Sharpshooters, like the unknown Rebel one who felled Fort Sanders’ namesake, General William P. Sanders, from more than a mile away, were special troops with their own drill and esprit.
It helped that they often had special arms such as this 13-pound English Whitworth rifle which the Knoxville shooter employed. But there was more to them than their tools.
A newly revised 2006 nonfiction history has the details of these “shock troops” of the Confederacy. There’s also a new collection of papers and letters from Eugene Blackford, a contentious major who helped organize the first battalion of sharpshooters of the Army of Northern Virginia in January, 1863. Worth a look.