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Rare Confederate Whitworth Bullet, recovered outskirts of Richmond


Product Description

This is another rare piece being offered, it is an excavated Confederate Whitworth bullet. The English-made Whitworth rifle-musket possessed excellent long-range accuracy and was used extensively by Confederate sharpshooters, even claiming the lives of several Union generals including John F. Reynolds (Gettysburg) and John Sedgwick (Spotsylvania Courthouse).

This is the .45 caliber cylindrical bullet used in the Whitworth and it measures about 1.32” long and it also shows a hint of the hexagonal rifling It was recovered in the 1980s just outside of Richmond.

Richmond served as the capital of the Confederate States of America for almost the entire Civil War. It was a vital source of weapons and supplies for the war effort, and the terminus of five railroads. Richmond was just one mile from the James River. Including inactive reserves, more than fifty thousand soldiers from each side took part in the fighting around Richmond.

The Union made many attempts to invade Richmond. In the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, General George McClellan moved up the James River, almost to the suburbs of the city, but was beaten back by Robert E. Lee in the Seven Days Battles. By April 1865, the Confederate government realized the siege of Petersburg was almost over and abandoned Richmond lest they be captured. The retreating Confederates chose to burn military supplies rather than let them fall into Union hands; the resulting fire destroyed much of central Richmond.

I am sure that Confederate sharpshooters were strategically placed on the outskirts of Richmond to defend the city. The Whitworth rifle was widely regarded as the world's first sniper rifle. There is an example in the Gettysburg NPS Museum collection (see pictures). Whitworth bullets are one of the rarest Civil War bullets. This bullet is in very nice condition, and it comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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$4.50 (Fixed shipping cost)