Civil War Innovations

Superior Essays
The Civil War was a time of terrible social turmoil and bloodshed for the American people. However, it was also a time of great innovation and creation by both the Union and the Confederacy. As the intellectuals of the two sides invented better and more efficient ways to hasten the slaughter of their countrymen, the leadership of the Union and Confederacy lost no time in their application of these new arsenals. The Civil War is the war that has seen the greatest loss of American men, and the primary reason behind this is the creation of new weapons. Among the innovations responsible for the massive loss of life was the long range rifle, the Minie ball, railroads, the telegraph, and aerial reconnaissance. Invented just before the advent of …show more content…
However, rifles prior to the Civil War only had ranges of 300 feet: …show more content…
The Civil War had casualty counts that remain the highest ever seen in American history. In comparison to the wars preceding it, such as the Mexican-American War with only around 18,000 total casualties, the Civil War had at least an unbelievable 640,000 combined casualties (United States 1). The Civil War had the awful, coincidental timing of beginning in the dawn of a new age of combat. Officers trained in the strategies of the past lined up their men at close range for their slaughter by the new rifles and ammunition developed. Bayonet charges became obsolete but were still continuously used throughout the Civil War, resulting in the destruction of entire regiments by concentrated rifle and cannon fire (as seen in Pickett’s Charge) (Griffith 96). However, in the end, the main perpetrator and culprit behind the huge casualties seen in the Civil War was the technological developments utilized in the war. Historians, such as Drew Gilpin Faust (the President of Harvard and noted Civil War author) and Dr. J David Hacker (an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota specializing in the Civil War) agree that casualties in the Civil War could potentially be even higher than currently estimated, and that Americans were largely responsible for this (Faust 65), largely due to their

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