Illustrations by Doc Wiley - WileyStudio

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Saddle Sniper

Saddle Sniper

150th Gettysburg Reenactment Illustration

Scene is 4:30 Pm, 2 July 1863 at the south eastern end of Rose Woods tree line above and behind the Devil’s Den. The three Confederate Snipers from Hood’s Division are firing east-southeast at Union Skirmishers and Snipers on General Sickles’ extreme southern flank which have been pushed back to the northwest face of Round Top. Little Round Top, where the Union will flee, is visible behind the trees center to upper left.

The Saddle Sniper, like the other two, is equipped with a captured Sharps Rifle and scope, and is standing on his saddle, supporting the firearm on an oak limb; and on a dappled stallion. The technique was learned from Indians, used in the Civil War, and later adopted by German Mounted Infantry in WWI. Saddle Snipers could ride in, deliver shots, drop back in the saddle and ride away swiftly to safety and a new position. When dismounted the horses were tethered nearby. The Hope Saddle shown has a modification; a curved wood block mounted behind the seat; a footrest for added shooting stability.

Only the Saddle Sniper is firing; the other two Sharps are cocked while the Snipers site in their targets approximately 500 yards away on the face of Round Top. In the lower right Plum Run, a wagon trail, and The Slaughter Pen are visible. Union Infantry is firing, a broken down split rail fence corals the Saddle Sniper, and a disturbed owl in a tree knot-hole completes the scene. Find him.

The illustration was inspired by a 150th Gettysburg Reenactment battlefield sketch of a Union Signal Corps soldier observing Confederate Troops forming up for Pickett’s Charge; standing in saddle behind brush, supporting arms and binoculars with a tree limb. Research led to Saddle Snipers and the battlefield sketch was converted to the scene shown.

Time Of Execution: 50 Hours
Technique / Media: Contour Line Graphite and black ink, white and gray Prisma-Color and gouache on gray illustration board.
Size: 11" x 17"