Essay about The Effect of New Weaponry on the American Civil War

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A-Plan of the Investigation The focus of this investigation will be on the answering of the question “To what extent did the invention and innovation of new weaponry during the 19th century affected the American Civil War?”. The most prevalent weapons of the time will be described, along with the major weapons manufacturers of the period leading to the Civil War. Multiple military innovations will be looked at and their implications on warfare will be discussed, considering how many weapons were improved and how this affected their efficiency in battle. The number of casualties in the American Civil War will also be displayed and it will be explained as to why the amount of fatalities was so high. B-Summary of Evidence The years leading …show more content…
According to Michael Clodfelter, the model 1860 Colt revolver was the “most effective pistol” during the war, with over 100,000 issued (Clodfelter). Richard Gatling, an additional chief inventor of the 19th century, invented the first efficient machine gun in the early stages of the war, although it did not see much combat (Ellis).
Not only were terrestrial weapons advanced, but naval weapons were transformed as well. Cannons were advanced in the 1850s through the innovation of larger, longer-ranged cannons by figures such as John Dahlgren (Bailey). Dahlgren pioneered a research program into naval weapons in the 1850s, creating numerous deadly naval weapons. Dahlgren also invented the “soda-water bottle” shape of cannons, which increased the guns’ reliability and efficiency (Schneller). Further innovation that played parts in the American Civil War were the Ironclad ship and torpedoes. The Ironclad ship was developed in defense against the wide amount of artillery that was used during the war. Extremely difficult to take down, these formidable warships made naval battles more testing and changed the idea of the warship. Torpedoes, on the other hand, were created in response to the Ironclad warships to destroy them by targeting their weak spots; their submerged hulls. These torpedoes even led to the further innovation of the “torpedo boat” of the Confederacy, which were specifically designed to hold torpedoes and avoid notice. Such naval inventions and advancements

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