Cavalry Tactics: You better load on Sunday and shoot all week! The trooper’s load and firing line

An oft cited generalization in regard to the Cavalry during the Civil War involves the use of repeaters or breechloaders, which gave the troopers some advantage in firepower.  And often you’ll see reference to the Army Ordnance Department resisting the adoption of repeaters, citing “ammunition expenditure.” In Cavalry Tactics, Alonzo Gray offered four vignettes toContinue reading “Cavalry Tactics: You better load on Sunday and shoot all week! The trooper’s load and firing line”

Whitworths and a rail gun: Confederates haul guns out from Richmond

I’ve written a bit about the changes to the Federal artillery park during the Overland Campaign – specifically about the inclusion of Coehorn mortars.  As mentioned a few days ago, though they lacked Coehorns at that time, the artillerists of the Army of Northern Virginia employed howitzers in a similar role at Cold Harbor (andContinue reading “Whitworths and a rail gun: Confederates haul guns out from Richmond”

June 4, 1864: Mortars to the front

Even though June 3, 1864 at Cold Harbor is best recalled as an infantryman’s fight, as mentioned yesterday, the Fifth Corps artillery launched over eighteen tons of ordnance towards the Confederate lines.  While massed batteries, as done with great effect just miles to the south at Malvern Hill in 1862, was not an applicable tacticalContinue reading “June 4, 1864: Mortars to the front”