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Re: Range of Action

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  • James W. Durney
    My understanding that rifle fire was from 150 to 200 yards in open areas. This was what vets felt was effective range and usually waited. In woods, rifle
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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      My understanding that rifle fire was from 150 to 200 yards in open
      areas. This was what vets felt was "effective range" and usually
      waited. In woods, rifle fire seems to be at under 100 yards much of
      the time. This was very much the case in many of the TN battles.
    • Tom Mix
      Wasn t Ruggles famous battery fire that brought and end to the Hornets Nest about the furthest distance of the battle? He also had that little rise to shoot
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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        Wasn’t Ruggles famous battery fire that brought and end to the Hornets Nest about the furthest distance of the battle? He also had that little rise to shoot over. I’m just saying this having stood there and looked the distance and other wise awful terrain/visibility throughout the rest of the battlefield.

        Tom

         

        -----Original Message-----
        From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ronald black
        Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 7:06 AM
        To: civilwarwest@yahoogroupscom
        Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

         

        Jim:

        Because of the nature of the terrain, the trees and the underbrush, the effective ranges of the various localized engagements varied greatly.  It would not be possible to state an average range, for the reasons given.  The battlefield smoke from the rifles and the cannon greatly added to the problem of vision.  During the civil war, the field artillery was governed by line of sight, you had to see your target (as called vision).  Battlefield vision became obstructed after a battle began quickly from the smoke and the effective range became reduced.  Many fights were at short range and some at medium range.  Few of the fights were at long range because the accuracy of the weapons at long range caused the weapons to be used, in general, at shorter ranges.

        During the american civil war, about 80% of the field artillery firing missions were under 800 yards.  Actually, the most used range of field artillery was about 500 yards.  Most of the artillery firing at the battle of Shiloh was at ranges lower than 500 yards.  

        Ron 

        ----- Original Message -----

        From: jgillen94

        Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 11:46 PM

        Subject: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

         

        I ahve read several account of Civil War battles and itseem that the
        range of action covered was close. What was the average range the
        action took place and was there any difference between the east and
        west battle?

        Jim G


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      • Ronald black
        Thr distance from Ruggles battery position, across the Duncan field and to the federal positions along the sunkin road were among several other fields that
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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          Thr distance from Ruggles' battery position, across the Duncan field and to the federal positions along the sunkin road were among several other fields that were similiar in distance.  Ruggles battery fired at about 600 yards.  On Monday morning, Wallace's artillery fired at a range of about 1200 yards from iabove Sherman's position along the River road, across the Tilghman Branch ravine and into Ketchum's rebel battery in the Jones field.  On Sunday night, the guns in Webster's line of artillery fired at Gage's confederate battery on the south rim of the Dill Creek ravine, at a range of about 900 yards (half mile).  On Sunday morning, the group of guns formed by Major Francis Shoup (rebel) was about 900 yards below the Shiloh Church plateau and Sherman's position just above the west branch of the Shiloh branch ravine.  All of these positions, although partially obstructed with trees, were actual locations of live firing.  Only Ruggles' line had mostly clear vision, the only obstruction was that the guns of both sides were in stands of trees.  
           
          I must disagree with you about Ruggles' battery fire "that brought and end to the famous Hornets Nest".  Ruggle's collection of guns began firing at or soon after 4:00 pm, a time that the union positions were breaking up.  The union artillery had already started to withdrew since they had little to none ammunition on hand.  The union infantry was moving units around.  At least one brigade fighting near the Duncan cabins was pulled out and sent further east, because other federal infantry had been pulled out to build a new front facing east against the advancing rebel troops of Withers' and Breckinridge's divisions.  The majority of the firing of Ruggles' guns was ineffective because 600 yards is actually long range for a 12 pound howitzer and a 6 pound field gun.  This together with a union withdrawal of infantry and artillery reduced the effectiveness of Ruggle's firing..  
           
          Regards
          Ron
          ---- Original Message -----
          From: Tom Mix
          Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 1:59 PM
          Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

          Wasn’t Ruggles famous battery fire that brought and end to the Hornets Nest about the furthest distance of the battle? He also had that little rise to shoot over. I’m just saying this having stood there and looked the distance and other wise awful terrain/visibility throughout the rest of the battlefield.

