Welcome to the Brady's Michigan Sharpshooters Homepage!

Brady's Michigan Sharpshooters, based in Northern Virginia and Maryland is a unit of Civil War reenactors dedicated to introducing people to the fun and history of Civil War reenacting. We have some additional uniforms and equipment for use to anyone interested in taking the field and discovering the taste of battle. After your first battle we do encourage you to begin to purchase your own uniform if you are interested in continuing. See our Company Quartermaster page for more information about unit uniform requirements. If you would like to enlist or would just like more information about our unit and this exciting hobby, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or e-mail our Recruiting Staff.

Brady's History

Brady's Sharpshooters (officially Michigan's First Company of Sharpshooters), was directly authorized by the War Department in late summer 1861, and saw action right through to the end of the war, from Yorktown, through Chancellorsville, Gettysburg (where the men fought as skirmishers in defense of Little Round Top), Grant's drive on Richmond, to the surrender at Appomattox. In fact, with the exception of First Bull Run, the men of Brady's Sharpshooters were present for virtually every significant engagement of the Army of the Potomac, in addition to reinforcing General John Pope's Army of Virginia for the Second Battle of Bull Run.

The company was named in honor of frontier army general, Hugh Brady, whose Brady Guards militia included in the 1840s one Kiniston S. Dygert. In 1861, Captain Dygert, considered one of the best marksmen in the state, was given the commission to organize an independent company of sharpshooters. Dygert's recruitment poster outlined the strict qualifications for members of the company: " No man will be accepted or mustered into service who cannot, when firing at rest at a distance of 40 rods (220 yards), put ten consecutive shots in a target of an average space not to exceed five inches from the center of the bull's eye to the center of the ball."

Although issued standard military rifles, many of the volunteers brought with them their personal customized target rifles, often equipped with telescopic sights, which were used in local shooting competitions. The special mission and origin of these sharpshooters helps to explain the strong esprit de corps of the unit, and why, throughout its service, no draftees were ever included; all of the Brady's Sharpshooters were volunteers, and though casualty rates were high, there was only one desertion in the field.

Historical Information

Brady's Historical Company Roster by Wayne Abernathy

Period Photos of Original Members of Brady's Sharpshooters

Brady's Original Recruiting Poster

A Guide to the Arms of Brady's Sharpshooters by Wayne Abernathy

Excerpts from the Official Records of the Civil War and Dyer's Compendium regarding Brady's Sharpshooters

School of the Company by Josh Mordin

Table of Pay from the 1861 U.S. Army Regulations

Reenacting Information

Reenacting Resources

Recruiting Frequently Asked Questions

Civil War Links

Safety and Authenticity

Where to find scopes?
Company Quartermaster

Photo Gallery - Updated Oct 2009

Company Staff

Mike Schaffner
Officer Commanding
Administrative Chairman

bradys/Brady's Sharpshooters at Gettysburg Nov 2000
Brady's Sharpshooters at Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade
Photograph by R.J. Szabo, November 2000

2014 Schedule of Events (Tentative)

Date Event Notes Unit POC
February 8 Company Administrative Meeting
Ft Teller, MD
Pvts Andy and John

Page last updated on 9 February 2014