Friday, June 19, 2015


This is coolbert:

As was listed at a previous blog entry those events as transpiring on the third day at Gettysburg yet one more instance of effective shock and awe!

* Gettysburg. Pickett's Charge. 5,000 Confederate casualties in thirty minutes, Confederate troops subjected to repeated volley from the Union defender, in particular the weapons fire from the Fourth New Jersey most effective. Even a military force as superb as the Army of Northern Virginia unable to overcome such resistance, that rate of casualty well beyond norm, disorderly withdrawal the only option.

From a conversation with a combat veteran and weapons expert this comment regarding

"There was at least one unit (think it was a New Jersey volunteer militia called up for Federal service in the Army of the Potomac) during the Civil War that kept their smooth bore muskets when offered rifles.  They liked using the buck-and-ball loads:  one .69 cal ball loaded under three or four buckshot."

"At Gettysburg, when Pickett's charge hit the Union line at the Corner, that NJ unit was just to the right (from the Union side of things), slightly off the angle of attack. They quickly lined up perpendicular to the Union line facing the Confederate units trying to get over the small wall, about 30-40 yards from the penetration point, and opened fire with their buck and ball loads--volley after volley. It was said to be quite devastating.  Like having a unit armed entirely with shotguns."

"Right weapon, right time!!"

And as duly noted in the Al Nofi CIC # 443:

• "In the years before the Civil War, the training of West Point cadets included instruction in the making of rockets, priming tubes, canister shot, quick and slow match, and various types of cartridges, including blanks, ball, buckshot, and buck-and-ball."

Buck-and-ball, load em' cocked and ready! Indeed!


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