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RE: [civilwarwest] Re: A few of my favorite statistics of the Civil War + more Bell Hood

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
      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
      >
      >
      >
      > ---------------------------------
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      >
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      >
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    • 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 2 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004

        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 3 of 21 , Mar 1, 2004
          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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