Steve Burke, a member of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) organization, attended a monthly chapter meeting on March 8 in Sandersville and taught those in attendance about sharpshooting weapons.
He was introduced by Dess Smith III, a dual member of the local Wiregrass Chapter as well as the Fall Line Chapter, the meeting’s host.
Following his introduction, Burke went before the crowd of 10 members and told about the period rifles he brought to present as part of his demonstration.
Among those were the Matchlock 50-caliber musket, used around the 1600s. This firearm fashioned a burning piece of rope that fell onto the powder as the trigger was pulled.
The flintlock eventually came along and replaced the Matchlock 50-caliber. Created sometime in the 1700s, the new go-to firearm had a much better ignition system and came in rifled 50-caliber barrels, 69-caliber, and 75-caliber smooth bore muskets that could mount a bayonet for hand-to-hand combat.
In 1842, Burke continued, the percussion cap was invented to replace the flint on the rifle and smooth bore muskets.
Finally, the fourth weapon Burke showed the crowd was a sniper percussion cap smooth bore Whitworth 45-caliber musket.
In other news, Fall Line Chapter Vice President Ed Jordan mentioned to the assembled that the local DAR organization had expressed an interest in having Fall Line members assist with the Wreaths Across America project on December 17. This undertaking will see participating individuals lay wreaths on the graves of all veterans buried in the old Sandersville Cemetery.
At this point in the meeting, Smith asked Wiregrass Chapter chairman John Tapley to tell Fall Line members about his Wreaths Across America plans for Swainsboro later this year on that same date.
Ken Lindsey opened the meeting in prayer, led the U.S. and SAR pledges, said a closing prayer, and led the SAR processional prior to adjournment.