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Word Count: 1,414
Advantageous terrain was perhaps the most important factor in the Civil War battles There are an incredible amount of factors involved in winning a battle which all revolve around the terrain and the position of the units in that terrain Terrain can effect such things as troop morale ease of command and strategic placement profitable early views of the enemy troops and of course methods of shielding It has been proven many times throughout history that terrain can be the winning factor in a battle even in cases where the winner was extremely outnumbered One of the best utilizations of advantageous terrain displayed especially during the Civil War was having the high ground The high ground enabled the soldiers to dig in and fortify a position with great efficiency This came in handy especially if the soldiers on high ground were defending but it also helped immensely when attacking When defending a soldier could easily set himself behind a tree or obstacle of some sort and act as a sniper Longstreet explains it very well in The Killer Angels He explains Just put one man behind a tree You can hardly see him from two hundred yards away but he can see you And shoot And shoot again How many men do you think it will take to get to that man behind a tree in a ditch defended by a cannon if you have to cross an open field to get him Shaara 142 This defensive tactic would of course be best utilized when defending and having the beneficial terrain Longstreet goes on to explain that it would probably take at least three men to get to him and the man in the ditch would kill at least two This method makes perfect sense but amazingly it was not a popular method of battle at the time and especially prior to that time He begins to mention that if the soldiers were instead attacking
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