How The Tactics Of Trench Warfare During The American Civil War

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Approximately 620,000 soldiers died in the American Civil War, this brought the ineffective strategy of the military to the government's attention. For years, fighting tactics and procedures stayed the same within the military even though times had changed. The Civil War started out using the same techniques and procedures as the Napoleonic era that ended 50 years prior. By the end of the civil war, new tactics and protocols were in place that were used throughout WWI, WWII, and even into the 21st century. During the American Civil War many flaws and imperfections within the military's protocol were identified. Solider ID tags, benefits for veterans, widows, and orphans, and trench warfare all were solutions to the flaws identified within …show more content…

Throughout June 1864 and March 1865 Ulysses S. Grant created a network of trenches surrounding the town of Petersburg and Richmond. Grant chose Richmond because it was the capital of the confederacy and taking Richmond down meant the end of the war. Robert E. Lee, Commanding Officer of the Confederate Troops was outnumbered and was running out of supplies, he knew that he had to strike fast, so on March 25 he led an attack on Fort Stedman. At first there was success, but with so little troops Lee eventually had to retreat. There were many small skirmishes between then and the ultimate retreat of Lee’s troops into Northern Virginia. These series of battles were important because this was one of the first times trenches were used in war and the first time it had significantly changed the outcome of a battle. Trench warfare was a massive development towards modern day ways of fighting. Trenches were used throughout both WWI and WWII and far into the 20th century. Without the first usage of trenches in Petersburg, Virginia the outcome of WWI and WWII could have been very different. Furthermore, trenches provided a safe place to shelter while on the defensive, one man with a gun in the trench could kill three men approaching and still be safe from fire as he was mostly hidden behind the trench. Additionally, trenches protected and sheltered the men from enemy fire and artillery. Trenches revamped the way wars were fought around the world for centuries and changed the outcome of many wars in the

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