Lee's Heart Attack.

Scott1967

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Longstreet in my view was a better commander than Lee he understood modern tactics a lot better he knew that fighting a defensive war then the South would have a better chance of bringing the North to the peace table out of war weariness , Lee not only expended resources he could not afford but also lost the cream of his army in two needless invasions.

Don't get me wrong Lee is a great diplomatic general but to this day i cannot understand people thinking he was a brilliant tactician or field commander he made so many mistakes and relied on either luck or poor command from Union.

Lee's greatest battle was Antietam but again this was down to Longstreet and Jackson the two best Corps commanders of the war in my view who helped inflate Lee's Reputation.

I remember Shelby Foote saying Lee took chances that's why he is considered great he gambled but the question has to be asked did he need to gamble it is debatable in my view.
 

Saphroneth

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The thing about Lee's command is that he is commanding the weaker power; the weaker power is the one who has to take risks more if he wants to win big, all else being equal. This is because the "average" result is that the stronger power wins.

Of course, it's also possible to argue that the best way to defeat the Union would be to basically make it (through example) so that the Army of the Potomac sees "fighting the Army of Northern Virginia" - especially south of the Rappahanock - to be synonymous with failure, and that Lee should not have gambled by striking north. Though we should bear in mind that Lee did not have hindsight, and he did know that the only thing really stopping the Union from just doing the Peninsular plan again (and thereby skipping the area he could best gain advantage over the Union, the south bank of the Rappahanock) was habit.

I can entirely understand why Lee did what he did, though I'm not sure I would have gone with the same approach. I also think Lee's articulation of the AoNV on a tactical and operational level is enough to make it clear he's a fine general, plus he had a fairly good grasp of strategy. Longstreet has big boots to fill, though it's quite possible he could indeed fill them - his own corps command was very solid, and I believe the only remaining question is how well Longstreet could articulate corps.
 

Pete Longstreet

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I remember Shelby Foote saying Lee took chances that's why he is considered great he gambled but the question has to be asked did he need to gamble it is debatable in my view.
"He is a very great general. He's superb on both the offensive and the defensive. He took long chances, but he took them because he had to. If Grant had not had superior numbers he might have taken chances as long as Lee took. The only way to win was with long chances and it made him brilliant."

-Shelby Foote
 

Luke Freet

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I'm sorry. Longstreet was a great Corps Commander and all but when he was given semi independent command, such as in Knoxville, he was sorely lacking. Maybe I'm just bitter about my ancestor being captured during the ludicrous assault on Fort Sanders.
I have read little on the Knoxville/East Tennessee campaign directly, to know all the nuances of what occured. My one source on hand talking about the campaign comes from Moxley Sorrel, aka Longstreet's Cheif of Staff and greatest admirer, so it may be biased when he lays the blame on Bragg for not providing Longstreet with proper logistics.
His actions there may have been painted by his constant butting of heads with Lee after Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg, plus being subordinate under Bragg doesn't help. He may be less bitter in early 1863, so doubt he'd do what he did to McLaws and Evander Law.
That's me providing him with the benefit of the doubt.
 

Scott1967

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The thing about Lee's command is that he is commanding the weaker power; the weaker power is the one who has to take risks more if he wants to win big, all else being equal. This is because the "average" result is that the stronger power wins.

Of course, it's also possible to argue that the best way to defeat the Union would be to basically make it (through example) so that the Army of the Potomac sees "fighting the Army of Northern Virginia" - especially south of the Rappahanock - to be synonymous with failure, and that Lee should not have gambled by striking north. Though we should bear in mind that Lee did not have hindsight, and he did know that the only thing really stopping the Union from just doing the Peninsular plan again (and thereby skipping the area he could best gain advantage over the Union, the south bank of the Rappahanock) was habit.

