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54

The sights on the Springfield Model 1861 had settings for three distances: 100, 300, and 500 yards. In the civil war, however, many battles were fought at much closer range. According to Battle Tactics of the Civil War (Paddy Griffith) many were fought inside of 100 yards. At this shorter range, the bullet didn't drop as much as the sights were calibrated ...


44

The American Civil War doesn't even pass the test of the bloodiest civil war in the Americas. This dubious honor is held by the Mexican Revolution of 1910, with between 1 and 2 million casualties. It also isn't even the bloodiest war in American history if only combat casualties are considered - 214,938 Civil War combat casualties vs. 291,557 during WWII ...


35

The fundamental cause of southern secession (and ultimately the Civil War) was the US's inability to solve slavery at the national level. The Civil War was not fundamentally about "states rights". Asserting a state's right to secede doesn't speak to why the state wants to secede. Steven's citation of reasons in his answer only serve to underline this. When ...


35

The bloodiest civil war I can think of is the Taiping Rebellion in 19th century China. That conflict is generally thought to have a death toll of 20 million. Note that this is an estimate made by western observers. There are claims in China that the conflict killed several times that (by population records, Jiangsu went from 42 million to 20 million, and ...


33

The United States Supreme Court ruled unilateral secession unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession NOTE: The Supreme Court ruling was after the Civil War Legality: The principle of legality is the legal ideal that requires all law to be clear, ascertainable and non-...


31

After President Lincoln's election on the 6th of November 1860, the eleven Confederate states did not secede immediately. South Carolina, and then the remaining six states of the lower south (Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas) seceded from the Union between the 20th of November and 1st of February 1861, leaving Arkansas, Tennessee, ...


28

As far as Union states go, this table seems to provide accurate information. However, the info on Confederate army is very incomplete. You can find statements that North Carolina supplied the most soldiers (125,000) to the Confederate army all over the Internet. The original source seems to be a speech from 1904 by Hon. Theodore F. Davidson in Raleigh: ...


25

He was captured and held over for trial in 1865 but eventually was released when full amnesty was declared by Johnson in 1868. The wording of the amnesty proclamation gives Johnson's reasons and rationale for granting it: Whereas the authority of the Federal Government having been reestablished in all the States and Territories within the ...


21

Its not quite that simple. Since the process typically relies on evaporating out water from pools, it turns out you either need a somewhat reliably sunny climate to do this, or you have to set up a lot of extra large boilers. So some places are much better than others to set up shop. That being said, the South did in fact have large-scale salterns they ...


19

I believe this is referring to the gag rule (aka: Pickney Resolution 3) of the US House, adopted in 1836. It read: Resolved, That all petitions, memorials, resolutions, propositions, or papers, relating in any way or to any extent whatever to the subject of slavery, or the abolition of slavery, shall, without being either printed or referred, be ...


18

This was an ongoing problem with musket armed soldiery; in the Peninsular and Napoleonic wars, in-experienced infantry often shot high, and given that Brown Bess was the standard musket for the British Army from 1722, presumably an issue at least since then. As such I am doubtful whether the sights of Springfield rifles are a key factor in this problem! At ...


18

No, slavery was not on its way out. Historians like Dunning and Phillip are writing half a century before the cliometric revolution in economic history, which has completely changed how we view this question. Fogel and Engerman's 1974 "Time on the Cross" was quite influential in showing how profitable slavery was for those who practiced it. In particular, ...


18

The simple answer is that General Lee didn't want to see his men destroyed. There was correspondence between Generals Lee and Grant in the days before the actual surrender, as both recognized the disparity of position between Lee's Army and the larger, better supplied Union Army that kept pushing him west, away from Richmond and away from supply. Prelude ...


17

First off, the Civil War went a lot deeper than slavery. Ever since the foundation of the United States of America, there was enmity between the North and the South. The two regions had radically different cultures, which made it hard for them to get along. The South had a much smaller population, fewer large cities, and was overall rural. The North was full ...


17

The soldiers and officers of all Confederate Armies were exempted from treason trials by the terms of Lee's surrender to Grant. They were allowed to go home unmolested as long as they ceased to make war on the US. All other CSA forces soon surrendered on the same terms and also were exempt from treason trials. Government officials were not exempt, and ...


