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Weapons Of The Civil War Essay

1424 words - 6 pages

For four years, American blood spilled upon the soil of the so-called "United States". The cause of this bloodshed is known as the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865. It put family against family, and neighbor against neighbor until the newly formed country split into the North and the South. The North, also called the Union, fought to keep the country intact. The South, also called the Confederate, fought for their right to own slaves. In every war, weapons are made deadlier and faster, the Civil War was no exception. This contributed to the fact that the Civil War had more casualties than any war before in American history.The basic weapon for infantry was the rifled ...view middle of the document...

The Spencer rifle is known to have contributedto the victory of the Union. The magazine of the Spencer allowed rapid fire by moving the leverand cocking the trigger. The South were unable to use many of their rifle because of their shortageof ammunition which affected their chances of winning the war.There were three major types of artillery used during the Civil War: guns, howitzers, andmortars. Guns have long barrels, and fire solid projectiles at a very flat trajectory. Guns wereusually used against closely packed infantry or cavalry in direct fire and were aimed at chest height.Howitzers were similar to the gun except it had a more arch in the path of its projectiles and wereused for shorter distances. Howitzers had a shorter barrel than a gun and needed the projectiles tohave more accuracy than velocity. Howitzers require an experience handler when firing because ashot landing short of its target is almost useless, the shards that made up the shell of the shot can flyabout 600 yards after the shot explodes but the danger of the shards are much smaller. Mortars havea low muzzle velocity and are unsuitable for direct fire. They're usually cumbersome artillery, andmounted at a fixed angle that is usually between 45 to 50 degrees. It was mainly used by the Unionand has changed little since it's first use in 1453 by Ottoman Turks. The mortar was not veryaccurate and the amount of gunpowder used determines the point of impact. The 1857 Gun-Howitzer was the most popular, common, and deadly field artillery during the Civil War. It wasalso know as a Napoleon. The Napoleon fires 12.3Lb projectiles with a maximum range of 1600yards. A Union Napoleon has a swelled muzzle of 4.62in. While Confederate Napoleon has atapered band-reinforced breech. It is also capable of firing solid shots, shells, case rounds, andspherical shots. The total weight of the Napoleon is 2,445Lb. Another reason the Napoleon wasfavored was because of its bronze composition which is stronger and safer than iron because therewould be less chance of the gun bursting during battle and killing or wounding the crew of thatNapoleon. One of the artillery pieces developed during the Civil War was the Gatling gun. TheGatling gun was a hand-crank operated weapon with six barrels that revolved around a central shaft.The reason for the six shafts were to let the barrels cool partially before being used to...

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