Who is Murphy? Timothy Murphy (1751–1818) was a rifleman in the American Revolutionary War. At the Battle of Bemis Heights (Second Battle of Saratoga) on October 7, 1777, Murphy is reputed to have shot and killed Sir Francis Clerke and General Simon Fraser. Murphy was selected as one of 500 handpicked riflemen to go with General Daniel Morgan to Upstate New York to help stop General John Burgoyne and the British Army. As the battles around Saratoga raged, the British, having been pushed back, were being rallied by Brigadier General Simon Fraser. Benedict Arnold rode up to General Morgan, pointed at Fraser and told Morgan the man was worth a regiment. Morgan called on Murphy and said: "That gallant officer is General Fraser. I admire him, but it is necessary that he should die, do your duty." Murphy scaled a nearby tree, took careful aim at the extreme distance of 300 yards, and fired four times. The first shot was a close miss, the second grazed the General's horse, and with the third, Fraser tumbled from his horse, shot through the stomach. General Fraser died that night. British Senior officer Sir Francis Clerke, General Burgoyne's chief aide-de-camp, galloped onto the field with a message. Murphy's fourth shot killed him instantly. Murphy also fought at the battle of the Middle Fort in 1780. Murphy's life is the subject of John Brick's 1953 novel, The Rifleman.