The Guns Of Jacob Sheetz

The Guns Of Jacob Sheetz (HM13T1)

Location: Springfield, WV 26763 Hampshire County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 22.998', W 78° 39.864'

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Hunting of a Different Sort

The shop of Jacob Sheetz, a Hampshire County gunsmith, once stood ahead of you in the yard to the right of the house. In 1861, Sheetz found himself unusually busy converting ancient flintlock rifles to the modern percussion type.

The long rifle (Pennsylvania or Kentucky rifle) had been popular with frontiersmen since the mid-18th century. The rifleman rammed powder and a bullet down the barrel, poured priming powder in the pan on the side of the lock, and pulled the trigger. A hammer with a piece of flint in its jaws struck the frizzen above the pan to produce a spark that ignited the priming powder and then the main charge through the flash hole, firing the rifle. Rain could foul the powder; in the 19th century, a new waterproof system was invented. A nipple replaced the frizzen and pan, a cap containing priming powder covered the nipple, and the modified hammer struck the cap, igniting the primer and charge. The next technological advance—-self-contained metal cartridges—-arrived later in the war.

Confederate Lt. John Blue, a Hampshire County native, wrote of visiting Jacob Sheetz. "Our arms were principally the home rifle {and} a few old flintlock muskets which we found in the loft of the court house?.We concluded to have our flintlocks changed to percussion?.We moved our camp near the gunsmith's?. and spent the next two weeks in hunting?.After having our flintlocks changed we found that it would be necessary to get army caps as our home rifle caps were too small." Soon, soldiers in both armies were issued standard weapons, and the guns of Jacob Sheetz were discarded.
HM NumberHM13T1
Series This marker is part of the West Virginia Civil War Trails series
Placed ByWest Virginia Civil War Trails
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 12th, 2014 at 9:49pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 701158 N 4361915
Decimal Degrees39.38330000, -78.66440000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 22.998', W 78° 39.864'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 22' 59.88" N, 78° 39' 51.84" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)304
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 619-701 Co Rte 5/3, Springfield WV 26763, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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