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Modern Weapons and Tactics in the Civil War 1861 - 1865 The Civil War 1861-1865 produced more casualties than any other war in American history Union deaths amounted to 360000 while Confederate losses totaled 258000 Part of the reason both sides lost so many men is because of the weapons and tactics employed during the conflict Many military inventions and innovations came about during theCivil War The telegraph made communication easier while railroads made the movement of troops quicker Thaddeus S C Lowe organized a Union Army balloon unit to observe Confederate troop deployments The Gatling gun a weapon with revolving barrels had its debut on Civil War battlefields in 1862 On the sea both sides experimented with ironclad warships like the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia In 1864 the Confederate submarine Hunley actually managed to sink a Federal sloop the USS Housatonic off Charleston South Carolina However nothing had more impact on the war than the musket ball In 1833 a French army captain Claude E Mini perfected a bullet whose powder would not clog a rifles barrel after a few shots The so-called Mini ball was an elongated cylindrical bullet with a hollow base When the rifles powder charge was ignited the base of the Mini ball would expand and cause the projectile to grip the grooves in the barrel In the 1850s the US Army adopted the Frenchmans innovation which made the loading of a rifle easier More significant though was the manner in which theMini ball improved the accuracy and range of the rifle While a smoothbore musket had an effective range of only one hundred yards the Springfield and Enfield rifles employed by 1863 could hit targets at four hundred yards Both sides in the Civil War employed military tactics that were made obsolete by this improvement in small arms firepower The United States Military Academy at West Point adhered to a doctrine that
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