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|As I understood it, the War Department was worried about the soldiers shooting the things off without taking a proper aim and wasting ammunition. More from the $$ side of things than simply not hitting much. From an article recently printed in America's Civil War (I'd have to check the month, but somewhere around three issues ago), there was some basis to this, apparently the Union troops had a tendency to fill the air with bullets, but shoot too high when under stress. I'm sure, of course, there would have to have been notable exeptions to that generality.