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The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat


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About the Author

Earl J. Hess holds the Stewart W. McClelland Chair in History at Lincoln Memorial University and has published ten previous books on the Civil War, including The Union Soldier in Battle: Enduring the Ordeal of Combat, also from Kansas, and, most recently, Trench Warfare under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign.


Hess hits a bull's-eye with this fresh, provocative book.--Daniel Sutherland, author of Seasons of War: The Ordeal of a Confederate Community, 1861-1865A most welcome, meticulous, important, and easy-to-read addition to the literature.--Paddy Griffith, author of Battle Tactics of the Civil WarShould be required reading, not just for students of the U.S. Civil War, but for anyone interested in the history of warfare.--Mark Grimsley, author of And Keep Moving On: The Virginia Campaign, May-June 1864A landmark study.--William C. Davis, author of The Cause Lost: Myths and Realities of the Confederacy
Provides the single best example of what tactical and combat studies of our field should do.--Journal of the Civil War EraAn important, well-documented book that provides the first systematic study of the rifle's true impact on the battlefield.--Civil War HistoryOne of Hess's greatest contributions is his discussion of such things as the different types of rifles and ammunition used, target practice, the distribution of ammunition in battle, cleaning the rifle under fire, sharpshooters or snipers, rates of fire, accuracy, fire discipline, and much more. Detailed endnotes and numerous tables are quite informative, and the author's skillful use of quotations makes for entertaining reader. ... An excellent book. It is well written and should be read by anyone interested in military history.--The Journal of Southern HistoryAn effective critique of the traditionalist orthodoxy of the rifle musket's revolutionary effect. . . . Provocative, stimulating, . . . will reward patient readers with its insights and will be of interest to anyone concerned with nineteenth-century warfare.--On PointHess's arguments are forceful, . . . . [He] has produced an outstanding study of the rifle musket during the Civil War. His research is saturated with primary sources, his writing is lucid, and his arguments are logical. Hess has delivered a mighty blow to the 'rifle revolution' theory.--Journal of Military HistoryWith this book, Hess has only added to his reputation as one of the leading Civil War scholars writing today. All serious students of the Civil War, especially of Civil War tactics and the minutiae of combat 1860s style, will want to own this book. . . . It will [repay ] readers many times in terms of value and knowledge gained. This book is highly recommended!--TOCWOC-A Civil War BlogEquipped with careful research, a plethora of examples and statistics, and commendable contextual research on warfare, Hess's work will reshape the debate on the modernity of the Civil War and is an essential read not only for Civil War scholars but also for military historians.--H-Net Reviews

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