Welcome to the Brady's Michigan Sharpshooters Homepage!
After a fantastic 20 year run, the reenacting group, Brady's Michigan Sharpshooters has retired from the field. We've had a awesome experience, felt history firsthand and met a lot of great people along the way. I will miss my comrades-in-arms and the taste of blackpower in the air. Thank you for your interest and support.
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.
Brady's Historical Company Roster
Period Photos of Original Members of Brady's Sharpshooters
Brady's Original Recruiting Poster
A Guide to the Arms of Brady's Sharpshooters
Excerpts from the Official Records of the Civil War and Dyer's Compendium regarding Brady's Sharpshooters
School of the Company
Table of Pay from the 1861 U.S. Army Regulations
|Recruiting Frequently Asked Questions
||Civil War Links
|Safety and Authenticity
|Photo Gallery - Updated Oct 2009|
Brady's Sharpshooters at Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade
Photograph by R.J. Szabo, November 2000