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Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the Civil War + more Bell Hood

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  • tasimmo
    ... War. Cross-fire would have been significant if two squares were formed next to each other, but, from what I have read, only one square was formed at a time
    Message 1 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
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      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Bill Merritt <bilmerritt@y...>
      wrote:
      > I have heard of eight times where a square was formed in the Civil
      War. Cross-fire would have been significant if two squares were
      formed next to each other, but, from what I have read, only one
      square was formed at a time in the CW.
      >
      > tmix <tmix@i...> wrote:I do not know of any stats. After such a
      fight the carnage would be
      > tremendous with little effort to assuage the actual cause on death.
      This
      > would especially be so when Hussars and Carabineers were involved,
      inter
      > mixing their fire with that of the squares. The cross fire as sort
      of a
      > given and accepted price of the combat. Without the square, the
      infantry
      > would be trampled down so the risk was worth taking. Kind of: the
      better
      > of 2 evils, with the square providing the best chance of survival.
      > Tom M.
      >
      > -----Original Message-----
      > From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@a...]
      > Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 9:44 PM
      > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the
      Civil
      > War + more Bell Hood
      >
      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
      > > I was waiting for someone to catch the reference to Waterloo. All
      > > squares were a "tactical defensive" ploy as they were static. Of
      > > course the cross fire of squares took out a lot in friendly fire
      > > casualties.
      > > Tom M.
      > >
      >
      > Tom,
      >
      > I had never really considered the crossfire effect on the nearby
      > squares, but of course that must have done considerable "friendly
      > fire" damage. Are there any statistics concerning this?
      >
      > Joe
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      > To visit your group on the web, go to:
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/civilwarwest/
      >
      > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
      > civilwarwest-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
      Service.



      Gentlemen,

      I've been boning up on my knowledge of the infantry square as used in
      Napoleonic times, and because of its "all-around facing" the square
      normally only fired to its FRONT; this would have been even more
      imperative when several squares were deployed within shooting
      distance of each other. Thus, the overall firepower of an infantry
      square was much reduced. It was the points of the bayonets within the
      3- or 4-rank deep square that kept charging cavalry horses "at bay".
      At Waterloo, the cavalry and smoke was so thick that the squares
      apparently could not even see one another.

