Comment: rifles

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rifles

As far as we know, there were no rifled muskets on the field on April 19, 1775. But there were Pennsylvania-made rifled muskets in the colonies, and they were possessed and mastered by back country marksmen mostly in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Read about Daniel Morgan's rifle company. These men, with their rifled muskets, could make shots of remarkable accuracy---possibly even by today's standards---and there were so many such men enthusiastic to make the march to participate in the siege of Boston that a test of marksmanship skill was devised to limit their numbers and keep some potential soldiers at home in the Southern colonies.

So, no, I don't think rifles played a role in the victory of April 19, 1775, though marksmanship certainly did. Later in the war, the colonist's skill with these superior rifled muskets held the British regulars (and later Hessians) in awe and fear. Several pivotal moments were turned to the advantage of the colonists by concentrated and accurate rifled musket fire. Perhaps the most notable instance was that of Timothy Murphy who mortally wounded General Simon Fraser in the battle of Saratoga (second battle). Murphy climbed a tree and fired a single shot at Fraser who was mounted on a horse. The shot is reported to have been made at various distances between 200 and 300 yards. In any case, it was an amazing shot for the time, and when Fraser's second in command attempted to rally his troops, Fraser repeated the feat and killed him too. There are other similar instances.

Nevertheless it's not the equipment in the hands. It's the skill in them and the equipment between the ears. We have far superior equipment today, but the others are sorely lacking.

Definitely, if you can get to see Jack Daily (aka Fred of Fred's M14 stocks and the founder of the Appleseed Project) and hear him tell the stories, do so by all means. More importantly, study and tell the stories yourself. To remember is to honor.