          Tom

           

          -----Original Message-----
          From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Ronald black
          Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 7:06 AM
          To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroupscom
          Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

           

          Jim:

          Because of the nature of the terrain, the trees and the underbrush, the effective ranges of the various localized engagements varied greatly.  It would not be possible to state an average range, for the reasons given.  The battlefield smoke from the rifles and the cannon greatly added to the problem of vision.  During the civil war, the field artillery was governed by line of sight, you had to see your target (as called vision).  Battlefield vision became obstructed after a battle began quickly from the smoke and the effective range became reduced.  Many fights were at short range and some at medium range.  Few of the fights were at long range because the accuracy of the weapons at long range caused the weapons to be used, in general, at shorter ranges.

          During the american civil war, about 80% of the field artillery firing missions were under 800 yards.  Actually, the most used range of field artillery was about 500 yards.  Most of the artillery firing at the battle of Shiloh was at ranges lower than 500 yards.  

          Ron 

          ----- Original Message -----

          From: jgillen94

          Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 11:46 PM

          Subject: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

           

          I ahve read several account of Civil War battles and itseem that the
          range of action covered was close. What was the average range the
          action took place and was there any difference between the east and
          west battle?

          Jim G


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        • Tony Gunter
          ... Paddy Murphy (did I get that name right?) did an unscientific sampling of primary source accounts from battles across both eastern and western theatres,
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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            --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > My understanding that rifle fire was from 150 to 200 yards in open
            > areas. This was what vets felt was "effective range" and usually
            > waited. In woods, rifle fire seems to be at under 100 yards much of
            > the time. This was very much the case in many of the TN battles.
            >

            Paddy Murphy (did I get that name right?) did an unscientific sampling
            of primary source accounts from battles across both eastern and western
            theatres, and came up with a number around 60 yards for most musketry
            engagements, IIRC.

            He made a fairly strong case for considering the ACW the last war of
            the Napoleonic era.
          • Tom Mix
            Isn t that interesting: the last of the Napoleonic and, what many call, the first of modern warfare . The ACW is a special study of history. Tom ... From:
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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              Isn’t that interesting: the last of the Napoleonic and, what many call, the first of “modern warfare”.  The ACW is a special study of history.

              Tom

               

              -----Original Message-----
              From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tony Gunter
              Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 2:13 PM
              To: civilwarwest@yahoogroupscom
              Subject: [civilwarwest] Re: Range of Action

               

              --- In civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@... >
              wrote:

              >
              > My understanding that rifle fire was from 150 to 200 yards in open
              > areas. This was what vets felt was "effective range" and usually
              > waited. In woods, rifle fire seems to be at under 100 yards much of
              > the time. This was very much the case in many of the TN battles.
              >

              Paddy Murphy (did I get that name right?) did an unscientific sampling
              of primary source accounts from battles across both eastern and western
              theatres, and came up with a number around 60 yards for most musketry
              engagements, IIRC.

              He made a fairly strong case for considering the ACW the last war of
              the Napoleonic era.

            • Tom Mix
              600 yards from Ruggles guns to the end of the Union fence line of the Hornets Nest? That would be 6 football fields and I just don t recall it looking like
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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                600 yards from Ruggles guns to the end of the Union fence line of the Hornets Nest? That would be 6 football fields and I just don’t recall it looking like that far in the park. But I’m sure I’m probably wrong and your right but it doesn’t look that far IMHO.

                 

                The Nest was breaking but don’t forget, there was a reason he needed to gather those guns up to force the issue at that time.

                Tom

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Ronald black
                Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 1:33 PM
                To: civilwarwest@yahoogroupscom
                Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                 

                Thr distance from Ruggles' battery position, across the Duncan field and to the federal positions along the sunkin road were among several other fields that were similiar in distance.  Ruggles battery fired at about 600 yards.  On Monday morning, Wallace's artillery fired at a range of about 1200 yards from iabove Sherman's position along the River road, across the Tilghman Branch ravine and into Ketchum's rebel battery in the Jones field.  On Sunday night, the guns in Webster's line of artillery fired at Gage's confederate battery on the south rim of the Dill Creek ravine, at a range of about 900 yards (half mile).  On Sunday morning, the group of guns formed by Major Francis Shoup (rebel) was about 900 yards below the Shiloh Church plateau and Sherman's position just above the west branch of the Shiloh branch ravine.  All of these positions, although partially obstructed with trees, were actual locations of live firing.  Only Ruggles' line had mostly clear vision, the only obstruction was that the guns of both sides were in stands of trees.  

                 

                I must disagree with you about Ruggles' battery fire "that brought and end to the famous Hornets Nest".  Ruggle's collection of guns began firing at or soon after 4:00 pm, a time that the union positions were breaking up.  The union artillery had already started to withdrew since they had little to none ammunition on hand.  The union infantry was moving units around.  At least one brigade fighting near the Duncan cabins was pulled out and sent further east, because other federal infantry had been pulled out to build a new front facing east against the advancing rebel troops of Withers' and Breckinridge' s divisions.  The majority of the firing of Ruggles' guns was ineffective because 600 yards is actually long range for a 12 pound howitzer and a 6 pound field gun.  This together with a union withdrawal of infantry and artillery reduced the effectiveness of Ruggle's firing..  

                 

                Regards

                Ron

                ---- Original Message -----

                From: Tom Mix

                Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 1:59 PM

                Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                 

                Wasn’t Ruggles famous battery fire that brought and end to the Hornets Nest about the furthest distance of the battle? He also had that little rise to shoot over. I’m just saying this having stood there and looked the distance and other wise awful terrain/visibility throughout the rest of the battlefield.

                Tom

                 

                -----Original Message-----
                From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Ronald black
                Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 7:06 AM
                To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroupscom
                Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                 

                Jim:

                Because of the nature of the terrain, the trees and the underbrush, the effective ranges of the various localized engagements varied greatly.  It would not be possible to state an average range, for the reasons given.  The battlefield smoke from the rifles and the cannon greatly added to the problem of vision.  During the civil war, the field artillery was governed by line of sight, you had to see your target (as called vision).  Battlefield vision became obstructed after a battle began quickly from the smoke and the effective range became reduced.  Many fights were at short range and some at medium range.  Few of the fights were at long range because the accuracy of the weapons at long range caused the weapons to be used, in general, at shorter ranges.

                During the american civil war, about 80% of the field artillery firing missions were under 800 yards.  Actually, the most used range of field artillery was about 500 yards.  Most of the artillery firing at the battle of Shiloh was at ranges lower than 500 yards.  

                Ron 

                ----- Original Message -----

                From: jgillen94

                Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 11:46 PM

                Subject: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                 

                I ahve read several account of Civil War battles and itseem that the
                range of action covered was close. What was the average range the
                action took place and was there any difference between the east and
                west battle?

                Jim G


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              • jgillen94
                Thanks for the info. The book Civil War Tactics by Paddy Griffith does present a strong case for the Civil War being the last Napoleonic War. It has been
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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                  Thanks for the info. The book "Civil War Tactics" by Paddy Griffith
                  does present a strong case for the Civil War being the last Napoleonic
                  War. It has been awhile since I read it but it seem to cover the later
                  war and mostly sided towar the Eastern theater. I still think that a
                  tactical look at Shiloh and other earlier actions has never really been
                  done.

                  Jim G
                • Ronald black
                  Tom: The distance was determined by measurement from the Trailhead Graphics map and a Tennessee Valley Authority Topographical map. From the line of plaques
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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                    Tom:
                    The distance was determined by measurement from the Trailhead Graphics map and a Tennessee Valley Authority Topographical map.  From the line of plaques in the woods on the west side of the Duncan field to the plaques in the tree line behind the sunken road position.  The 600 yards includes more than just the Duncan field.
                    About 3:00 pm, Beauregard was notified of the death of A S Johnston and that Beauregard was now in command of the army and the battle.  He appointed Ruggles to be in command in the sector on the west side of the Duncan field.  Ruggles immediately issued orders shortly after being appointed to command, about 3:15 pm, to gather all of the artillery that can be found.  The need as you point out, is based on his assessment of events as they existed about 3:15 pm.  The action of gathering the guns took about one hour and only at 4:30 were most or all of the batteries formed and firing.  Evidence exists that batteries were arriving after 4:00 and the command arrangements were not settled.  They did not "force the issue" because by 4:30, the federals were leaving the area already especially the union artillery.  Remember, that no union battery was caught in the trap and surrendered with the infantry units.  Yes, I'm aware that Mann's Michigan battery surrendered but they came from their bivouac area in the Cloud field and were caught on the River road by Lindsay's rebel cavalry.  They did not come from the sunken road area.  They were in the Cloud field to get food, Boy, what a mistake.  
                     
