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NEWS OF 150 YEARS AGO
March and April of 1859
From The Missouri Democrat, Friday, May 20, 1859.
Sharps' Patent Breech Loading Rifles, Carbines and Shot Guns.
A permanent agency has at length been established in this city for the sale of this celebrated fire-arm. The agent is H. M. Woodward, at No. 13 South Main street.
Numerous reports from the Ordinance [sic], and other Army Boards, and letters and certificates on file in the Ordinance Office at Washington, attest the superior quality and efficiency of Sharps' Rifles and Carbines, which have withstood every test, and the most satisfactory of all, three or four years service in the field, in the hands of U. S. troops; and on board our ships of war. They have also been supplied, in large numbers, to the British Government, and are highly esteemed in the English service. Thousands of them were sold in this city this spring to Pike's Peakers, and in no cases have we heard a word of doubt as to their superiority in frontier or emigration service over every fire-arm in use. In proof of the wonderful execution of these fire-arms, we may instance the following facts:
At the siege of Arequipa, Peru, in March, 1858, over 600 of Vivanco's men were shot down at the barricades by Castilla's attacking forces, armed with Sharps' Rifles, sustaining only a trifling loss.
In Arpil, 1858, Col. Suasue, at the head of 1,000 men of Vidauri's force, armed with Sharps' Carbines, attacked Gov. Manero in command of 3,000 men, of the Government forces at San Luis, in Mexico, and achieved a most signal victory, killing upwards of 600 men, taking the city and making prisoners of Gov. Manero and three of Colonels with a slight loss.
About the 1st Sept., 1858, Col. Wright's command, principally armed with Sharps' Carbines, were engaged with the party of Indians that had previously defeated Co. Steptoe's forces, when armed with the old muskets and carbines. The engagement resulted in a most disastrous rout and defeat of the Indians, with a loss of fifty warriors killed and wounded, while of Wright's force not a man was harmed.
We learn that sometime during the present year a grand challenge will be issued by the Sharps' Rifle Manufacturing Company, against the manufacturers of all other guns in the country, and that the trial will come off in this city. The occasion will be a most interesting one.
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