      Tom S.
    • tasimmo
      ... a ... the ... the ... instance, ... meat. ... volley, ... to ... number ... the ... would ... the ... nearby ... considerable friendly ... Mark,
      Message 2 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
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        --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Mark Peters" <mark-
        peters.midlandsandnorth@m...> wrote:
        > There was another problem, with bayonets and firing, I thought of
        > after. Reloading a musket, with a bayonet attached must have been
        a
        > problem in itself.
        >
        > Was it possibly the case that the musket was loaded, then bayonet
        > attached after? Otherwise, the logic would be that the bayonet was
        > attached at all time during combat, and we know that this was not
        the
        > case. If so, this would have allowed one shot only before using
        the
        > bayonet in defence/attack. As a result, crossfire could not have
        > been much of a concern when forming square.
        >
        > Mark
        >
        > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Bill Merritt <bilmerritt@y...>
        > wrote:
        > > Nevertheless, the Bayonet was an essential piece of equipment for
        > the Civil War soldier. They served numerous purposes...for
        instance,
        > they made superb candle-holders, and were very good for cooking
        meat.
        > I imagine, also, that far more pigs and cows were stuck by bayonets
        > than were humans.
        > >
        > > Mark Peters <mark-peters.midlandsandnorth@m...> wrote:--- In
        > civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
        > >
        > > Tom and Joe,
        > >
        > > Interesting comments on bayonets, etc. As has been suggested
        > > previously, the bayonet was certainly not a preferred weapon for
        > most
        > > Napoleonic forces. The British developed the use of the bayonet
        > > after attempting to combat the use of claymores by the Jacobites
        > > (mostly Scottish clansmen) in the '45. The tactics of the
        > Jacobites
        > > was to charge the Hanoverians, after receiving the initial
        volley,
        > > and close before reloading. The musket was then useless in hand
        to
        > > hand combat. Hence, the addition of a short sword on the end of
        > the
        > > musket. So Tom is quite correct in stating that this was
        > essentially
        > > a defensive weapon. Most Napoleonic tactics were developed in
        > > attempting to achieve the greatest amount of fire by a given
        number
        > > of troops ie. ranks v columns.
        > >
        > > With regards to cross-fire, as at Waterloo, I am unsure as to how
        > > many casualties could have resulted. To fire at a group of
        > marauding
        > > French cavalrymen would have been essentially a one, possibly two
        > > off, as reloading would have resulted in standing and lowering
        the
        > > bayonet being used for defence. Therefore, I believe that only a
        > > shot at an advancement, and possibly one at retreat (unlikely due
        > to
        > > time and recuperation) could have been possible.
        > >
        > > Best wishes,
        > >
        > > Mark
        > >
        > > > I do not know of any stats. After such a fight the carnage
        would
        > be
        > > > tremendous with little effort to assuage the actual cause on
        > death.
        > > This
        > > > would especially be so when Hussars and Carabineers were
        > involved,
        > > inter
        > > > mixing their fire with that of the squares. The cross fire as
        > sort
        > > of a
        > > > given and accepted price of the combat. Without the square, the
        > > infantry
        > > > would be trampled down so the risk was worth taking. Kind of:
        the
        > > better
        > > > of 2 evils, with the square providing the best chance of
        > survival.
        > > > Tom M.
        > > >
        > > > -----Original Message-----
        > > > From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@a...]
        > > > Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 9:44 PM
        > > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
        > > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of
        > the
        > > Civil
        > > > War + more Bell Hood
        > > >
        > > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
        > > > > I was waiting for someone to catch the reference to Waterloo.
        > All
        > > > > squares were a "tactical defensive" ploy as they were static.
        > Of
        > > > > course the cross fire of squares took out a lot in friendly
        > fire
        > > > > casualties.
        > > > > Tom M.
        > > > >
        > > >
        > > > Tom,
        > > >
        > > > I had never really considered the crossfire effect on the
        nearby
        > > > squares, but of course that must have done
        considerable "friendly
        > > > fire" damage. Are there any statistics concerning this?
        > > >
        > > > Joe
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > >
        > > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > ---------------------------------
        > > Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > > To visit your group on the web, go to:
        > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/civilwarwest/
        > >
        > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > > civilwarwest-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        > >
        > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
        > Service.


        Mark,

        Apparently, the bayonet "hedge" was provided by the (kneeling) front
        rank of the square, while the second, third and (sometimes fourth)
        ranks provided the firepower. I would imagine these ranks did
        not "fix" their bayonets.

        Tom S.
      • Bill Merritt
        Loading the musket with the bayonet attached was no problem at all; it was a socket, so the barrel of the gun was free. I ve done it often, without noticing
        Message 3 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
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          Loading the musket with the bayonet attached was no problem at all; it was a socket, so the barrel of the gun was free. I've done it often, without noticing the bayonet.

          Mark Peters <mark-peters.midlandsandnorth@...> wrote:
          There was another problem, with bayonets and firing, I thought of
          after.  Reloading a musket, with a bayonet attached must have been a
          problem in itself. 

          Was it possibly the case that the musket was loaded, then bayonet
          attached after?  Otherwise, the logic would be that the bayonet was
          attached at all time during combat, and we know that this was not the
          case.  If so, this would have allowed one shot only before using the
          bayonet in defence/attack.  As a result, crossfire could not have
          been much of a concern when forming square.

