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Re: LBH Sharps
Posted by jay call on Tuesday, 2 May 2017, at 11:45 p.m., in response to Re: LBH Sharps, posted by Tom Trevor on Tuesday, 2 May 2017, at 12:38 p.m.
Two major questions I have is, #1, how did this sharps that shipped from the factory on 4-12-1875 make it's way to the LBH? Sharps were highly prized and expensive, could a native afford one, or even have anything like easy access to one, especially this new? Was the Sharps acquired in a Native raid on gold miners, settlers, etc? Could the Sharps have been owned by a non-native, friendly to the Natives and thus taking part in the battle on the Native side...?
#2, why was this sharps, still very new, shooting easily obtained 50-70 ammunition, a prized piece, discarded on the battlefield, most likely in a heavily over grown area, reportedly in the S.W. area of the battlefield? I tend to believe the owner was wounded, was trying to make it back to the village, dropped the model 1874 Sharps Military rifle in his attempt to flee the fight, and shortly there after died or was carried away with the wounded and thus never able to retrieve the Sharps. In 1883 the Spear family member stumbles upon it.
I do know that the Native Sharpshooter that was giving the troops such a problem on Reno hill, and was most likely silenced by Ryan's 45 Sharps, after the battle was found lying behind some rock breastworks, next to his "Sharps buffalo gun". So, much to my surprise, the other natives did not recover that Sharps, but left it there, I find that of interest. BTW, Ryan was shooting infantry 45-70 shells out of his Sharps, supposedly a 15 pounder, which a few years later he claimed was a 17 pounder. :)
It is of note that also in 1883 a 1ST model Schofield revolver was recovered on the battlefield by a rail road survey crew. So, 2 firearms from the battle recovered in 1883, as well as reports that shallow soldier grave's had been uncovered by animals and bones strewn about...so much for the 1877 reburials?
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