On Friday, May 18th, at the 125th National Skirmish, a new special event was unveiled in our continuing celebration of the Civil War Sesquicentennial.
It was called Last Man Standing.
Consisting of 13 competitors, each from one of our respective regions in the N-SSA, this event was a true marksman’s match. Targets would be clays on a backer at 50 yards. Firearms could be any legal musket, carbine, or breechloader.
The rules were simple in each round, bring your gun up to the shoulder, fire one shot, and break a clay, or else you were eliminated.
One at a time each competitor took their turn, many being eliminated on their very first shot. Sudden death eliminations are somewhat cruel to the unprepared, but very effective!
I heard at least one comment that the late afternoon sun, an unusual condition for most of our shooters at the National Range, was causing some odd sight pictures.
By the end of round 3 only two shooters remained, and strangely they were both shooting Sharps Rifles.
At least one person had guessed wrong about Henry shooters dominating this match.
Round four came and went, both shooters breaking the required targets.
During the 5th round, the first shooter, and our eventual winner took a steady aim and broke his clay, the second shooter surprisingly missed.
The winner of Last Man Standing was Daniel Christiansen of the 29th Wisconsin Infantry, in the Western Region. He’s been skirmishing in the N-SSA for about 20 years.
After the competition was over all competitors returned to the line in a match to “clean the cardboard” of the remaining targets. I read on the N-SSA message-board, and through the grapevine that Daniel hit four more clays in a row during the cleanup, bringing his total to 9 in a row without missing!
During the National Musket Team matches I did a quick interview with Daniel, he told me that in order to qualify for this event he attended a local skirmish in Streator, Illinois this spring. During the match it was 35 degrees, windy, and rainy. However, during this qualification he overcame the distractions and the elements and broke 8 clays in a row!
Daniel is a worthy winner of the Last Man Standing Gold Medal. I hope that we can have a replay of this event in the future!