          Mark

          --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Bill Merritt <bilmerritt@y...>
          wrote:
          > Nevertheless, the Bayonet was an essential piece of equipment for
          the Civil War soldier. They served numerous purposes...for instance,
          they made superb candle-holders, and were very good for cooking meat.
          I imagine, also, that far more pigs and cows were stuck by bayonets
          than were humans.
          >
          > Mark Peters <mark-peters.midlandsandnorth@m...> wrote:--- In
          civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
          >
          > Tom and Joe,
          >
          > Interesting comments on bayonets, etc.  As has been suggested
          > previously, the bayonet was certainly not a preferred weapon for
          most
          > Napoleonic forces.  The British developed the use of the bayonet
          > after attempting to combat the use of claymores by the Jacobites
          > (mostly Scottish clansmen) in the '45.  The tactics of the
          Jacobites
          > was to charge the Hanoverians, after receiving the initial volley,
          > and close before reloading.  The musket was then useless in hand to
          > hand combat.  Hence, the addition of a short sword on the end of
          the
          > musket.  So Tom is quite correct in stating that this was
          essentially
          > a defensive weapon.  Most Napoleonic tactics were developed in
          > attempting to achieve the greatest amount of fire by a given number
          > of troops ie. ranks v columns.
          >
          > With regards to cross-fire, as at Waterloo, I am unsure as to how
          > many casualties could have resulted.  To fire at a group of
          marauding
          > French cavalrymen would have been essentially a one, possibly two
          > off, as reloading would have resulted in standing and lowering the
          > bayonet being used for defence.  Therefore, I believe that only a
          > shot at an advancement, and possibly one at retreat (unlikely due
          to
          > time and recuperation) could have been possible.   
          >
          > Best wishes,
          >
          > Mark
          >
          > > I do not know of any stats. After such a fight the carnage would
          be
          > > tremendous with little effort to assuage the actual cause on
          death.
          > This
          > > would especially be so when Hussars and Carabineers were
          involved,
          > inter
          > > mixing their fire with that of the squares. The cross fire as
          sort
          > of a
          > > given and accepted price of the combat. Without the square, the
          > infantry
          > > would be trampled down so the risk was worth taking. Kind of: the
          > better
          > > of 2 evils, with the square providing the best chance of
          survival.
          > > Tom M.
          > >
          > > -----Original Message-----
          > > From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@a...]
          > > Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 9:44 PM
          > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
          > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of
          the
          > Civil
          > > War + more Bell Hood
          > >
          > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
          > > > I was waiting for someone to catch the reference to Waterloo.
          All
          > > > squares were a "tactical defensive" ploy as they were static.
          Of
          > > > course the cross fire of squares took out a lot in friendly
          fire
          > > > casualties.
          > > > Tom M.
          > > >
          > >
          > > Tom, 
          > >
          > >  I had never really considered the crossfire effect on the nearby
          > > squares, but of course that must have done considerable "friendly
          > > fire" damage.  Are there any statistics concerning this?
          > >
          > > Joe
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > > 
          > > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >
          > ---------------------------------
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >    To visit your group on the web, go to:
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/civilwarwest/
          >  
          >    To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
          > civilwarwest-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          >  
          >    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
          Service.

        • tmix
          Yes, loading and re-loading were a challenge with the bayonet attached. Some of our re-enactors could better discuss this than me since they have done,
          Message 4 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
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            Yes, loading and re-loading were a challenge with the bayonet attached.
            Some of our re-enactors could better discuss this than me since they
            have done, although obviously not under life and death situations. But
            what you touched on is why a bayonet charge was very rare. When
            Chamberlain ordered his charge it shocked his men knowing it meant an
            all or nothing, do or die event. It was a chilling order that I found
            the movie to portray beautifully.
            In Napoleonic times it was more of given to use the bayonet. At
            Friedland the French engaged the Russian Guard who were quite tall. Thus
            the French found they had to jab in an upward motion. Napoleon's surgeon
            Larrey made quite a study of after battle results that helped him create
            advancements in the medical, like the first mobile field hospital near
            the front.
            During the Civil War, a bayonet charge was often regarded as a last
            resort suicide move. A very scary proposition.
            Tom M.

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Mark Peters [mailto:mark-peters.midlandsandnorth@...]
            Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 10:16 AM
            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the Civil
            War + more Bell Hood

            There was another problem, with bayonets and firing, I thought of
            after. Reloading a musket, with a bayonet attached must have been a
            problem in itself.

