Magazine January 26, 2009, Issue


(David W Cerny/Reuters)

Loaded History
Kevin D. Williamson repeats a couple of myths in his review of American Rifle: A Biography (“Politics in the Round,” December 15). One is that the colonists fought the British with hit-and-run tactics; true to a point, but the major battles of the Revolution were in fact fought on the European model. Only Cowpens, and possibly Kings Mountain and Saratoga, might be considered exceptions. Cornwallis did not surrender to buckskin-clad riflemen lurking in the underbrush (er, I mean, taking intelligent advantage of available cover).

The other is that the long rifle was originally named for where it was going, Kentucky. It

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