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Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat Reality and Myth

ISBN-10: 0700616071
ISBN-13: 9780700616077
Edition: 2008
Authors: Earl J. Hess
List price: $29.95
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Description: "The Civil War's single-shot, muzzle-loading musket revolutionized warfare - or so we've been told for years. Noted historian Earl J. Hess forcefully challenges that claim, offering a new, clear-eyed, and convincing assessment of the rifle musket's  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Publication date: 9/9/2008
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 296
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.25" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.298
Language: English

"The Civil War's single-shot, muzzle-loading musket revolutionized warfare - or so we've been told for years. Noted historian Earl J. Hess forcefully challenges that claim, offering a new, clear-eyed, and convincing assessment of the rifle musket's actual performance on the battlefield and its impact on the course of the Civil War." "Hess contends that its impact was much more limited than previously supposed and was confined primarily to marginal operations such as skirmishing and sniping. He argues further that its potential to alter battle line operations was virtually nullified by inadequate training, soldiers' preference for shortrange firing, and the difficulty of seeing the enemy at a distance. He notes that bullets fired from the new musket followed a parabolic trajectory unlike those fired from smoothbores; at mid-range, those rifle balls flew well above the enemy, creating two killing zones between which troops could operate untouched. He also presents the most complete discussion to date of the development of skirmishing and sniping in the Civil War." "Drawing upon the observations and reflections of the soldiers themselves, Hess offers the most compelling argument yet made regarding the actual use of the rifle musket and its influence on Civil War combat. Engagingly written and meticulously researched, his book will be of special interest to Civil War scholars, buffs, reenactors, and gun enthusiasts alike."--BOOK JACKET.

Earl J. Hess is an associate professor of history at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee. He is the author ofThe Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combatand other works.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Smoothbore and Rifle Heritage
The First Rifle War
The Gun Culture of Civil War Soldiers
The Rifle Musket in Battle
The Art of Skirmishing
Skirmishing in Battle
Sniping
The Rifle's Impact on Civil War Combat
After the Rifle Musket
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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