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95th Rifles Wellington's Sharpshooters

Waterloo 200

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Artefact researched by: Ethan Storey, Bishop Luffa School

Date added: 7 Jun 2015

Captain Jonathan Leach was in charge of the 95th Rifles at Waterloo and he described his regiment as 'Wellingtons sharp-shooters'. At the time of Waterloo, most infantry soldiers on both sides used rifles with bayonets (sharp detachable knives) for close quarter combat.

Officers would sometimes have had a horse (depending on his rank), a pistol and possibly a sword. Cavalrymen would have swords and some of the French Cavalrymen would have lances meaning that they could reach the enemy cavalrymen before they got close enough to harm them. Artillery (cannon) men would have their equipment which was composed of a wet cannon swab to put out any remaining sparks left over, a lighter and the gunpowder, wadding and the cannon ball. An artillery officer would also usually have a pistol, sword and a telescope so they could see their targets from a distance. Binoculars were not widely used in the British army until the mid 19th century.

Rifles at the time were not very accurate and the odds of hitting a target 10 feet away were 5 to 1. It also took an experienced soldier about 30 seconds to reload.

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