I can entirely understand why Lee did what he did, though I'm not sure I would have gone with the same approach. I also think Lee's articulation of the AoNV on a tactical and operational level is enough to make it clear he's a fine general, plus he had a fairly good grasp of strategy. Longstreet has big boots to fill, though it's quite possible he could indeed fill them - his own corps command was very solid, and I believe the only remaining question is how well Longstreet could articulate corps.

Lee never understood that their are no winners in battles like the ACW especially if as you quite correctly state you are the weaker power at best you might inflict slightly more casualties but you are still expending resources you cant afford in Lee's case.

The days of Napoleonic movement and feint were gone , Technology had moved on but Robert E Lee had not he success can be explained in two ways , First incompetent Union commanders made Lee better than he actually was even McClellan gave Lee a bloody nose at both Antietam and the Seven Days , Lee could not coordinate his forces and suffered over 20k needless casualties with the union in strong defensive positions that should have been a stark warning of what was coming although its the one time where Lee really had to do what he did.

Instead Lee was hailed as the savoir of Richmond but it was more due to McClellan's spat with Lincoln and Hallack than to Lee's Brilliance and again at 2nd Bull Run the Union would fail because of internal politics and quarrelling generals.

The Maryland Campaign was a disaster and by some fine defensive deployment and a passive McClellan Lee managed by the skin of his teeth to extract his army , I cant help but think that Lee would have been destroyed as an effective army if Mac had grown a set on the day and days after.

Fredricksburg was more about Longstreet advising Lee to stay because Lee was seriously going to just pack up and leave.

Chancellorsville was more about Jackson's aggressive nature than Lee if i can remember right Lee did split his force but gave no orders for Jackson to attack he was meant to meet up with Anderson and form a defensive position i will stand corrected here , But it was Jackson who grabbed the opportunity to hit the Federals not Lee.

And So we get to Gettysburg and the pointless invasion of Pennsylvania , Vicksburg was already doomed so needless to say the point of invading was at best a token gesture , At any point Lee could have retreated or just moved around the Union Army and taken Longstreet's advice but not Bobby Lee for the first time you see Lee take total charge he does not trust Hill or Ewell so decides to take matters into his own hands with disastrous results.

Longstreet bares the brunt being Lee's most trusted commander but Lee ask's the impossible of him in two instances which leads to his army being wrecked on the field by a well entrenched Union line on the high ground with fantastic interior lines.

Lee's Grand artillery barrage on the third day designed to soften up the Union defence and destroy Union cannon the problem is that Lee has only 46 rifled cannon so has to resort to exploding shells from his smooth bores because Lee does not see the need for rifled cannon in his army.

Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing i agree but Gettysburg does not need that because Lee was awful.
 
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Saphroneth

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Lee never understood that their are no winners in battles like the ACW especially if as you quite correctly state you are the weaker power at best you might inflict slightly more casualties but you are still expending resources you cant afford in Lee's case.

The days of Napoleonic movement and feint were gone , Technology had moved on
I think I have to stop you there, because the technology had not moved on to the extent Napoleonic battles were no longer possible. There are plenty of decisive battles from 1854-1871 despite the advance of technology - Solferino in 1859, Koniggratz in 1866, and Gravelotte and Mars-la-Tour in 1870 - and in many cases the attacker actually took fewer casualties. Meanwhile in the ACW the weapons that are used and the ways in which they are used are basically straight out of Napoleon's day, with even the rifle bringing little change as used in the ACW - not that the greater impact of the rifle made any of the battles I named above less decisive.



First incompetent Union commanders made Lee better than he actually was even McClellan gave Lee a bloody nose at both Antietam and the Seven Days , Lee could not coordinate his forces and suffered over 20k needless casualties with the union in strong defensive positions that should have been a stark warning of what was coming although its the one time where Lee really had to do what he did.

Instead Lee was hailed as the savoir of Richmond but it was more due to McClellan's spat with Lincoln and Hallack than to Lee's Brilliance and again at 2nd Bull Run the Union would fail because of internal politics and quarrelling generals.

The Maryland Campaign was a disaster and by some fine defensive deployment and a passive McClellan Lee managed by the skin of his teeth to extract his army , I cant help but think that Lee would have been destroyed as an effective army if Mac had grown a set on the day and days after.

Fredricksburg was more about Longstreet advising Lee to stay because Lee was seriously going to just pack up and leave.
I think that's very much a simplification of Lee's influence on the various battles. If nothing else describing McClellan as "passive" at Antietam is very much a post-hoc justification because McClellan launched so many attacks at Antietam that more casualties were suffered on that day than any other day in the history of American warfare - Lee's adroit commitment of his reserves prevents a disaster despite being subject to what may be the single largest attacking move by any Union army in the war. More to the point though you need to look at the operational scale, in which Lee does make himself vulnerable but he then recovers the situation.

Chancellorsville, well, one would think that a general beating an enemy who outnumbered him 2:1 would be sufficient to at least lift him up to the category of "competent".

And So we get to Gettysburg and the pointless invasion of Pennsylvania , Vicksburg was already doomed so needless to say the point of invading was at best a token gesture , At any point Lee could have retreated or just moved around the Union Army and taken Longstreet's advice but not Bobby Lee for the first time you see Lee take total charge he does not trust Hill or Ewell so decides to take matters into his own hands with disastrous results.
Really? I'm not so sure that the manoeuvre sur les derrieres which you're suggesting would have been so simple - Lee's army is the smaller one and it's already holding the extended line. What units are you suggesting should have been moved around the flank?
I suspect the result would be to weaken the density of Lee's army too much...


More to the point, though, the logic behind Lee "going for broke" is that.. well, it's the Kurz et Vives approach. You can wait to see if you lose or the (fitter) enemy tires themselves out, or try to win before the enemy has had every chance they're going to get to beat you.

That's the idea behind invading the North. It offers the chance to win quickly through exactly the kind of warfare that the German Way of War was built around - fighting a short war which is focused on manoeuvre and skill, aiming to win before the enemy's superior resources can win for them, rather than a "war of material" in which the North is inevitably going to win.


Certainly, Lee made mistakes - no general is free of that - but he generally manoeuvred with superior skill to his enemies (against McClellan is the closest thing to an exception as both outmanoeuvred the other at various times) and that he was fighting at a "Napoleonic" level of historical development is actually quite good since many other ACW generals don't even manage that.
 

Saphroneth

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Longstreet bares the brunt being Lee's most trusted commander but Lee ask's the impossible of him in two instances which leads to his army being wrecked on the field by a well entrenched Union line on the high ground with fantastic interior lines.

Lee's Grand artillery barrage on the third day designed to soften up the Union defence and destroy Union cannon the problem is that Lee has only 46 rifled cannon so has to resort to exploding shells from his smooth bores because Lee does not see the need for rifled cannon in his army.

Of course hindsight is a wonderful thing i agree but Gettysburg does not need that because Lee was awful.
A lot has been said about the benefits of the fish-hook, but it has weaknesses as well, and Lee's Day Two conception came very close to creating a situation in which the Army of the Potomac could be shattered; the Day Three conception perhaps less so, but it's that or he goes home without using his reserves and what would people think of him then?

And of course a grand battery barrage can work with smoothbores. That's all Napoleon ever had...
 

weasel

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Point to Longstreet. I imagine Jackson's command style, not letting his subordinates in on the full scope of his plans beyond what he feels they need to know, would not do him well at the head of the army, especially after Lee's tenure. And ESPECIALLY with such a combative Lieutenant as Longstreet.

I think it was Ewell (maybe Early) who is quoted as saying something close to "I never saw a messenger from Jackson approach without thinking that I was about to be given an order to invade the North Pole".
 

Scott1967

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And of course a grand battery barrage can work with smoothbores. That's all Napoleon ever had...

Not if your intention is to weaken enemy artillery they are rubbish at that with an effective range of 1500 yards the Napoleons are just relying on pot luck rather than accurate fire.

Napoleons are a defensive cannon not offensive unless of course you practice overhead shooting which the confederates did quite successfully blowing up the 5th Texas :eek:.

A lot has been said about the benefits of the fish-hook, but it has weaknesses as well, and Lee's Day Two conception came very close to creating a situation in which the Army of the Potomac could be shattered; the Day Three conception perhaps less so, but it's that or he goes home without using his reserves and what would people think of him then?

To be fair your right if the attack had gone in as planned it might well have worked , Although i see what Longstreet was saying he could have took his Corps in a much large flanking move and cut off Meade forcing Mead to react by attacking him maybe , But Lee was insistent on attacking and he had a point the reconnaissance in the early morning noted that very few Federals were on that flank so Lee was Justified in trying the attack.

No excuse for Day 3 though.

I'm not saying Lee was a bad general he was the best at what he did and that was keeping an army together and working with the limited resources he had but i do dispute his tactical genius their are just to many mistakes and to many bad decisions to label him with that tag imho.
 

Saphroneth

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Not if your intention is to weaken enemy artillery they are rubbish at that with an effective range of 1500 yards the Napoleons are just relying on pot luck rather than accurate fire.
I think the problem here is that you're sort of doing two things at once - assuming that Lee had no idea of the capabilities of his cannon, and assuming he should have known.

In fact, I already had this made up - this is the range circles for the guns in the grand battery bombardment:

Day3.jpg

Each circle is 400 yards, centered on the copse of trees.
As you can see, most of the guns were easily within 1500 yards - most were within 1000-1200 yards - of their targets. There is no reason why Lee's bombardment should not have been at least expected to be successful, assuming that it had the ammunition that he probably assumed it did (rather than firing slow and running out because the ammunition reserves with the batteries were almost depleted).

As for whether it was successful, you might want to check on how well those batteries under the bombardment actually survived it. You might be surprised...

No excuse for Day 3 though.

I'm not saying Lee was a bad general he was the best at what he did and that was keeping an army together and working with the limited resources he had but i do dispute his tactical genius their are just to many mistakes and to many bad decisions to label him with that tag imho.
I think the problem here is that you're making the case he wasn't competent, and he clearly was. Genius is hard to evaluate, but competence is easier and Lee had the ability to properly manoeuvre multiple corps over a wide battlefront, while we can at least see his reasoning for Day 3 Gettysburg.

Of course, the attack failed - but that does not necessarily mean it was a bad idea, and it certainly does not mean Lee should have known it was doomed to failure in the first place. This is because what Lee is doing is according to contemporary military theory and indeed based on the style of command of the man lauded as the greatest general in the last hundred years - Lee isn't as good making it work as Napoleon, but then again Meade is no Wellington either.

I would say that as originally conceived (i.e. two waves of troops rather than one to lend mass to the attack, a heavier initial bombardment) the attack was probably a good move with a reasonable chance of success. It may not be the only good move, but if all battlefield problems had only one obvious good move to make which could be spotted without hindsight then this whole generalship lark would be a lot easier.
 

Saphroneth

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Napoleons are a defensive cannon not offensive unless of course you practice overhead shooting which the confederates did quite successfully blowing up the 5th Texas :eek:.
This is a distinction without value. Napoleons are a 12 pounder smoothbore gun-howitzer and quite effective in offensive use, because they're basically just better versions of the 12 poudner smoothbore field guns that Napoleon himself so often used to win offensive battles - only they also have the ability to fire shell or shot from the same gun, something which Napoleon didn't have available to him. They're better at defensive use than the 3" rifles in the two sides' artillery parks (as they can fire canister), and they don't have quite such a long range, but used within their limitations they're perfectly capable of firing cannonballs that can hit and kill the enemy at several hundred yards.

In fact, if I had to use just one type of artillery in the ACW out of the major available types, it'd be the Napoleon - the 3" rifles add valuable options, but there's nothing the Napoleon can't at least do a little bit (while the 3" rifle is much worse for defensive fires).
 

Saphroneth

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As for whether it was successful, you might want to check on how well those batteries under the bombardment actually survived it. You might be surprised...
To clarify this - 67th tracked the specific target batteries once:


Cushing's battery had a single gun left servicable, loaded with the last two canister which they pulled the lanyard on at 10 yards range into Lowrance's NC brigade.

McCrea's battery had two servicable guns, and only 2 canister rounds per gun. They fired this at Davis' brigade at about 200 yds.

Rorty's battery had a single gun left servicable (some sources say two) and only 4 men left. They had no long range ammo, and engaged Kemper at close range with a few rounds of canister.

During the charge itself Hunt sent a number of batteries forward to reinforce, but none dropped trail before the rebels were very close. Cowan's battery dropped trail when the rebels were ca. 200 yards from the line and came straight into action with canister. They were the first reinforcement. Weir's battery, Parson's battery and Wheeler's battery (all of the artillery reserve) did not drop trail until after the rebel infantry had been stopped and were engaged in a firefight, or even were retreating.


So based on the results it seems that the bombardment did in fact largely smash the 2nd Corps artillery available to resist; since many of the "overs" hit the artillery park and displaced Meade out of contact with his signals system, it may have disrupted Hunt's response too.
A faster bombardment for the same time could have done more.
 

Luke Freet

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It genuinely frustrates me to hear people proclaiming (not arguing, stating it as if it were a given) that tactics in the civil war were outdated due to technological advances. In reality, the technological advances that were gained between the Napoleonic Wars and 1861 were not as profound as many people assume.
a.) Yes, the average infantryman was now being armed by massed rifled muskets, but they are still using black powder. After the first couple of shots from a rifled musket, and massed volleys across the lines, masses of smoke is formed and make sharpshooting downright impossible unless the wind is favorable that day and blows it away.
b.) Very few units are being armed with breechloaders and repeaters. As of 1863, the only people using the former in large numbers are the Union Cavalry, which is expanding at this point but still not seen much practical use by their commanders; and I can only name one brigade off the top of my head which were using Repeating Rifles as a standard, the Lightning Brigade. And again, black powder is still used by these, and as well as causing issues with accuracy, after rapid use it will fowl up the guns.
c.) People say troops forming up into Napoleonic line formations is a problem, when, in reality, it was the only practical way of control a mass body of citizen soldiers, volunteer and conscript, in a time before radios were a thing. Having infantry operate in loose order in the dust and smoke and noise of battle around, that leads to the regiment just disappating and dividing into uncontrollable pockets, to be picked off by cavalry if they saw the oppurtunity.
 

weasel

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It genuinely frustrates me to hear people proclaiming (not arguing, stating it as if it were a given) that tactics in the civil war were outdated due to technological advances. {snip}

I don't recall the source, but a few months ago I came across someone's view that rifled muskets didn't really advance things as far as most people thought since the bulk of the firing was inside of 100 yards where smoothbore would be roughly as effective. I have not done the investigating myself but that was their interpretation of the war. If you stopped me on the street and asked me, I would think that rifled cannons would have had a larger effect on artillery than the rifled musket would have on the infantry.

It certainly affected the use of cavalry (again, from what I read) in that the cavalry, other than acting to screen armies, became mostly an anti-cavalry weapon. Similar to how over time tanks have become largely an anti-tank weapon. Infantry would be able to open fire on a cavalry formation and pick it apart or reduce the number before they got close enough during a charge.

As to the repeaters, and your mention of 1863, I think the only two units that had repeaters at Gettysburg were the 5th and 6th Michigan, two of the cavalry units. I came across that in a video of one of the GNPS battlewalk videos.
 

