Short Takes

by Fred Ray on February 13, 2014 · 0 comments

It’s Black History Month, so let’s take a look at the African-American volunteers from Connecticut. It shows the two views of black soldiery. One legislator opined that the authorizing legislation was

the most disgraceful bill ever introduced into the Connecticut Legislature,” Democratic Rep. William W. Eaton of Hartford said he “would rather let loose the wild Comanchees than the ferocious negro. He is both ferocious and cowardly. … You will let loose upon every household south of the Mason and Dixon’s line a band of ferocious men who will spread lust and rapine all over that land.

Another replied that

The armed negro is not a brutal and ferocious being, let loose to ravage and plunder. He has shown himself to be docile, humane and generous. He fights bravely, meeting dangers and death with alacrity, not merely for himself, but with the ennobling purpose of striking the manacles from the hands of his race.

In fact they were neither, but human with all the virtues and foibles that entails.

American Rifleman looks the 1841 “Mississippi” Rifle, which was widely used in the war, especially in the first two years. It took its name from a volunteer regiment from that state in the Mexican War, led by a young colonel named Jefferson Davis.

Joe Bilby looks at rapid fire weapons in the war, including the Gatling and the Requa volley gun. The Requa was one of a group of rapid fire weapons, including the French Mitralleuse, that tried to maximize fire by using multiple barrels. All were eventually replaced by the Maxim gun.

And finally, an article that addresses a bullet’s knock up rather than its knock down power.

 


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