Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Saratoga Rifleman

One of my current personal projects is researching and writing a script for a "Rewind" show featuring music that I found or purchased in 2010 as well as songs that will always remind me of the people and events who played a special role during my 50th year on earth.

Some of that research involved looking for information about some songs about the American Revolutionary War I downloaded last year. They were songs I remembered from my 5th grade history class. Yes, we listened to music during history class. Their lyrics were about the soldiers and the battles they fought.One of those songs was about a "double barreled rifleman" named Timothy Murphy.

Murphy was a skilled shooter who is considered one of the first American war heroes. He was born near the Delaware Water Gap in Pennsylvania. His story is best summed up on the historic mile marker along a highway near Middleburgh, New York. The marker is pictured above but for those of you with eyesight like mine, here's what it say:

"Timothy Murphy was Schoharie County's Revolutionary hero. Owner of one of the first double-barreled rifles, he was a sharpshooter known to the Indians as the magic man whose gun would shoot without reloading. As a member of Morgan's Rifles, Murphy fired the shot which killed British General Simon Fraser at the Battle of Saratoga on October 7, 1777. This deprived the English of leadership during the crucial battle which was the turning point of the Revolution."

The song tells the story of Murphy's heroic actions as well. A couple of the songs from my 5th grade education, are going to be part of the Rewind show. I'm going to be recording later this year, once I finish writing it. I'll let you know when it's complete.

Oh yes, one final thing I also found out during my research. The doubled-barrel rifle that Timothy Murphy used to take his strategic shots at the British General was made by a man named John Golcher. He was from Easton, Pennsylvania. I wasn't able to find out much about him. But my curiosity is peaked. If anyone reading this knows something about Glocher please let me know.

So that's the story of what I found out about the Saratoga Rifleman while doing some simple research. I think it's cool when you end up going down a road of discovery that you never intended but nonetheless find enjoyable. But maybe that's just me.

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