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UA / History / HY 315 / Why is there no regular army?

Why is there no regular army?

Why is there no regular army?


Week 5 notes 2/7-2/9

Why is there no regular army?

∙ Confederate Conscription

o No regular army because they’d never been a country

o Militias volunteer all together for the voluntary army

o March 1861

 Jefferson Davis creates a volunteer army around the time of  Lincoln’s inauguration

∙ 1 year of service

o April 1862: White male citizens 18-35 years old (3 years)

 Draft was hella unpopular because the whole point of leaving  the Union was to rebel against an oppressive government

 Gave people the option within 30 days to volunteer and avoid  the stigma of being a draftee

o Sept. 1862: raise the age to 45

o Feb. 1864: expand to ages 17-50

 At the end, it’s kinda useless because everyone that could be  drafted already had been

Who creates a volunteer army around the time of lincoln’s inauguration?

o Exemption

 Officers in state militias because they had to defend the home  front

 1 teacher for every 20 students so education could continue  1 white man for every 20 slaves

∙ Resented by poor, non-slaveholding whites We also discuss several other topics like What causes world war 2?

 Clergymen

o Substitution (abolished Dec. 1863)

 Wanted bodies and didn’t care where they came from

 Immigrants who weren’t citizens yet

 Someone of non-draft age

o Can flee the state to dodge the draft

o 25% of CSA army are draftees

∙ Union drafts

o Union uses a draft 4 times

o 1863: July

 Mostly to keep up the old regiments

How long does voluntary army service last?

 20-45 year olds had to register for the draft

 Divided the North into draft districts

∙ Asked people in districts to volunteer in order to fill the  


o If they could fill the quota voluntarily, no one would

be drafted

∙ Districts start offering monetary incentives called  

bounties to people who would volunteer to avoid getting  


o By the end of the war, bounties were close to  


 When the average laborer bakes around  

$300/year, that’s super tempting

o Bounty jumpers

 Would volunteer, collect the bounty, and  

immediately desert to go to another district  

and do it again

o 1864: March, July, Dec.

o Methods:

 Exemption If you want to learn more check out What did socrates say about knowledge?
We also discuss several other topics like What is methylpropane used for?

∙ Didn’t give them for occupation

∙ Compassionate grounds

o Like if you’re the only supporter of your widowed  

mother or something like that

 Substitution

 Commutation fee (abolished July 1864)

∙ Could pay a fee to get out of going

∙ Could be like democratic reform for the substitution fee If you want to learn more check out What is “the divine faith”?
Don't forget about the age old question of What is a childbirth assistant called?

∙ Really to keep valuable people at home since there were  

no occupational exemptions in the North

o Results of Union Draft

 Soldiers hate draftees, and they’re crappy soldiers

 776,000 names drawn in lottery

∙ 161,000 failed to report

∙ 93,000 were sent home

∙ 315,000 exempt

o Physical or mental disability

 Sheds light on how rough life was in the 19th 


 Need front teeth

o Compassionate grounds

 207,000 drafted

∙ Of these:

o 87,000 pay commutation fee

o 74,000 get a substitute

o 46,000 actually enter the army

 Because of the existence of the draft, lots of people volunteered ∙ Produced a lot more people than it looks like

∙ 8% of Union army made up of draftees/substitutes

∙ Logistics

o Stuff that armies use; where does it come from? How does it get there? o Departments for Logistical Support

 Quartermaster General

∙ Clothing, equipment, animals, transport, housing

 Commissary General

∙ Rations

 Chief of Ordinance

∙ Weapons and ammunition Don't forget about the age old question of What happens to demand when substitute price increases?

 Surgeon General

∙ Medical supplies, evacuation, treatment, etc.

o Army of the Potomac 1862

 128,000 men

 22,000 horsies

 10,000 mules

 321 artillery pieces

 Supply train of wagons would stretch over 30 miles

 So big and so spread out

 192 TONS of rations

 412 TONS of forage

∙ Food for horsies and mules

 64 tons of ammunition

 668 tons of stuff consumed by this army in ONE DAY

o Army Wagons

 2,400 lbs

 6 mules

∙ More durable and less excitable than horses

 Roughly 500 wagons have to come into the camp EVERY DAY to  keep them supplied

 Only move about 10-20 miles a day

 12 ft wide, 36 ft long with mules

∙ 4-5 miles along a road

 Has to be constant supply or you’re screwed

 Mules eat 160 lbs of forage/day

∙ Takes 10 days so they’d eat 1800 lbs by the time they’d  

get there

∙ Means they need more wagons

o 12 miles of wagons would be hella vulnerable

 Very slow and inefficient

o Railroad

 Typical car can carry 8 tons

 Railroads don’t consume their contents like mules

 86 cars/day

 Much rather supply armies by railroad than by road

 1st war where railroads are super important

 Armies will follow the railroads

o Steamboat

 500 tons

 Just 1 boat could take care of the army for a day

 If the river doesn’t go there, then the steamboat can’t get there  either

 Armies follow rivers as well

 Most efficient way of supplying the army

∙ Strategy, Tactics, and weaponry

o Ranks

 Lines of men standing side by side, shoulder to shoulder; width o File

 Men standing behind each other; depth

 About 16 inches in between men

o Typical company formation

 The flank is the weak point

∙ Put a company on the flank angled to protect it

o Skirmishers

 Go out in front of the main battle line to draw the enemy’s  fire/see where the enemy is

