The two main factors in the formation of the United States as a sovereign country were the American Revolutionary War in 1775 and the American Civil War in 1861. In both cases, it was a struggle for independence and unity against the oppressive regime. In first case it was a struggle of the 13 British colonies against Britain and its loyalists (colonists who remained loyal to the Crown) between the Patriots (ordinary Americans). In second case, it was a war between the Americans from the North with freed or escaped slaves and the Americans of the South with slaves. Patriots fought for the unity and independence of the 13 colonies from the Crown, while the Civil War fought for the unity of the Union. Despite the fact that the difference between these two wars is only 85 years, the situation has changed dramatically. The military tactics and strategy has changed and improved. The army reached a new level: now it was solid with trained and skilled fighters. The weaponry has been improved, but nothing new has been invented. (YouTube, 2016).
For a better analysis of the development of military warfare between two wars we examine two battles: a battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War and the Battle of Stones River during the American Civil War. Both these battles were one of the turning points of the war.
In the Bunker Hill battle the army of the colonists consisted of 2,400 people. It was an ill-assorted population, which cannot be called a full-fledged army. The British army consisted of 3,000 people with five regiments of light infantry and five detachments of leatherneck. As for the Stones River battle the number of participants and their combat skills exceed the Bunker Hill’s. Both sides had a formed and a powerful army. The Union’s force was the army of the Cumberland with a strength of 41400 people. It was divided into three branches: the right (16 000 people, consisting of three artillery divisions with three troops in each division), the central (13,500 people, consisting of two artillery divisions with three troops each division), the left (14 500 people, consisting of three artillery divisions). In the Southern Army of Tennessee were 35,000 people. It was divided into two corps consisting with three divisions in each. As we can see, in the first case the Americans’ force was spontaneous, it wasn’t a complete and well-structured army, so its efficiency was low. In the second case, we have two numerical, well-formed and strong armies.
The military tactics had some significant differences. The Battle of Bunker Hill took place on June 17 1775 in the hills of Bunker Hill and Breed’s Hill on the outskirts of Boston. The colonists’ troops settled on Breed’s Hill and built fortifications. British forces charged the left flank of the enemy positions to attack the fortifications of Americans. The first gun battle maintained the advantage of the Americans who leaded sighting rifle shooting. British General Howe gave a command to retreat to make a regrouping. The second attack of British troops was also unsuccessful, despite the fact that it was carried out along the entire front. During the third attack the British broke through the defenses of Americans. Ensued a hand-to-hand combat, which maintained the advantage of the Americans, but the number of British surpassed so the Colonel John Stark decided to retreat. De jure the British army won, but de facto it was a big loss. The Americans lost about 450 dead and wounded while the British lost more than twofold - 1054 people. The main tactics of the American colonists in the war with the British was a guerrilla warfare. The local militias acted spontaneously and unexpectedly. They found their bearings on the ground what was a great advantage. The American army was ill-assorted and in many ways inept as it consisted of were the common people while the British consisted of trained soldiers. (Millet, A. R., Maslowski, P., Feis, W. B., 2016).
The Battle of Stone River occurred from December 31 1862 to January 2, 1863 near the town of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Stone River battle was well-planned. The federal army of Rosecrans set off from Nashville to attack the Bragg’s army in Murfreesboro. December 31 Federates were planning to hit the right wing of the enemy, but the Confederates struck first. Powerful attack of Cumberland Army’s corps overturned the Federal’s right flank, but strong resistance of divisions saved the army from a complete defeat. The Southern Army had time to take up a defensive position to recapture the future attacks. January 3 Bragg received reinforcements from the army and he withdrew to Tullahoma. The result of the battle was a standoff, but it was a strategic victory for the Federates. The basis of the war with the Confederation for Federates was a strategy called "Anaconda." She assumed a blockade of Southern ports, to establish control over the Mississippi River and strangled the trading activity of the mutinous states. The passive nature of this strategy is also present at the Battle of Stone River. As for the Confederacy, they used a defensive tactic. (Millet, A. R., Maslowski, P., Feis, W. B., 2016).
During both wars it was involved the same type of weaponry, but in the days of the Civil War it was much improved. Now it was lighter, easy to use, more accurate and it was easy to repair it. Such type of weapons includes: muskets, bayonets, cannons, rifles, pistols and carbines. During the Revolutionary War the American troops used mostly rudimentary weapons for hand-to-hand combat (knives, swords, rifles, guns, bayonets, pistols). The Civil War, however, involved far deadlier weaponry. (YouTube, 2016).
As a conclusion, it must be stated that during the Civil War it was less spontaneous fights, unreasoned moves and maneuvers as it was during the Revolutionary War. The warfare remained the same, but it was improved thanks to the important details. The structure of the army changed too. In the Revolutionary War took part the population, which could not be called soldiers in the traditional sense. It was the colonial militia, weapon technique was very different. In the American Civil War were involved two forces with formed an integrated army. In addition, the weaponry during the Civil War was much better: lighter, more mobile and more accurate, which is one of the main privileges in the conduct of war.
Millet, A. R., Maslowski, P., Feis, W. B. (2016). “For the Common Defense”. Google Books. Retrieved 27 Jan. 2016 from https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=iOuu60R3zXIC&printsec=frontcover&hl=ru#v=onepage&q&f=false
YouTube (2016). “Civil War - Weapons of the American Civil War” (History Documentary). Retrieved 27 Jan. 2016 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztdnHQGQCEk