to form a sharpshooter battalion within the First Federal Division.
We are proud to have the service of these fine soldiers and are looking forward to the future campaigns together.
Captain Peter Yurkonis
Division Cavalry Brigade â€“ Chief of Staff
About Our Sharpshooters
The sharpshooter (and repeating rifle) company have served with the Division Cavalry Brigade for several years now. Our focus is to historically and accurately portray the soldiers of the Western Theater that served as the sharpshooters, skirmishers, light infantry and shock troops of the western armies. We modifyÂ our impressions and weaponry to fit the historical needs of the division. We strive to bring these arms and the men who used them to the forefront.Â We have the ability to equip ourselves withÂ the Dimick Target, Sharps, Henry and Spencer rifles, which were among the most technologically advanced rifles of the conflict.
Â Our reenacting unit’s primary impression is Birge’s Western Sharpshooters, later to be designated as the 66th Illinois Infantry. But our impression does not stop there. Out of a joint effort of several re-enactors and reenacting units, that have a common desire to portray the “sharpshooters” and “shock troops” of the western armies, we have expanded into a multi-impression unit, which allows us to portray a number of the regiments armed with target and repeating rifles. To put it plainly, we wanted to portray the boys of the 1860’s that were armed with state of the art rifles using light infantry and skirmish tactics. Our strong and ongoing relationship with the First Federal Division allows us to do just that. Several of the units that we portray served as mounted infantry for at least part of the war. This makes it a good fit to serve with the cavalry brigade or to be detached as an independentÂ skirmish company. Our tactics and repeating rifles makes the sharpshooter company a force multiplier within the division.
Â The core of our unit resides among the states of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, which coincidentally had the greatest contribution of Henry and Spencer rifles in the war. However, we have members from all across the country that make up the Western Sharpshooters and in turn are also members of The National Henry Rifle Company.