|Hellcat, General McCellan actually personally asked the 6th PA Cavalry to take up lances. Seeing this as an opportunity to be a special "elite" unit, they readily agreed. They kept the lances until mid-way through 1863. Where did you see that plan to arm two companies with pikes? I am surprised at how mainstream calls for the use of pikes was. As late as 1815, a few US Infantry regiments were armed at least in part with pikes, and of course Governor Joe Brown of Georgia had thousands of pikes made for home guard defense that were never issued. When he occupied Baltimore in 1861, Ben Butler confiscated 4000 pikes that were destined for the Confederate army. In mid-1863 Butler also had a plan for landing a brigade of white troops in the deep south with thousands of pikes to issue to slaves. As silly as it may seem to us today, the pike was seen as cheap, effective in close combat, and easy to use. More importantly, it did not require ammunition.
Last edited on Fri Mar 16th, 2012 12:14 pm by Mark