Saturday, May 4, 2013

History Says

 I’d also raise a (very) amateur historian’s point: one thing that does seem striking about Civil War battles is how few truly lopsided results there were in terms of casualties. There were plenty of defeats, but very few routs, and often the victors were nearly as devastated as the losers.

And here’s a guess: it was, at least partly, about the rifles.

In the days of muskets and bayonets, cavalry charges could rarely break an intact line of infantry. But once the line was broken, cavalry could and did overrun the retreating army, so that defeat turned into mass slaughter or surrender.

In the Civil War, however, rifles sharply restricted cavalry — yes, a few saber-to-saber confrontations, but mainly horses were just a way to deliver men to where they could shoot their carbines. And this meant that retreating armies generally made their getaway.

The main exceptions all involved Grant, who three times managed to surround an army and force its surrender. And right now (minus 150 years) Grant is beginning the inland march that will eventually pen a rebel army in Vicksburg.

Free Syrian Army dug in and swift their movement and very few tactical routs, but for FSA there were plenty of defeats. What is right is always right and what is wrong is always wrong,  that is the justification of  the war and that is the outcome of the Victor