Essay about Civil War

1583 Words 7 Pages
Civil War

During the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861-1865, over 620,000 accounted soldiers were killed. Known as the "the first modern war", historians generally agree that the reason for this was because this was a time of transition for the military. Armies and Navies were still using tactics where they would gather large forces of firepower to bear on the enemy. At the same time, weapons were being developed which were accurate and lethal well beyond any arms of the earlier conflicts. As a result of these two conditions many more casualties were sustained. Add to that the lack of medical knowledge of disease and infection and the numbers truly began to grow. This paper is an overview of the types of weaponry that
…show more content…
Fuses could be either timed so the round would explode after a certain number of seconds had elapsed, or were percussion so the ammunition would explode upon striking an object. Shells were generally used as long range rounds, meant to explode among an advancing enemy or used to blow apart enemy forts.
Solid shot was a kinetic energy round. Its speed and mass were used to penetrate walls, fort and armor. To produce any type of casualty effect, the round would have to actually strike the target. Solid shot was particularly used against ironclad ships where a shell would do little or no damage. During one test an 8 inch Brooke rifle with 16 pounds of powder fired a 140 pound ball 260 yards and penetrated eight inches of iron backed by 18 inches of solid wood.
While there are many accounts of troops charging bravely into a "hail of grape" there is little fact in this. Grape shot was used very little on the land battlefield during the Civil War. The ammunition encountered by the soldiers was called canister, one of the war’s most deadliest rounds. Canister was basically a tin packed with sawdust and musket balls which, when fired, spread out and turned the artillery piece into a giant shotgun. At close range against masses infantry this round was devastating, cutting huge swaths through the

More about Essay about Civil War

Open Document