Officers of the Berdan Sharpshooter Regiments
Hiram Berdan can be given credit for creating and organizing the United States Sharpshooters and in some instances improving their marksmanship. But the military training was primarily conducted by experienced American and European Officers. Foremost, there was Casper Trepp and Lt. Col. Frederick Mears.
Casper Trepp: He began his military career in Switzerland as a drill master under Giuseppi Garibaldi. During the Crimean War, Trepp saw combat as a Captain of Infantry in the British army and later as a Royal Engineer. It has been suggested that Trepp was the real founder of the U.S. Sharpshooters, but that Berdan, being a "native" American, had the necessary political connections to get approval for the creation of the U.S. Sharpshooters. While this cannot be proven conclusively, the strong European flavor of the Sharpshooters in terms of uniforms, training and employment suggest that Trepp had a strong hand in it. Trepp initially commanded (Captain) Company A - 1st Regiment, known as the Swiss Company, but soon rose to the rank of Major and of Lt. Col. on Dec.1,1861 and later commanded the regiment. Trepp was killed at Mine Run, November 1863, while taking observations of the situation in front, was shot through the head, the bullet entering at the red diamond on his hat. He is buried in New York City.
Lt. Col. Frederick Mears: He was a regular U.S. Army Officer and trained the green Sharpshooter recruits and Officers in individual and company drill. Basic training of a Federal soldier in 1861 consisted of learning the manual of arms, following orders, parade drill and marching. Under his guidance the Sharpshooters were successfully drilled in basic training, skirmishing and guard duty. Mears accompanied by very few other officers and non-commissioned officers who had military experience, did their best to instruct the recruits in the elements of skirmishing. In skirmish drill, the officers and NCO's impressed upon each man the idea of his own individuality, and the responsibility that rest upon him. Mears did more than any other officer to ready the Sharpshooters for war. He voluntarily left the regiment, but went on to have a very successful military career. He was later promoted to full Colonel and commanded the 4th U.S. Infantry. He died at Fort Sherman in 1892.
Lt. Col. Homer R Stoughton:
Originally Captain of Company E, Vermont, he rose in rank to command the 2nd
He was promoted to Major and after Col. Post resigned, he commanded the 2nd Regiment at the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Colonel Henry A V Post: First commander of 2nd Regt. USSS
Henry Albertson Van Zo Post (May 16, 1832 – January 1914) was an American engineer, army officer, manufacturer and banker. Post was born in New York City, New York and educated at to M. Churchill's Military School, at Sing Sing, New York. He was then employed at the Novelty Iron Works, Brooklyn, NY, where he learned his profession of mechanical engineer, and was connected with the firm for eleven years. In 1861, he was mustered into the US Army as Lieutenant-Colonel, 2nd United States Volunteer Sharpshooter Regiment, and on January 1, 1862, became Colonel of the regiment. He was wounded at the Battle of Antietam, and rejoined on or about November 6, and commanded his regiment in the Army of the Potomac, until ordered on detached service from headquarters on November 11, 1862. He was honorably discharged on November 16, 1862, upon the tender of his resignation. In 1864 he went to Cincinnati, as a partner in Perkins, Livingston & Post. He established a large manufacturing business of railroad supplies as Post & Co. In 1870, he returned to New York, NY, and later established Post, Martin & Co and Post & Pomeroy.