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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Youngstown in Niagara County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Fort Niagara's Rifle Range

 
 
Fort Niagara's Rifle Range Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 24, 2013
1. Fort Niagara's Rifle Range Marker
Inscription.
Thru This Archway Pass the Worlds Best Marksmen
Fort Niagara's
Rifle Range

In the 1870s,
the United States Army began training soldiers in marksmanship. Prior to this, soldiers were not regularly trained to fire for great accuracy. By the 1870s, however, repeating action rifles and simplified ammunition made shooting a popular sport, necessitating a change in military tactics. The National Rifle Association formed in 1871 to advocate marksmanship training nationally and counted many soldiers among its members. In the 1880s, the U.S. Army installed target ranges at many of its facilities.

Designed in 1883, Fort Niagara's rifle range was completed in 1886. Troops trained at Fort Niagara for the Spanish-American War in 1898 and for the Philippine Insurrection from 1899 to 1901. The range was also used in World War I and up until 1943, when the southeast corner of the existing army post was converted to a prisoner of war camp. In 1950, troops reoccupied the fort. The last active units left the fort in 1963, and by the late 1970s, soccer fields had already replaced the range.

The Morgan Rifle Range was named after Major Lodowick Morgan, who commanded a battalion of the First Rifle Regiment during the War of 1812. On August 3, 1814, Morgan
Fort Niagara's Rifle Range Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 24, 2013
2. Fort Niagara's Rifle Range Marker
View of the historical marker situated to the right of the decorated archway.
and about 240 riflemen prevented a British raid on American supplies at Black Rock and Buffalo. Nine days later, Morgan lost his life in a skirmish at Fort Erie. An inscription on the monument in Buffalo's Forest Lawn Cemetery (Section N) that is pictured here commemorates Morgan and five other officers killed during the war of 1812.

To operate the targets, a soldier stood in a pit beneath each target. Once his partner had fired a shot, the soldier in the pit pulled the target down, marked the location of the bullet hole, and raised the target up again so the shooter could see where he had made a hit. A red flag was used in case of a missed target. The first target was then removed. While it was being repaired with colored stickers, a second target was put in its place. The targets were thus alternated until the shooter finished his allotted rounds, and then he and the man in the pit switched places.
 
Location. 43° 15.656′ N, 79° 3.094′ W. Marker is in Youngstown, New York, in Niagara County. Marker is on Scott Avenue north of Jackson Street (New York State Route 18F), on the right when traveling north. Click for map. This historical marker is located a short drive north of the downtown Youngstown area, in the Fort Niagara State Park, north of the park entrance,
Fort Niagara's Rifle Range Marker image. Click for full size.
By Dale K. Benington, July 24, 2013
3. Fort Niagara's Rifle Range Marker
View of the historical marker with a view of some of the park's soccer fields in the background.
close to what appears to be a large earthwork or mound, and next to an archway displaying the insignia of a number of different military units. Marker is in this post office area: Youngstown NY 14174, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Niagara's P.O.W. Camp (approx. 0.3 miles away); POW Camp - WW II (approx. 0.3 miles away); Erected to the Memory (approx. 0.4 miles away); To the Memory (approx. 0.4 miles away); Old Fort Niagara Lighthouse (approx. half a mile away); The Siege of Fort Niagara (approx. half a mile away); Dueling Cannons (approx. half a mile away); Old Fort Niagara (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Youngstown.
 
Also see . . .  Firing Range, Fort Niagara, New York. This is a link to information and a photograph provided on the Flickr website. (Submitted on August 7, 2013, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.) 
 
Categories. Forts, Castles
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 284 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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