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It wasn't forbidden, it just wasn't really done. Up to about that point in time, the weapons used by most armies were not accurate enough to target a particular person at any sort of range. When the colonists brought out their long range rifles and started picking off people at a couple hundred yards, warfare changed. There were some battles in which the shooting of officers served as a key turning point in the fight.

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Q: Was shooting another army's officers forbidden in the Revolutionary War?
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