How did they march 12-18 miles per day?

Waterloo50

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#41
View attachment 216377


For the Union soldier: Waistbelt with beltplate suspending cap pouch, bayonet, and scabbard; canteen, its cover, & strap; cartridge box suspended from over-the-shoulder strap, containing two box tins with forty rounds of ammunition, and ornamented with one or two brass plates (late in the war the box was also worn Confederate-style on the waistbelt, thereby eliminating the strap and brass plates altogether); tarred haversack and its contents which varied but usually included tin plate, knife, fork, and spoon plus food items; tin cup or mucket; musket, rifle-musket, or rifled musket. For actual marches (not just going short distances), add blanket roll wrapped in tarred or rubberized ground cloth or poncho or knapsack containing same and usually spare clothing items like extra shirt, drawers, socks, etc. In weather like we're having now, a greatcoat would be a nice but relatively heavy addition.

View attachment 216378
Excellent, thank you.
 

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James N.

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#43
Sorry for getting off topic: Are that Sibley Tents in the back?
Yes, reproductions that are likely 1/2 or 2/3 scale made for reenactors. Of course Sibleys were so large they had to be carried by wagon so were most commonly seen in permanent camps or used by cavalry and artillery units and carried in their regimental or battery baggage wagons. Here's a view of the interior, complete with my original Sibley Stove:

1546543188709.png
 

Sbc

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#44
Haha , Yea a lot older sorry
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I keep reading in latter stages of the War the CSA soldier survived on a handful of cornmeal and maybe some Bacon fat or pork do you think this effected Lee's tactics , He certainly did execute the sort of daring marches like Chancellorsville or 2nd Bull run , Could the lack of food effected his tactical thinking after Gettysburg and was the Army of Tennessee better fed than the AoNV?.
Forgot where I heard it but fwiw
The Union soldier benefited from a diet of wheat and beef packing greater nutritional value compared to his Southern counterpart eating a diet heavy in corn meal and pork.
Perhaps those early morning Union routs in battle that turned around in the afternoon have a physical explanation? The boys in gray got tuckered out...
 
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#45
Forgot where I heard it but fwiw
The Union soldier benefited from a diet of wheat and beef packing greater nutritional value compared to his Southern counterpart eating a diet heavy in corn meal and pork.
Perhaps those early morning Union routs in battle that turned around in the afternoon have a physical explanation? The boys in gray got tuckered out...
More likely, unable to bring additional reinforcements and/or to resupply ammo and lost equipment. Corn meal packs more energy than wheat flower. The pork raised in those days would have had high fat content, and the beef much lower fat than what we are used to today. IMO, your energy differential doesn't stand up.
 
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#46
More likely, unable to bring additional reinforcements and/or to resupply ammo and lost equipment. Corn meal packs more energy than wheat flower. The pork raised in those days would have had high fat content, and the beef much lower fat than what we are used to today. IMO, your energy differential doesn't stand up.
Good point even so maybe the quantity rather than the quality of Carbs could have had an effect on the Southern boys in prolonged marching and combat in the later stages of the war.
 

Sbc

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#47
More likely, unable to bring additional reinforcements and/or to resupply ammo and lost equipment. Corn meal packs more energy than wheat flower. The pork raised in those days would have had high fat content, and the beef much lower fat than what we are used to today. IMO, your energy differential doesn't stand up.
I m no nutritionist and don't remember the source so can't prove it
 
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#48
I m no nutritionist and don't remember the source so can't prove it
I'm not a nutritionist either. However, I raise corn and beef cattle, am familiar with the pros and cons of feeding various grains and their byproducts, as well as the nature of our major meat animals and have an agricultural education. I recommend you consult with the Cooperative Extension Service of your State Land Grant University. They likely employ an animal science specialist and probably a nutrionist somewhere in your Extension region.
 

Joshism

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#49
I think I read at some point that Jackson used a 50 minutes marching, 10 minutes rest system in the Valley. I'm not sure how common that was.

I'm glad soneone mentioned long distance hikers if someone else hadn't. Appalachian Trail thru-hikers routinely get through Shenandoah National Park in 3 days - over 20 miles a day in, while by no means the steepest part of the trail, certainty isn't flat.

The biggest challenge I would think for marchers is food. AT hikers going 20 miles with 30-35 lbs packs are burning something like 5000 calories a day so they tend to gorge themselves when possible but still shed weight. (Really the AT is one of the best weight loss plans available.) I'm not sure how ACW soldiers survived on salt pork and hard bread.
 
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#51
Well, if you didn’t like walking, you could always try out for the cavalry. I was a light infantryman and I remember the Royal Corp of transport come flying past in their landrovers and four ton Bedford trucks, I knew then that I’d joined the wrong regiment.:frown:
Well yes and no. I remember reading from a German Cavalry trooper in WW2 sometimes they had to walk their horse's since they get tired out.
Also it was easy for ACW Cavalry to easily find prisoners if the other army retreated as there was no shortage of stragglers.
Leftyhunter
 

E_just_E

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#53
I've been walking as exercise for many years and figure a moderate pace is about 1 mile/20 minutes or 3 mph. Given that I am somewhat older than the average trooper (ha ha) and am certainly not carrying a fully loaded pack and rifle, nevertheless, I never really questioned the figure of 12-18 miles per day for the Civil War trooper, which seems realistic.
Which actually makes interesting how the 17 miles in ~8 hrs march of AP Hill's light Division from Harper's Ferry to Antietam passed in the lore as an exhausting and heroic feat :smile:
 
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#56
Isn't that 17 miles mostly uphill? That would slow them down a bit. But it really doesn't sound that "exhausting and heroic." Well, at age 83 it would be for me (I probably wouldn't survive it), but I don't believe any of the Confederate troops were that old!
Indeed Mary , But I know ill be corrected here I'm sure they would have been marching constantly day in day out for a week or so that can take its toll , Its great when you can replenish you energy with choc bars and whatever floats your boat but I doubt they would have that luxury of 3 meals a day...

These boys were expected to march on empty stomachs with substandard boots or shoes or nothing.
 



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