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Military History Word of the Day: "Refuse"

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Refuse

Military. to bend or curve back (the flank units of a military force) so that they face generally to the flank rather than the front.

McClellan

refuse. Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc.http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/refuse (accessed: August 08, 2009).

It is not surprising that McClellan did not immediately decide to employ his left wing under Franklin to relieve Harpers Ferry. In focusing on Frederick McClellanfor the past several days, the Federal right had not only advanced quicker and farther, but the left had angled northward toward Frederick. In consequence Burnside was now considerably nearer Harpers Ferry than Franklin. Moreover, McClellan needed to refuse his left flank along the Potomac until he learned the meaning of the rumor that Jackson had recrossed the river at Williamsport. Lincoln may have jumped to the conclusion that the Confederates were retreating, but the possibility of a turning movement could not be dismissed lightly.

1. Joseph L. Harsh, Taken at the Flood : Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 / [book on-line] (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1999, accessed 8 August 2009), 209-210; available from Questia, http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=102364919; Internet.

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New Page: the weapons… first entry – Minié ball

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Claude-Etienne MiniéI am in need of another page on which to collect notes about weapons. I’ve begun it here. First entry…

Cylindroconcoidal Bullet ["Minié ball"]

  • Invented by a Captain Norton of the British army in 1832. [TACWOMW, 16]
  • Perfected by Claude-Etienne Minié (right) in 1843, a captain in the French army. [TACWOMW, 16]

“Previously too slow to load, the rifle became a practical weapon on the battlefield. The Minie ball could be dropped down the muzzle of a rifle almost as easily as if it were round. T he net result was additional range, velocity, and accuracy.” [TACWOMW, 16]

Minié ball design harpers ferry burton.jpg

Photo: Minié Ball design from Harpers Ferry. Source; Wiki commons.

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[TACWOMW] – Edward Hagerman, The American Civil War and the Origins of Modern Warfare: Ideas, Organization, and Field Command (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988).