Arms of precision in Inexperienced hand.
--The great error of the present campaign is the arming with Minute rifles and Minute muskets of all recruits indiscriminately.
At short range the common muskets (with its charge of one bill and two buckshot) is more apt to hit than a rifle.
At long range both rifle and musket are useless in unskilled hands Col. Doulph
in, the younger, in speaking of arms of precision, remarked to the writer, that Sharp
's rifle was a superior weapon in the hands of one who was skilled in its use, but of little value in the hands of most Kansas
settlors; and instanced their (the Missourians') attack upon a of them advantageously posted in the timber; and yet hardly any of the attacking party were killed.
But the most serious objection to this arming men indiscriminately with the rifle is, that men will stand out of harm's way and blaze away to no purpose, when they should rush up and decide the contest with the bayonet.
This was our great difficulty at Bull Run
told his soldiers, in his Italian campaign, that the French
soldier's weapon was the bayonet; and upon occasions they were required to wet their guns on going into action.
When Minute rifles were first introduced the soldiers were divided into squads, with one sharp-shooter to a squad, who did all the firing.
's sharp-shooters should be placed.--Cin Itmes.