Civil War soldiers were outfitted
with wool coats, guns, ammunition
and thick woolen blankets that
weighed in excess of 40 pounds.
Much of it dropped to the wayside
during lengthy marches and battles.
Initial war fever soon dissipated in both
the North and the South.  The Draft Act
of 1863 was the first compulsory draft in
US history.  All males between the ages
of 20 and 45 could be drafted.  No married
man was drafted until all the unmarried men
were taken.
Training was not uniform in either Army.  The
drills in the American training manual were in some
cases a direct translation of Napoleon’s French
tactics.  Little weapons training was given.  The
average Southern soldier was better versed in gun
use, as they were typically farmers and hunters.
Union soldiers mostly lived and worked in cities
with little experience in arms and munitions.
The bugle was integral in field communications.
Not only for reveille (wake up), but for hundreds
of complex march, dismount, and firing commands.
Complex flag commands, were spelled
out by individual letter, in Morse code.
Imagine a battlefield of horrors during day 2 of
the 3 day Gettysburg battle.  Gettysburg had the
highest casualties of any battle in the Civil War.
The four years of the Civil War were the bloodiest
in American history. One out of every four white
males in the south were killed.  Over 620,000 soldiers
and sailors died in the war – a little less than 2% of
the population.  A loss on the same scale today
would equal 6 million deaths.
Army engineer Warren spied the battle
from the top of Little Round Top.
Recognizing the undefended high ground,
he called for Union troops to sneak in and
take it, turning the tide at Gettysburg.
Confederate victory at that point might have
changed US history.
Civil War cannons in open fields at Gettysburg,
much as they would have looked in 1861.
The open fields were eerie.
Gettysburg in the heat of the battle, which was
really over 112 acres.  The “battlefield” is
enormous – we drove around for hours.


Posted by Picasa