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48

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 ...


43

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 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 ...


29

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 ...


28

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, ...


26

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 ...


23

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: ...


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 ...


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 ...


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

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 ...


14

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, ...


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

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 ...


12

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, ...


12

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 ...


11

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


11

According to The Big Book of Gun Trivia, of the 24000 loaded muskets recovered after the Battle of Gettysburg, a quarter were properly loaded, half were double loaded, and the last quarter were multiple (>2) loaded. A further 11000 were unloaded. Research (http://www.policyscience.net/ws/marshall.pdf among others) has shown that combat soldiers in past ...


10

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 ...


10

George McClellan was a "whiz kid" promoted to commander of the Army of the Potomac at the young age of 34. He was superbly trained (at West Point) and trained his men well, but lacked the confidence for serious fighting that comes with experience. http://legacy.bishopireton.org/faculty/jaspere/McClellan.htm He himself admitted, “It would have been better ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

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 ...


10

This is Joshua L. Chamberlain - the "text book maneuver" alludes to his role in the Battle of Gettysburg, especially the defense of the "Little Round Top": The 20th Maine charged down the hill, with the left wing wheeling continually to make the charging line swing like a hinge, thus creating a simultaneous frontal assault and flanking maneuver, ...


10

#1 happened often. Soldiers were drilled to load, aim and fire in a fixed rhythm to maintain volley fire. In a well-drilled unit, this was muscle memory. If a soldier's musket did not fire, they may not notice with all the other guns going off simultaneously. The order to load would come, and they would dutifully pour more powder in and ram another ball ...


9

Sherman's "March to the Sea" hurt the CSA's economy and helped to end the war. An estimate of the damage in dollars, made by Sherman stated that the campaign had inflicted about 100 million dollars worth of damage. To put that into context, the CSA, in 1863, had only 700 million dollars worth of bonds, (money in those days did not work as it does today) and ...


9

I think this may be a(nother) case of alleged American exceptionalism :) Is there any known intrinsic reason as to why American Civil War generals might have led their troops into multi-day battles as a result of new invention in warfare, or is it perhaps simply the case that this war consisted of a long string of battles, hence also of relatively many ...



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