                    Ron
                    --- Original Message -----
                    From: Tom Mix
                    Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 4:50 PM
                    Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                    600 yards from Ruggles guns to the end of the Union fence line of the Hornets Nest? That would be 6 football fields and I just don’t recall it looking like that far in the park. But I’m sure I’m probably wrong and your right but it doesn’t look that far IMHO.

                     

                    The Nest was breaking but don’t forget, there was a reason he needed to gather those guns up to force the issue at that time.

                    Tom

                     

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Ronald black
                    Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 1:33 PM
                    To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroupscom
                    Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                     

                    Thr distance from Ruggles' battery position, across the Duncan field and to the federal positions along the sunkin road were among several other fields that were similiar in distance.  Ruggles battery fired at about 600 yards.  On Monday morning, Wallace's artillery fired at a range of about 1200 yards from iabove Sherman's position along the River road, across the Tilghman Branch ravine and into Ketchum's rebel battery in the Jones field.  On Sunday night, the guns in Webster's line of artillery fired at Gage's confederate battery on the south rim of the Dill Creek ravine, at a range of about 900 yards (half mile).  On Sunday morning, the group of guns formed by Major Francis Shoup (rebel) was about 900 yards below the Shiloh Church plateau and Sherman's position just above the west branch of the Shiloh branch ravine.  All of these positions, although partially obstructed with trees, were actual locations of live firing.  Only Ruggles' line had mostly clear vision, the only obstruction was that the guns of both sides were in stands of trees.  

                     

                    I must disagree with you about Ruggles' battery fire "that brought and end to the famous Hornets Nest".  Ruggle's collection of guns began firing at or soon after 4:00 pm, a time that the union positions were breaking up.  The union artillery had already started to withdrew since they had little to none ammunition on hand.  The union infantry was moving units around.  At least one brigade fighting near the Duncan cabins was pulled out and sent further east, because other federal infantry had been pulled out to build a new front facing east against the advancing rebel troops of Withers' and Breckinridge' s divisions.  The majority of the firing of Ruggles' guns was ineffective because 600 yards is actually long range for a 12 pound howitzer and a 6 pound field gun.  This together with a union withdrawal of infantry and artillery reduced the effectiveness of Ruggle's firing..  

                     

                    Regards

                    Ron

                    ---- Original Message -----

                    From: Tom Mix

                    Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 1:59 PM

                    Subject: RE: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                     

                    Wasn’t Ruggles famous battery fire that brought and end to the Hornets Nest about the furthest distance of the battle? He also had that little rise to shoot over. I’m just saying this having stood there and looked the distance and other wise awful terrain/visibility throughout the rest of the battlefield.

                    Tom

                     

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: civilwarwest@ yahoogroups. com [mailto:civilwarwes t@yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Ronald black
                    Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 7:06 AM
                    To: civilwarwest@ yahoogroupscom
                    Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                     

                    Jim:

                    Because of the nature of the terrain, the trees and the underbrush, the effective ranges of the various localized engagements varied greatly.  It would not be possible to state an average range, for the reasons given.  The battlefield smoke from the rifles and the cannon greatly added to the problem of vision.  During the civil war, the field artillery was governed by line of sight, you had to see your target (as called vision).  Battlefield vision became obstructed after a battle began quickly from the smoke and the effective range became reduced.  Many fights were at short range and some at medium range.  Few of the fights were at long range because the accuracy of the weapons at long range caused the weapons to be used, in general, at shorter ranges.

                    During the american civil war, about 80% of the field artillery firing missions were under 800 yards.  Actually, the most used range of field artillery was about 500 yards.  Most of the artillery firing at the battle of Shiloh was at ranges lower than 500 yards.  