o Battle lines

 Company guarding the flank is the weak link in the battle line  Turning the line is called an evolution/evolving

o Regimental officers

 Behind the line on horseback

 Pretty conspicuous

 Who are you going to shoot at?

o Flags

 1 US flag, 1 state flag

 Regiment forms around the colors

∙ If you shoot them down, it could cause chaos

∙ Bravest of men

o Didn’t carry weapons

 Pretty much the last time in war that the colors are used o Rate of advance

 Double quick is the fastest  

 110 yds per minute

 That’s a long time when you’re under fire

 Without clear lines and organization, it becomes a mob and  therefore is useless

o Weapons

 Hadn’t been a major war in Europe or the US since Napoleon in  1815

∙ That’s what they taught at West Point

o All the Civil War generals went to West Point

 Flintlock Smooth Bore Musket

∙ .69 caliber

∙ Load at the barrel, not the breach

∙ Powder in first, then bullet

∙ Use a ramrod to stuff it down in there

∙ Pull back hammer

∙ Open frizzen  pulls some powder back

∙ Pull trigger

∙ Hammer goes forward, flint hits the frizzen creating a  spark, lighting the powder

∙ Skip any step and you’re screwed

∙ Some would pee into the barrel to clean it out so they  could load/fire again

 These weapons were short range and took a while to reload ∙ This led to Napoleonic tactics

o Aggressor usually won

∙ But weaponry changed

 Springfield Rifle Musket

∙ 9 lbs, 56 in tall, 18 in bayonet

∙ Rifling

o Spiral grooves inside the barrel causing the bullet  to spin, making it go faster, be more accurate, and  more effectives at longer ranges

o Rifles had existed in the 1800s but they were  

mostly used for hunting and not effective in battle  

because the bullet had to be packed so tightly

 Minie Ball

∙ Hollow at the bottom

∙ Wouldn’t fit as tightly so it would go down the barrel much easier

∙ The old musket was like shooting a knuckle ball where as  the minie ball was like a fast ball because it spins

∙ Accurate at 300 yds

∙ Could kill at 1,000 yds

 Percussion cap

∙ Little copper cap that the hammer hits

∙ Eliminates the frizzen, pan, etc.

∙ Had to be replaced every time the weapon is fired  Bayonet

∙ Grooved to let the blood spurt out

∙ If they were solid, you wouldn’t be able to get it out of a  person

∙ Almost never fought with them

o Turned a gun into a spear and they didn’t know how to fight like that

o Also, people don’t like getting stabbed so they’d  run if it came to it

o Usually, in hand to hand combat, they’d just beat  the other guy with their gun

∙ Still useful, though

o Cooking meat

o Candle holder

o Digging trenches

 Ammunition

∙ Minie ball is the most common

∙ Would be pre-packaged with bullet and powder all  together

o By this time, everything had been converted to the  percussion cap

∙ Use teeth to tear the paper

∙ Buck and ball

o Had the big lead bullet and buckshot that will spray and probably hurt others

 Enfield Rifle Musket

∙ Name from Enfield Rifle Works, London

∙ .577 caliber

∙ .58 caliber US guns but the minie ball could still be used  Shifted the way the war was fought much more to defense ∙ Instead of withstanding a shot or two, it’s now 5-6 shots ∙ Breaks up the line

∙ Armies didn’t take cover

∙ Now there’s an advantage to being entrenched

o At the beginning of the war, nobody does but the  soldiers figure it out

∙ But generals had been trained in Napoleonic tactics where aggression wins battles

o Even the best generals still do this

 Lee

∙ Pickett’s Charge

 Grant

∙ Cold Harbor

∙ Cavalry charges were rendered outdated

o Huge target

o Don’t even have to hit the guy just hit the horse  There is debate within the Civil War historians that the change in weaponry didn’t matter as much as it theoretically should have ∙ Eastern theater was really hilly

 Cavalry

∙ Carried different weapons

o Revolver and sabre

∙ Colt revolvers

o .44 caliber

o Had to put percussion caps on all 6 chambers

o Only accurate at like 20 yds

o For personal protection, not for battle

∙ Sabre

o Fore waving around in the air and yelling orders

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