Problem is that your regiment is made up of men who never learned how to judge the range, change the range on the sights or how to aim... other than point directly at the enemy. So any firing outside of about 100 yard will have little effect anyway.If I'm on the battle field, I want to be able to lay an effective fire down ASAP, not have to wait until 100 yards. I'll take a 61 Springfield please.
I doubt they would issue solid shot or buck and ball, I'd guess they'd go combination. Now can a raw recruit be trusted to fire the right cartridge at the right time is my question?
Actually the plan was there.Remember that entire regiments were essentially armed with the same type of musket, so a commander really can't position his rifle-equipped units to provide long range support by fire, then maneuver his smoothbore-equipped regiments into contact quickly as shock troops.
Actually the plan was there.
First of all, in Hardee's 1855 book the two flank companies is suppose to be fighting in front of the line in skirmish order most of the time. Screen the battalion and weakening the enemy.
Casey have the same rule, but the war department overruled it. But the text is still in the book, just marked with a O.
And it was supposed that one battalion of light troops fighting in skirmish order would screen a number of battalions of heavy infantry that was armed with smoothbores.(not covered in Hardee's book, since it don't cover brigade level tactics)
In some brigades one battalion got rifles and did focus on skirmishing and the rest smooth-bores.
In other cases the two flank companies got rifles arms, the 8 center companies smooth-bores.
So in some cases the option was there
But this was rarely done early in the war, since it do require well trained men and good coordination between the units.
And it require a brigade commander who understand this and know how to both train it and do it in combat.
And if the light infantry don't fall back the correct way, they can cover your own firing and put you in a worse situation then had they not been there... so not using them was a lot simpler and less of a risk. (if we are talking in open terrain)
Also there was early on a lack of rifles.
So for much of the war, the basic tactics when say two brigades meet each other frontally was very simple. Two lines going head to head and trading fire at rather about 100 yards.
By late war the csa did get a lot better at this with their sharpshooter battalions. And we have Shermans men experimenting with extending the formation to lower the casualties.
I gotta write that down."for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. "
I know buck and ball wounds were nasty. Getting hit by a buck and ball load threw soldiers back when they were hit.
I agree that the minie ball was far deadlier, but still, that had to do a lot of damage.
So odd you posted this today....I just posted this same article to another location and roughly at the same time.@huskerblitz posted in this thread: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/22nd-ky-infantry-muskets.158026/page-4#post-2110230
He posts the below article which kinda describes the same thing in the 22nd KY (Union) as @thomas aagaard states above. Or at least I believe so.
View attachment 325549
I gotta write that down.
exactly.I belies Sir Isaac Newton beat you to that quote! To get hit with a full "Buck 'n' Ball" load you would have to be at nearly Point Blank range. I've played with Buck & Ball, and it spreads really fast!
War is not like an rpg where you get to carry whatever you can purchase in the store before heading out on the adventure. You fire what you were issued. Troops were not trained to switch ammunition systems under varying conditions. You reach in your cartridge box, pull out a cartridge and load it. The issue of marksmanship training has already been brought up; Civil War troops were not that highly trained. Buck and ball may have been optimal under certain circumstances, and rifled fire optimal under others, but by and large infantry were maneuvered exactly the same regardless of armament, and the level of training largely negated any of the tactical nuances that we're massaging here.A college student answered the question of the effectiveness of the rifle musket vs the smoothbore at short range back in 1999 and Ucvrelics posted that article here on Feb. 17, 2019.
The short take of the article: under 100 yards shooting against massed troops, go with the smoothbore shooting buck and ball. Beyond 100 yards, out to 300, go with the rifle musket. Beyond 300 yards, save your ammo until the enemy gets to 300 yards.
I don't think the student brought up one other item that could make a difference, that of barrel fouling. A smooth bore with a heavily fouled bore could still be loaded with buck and ball where a rifle musket may be out of action until properly cleaned.
Actually I am anexactly.
Newtons 3rd law of motion:
Law III: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.
civil war period drill books, were usually a direct copy of the text in Hardee's 1855 translation of a french drill book.The drill manuals are, to a certain extent, copies of each other. There's nothing in Scott's, or Von Steuben, or the 1764, or the French Marine drill of 1756. They all assume that there is some sort of loadable cartridge in the box, but not what it is.