                    Ron 

                    ----- Original Message -----

                    From: jgillen94

                    Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2007 11:46 PM

                    Subject: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                     

                    I ahve read several account of Civil War battles and itseem that the
                    range of action covered was close. What was the average range the
                    action took place and was there any difference between the east and
                    west battle?

                    Jim G


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                  • James W. Durney
                    That is correct for a musket as the buck n ball was most effective at that range. My understanding that anything over 100 yards for a musket was almost a
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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                      That is correct for a musket as the "buck n ball" was most effective
                      at that range. My understanding that anything over 100 yards for a
                      musket was almost a waste of time.


                      > --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "James W. Durney" <JWD2044@>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > My understanding that rifle fire was from 150 to 200 yards in
                      open
                      > > areas. This was what vets felt was "effective range" and usually
                      > > waited. In woods, rifle fire seems to be at under 100 yards much
                      of
                      > > the time. This was very much the case in many of the TN battles.
                      > >

                      --- In civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com, "Tony Gunter" <tony_gunter@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Paddy Murphy (did I get that name right?) did an unscientific
                      sampling
                      > of primary source accounts from battles across both eastern and
                      western
                      > theatres, and came up with a number around 60 yards for most
                      musketry
                      > engagements, IIRC.
                      >
                      > He made a fairly strong case for considering the ACW the last war
                      of
                      > the Napoleonic era.
                      >
                    • keeno2@aol.com
                      In a message dated 11/7/2007 3:50:39 P.M. Central Standard Time, tmix@insightbb.com writes: 600 yards from Ruggles guns to the end of the Union fence line of
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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                        In a message dated 11/7/2007 3:50:39 P.M. Central Standard Time, tmix@... writes:
                        600 yards from Ruggles guns to the end of the Union fence line of the Hornets Nest?
                        Gotta go with you on this one tmix. The lines fell away from each other. At the closest point, on the northern edge of the line of guns, it looked like less than 300 yards. But the "road" fell away quickly to the southeast. Even at 600 yards, a capable artillerist with reliable fuses can drop shell with good effect.
                         
                        ken




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                      • keeno2@aol.com
                        In a message dated 11/7/2007 6:19:54 P.M. Central Standard Time, JWD2044@hotmail.com writes: That is correct for a musket as the buck n ball was most
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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                          In a message dated 11/7/2007 6:19:54 P.M. Central Standard Time, JWD2044@... writes:
                          That is correct for a musket as the "buck n ball" was most effective at that range.  My understanding that anything over 100 yards for a musket was almost a waste of time.
                          For a smoothbore musket, 100 yards was a waste of time for one-on-one shooting. However, if you have 300 guys shooting at 300 guys, pure luck would drop several--and that was the point. "Musketry" is the idea of concentrated mass fire. Shoot with enough muskets, en masse, and you will likely disconcert the other side somewhat.
                           
                          The accuracy of the rifled musket was mixed in that, even in western troops, there were those who had never handled a long-gun. Hence, point in the general direction and shoot--musketry. In the west, there may well have been a number in every regiment who where entirely expectant that the object of his aim would drop.
                           
                          Buck 'n ball was a compromise between a shotgun and a musket. Short range, it was devastating. Get much beyond 50 yards and it was useless.
                           
                          Just a thought.
                           
                          ole
                           
                           

                           
                           




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                        • Tom Mix
                          That s how I saw it, Ken. 250+ seems about right to me. Tom ... From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                          Message 12 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
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                            That’s how I saw it, Ken. 250+ seems about right to me.

                            Tom

                             

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com [mailto:civilwarwest@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of keeno2@...
                            Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 6:24 PM
                            To: civilwarwest@yahoogroupscom
                            Subject: Re: [civilwarwest] Range of Action

                             

                            In a message dated 11/7/2007 3:50:39 P.M. Central Standard Time, tmix@insightbb. com writes:

                            600 yards from Ruggles guns to the end of the Union fence line of the Hornets Nest?

                            Gotta go with you on this one tmix. The lines fell away from each other. At the closest point, on the northern edge of the line of guns, it looked like less than 300 yards. But the "road" fell away quickly to the southeast. Even at 600 yards, a capable artillerist with reliable fuses can drop shell with good effect.

                             

                            ken




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