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Burke presents sharpshooters program to Kiwanis

The Kiwanis Club of Swainsboro held its weekly meeting, Tuesday, July 5, 2022, at the Rustic Grille at 7 p.m. With President Dianna Wedincamp presiding, they had 25 in attendance with four guests, Steve Burke, Jimmy Allen, Tim Wood and Lawanna Marling. The promise cake donated by Jeff Brewer was won by Jane Durden. The Domino's pizza donated by Domino's Pizza was won by Karolina Cerpovicz.

The program for the evening was hosted by Ginny Smith, who introduced local historian, survivalist and SAR Compatriot Steve Burke. Born in Jenkins County, Mr. Burke grew up on a farm owned by Abraham Shepard Lane, his ancestor who fought in the Revolutionary War.

Mr. Burke gave a program on sharpshooters early in the history of the United States. He showed the smoothbore matchlock gun that was used before the Revolutionary War. With an effective range of about 20 yards, it was not the best for the sharpshooter. He also showed the smoothbore Charleville Flintlock with a greater range of 100 yards. The flintlock musket was the standard weapon in the Revolutionary War. The big advancement was the rifled barrel in the Pennsylvania/Kentucky Rifle, increasing the range to 300 yards. In the War of 1812, the under-hammer rifle was used with a fulminated mercury firing cap for greater speed in loading and accuracy. This was used in the Battle of New Orleans by the troops of Andrew Jackson.

Mr. Burke closed by showing the Whitworth Sniper rifle used by Confederate snipers in the War Between the States. The Whitworth rifle featured a unique hexagonal-section bullet that gave it superior accuracy. It was accurate beyond 1,000 yards. Whitworth rifles were also equipped with telescopic sights, 4-power. Using a minie ball rather than the round musket ball, the spinning Mminie ball was very accurate and deadly in battle.



(L-R): Ginny Smith, Steve Burke AND President Dianna Wedincamp

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