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Civil War Sanity

Civil War Sanity

June 30, 2006 | Permalink

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I've toured Gettysburg several times. One of the guides explained to me that Pickett's Charge wasn't so crazy because Lee had sent a cavalry to come behind the Union lines. Theie success would have disrupted the Union line and allowed Pickett's Charge to break through.

The Southern cavalry encountered supporting Union forces who fired on them. The Confederate tactic was to let them fire first and then attack while they reloaded, which was time consuming and difficult with people charging at you. But, as they charged, the Union soldiers fired again and again. It turned out that these Union forces had been supplied with repeating rifles which had just been introduced into the army on a limited basis. But, they were enough to stop the cavalry from completing its mission to come behind the lines. Without them, Pickett's Charge was a disaster.

I'm confident that had I been a Southern soldier, I would have given it a lot of thought before I tried to cross that long expense in the face of rifle fire, cannon shot, etc.

Posted by: Woody | Jun 30, 2006 6:35:49 PM

That should be "expanse" not "expense," even though it was expensive.

Posted by: Woody | Jun 30, 2006 6:37:00 PM

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