The 1st and 2nd United States Sharpshooters were the elite of the Union Army. To qualify each man had to be able to place ten shots (with a rifle of his choice) in a circle of 10 inches in diameter from 200 yards. A sharpshooter also had to posses a good eye and calm nerves.
They were issued the breech loaded Model 1859 Sharps Rifle (which was specially designed for them) forest green frock coats, pants and forage caps instead of the standard blue union uniforms. This uniform was very effective when the berdans were in cover but in the open field it made them easy targets.
As the war progressed and casualties mounted the two units were consolidated and many were forced to switch over to the standard blue uniform of the Union Army.
At the end of the war casualties between the two units was 532 Men killed, wounded or missing.