View single post by Don
 Posted: Tue Oct 28th, 2008 08:50 pm
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Joined: Thu Nov 15th, 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado USA
Posts: 111

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Johan's correct, the dismounted skirmish line had been around in cavalry doctrine since at least 1855. Late in the war it was much more effective, after the cavalry had been issued repeating carbines. Firepower trumps numbers, after all. For a good part of the war, however, it was only an effective tactic to delay infantry, not stop them. Unless there were some very favorable terrain to defend, such as a pass or gap.

Buford's difference is that he appears to have preferred to fight this way. It may very well be because of the conditions of his better known fights, such as Brandy Station and Gettysburg. Still, I'm not aware of him ordering or participating in a saber charge, and am having a hard time picturing such a thing.

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