Analytical Essay: Weapons Of The Civil War

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Weapons of the Civil War The American Civil War was not only the first modern war, but it was a time of improvement, especially in the area of ordnance. Soldiers’ weapons drastically changed and improved. During the war, soldiers used weapons such as small arms, artillery, and edged weapons. As the Civil War progressed, more inventions were being created which meant more weapons were being upgraded. A lot of new ideas came from the Union and they also had a better finance, putting the Confederates at a disadvantage. Most weapon advancements during the Civil War made weapons more accurate causing them to be deadlier and therefore, more effective. The Union had a large advantage over the Confederates. The Union had more raw materials such…show more content…
Before the war, the most commonly used smoothbore musket, was so inaccurate that soldiers would run towards their enemies in tight groups while rifled muskets, made during the war were more accurate and could kill a person over a half a mile away (Lieurance 22). During the first two to three years of the war, many of the weapons were outdated, most being obsolete.The oldest longarm in the first years of the war were “smoothbore” muskets which wa a gun with a long barrel whose bore had a smooth surface (Nardo 16). Muskets weren’t accurate because there was a space between the edge of the ball and inside of the barrel which caused problems and made it unpredictable vs a rifle which was much more accurate and had a greater range and velocity (Nardo 21). Rifles had 1,000 yards greater of a range than muskets, but they had a downside, they took longer to load due to it’s bullet which had the same diameter as the barrel of the gun. This is why in many movies where the Civil War takes place, soldiers pound the gun with a mallet while they reload their gun (Civil War Technology). The rifle took too long to load compared to a smoothbore musket since the gunpowder coated the barrel grooves which need to be cleaned after several fires (Nardo 20). Oddly, over 90% of the casualties from the war were caused by rifles alone. The most common Civil War rifles were the Sharps Rifle, Spencer Rifle, Henry Rifle, and the Springfield Model 1861 (Civil War

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