Civil War Technology

687 Words3 Pages

Although the American Civil War is normally seen as something that threatened to tear our great country apart, their are many great inventions and innovations that resulted from this time. Some of these advancements include railroads, the telegraph, long-range weapons, and the ancestor of all machine guns, the gatling gun. Many of these inventions went on to play a huge role in how the civil war played out. While others, such as the cotton gin, had minimal effect on the war, but a direct effect on both the men in service, and the people back home. Early war technology was seen as very dull, and ineffective. Especially for the south that did not have a lot of factories to produce these items. The most common weapon at this time was the smooth-bore …show more content…

Two of the most famous ones were the invention of the repeater rifle and the Minie bullet. Rifles with Minié bullets were lightning fast and and undoubtedly easier to load, but soldiers still had to pause and rechamber a shot between each firing time. This was inefficient and dangerous as it left the men reloading like sitting ducks for other soldiers to fire at. By 1863, however, there was another option, and along came the repeating rifles. These rifles were like nothing anyone had ever seen at this time. They could fire multiple shots before needing to be reloaded. And less time reloading, means less time to get shot at. The most famous of these guns, the Spencer carbine, could fire an astounding seven shots in 30 seconds. All in all these repeating rifles changed the war for the north, but according to history.com “Civil War Technology, they state “Like many other Civil War technologies, these weapons were available to Northern troops but not Southern ones: Southern factories had neither the equipment nor the know-how to produce them.” (history.com) These accounted for over 90% of all injuries/fatalities for the entire …show more content…

This was the first war where military personnel could communicate with one another, and not have to be face to face. According to PBS “Civil War Innovations”, they have stated that “The telegraph was invented by Samuel Morse in 1844, and telegraph wires soon sprang up all along the East Coast. During the war, 15,000 miles of telegraph cable was laid purely for military purposes. Mobile telegraph wagons reported and received communications from just behind the frontline. President Lincoln would regularly visit the Telegraph Office to get the latest news. The telegraph also enabled news sources to report on the war in a timely fashion, leading to an entirely new headache for the government: how to handle the media.” (PBS.org). The telegraph was a wonderful invention, and helped many people during the war. It’s one and only downfall was that now the government had to find new ways to deal with the

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