The Rifled Musket
During the Civil War, both sides used rifles with close order infantry tactics designed around smoothbores, which emphasized volume of fire rather than accuracy or distance. Rifles, however, greatly increased the range at which an opponent could be brought under effective fire, and magnified the length of time spent under that fire. Consequently, casualties—and the natural power of the defense—increased dramatically. Some Civil War generals recognized the problem and began experimenting with disordered attack formations that spread soldiers out in a more open, less vulnerable configuration. Most commanders, however, persisted in traditional tactics, and disordered attacks were not accepted as official army doctrine until after the war. The rifled musket itself was the last evolutionary step in muzzle‐loaded small arms, and was quickly superseded by breech‐loading rifles that fired jacketed, metal cartridge bullets.
[See also Army, U.S.: 1866–99; Tactics, Fundamentals.]
T. R. Brereton
"The Rifled Musket." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 12, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rifled-musket
"The Rifled Musket." The Oxford Companion to American Military History. . Retrieved October 12, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/rifled-musket