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At least two major battles in the Civil War, Gaines Mill and Gettysburg, saw such attempts, both with predictable results.
As a result, cavalry came to be used mainly for raiding and scouting, and seldom participated in major battles.
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Casualty estimates compared with expended ammunition from battles indicate 1 casualty for every 250 - 300 shots discharged, not a dramatic improvement over Napoleonic casualty rates.
No contemporary accounts indicate that engagement ranges with substantial casualties between infantry occurred at ranges beyond Napoleonic engagement ranges.
However, most American army officers in 1861 had been schooled in obsolete Napoleonic tactics, especially since many of them had served in the Mexican War, which was still fought in the old way with smoothbore muskets and linear formations.
As such, officers typically failed to realize the power of rifles and continued to launch massed attacks against fortified enemies, which invariably resulted in heavy losses.
Rifles made this type of fighting obsolete because of their much greater range.
In Civil War battles, infantry typically fought in a widely spread-out line, with the men using trees, rocks, buildings, etc. Linear formations were thus rarely seen any more (although it did occur in the Battle of Brawner's Farm the evening before Second Bull Run).To explain this seeming contradiction between technology and tactical reality, Guelzo points out that even when laboratory tests indicates accuracy with a rifled musket from 600 yards, in an actual battlefield situation, the lack of smokeless powder quickly would obscure visibility.The gunpowder of the time produced a great deal of smoke when fired.Rather, Guelzo argued that in actual battlefield conditions, until the development of smokeless powder, the benefits of rifling were largely nullified.Therefore, generals did not alter their tactics not due to ignorance, but because the battlefield had not changed substantially from the Napoleonic era. Traditionally, mounted soldiers carried a lance, sword, or pistol and could sweep enemy infantry weakened by artillery or musket fire.In addition, most existing military doctrine was based around the smoothbore musket.