Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:39 am Post subject: Fuses
I caught the tail end of a program on the History channel last night
discussing Lee's artillery. They made statements saying that when Lee
re-fit his army prior to the Gettysburg Campaign that he was supplied
with a different kind of fuse for his ordinance - no longer the imported
British fuse ( timed ) but now a Richmond Fuse ( Cottage Industry )
and that these new fuses ( un-tested ) burned slower, therefore with
the effect of exploding longer than what the Artillery crews were use
to. They showed the two fuses and pointed out the differences.
If true, with fuses set at what they believed to be the proper time now
went off past their intended target ( like over the hill ) as was the case
for Day 3. This - compounded with the often quoted observation that
the Confederates always overshot their targets would have made the
pre attack bombardment of Cemetery Ridge all for naught.
Anyone else see this show ?
Did Lee have the right idea... but wrong ordinance ?
With all the smoke, could those Veteran batteries have not noticed
that their rounds were overshooting their mark giving them any
chance to adjust their fuses ?
If their shots were detonating OVER the Union line and not behind it
would that have given Pickett's/ Pettigrew's man better odds ?
Are their any reports on the effectiveness of Pegrams Batteries on
Day 1 ? I always wondered why his batteries were not effective
against Calef's and Hall's on Day one considering the numbers. I
can not remember reading of any effects of the Artillery posted on
Herr Ridge that day.
Joined: Mar 04, 2004 Posts: 4926 Location: Suburb of Philadelphia
Posted: Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:39 pm Post subject:
Jeff - I saw it.
It was a part of series called 'Battlefield Detectives' I was glued to the screen for good couple of hours, going from Agincourt, to Battle of Hastings, to Custer's Last Stand and finally arrived at Gettysburg
Allow me first to correct you - it was Charleston Fuse that ANV received (they were using Richmond ones before, but the munition factory caught fire shortly before the campaign). The show stated that there were tests scheduled for July 10th, but obviously - it was too late for Marse Rob't and his band of merry Gray men.
The question about the results of the barrage possibly augmenting the outcome of Pickett's Charge been out there for ages. Without getting into too many what ifs and why's, here is My Humble Opinion on the forlorn deal - it's a hopeless case!
First of - the Confederate Arty Fire concentrates on the area around Copse of Trees, NOT along the whole (or at least the majority) of Federal Line. That means that while that immediate area is nothing but a wasteland (since the Confederates hit their mark and did not overshoot), but McGilvery Line and Vermonters are still going to give Kemper and Wilcox HELL!!! The Guns of Cemetery Hill and LRT will still find their mark! 8th OH will still execute their flanking manneuver and pour it into Brockenbrough! The Artillery Reserve will still bring up the guns to CoT just like it did! Most importantly and probably above all - Hancock will still be there....
Now on the Confederate side - you're STILL going to deal with 12,000 men good number of whom is wounded, the inability to properly support infantry will still be (I doubt that Pendleton won't cart those howitzers now), Rhodes STILL not going to move and the alignment of Pettigrew\Trimble is still messed-up!
Most importantly - Lee had the 'right' idea, but tried to implement it at the wrong time. But that's a totally different argument.....
Eric, btw, an interesting obsewrvation about CLS was that 7th Cav was armed with Springfield Trap doors - a very powerful gun with a nice long distance of fire, while the Indians had Henry repeaters - shorter distance but needless-to-say, the ability to wage a mass fire; no surprize as to who won and why
Mark - of all people you'll be happy to know that the English didn't so much win Agincourt but the French lost it
:cheers: _________________ I Remain
Your Ob't Servant
Time sets all things right. Error lives but a day. Truth is eternal.
A Great Civilization is not Conquered from Without until It has Destroyed Itself from Within
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum