A few admin notes as we roll onward with this sesquicentennial march.
First off, a couple of updates to the blog roll. I’ve listed Civil War Daily Gazette on the right side for some time, but wanted to give Eric special mention. If you want a daily summary of events looking back 150 years, look no further. An excellent and timely project!
Another blog chronologically following the events of the Civil War is Longwood University’s That a Nation Might Live. Drs. David Coles and Charles Ross offer weekly pod-casts, roughly five minutes in length. I’ve already cited these audio clips as a good “start point” for those who want to build their understanding of the war as we move through the sesquicentennial.
Next, I get to sound my own bugle a bit. If you read Adam Goodheart’s article titled “Hell in the Harbor” in the June 2011 issue of Civil War Times, note a couple of photo captions with my credits. Yes, more stuff on cannons. If you read this blog, perhaps information you’ve seen before. I was happy to help out the crew at Civil War Times with the identification of the guns in those old photos.
Lastly, an eye to the next string of posts on this blog – considering the next few months of sesquicentennial observances, and taking into account the readers’ feedback, I will start looking at the field artillery used in the early phases of the war. In the past, I’ve covered the field howitzers and parrott rifles in detail, so this time around look for more on the 6-pdr field guns.
In addition, I’m going to work in some discussion of the field artillery tactics as practiced at the start of the war. Now “tactics” is sort of a nebulous term in that regard. We can break down “artillery tactics” of the time period into three main categories – drill of the piece, maneuver of the battery, and use of artillery in the battlespace. While the first two are important for an understanding as to “how” artillery was used in the war, the later looks more at “why” artillery was used. Although I plan to touch upon all three, I will put a bit more emphasis on the “why” part.
Why? Well it is my opinion that we tend to assume the artillery was just there on the battlefield to make noise, causing the other side grief and discomfort. There was indeed some logic and method to placing artillery on the battlefield which formed into a set of intended effects. So when the commander issued an order to place artillery “there!”, I want to consider what frame of reference was used to define what he intended that artillery to do “there.”
That of course must lead into a battle you may have heard about near some creek called Bull Run.