Luke Freet

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I don't recall the source, but a few months ago I came across someone's view that rifled muskets didn't really advance things as far as most people thought since the bulk of the firing was inside of 100 yards where smoothbore would be roughly as effective. I have not done the investigating myself but that was their interpretation of the war. If you stopped me on the street and asked me, I would think that rifled cannons would have had a larger effect on artillery than the rifled musket would have on the infantry.

It certainly affected the use of cavalry (again, from what I read) in that the cavalry, other than acting to screen armies, became mostly an anti-cavalry weapon. Similar to how over time tanks have become largely an anti-tank weapon. Infantry would be able to open fire on a cavalry formation and pick it apart or reduce the number before they got close enough during a charge.

As to the repeaters, and your mention of 1863, I think the only two units that had repeaters at Gettysburg were the 5th and 6th Michigan, two of the cavalry units. I came across that in a video of one of the GNPS battlewalk videos.
I certainly not an expert on Civil War artillery and its capability. I appreciate @Saphroneth's posts on the subject.
 

Saphroneth

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It genuinely frustrates me to hear people proclaiming (not arguing, stating it as if it were a given) that tactics in the civil war were outdated due to technological advances. In reality, the technological advances that were gained between the Napoleonic Wars and 1861 were not as profound as many people assume.
There's several factors behind it, and since this is something I've looked into extensively I'll summarize my understanding:


- The adoption of the rifle-musket with adequate training did change the shape of the battlefield, but it did not do this by making most Napoleonic operational and tactical concepts obsolete. Instead it made it so that firefight ranges could be longer and expanded the tactical menu possessed by infantry.
- During the early Civil War, most long arms issued were smoothbore muskets, not rifle-muskets.
- As the rifle-musket was adopted, the lack of institutionalized training meant that the expanded range and accuracy of the rifle-musket did not get realized in the Civil War.

This is basically because for a smoothbore musket within about 100-200 yards someone who is well trained and good at aiming is noticeably more accurate than someone who has not been trained, but the difference isn't battle winning. It was an active area of military speculation how much there could be an improvement, and during the 1850s and 1860s only a few countries really realized how much the rifle-musket made a difference (Britain did it best, followed by France, with Prussia coming third).
The difference is basically that it has reached the point where you can't just "point the gun in the right direction" at long range (unlike with a musket, where just pointing the gun at the enemy will work within the effective range of the musket) - you need to be well trained at range estimation to get the most out of the weapon, and that is something which the two sides of the ACW largely did not do except in some specialized sharpshooter units (like the 1st and 2nd US Sharpshooters).

- As a result, there is no statistically significant difference between the performance of rifle-armed units and smoothbore-armed units on the battlefield, except for specialized sharpshooter units.
- This means that the infantry part of the battlefield is fundamentally Napoleonic in terms of their limits, so as far as infantry is concerned Napoleonic tactics should still work.

- For artillery, the guns that are available increase the effective ranges a bit (as in, rifles are effective at a somewhat longer range than 12 pounders from Napoleon's day, 12 pounders replace the 6- and 8- and 9-pounders of Napoleon's day) but the range increase is comparatively small because, well, cannister is the same as ever and a cannonball becomes less dangerous the further it's travelled, while US rifled artillery does not have good percussion fuzes and is not sufficiently accurate to change the shape of the battlefield. It's an incremental improvement.

- For cavalry, the basic problem with cavalry employment in the Civil War is that there wasn't good battle-trained cavalry able to attempt shock action on anything like a useful scale (as in, regimental or brigade saber charges) until the second half of the war, and certainly there's almost never the same cavalry proportions that Napoleon had available (and when it is it's sent off on a raid). There are several cases in the late war where saber charges happen.


What this means, overall, is that the battlefield environment and the constraints on it have not actually invalidated the Napoleonic battlefield. A lot of the time when Napoleonic tactics or operational techniques are used (and they're not always attempted) it actually works pretty well, and when it doesn't this is usually because of a failing in the troops rather than the tactics being outdated.
 

