Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, was a Congregationalist clergyman and a prominent abolitionist. He and his church shipped so many Sharps rifles to anti-slavery settlers in Kansas that the Sharp rifles became known as “Beecher’s bibles” and his church as the “Church of the Holy Rifle.”

He was a rifleman, no doubt. I own his copy of Cadamus Wilcox’s book, Rifles and Rifle Practice.” I just located a book he coauthored, a sort of spiritual self-help book, “Life Thoughts” (1858). In it he reflect, “True aiming, in life, is like true aiming in marksmanship. We always look at the fore-sight of a rifle through the hind-sight.”