Weapons and Defense Systems of the American Civil War Essay

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The Civil War, also called The War Between the States, was one of the bloodiest wars in American history. What made the Civil War such a massacre? The Civil War was such a bloodbath because the technological advances were so far superior to the tactics of the infantry, that the weapons virtually obliterated the soldiers. Soldiers would form lines known as a battalions. In these battalions, soldiers would basically march to their deaths. In addition to weapons doing so much damage, fortification on the battlefield was far more advanced than had ever been before. The Cheveau-de-frise was the main focus of armored fortification in the Civil War. This fortification consisted of 10 to 12 foot logs with large spiked-shaped, wooden stakes …show more content…
The reason for this is ammunition. The ammunition for this weapon was so limited that the Southern forces would basically find it useless.4 Although the Model 1861 and the Spencer were the primary weapons for Union soldiers, their side arms were equally important. The Colt Army Model 1860 was the most popular sidearm among the Union army. The Colt Model 1860 was a .44 caliber six shot weapon which weighed 2 pounds 11 ounces. At $13.75, the Colt Army Revolver was much more expensive than those made by Remington or Starr. Production for the Colt Model 1860 ceased in November 1863. This pistol was the main weapon carried by upper class lieutenants, colonels, and generals throughout the war.5 Another side arm that was popular among the Union forces was the Starr Revolver. The .44 caliber six shot weighed almost three pounds and could be shot multiple ways. The Starr could use a combustible cartridge or could be fired by use of loose gun powder and ball. The government threatened the company (Starr) by saying they were going to move to a cheaper model of sidearm if the weapons price did not reside. Starr complied and began manufacturing the weapon for twelve dollars; the Union forces purchased 25,000 of these revolvers. Whereas the Model 1861 and the Colt Army Model 1860 were the premier weapons used on the battlefront, bladed weapons were still in use with deadly force. The most widely used of these weapons was the sword, but only cavalry used this

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