14

Besides the battle losses, the period around the battle of Gettysburg had two important strategic effects. 1) It established the winner, George G. Meade, as the General of the army of the Potomac. 2) More to the point, it established U.S. Grant, who captured Vicksburg at about the same time as Meade's boss. The Army of the Potomac began the 1864 campaign ...


14

The American Civil war in fact had many innovations. The most well-known was the first naval battle between iron warships. It was also the first war where the Gatling gun (forerunner of the modern machine gun) was used. By the end of the war many soldiers were using proper automatic personal weapons (Spencer and Henry repeating rifles). Getting a bit more ...


14

No, not even close. Alan T Nolan lists this as one of the components of the Lost Cause Myth in his essay "The Anatomy of the Myth", collected in the book The Myth of the Lost Cause and Civil War History (ed by Gary Gallagher and Nolan). McPherson says in Battle Cry that slavery was more firmly entrenched in 1860 than it had been in 1820. By 1860 the "...


14

First, according to the 1860 Census, there were 3,526,195 free men, aged 20-39 in the states that would not secede. 3,475,987 of these men were white. Second, according to the National Parks Service, 2,672,341 men enlisted in the Union Army, 2,489,836 of which were white. Around 67.8% of enlisted soliders were between the ages of 20-39. To estimate ...


13

Gettysburg was pretty much a last ditch effort by Lee and Jefferson Davis to save the Confederacy or at least give it some credibility. There were different objectives that led to the attack in the first place. For one thing, the war in the West was going against the Confederates, and if the West fell, and more importantly access to the Mississippi River, ...


13

Grant did not fight a war of attrition against Lee in Virginia. Grant fought a war of maneuver against Lee, attempting again and again to pass Lee's right and get between him and Richmond. Lee repeatedly countered these maneuvers, turning each one into a bloody confrontation and repulse; but that was not Grant's chief aim. Any look at a map of the ...


12

In 1861, the US issued an announcement that they were looking for designers to submit plans for an ironclad ship. They did this in response to information they were obtaining indicating that the South had already begun building their own ironclad ships. Realizing that there was no way they could defeat an ironclad navy with their own wooden ships, the US ...


12

Unlike the Army, where a disproportionate number of officers came from the South, the U.S. navy was pretty much dominated by the North. One evidence of this was the fact that the fleet in Norfolk, Virginia, was scuttled by its sailors to prevent in from falling into the hands of the South. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Monitor A major reason that the ...


11

The ends justify the means. I'm sure we've all heard that statement before, but it's never more true than in a war of attrition. As long as your goals are met, then the tactics are justified. If Grant had failed to break the Confedrates, then he would have been just one more Union general who proved to be inept, and his tactics would have been questioned ...


11

It's unclear what you mean by "good enough reason to use them"? If you mean "won't lead to strategically affecting resource losses", then it depends entirely on resources your country/army has. If you mean "won't lead to strategically affecting morale", then I'd say this depends in large part on the circumstances surrounding the war. Morale is affected by ...


11

Ironclad (and iron-hulled) warships were just beginning to be built when the American civil war broke out. There was no established design for them, and none had been tested in actual battle. This was the beginning of a period of rapid evolution of designs, which culminated 40 years later in the a somewhat standardized form, the dreadnought or battleship. ...


11

There's nothing in the Constitution specifically allowing it. The closest any part really comes to addressing seccession is the following (from Article 4, Section 3): Section. 3.New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by ...


11

From Wikipedia: In spite of all this American growth in the game, it was slowly losing ground to a newcomer. In many cities, local cricket clubs were contributing to their own demise by encouraging crossover to the developing game of baseball. After the United States Civil War the Cincinnati Red Stockings brought a talented young bowler from the St. ...


11

It is a mistake to think of the Battle of the Wilderness as a Confederate Victory. While it is true that Union losses exceeded Confederate losses, Grant could replenish his and Lee couldn't. Lee had to destroy the Union army to win, and Grant just had to wear Lee down. Further, though Grant vacated the battlefield following the battle, he advanced rather ...


11

This answer is for a previous version of the question The most persuasive answer to this that I have read recently can be found in "American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America" by Colin Woodard. It has been a few years since I read it, but if I remember correctly, he posits that different cultural patterns that were ...



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