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 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2009 01:00 am
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1861-65
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What invention or technology should have and could have been used more efficiently during the Civil War? Is it the use of rockets, air balloons, grenades, repeating rifles, the Gatling gun, the used of land and sea mines, ect.?

My opinion would probably be the use of the Gatling gun more efficiently for the North. Who knows what it could have done if it was placed on an ironclad or even a monitor. For the South there were tons of technologies and inventions they should have used more efficiently, but I'm not sure how many of them the South could have used more efficiently.



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That old man...had my division massacred at Gettysburg!" - George Pickett said these words to John S. Mosby shortly after paying Lee a visit in Richmond "Well, it made you famous" - Mosby's reply to Pickett


 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2009 01:19 pm
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susansweet3
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The Gatling gun was not developed enough to use efficiently during the War. It would jam often.

The balloon corps should have been used more . If it had been used for observation more it would have helped . Lowe had the right idea. More observation, more mapping from the air , It could have been used for bombing even.



 Posted: Sat Jun 27th, 2009 09:48 pm
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How many bullets could his balloons take because if the balloons saw combat I could just see them being shot up giving sharpshooters and artillery as easy targets. I think it would have been smart to use them as floating bombs themselves. Instead of a person inside the balloon it would be full of gunpowder with grape shot or even Greek fire and once they were shot by a sharpshooter they would explode over the enemy’s position. Who knows what this could have done for the war. I would have to agree with you that the balloon corps should have been used more efficiently during the war instead of the Gatling gun now that I‘ve though about it a little more, but as floating bombs instead of observation.



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That old man...had my division massacred at Gettysburg!" - George Pickett said these words to John S. Mosby shortly after paying Lee a visit in Richmond "Well, it made you famous" - Mosby's reply to Pickett


 Posted: Sun Jun 28th, 2009 03:39 am
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Henry
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I can speak for the Southern end of the wish list. Ferric Metals,in quantity, and the manpower and machinery to work it in quantity, Fast.- The South laid down or converted sixty-three hulls that were to be ironclad. Not many of them were completed for want of armor and powerplants, boilers and steam pipe.Many where burned on the ways. Scott's Anaconda Plan took Southern industrial potentials into consideration during the planning stage. Confederate Department Number One was seen as being a threat to Federal war aims. New Orleans became one of the leading metal-working areas in the South, up there with Richmond, Virginia and Nashville , TN. The ability to make steam to turn the screw that powers the ship which carries the guns, victuals and personnel wherever. I'd say metal and the ability to work it at a rate faster than the other guy is key to Federal victory. See John Gross Barnard,military engineer of great experience, to Sec. Navy Welles in the OR regarding the attack planned apon the South by moving northward from the Louisiana Delta.
Three Billinghurst Requa multi-barrel rifles were used in operations on the James Island in 1863 by Federal forces working around a Confederate stronghold by the use of saps. The guns were used to keep the Confederates heads down as Federal troops moved through the trench. The Confederates that were cadre of the strongpoint being circumvented, Battery Wagner, used 10" Mortars to great effect against the saps. Yeah, Metal.



 Posted: Sun Jun 28th, 2009 06:11 pm
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Mark
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My vote (at least from the Federal side) would be breach-loading and repeating rifles.  The government had the capacity to manufacture them and their ammunition in large quantities.  In the few instances where they were issued to Soldiers on a large scale (regimental strength) they tended to make a great deal of difference even if just psychologically.  Cheers!

-Mark



 Posted: Tue Jun 30th, 2009 01:19 am
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Johan Steele
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The rifle period, both sides could have used the weapon far more effectively than they did by simply training the average soldier how to shoot.



 Posted: Tue Jun 30th, 2009 01:29 pm
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Albert Sailhorst
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When ironclads fought, they should have shot conical ordinance instead of cannon balls at each other. There would have been a better chance of damaging an enemy vessel. All the balls did was basically "dent" the iron. This is not to say, however, that balls were totally ineffectual.



 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 05:20 am
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cklarson
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Perhaps the opposite question should be asked: what weapons were used to best effectiveness?

What most people don't know is that the Confeds sank more US ships through the use of torpedoes (mines) than in battles. They also planted them in roads and used them as IEDs.

One of the major reasons the war was so bloody was because gunfire was so effective at ca. 300 yds, making defensive positions very strong. But a new book has come out that shows that shot actually arced over troops and came down at a distance which made rifle fire somewhat more survivable, athough it's not clear troops experienced it that way.

CKL



 Posted: Fri Jul 31st, 2009 02:04 pm
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CleburneFan
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One of the least effective was the cavalry saber. It required close up and personal exposure to be of any use at all. Even worse was the lance.

Eric Wittenberg has written an interesting book for those who enjoy studies of cavalry ops. It is albout Rush's Lancers, a cavalry outfit that early in the war actually did employ long lances, but soon learned they were ineffective in dense woods and similar terrain. They did have some sucessful limited applications, but were not in great use near the end of the war as technology and weaponry advanced and cavalry began to dismount and use carbines, etc.  



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