            Was it possibly the case that the musket was loaded, then bayonet
            attached after? Otherwise, the logic would be that the bayonet was
            attached at all time during combat, and we know that this was not the
            case. If so, this would have allowed one shot only before using the
            bayonet in defence/attack. As a result, crossfire could not have
            been much of a concern when forming square.

            Mark

            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, Bill Merritt <bilmerritt@y...>
            wrote:
            > Nevertheless, the Bayonet was an essential piece of equipment for
            the Civil War soldier. They served numerous purposes...for instance,
            they made superb candle-holders, and were very good for cooking meat.
            I imagine, also, that far more pigs and cows were stuck by bayonets
            than were humans.
            >
            > Mark Peters <mark-peters.midlandsandnorth@m...> wrote:--- In
            civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
            >
            > Tom and Joe,
            >
            > Interesting comments on bayonets, etc. As has been suggested
            > previously, the bayonet was certainly not a preferred weapon for
            most
            > Napoleonic forces. The British developed the use of the bayonet
            > after attempting to combat the use of claymores by the Jacobites
            > (mostly Scottish clansmen) in the '45. The tactics of the
            Jacobites
            > was to charge the Hanoverians, after receiving the initial volley,
            > and close before reloading. The musket was then useless in hand to
            > hand combat. Hence, the addition of a short sword on the end of
            the
            > musket. So Tom is quite correct in stating that this was
            essentially
            > a defensive weapon. Most Napoleonic tactics were developed in
            > attempting to achieve the greatest amount of fire by a given number
            > of troops ie. ranks v columns.
            >
            > With regards to cross-fire, as at Waterloo, I am unsure as to how
            > many casualties could have resulted. To fire at a group of
            marauding
            > French cavalrymen would have been essentially a one, possibly two
            > off, as reloading would have resulted in standing and lowering the
            > bayonet being used for defence. Therefore, I believe that only a
            > shot at an advancement, and possibly one at retreat (unlikely due
            to
            > time and recuperation) could have been possible.
            >
            > Best wishes,
            >
            > Mark
            >
            > > I do not know of any stats. After such a fight the carnage would
            be
            > > tremendous with little effort to assuage the actual cause on
            death.
            > This
            > > would especially be so when Hussars and Carabineers were
            involved,
            > inter
            > > mixing their fire with that of the squares. The cross fire as
            sort
            > of a
            > > given and accepted price of the combat. Without the square, the
            > infantry
            > > would be trampled down so the risk was worth taking. Kind of: the
            > better
            > > of 2 evils, with the square providing the best chance of
            survival.
            > > Tom M.
            > >
            > > -----Original Message-----
            > > From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@a...]
            > > Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 9:44 PM
            > > To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
            > > Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of
            the
            > Civil
            > > War + more Bell Hood
            > >
            > > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
            > > > I was waiting for someone to catch the reference to Waterloo.
            All
            > > > squares were a "tactical defensive" ploy as they were static.
            Of
            > > > course the cross fire of squares took out a lot in friendly
            fire
            > > > casualties.
            > > > Tom M.
            > > >
            > >
            > > Tom,
            > >
            > > I had never really considered the crossfire effect on the nearby
            > > squares, but of course that must have done considerable "friendly
            > > fire" damage. Are there any statistics concerning this?
            > >
            > > Joe
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            > To visit your group on the web, go to:
            > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/civilwarwest/
            >
            > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
            > civilwarwest-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
            Service.




            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • tmix
            I know of 2 squares in the ACW and they were individual efforts as opposed to interlocking compositions which was the norm in Napoleonic times. One of the
            Message 5 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
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              I know of 2 squares in the ACW and they were individual efforts as opposed to interlocking compositions which was the norm in Napoleonic times.

              One of the squares was at Chancellorsville which helped take out Stonewall and the 2nd was on the far right of the Confederate line on day one at Gettysburg. Another possible one may have been formed on Day 3 to repulse Kilpatrick’s stupid charge. Buford and Gamble had the good sense to not attack the CSA square on the 1st day but did make sure to worry and occupy the infantry units.

