Osprey Warrior 6 : Confederate Infantryman 1861-1865
The American Civil War was predominantly an infantryman's war. Artillery had improved substantially since 1815 and guns could inflict murderous losses if they had a clear field of fire. But most Civil War battlefields were characterised by sprawling forests and broken ground. Cavalry were important for reconnaissance, raiding and rearguard actions but there was little scope for sabre charges in the grand old manner when infantrymen armed with muzzle-loading rifles could face such tactics with confidence. Decision on the battlefield rested with the foot soldiers. Ultimately, the Confederacy's survival as a nation would largely depend on the fighting ability of its 642 infantry regiments. Ian Drury looks at the men on whom the South relied. He investigates their training, uniform, weapons and performance in some typical engagements, showing, in the process, that in spite of their rough and ready appearance Confederate soldiers were excellent warriors. The motivations of the men are examined, and Drury points out that Southern recruits fought to maintain their way of life against what they saw as an invading army, thus successfully expelling the myth that slavery was a key motivating factor in Confederate resistance. The shortcomings of the rebel's local logistics are examined, as is their lack of manufacturing facilities, both crucial to the South's eventual defeat. As well as examining the Confederate forces in macrocosm, the author also takes a microcosmic view of the soldier, examining the rise of one particularly successful individual, Pat Cleburne. The result of all this labour is a well-written, balanced and informative book, which tells the reader all he could want to know about the Confederate infantryman. Illustrations by Gerry Embleton.
- Historical Background
- Typical Engagements
- Fighting Spirit
- Pat Cleburne's Career