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NWT honors sixty-year veteran

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

Ralph Linley honored for 60 years of continuous shooting in the N-SSA

In August, the Northwest Territory honored skirmisher Ralph Linley for 60 years of continuous shooting in the region. He was a founding member of the N-SSA USS Michigan Landing Party and a member of that unit for 48 years. When that unit disbanded, he joined the 15th Virginia Cavalry and is still an active member.

He started shooting black powder firearms as a teenager with the family 14-gauge shotgun. Linley and a friend began shooting original Civil War era firearms with his father who was an avid early shooter and collector. Back then there were no reproduction Civil War firearms available so he purchased an original 1861 Springfield with an unfired barrel for a mere $25 when he was 17! He shot that rifle musket in competition for over 15 years and then retired it.

Today, he still shoots an original 1861, but with a reproduction barrel. Linley has been active in skirmishing, living history, teaching, blacksmithing and volunteering at historic sites since retiring to North Carolina 23 years ago. He fervently hopes that many skirmishers can be active long enough to be honored as he was.

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