Write a 1 page paper on how rifle technology changed the civil war. Technological advancements have affected the American civil war. Rifle technology was the most important one that changed the civil war. The use of rifle-musket changed the way war was conducted during the mid 19 century. Before the coming of rifle-muskets, the Napoleonic tactics of frontal attack was the source of success. The rifle used in the civil war had an effective range of over 500 yards (Moorehead).
It was Dr Richard J. Gatling, who invented the gun in 1861. He got patent for it also. It could fire 150 rounds in a minute. Since it could fire continuously, many regards it as the first machine gun. During the civil war, union forces used Gatling’s weapons on a limited basis (Shane Mountjoy).
Its increased lethality and range undermined Napoleonic tactics. An infantryman with a rifled musket was a greater threat to artillerymen and cavalrymen (Moorehead). During the civil war, an infantryman with a rifle was able to target an artilleryman before they were within the range of canister fire. With rifles, the infantry was able to attack the cavalry soldiers from a greater distance. So, the long-range firepower of the rifle reduced the importance of artillery and cavalry.
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When some men advanced, other men gave them protection. It was clear during the battle of Wilderness at Brock Road on 6 May 1864 and Laurel Hill on 8 May 1864, that defensive positions repelled attacks. So, for victory, it became necessary to attack the opponent before he establishes a defence.
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