There’s another opportunity to own a rare English Whitworth rifle, the preferred sniper rifle of the Confederacy. It begins on September 12th through the 14th online at the Rock Island Auction Company.
The Rebs fatally sharpshot Fort Sanders’ namesake Union Gen. William P. Sanders, with a thirteen-pound Whitworth. It was fired more than a mile away, from the tower of the Bleak House mansion, Gen. Longstreet’s headquarters.
The muzzle-loading, percussion rifle fired a one-inch projectile powered by a three-inch powder charge. It usually mounted a 14.5-inch sighting telescope. Reportedly even Queen Victoria could hit the bulls-eye with one at 400 yards.
In the 1860s, the Whitworth was terribly expensive at about $1,200. The Rock Island bidding starts at $6,500 but, since only 250 of the rifles are known to have been made for the Confederacy, they have been known to fetch $10,000 and more.