              Could you give me some details on any other squares you may know of?

              Tom M.

               

              -----Original Message-----
              From: Bill Merritt [mailto:bilmerritt@...]
              Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 9:44 AM
              To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the Civil War + more Bell Hood

               

              I have heard of eight times where a square was formed in the Civil War. Cross-fire would have been significant if two squares were formed next to each other, but, from what I have read, only one square was formed at a time in the CW.

              tmix <tmix@...> wrote:

              I do not know of any stats. After such a fight the carnage would be
              tremendous with little effort to assuage the actual cause on death. This
              would especially be so when Hussars and Carabineers were involved, inter
              mixing their fire with that of the squares. The cross fire as sort of a
              given and accepted price of the combat. Without the square, the infantry
              would be trampled down so the risk was worth taking. Kind of: the better
              of 2 evils, with the square providing the best chance of survival.
              Tom M.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@...]
              Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 9:44 PM
              To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the Civil
              War + more Bell Hood

              --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
              > I was waiting for someone to catch the reference to Waterloo. All
              > squares were a "tactical defensive" ploy as they were static. Of
              > course the cross fire of squares took out a lot in friendly fire
              > casualties.
              > Tom M.
              >

              Tom, 

              I had never really considered the crossfire effect on the nearby
              squares, but of course that must have done considerable "friendly
              fire" damage.  Are there any statistics concerning this?

              Joe






              Yahoo! Groups Links






               

            • Bill Merritt
              Sorry, I can t give any more details of the other squares, though I shall ask. It was a discussion, a few years ago, on the Gettysburg Discussion group. I got
              Message 6 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
              • 0 Attachment
                Sorry, I can't give any more details of the other squares, though I shall ask. It was a discussion, a few years ago, on the Gettysburg Discussion group. I got bounced by that group (voluntarily, really), after a real heated discussion on Dan Sickles. I have another source, though, and shall get back to you.

                tmix <tmix@...> wrote:

                I know of 2 squares in the ACW and they were individual efforts as opposed to interlocking compositions which was the norm in Napoleonic times.

                One of the squares was at Chancellorsville which helped take out Stonewall and the 2nd was on the far right of the Confederate line on day one at Gettysburg. Another possible one may have been formed on Day 3 to repulse Kilpatrickļæ½s stupid charge. Buford and Gamble had the good sense to not attack the CSA square on the 1st day but did make sure to worry and occupy the infantry units.

                Could you give me some details on any other squares you may know of?

                Tom M.

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Bill Merritt [mailto:bilmerritt@...]
                Sent: Monday, March 01, 2004 9:44 AM
                To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the Civil War + more Bell Hood

                 

                I have heard of eight times where a square was formed in the Civil War. Cross-fire would have been significant if two squares were formed next to each other, but, from what I have read, only one square was formed at a time in the CW.

                tmix <tmix@...> wrote:

                I do not know of any stats. After such a fight the carnage would be
                tremendous with little effort to assuage the actual cause on death. This
                would especially be so when Hussars and Carabineers were involved, inter
                mixing their fire with that of the squares. The cross fire as sort of a
                given and accepted price of the combat. Without the square, the infantry
                would be trampled down so the risk was worth taking. Kind of: the better
                of 2 evils, with the square providing the best chance of survival.
                Tom M.

                -----Original Message-----
                From: hartshje [mailto:Hartshje@...]
                Sent: Sunday, February 29, 2004 9:44 PM
                To: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the Civil
                War + more Bell Hood

                --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "tmix" <tmix@i...> wrote:
                > I was waiting for someone to catch the reference to Waterloo. All
                > squares were a "tactical defensive" ploy as they were static. Of
                > course the cross fire of squares took out a lot in friendly fire
                > casualties.
                > Tom M.
                >

                Tom, 

                I had never really considered the crossfire effect on the nearby
                squares, but of course that must have done considerable "friendly
                fire" damage.  Are there any statistics concerning this?

                Joe






                Yahoo! Groups Links






                 

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