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Newport News, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Berdanís Sharpshooters

1862 Peninsula Campaign

 
 
Berdanís Sharpshooters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
1. Berdanís Sharpshooters Marker
Inscription. From this rifle pit, Colonel Hiram Berdanís 1st U.S. Sharpshooters targeted Confederate troops on the opposite bank of the Warwick River. Hiram Berdan, considered the nationís best marksman, organized the regiment from hand-picked volunteers who placed ten consecutive shots in a 10-inch circle at 200 yards. The Sharpshooters wore green uniforms for camouflage, and some of the men carried their own target rifles with telescopic sights.

Berdanís Sharpshooters served as skirmishers in the advance up the Virginia Peninsula. Furthermore, the men became adept snipers during the siege of the Warwick-Yorktown line. Lieutenant David F. Ritchie of the 1st New York Light Artillery noted their effect, “Our sharpshooters have become a terror to the enemy, though this lying in wait and picking off men singly is after all a barbarous method of warefare.”

Confederate Major Robert Stiles shared Ritchieís opinion stating, “The regular sharpshooters often seem to me little better than a human tiger lying in wait for blood.” After the Peninsula Campaign, Berdanís Sharpshooters served with distinction until disbanding in February 1865. Purportedly, they inflicted the most casualties of any Union regiment.
 
Erected by Virginia Civil War Trails.
 
Marker series.
Marker in Newport News Park image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
2. Marker in Newport News Park
This marker is included in the Virginia Civil War Trails marker series.
 
Location. 37° 10.829′ N, 76° 32.223′ W. Marker is in Newport News, Virginia. Marker is on Constitution Way, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located in Newport News Park, on the Two Forts Walking Trail on the south side of Lee Hall Reservoir. Marker is in this post office area: Newport News VA 23603, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Peninsula Campaign Warwick River (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Custerís Covered Way (about 600 feet away); Mottís Battery (about 700 feet away); Ten Pound Parrott Rifle and Limber (about 700 feet away); Battle of Dam No. 1 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle of Leeís Mill (Dam Number 1) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Third Regiment Vermont Volunteer Infantry (approx. 0.2 miles away); One-Gun Battery (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Newport News.
 
More about this marker. The bottom left of the marker contains a sketch of “Berdanís Sharpshooters picking off the enemyís gunners. Courtesy of the Virginia War Museum." Above this is a portrait of Col. Hiram Berdan, Courtesy of the U.S. Army Military Institute.
 
Related markers.
Marker on the Two Forts Walking Trail image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, August 11, 2008
3. Marker on the Two Forts Walking Trail
Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Markers on the Two Forts Walking Trail in Newport News Park.
 
Also see . . .
1. Killers in Green Coats. Detailed information about Berdanís Sharpshooters from HistortNet.com. (Submitted on September 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

2. Yorktown. CWSAC Battle Summaries. (Submitted on September 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 

3. Tidewater Virginia, The 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Civil War Traveler. (Submitted on September 8, 2008, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.) 
 
Categories. Notable EventsNotable PersonsNotable PlacesWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,903 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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