Saphroneth

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I don't recall the source, but a few months ago I came across someone's view that rifled muskets didn't really advance things as far as most people thought since the bulk of the firing was inside of 100 yards where smoothbore would be roughly as effective. I have not done the investigating myself but that was their interpretation of the war. If you stopped me on the street and asked me, I would think that rifled cannons would have had a larger effect on artillery than the rifled musket would have on the infantry.
A good example of this is Pickett's Charge.

If you look at the actual open-fire ranges at Pickett's Charge they're all pretty short. Only two regiments reported opening fire above 100 yds; the 7th Michigan and 20th Massachusetts (who gave a volley at 200 yards). They were ineffective.

Most regiments report opening fire at 80-100 yards. The smoothbore armed 12th NJ reserved their fire until 20 yards.

Pickett's three brigades (for example) halted to return fire 75-100 yards from the Federal line, when the Federals delivered their fire.

This is with a bare slope, giving visible targets at about 500 yards, and they don't open until 100 yards or so. At that range a man at a run will actually cover the distance almost before you've reloaded, and so your rifles have been no more effective at creating standoff distance than a smoothbore - you could have opened fire at the same range with a smoothbore.


So what happens? Well, the Confederate attackers slow down and engage in a firefight. They then sit there in a firefight for several minutes (IIRC it's upwards of 20 minutes) taking both small-arms fire and artillery fire, and then they retreat.
Despite standing for a long period of time engaged in a firefight, plus plenty of attacking troops captured, a lot of them make it back to friendly lines.

It's the fact that Pickett's men slowed down and engaged in a firefight that killed the charge, and that's a matter of morale and training. It's exactly the same sort of consideration that happened during any Napoleonic battlefield; if Pickett's men had been advancing with unloaded muskets (a trick used in the 18th century) they'd probably have made it to bayonet range because returning fire would not be an option.


As to the repeaters, and your mention of 1863, I think the only two units that had repeaters at Gettysburg were the 5th and 6th Michigan, two of the cavalry units. I came across that in a video of one of the GNPS battlewalk videos.

There were a lot more Federal smoothbores at Gettysburg than Federal repeaters. Indeed the Irish Brigade were a well-known "elite" unit who used smoothbores - if properly used rifle-muskets were the "baseline" they'd just have been shot off the battlefield without having time to earn their reputation.


As for the gunpowder smoke issue, what causes that is basically "rapid fire" where you fire as fast as possible in dense formations, and it can absolutely be a problem - but if you're using "deliberate" or "aimed" fire, then there's no point firing when there's smoke obscuring your view in the first place.
The British - who were musketry mad in this period - actually stopped using volley fire entirely, and soldiers were to fire on their own initiative and when they were sure of their targets. This coupled with the British battalions using skirmish formation (to thus cover a much wider frontage) meant that they had much less in the way of smoke problems.

In the end, at Gettysburg the accuracy rates are pretty comparable to Napoleonic battles, and the firefight ranges are pretty comparable to Napoleonic battles. So the firefights are fundamentally Napoleonic.
 

BillO

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thats the problem
WHen Bragg lost at Murfressboro and his subordinates were calling for his removal, Davis asked Jackson if he would take a promotion to General and transfer to command the Army of Tennessee. Jackson declined, because he wanted to continue operating in his home state of Virginia. Transferring him, willingly, is off the cards.
If he had to work with Longstreet I suspect he would have gone.
 

51st Georgia

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thats the problem
WHen Bragg lost at Murfressboro and his subordinates were calling for his removal, Davis asked Jackson if he would take a promotion to General and transfer to command the Army of Tennessee. Jackson declined, because he wanted to continue operating in his home state of Virginia. Transferring him, willingly, is off the cards.

There are a couple of entertaining novels about this. Stonewall Goes West and Mother Earth, Bloody Ground by R.E. Thomas. Jackson survives his amputation and heads west and takes control of the AOT. Ends up fighting Sherman on one hand and Leonidas Polk on the other.
 
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