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Thread: Bayonet usage in the Civil War

  1. #1

    Bayonet usage in the Civil War

    Interesting talk I ran into posted on CSPAN by the Civil War Times editor from 2013. No big revelations. Just another in a very long line of opportunities to learn about how the bayonet was not the primary weapon in the CW and it should not take role playing by players in a proper Civil War game to keep them from running off alone to gut someone in the back. He deviates in an interesting way than most narratives in that he states that it wasn't the rifled musket itself which caused this.

    It's a pervasive myth that will never die to the general public but it should really die to the buffs. Tired of seeing it in every Hollywood portrayal of the CW and tired of every fight in WoR devolving into a stab-fest.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?327502...sage-civil-war
    Suggestion: Formations, Suppression, Spawning, Leadership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZqPsbvyD8s


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  2. #2

    CSA Captain

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    Several studies have come to the conclusion that, traditionally, American soldiers have been reluctant to use the bayonet, preffering instead to 'club' their rifles. One such study into US troops during WWII even surmised that as many as seventy percent of soldiers either never shot an enemy, or fired their weapon without actually aiming. The point is, games and movies are not historical documentaries, they are entertainment. I think that both Gods & Generals & Gettysburg (given their limited budgets) actually did a good job of depicting Civil War combat.

    As far as WoR goes, I've not been in, or seen, many bayonet charges that were of any tactical value at all. Usually the outcome is decided by who can run back to the point of contention faster after almost everyone, on both sides, have been killed. Also, these charges are most often ordered when a unit has taken too many casualties to hold it's position or lay down effective fire, so a 'charge' is ordered in the hope that the depleted unit can 'melee' it's way to a win. Of course it's not 'historical' but as you quite rightly point out in a hundred forum posts, players just will not retreat.

    CG are never going to solve this issue, but maybe players can. Implement a server rule, the team with lower moral is not allowed to charge, simple, most likely very effective, and historical.
    ''I'm here to play an American Civil War era combat game, not Call of Duty with muskets.''.

  3. #3

    USA General of the Army

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    It's been a while since I looked at the following but I recall seeing something regarding bayonet injuries. I don't recall the volume so I'm posting the whole collection.

    The Medical And Surgical History of the War of the Rebllion (1861-1865)
    Prepared in accordance with an act of Congress, Under the direction of Surgeon General Joseph K. Barnes, United States Army 1870.


    Part 1 - Volume 1: https://archive.org/details/MSHWRMedical1

    Part 1 - Volume 2: https://archive.org/details/MSHWRSurgical1

    Part 2 - Volume 1: https://archive.org/details/MSHWRMedical2

    Part 2 - Volume 2: https://ia801403.us.archive.org/34/i...RSurgical2.PDF

    Part 3 - Volume 1: https://archive.org/details/MSHWRMedical3

    Part 3 - Volume 2: https://archive.org/details/MSHWRSurgical3

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Sox View Post
    CG are never going to solve this issue, but maybe players can. Implement a server rule, the team with lower moral is not allowed to charge, simple, most likely very effective, and historical.
    Well I hope the devs never fully submit to that sort of defeatist attitude.

    I for one do not believe that because something hasn't been attempted that it's impossible or shouldn't be tried. I think reenacting is best left for the reenactors ja.gif
    Suggestion: Formations, Suppression, Spawning, Leadership https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZqPsbvyD8s


    Old Pennsylvania Discord: https://discord.gg/MjxfZ5n

  5. #5

    CSA Captain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Poorlaggedman View Post
    Well I hope the devs never fully submit to that sort of defeatist attitude.

    I for one do not believe that because something hasn't been attempted that it's impossible or shouldn't be tried. I think reenacting is best left for the reenactors ja.gif
    Well I think that people who are drunk should stay off forums.
    ''I'm here to play an American Civil War era combat game, not Call of Duty with muskets.''.

  6. #6

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