American Civil War Armies (3): Specialist Troops by Philip Katcher

By Philip Katcher

On the time of the yank Civil warfare, with million males less than palms, a US military that during pre-war days had depended upon a minute variety of technical troops now required nearly a military of experts by myself. exact sharpshooters have been recruited for skirmishing accountability; males whose wounds might have resulted in their discharge some time past now discovered themselves guarding very important posts within the Veteran Reserve Corps; and massive numbers of civilians stumbled on themselves in uniform as individuals of the Telegraph or medical institution Corps. Philip Katcher examines the association and uniforms of the expert troops who served within the armies of either sides.

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1600 This figure comes from a map of Ulster drawn during Tyrone's rebellion, so is presumably typical of the traditional kern still fielded at that date alongside the Earl's more up-to-date calivermen and pikemen. Clearly shields were still in use among kern even at this late date, as is confirmed by English writers. Dymmok described them as wooden targets; but Spenser in 1596 recorded the Ulster Irish using long, broad wicker shields which he only saw in use 'amongst those northern people and Irish Scots'.

The Board of Trinity College, Dublin) PACATA HIBERNIA Despite numerous forays into English-held territory, Tyrone's strategy at the end of the 16th century was almost entirely defensive. He was just as aware of England's military potential as he was of Irish inability to fight a conventional war, and had decided that his one real hope was to prolong the conflict until it became just too expensive for the Crown to prosecute it any further. His plan, however, was defective on two counts: it failed to recognise Queen Elizabeth's determination; and it reckoned without a commander of Lord Mountjoy's calibre.

Elsewhere he also records leather shields 'which in Ireland they also use in many places coloured after their rude fashion'. F1: English pikeman, 1578 This man's armour and dress are typical of the last quarter of the 16th century. In accordance with prevailing custom among pikemen he has discarded the tassets of his corselet. During the 1580s it became common practice to abandon the arm harness too, while Sir John Smythe records that pikemen serving in Ireland often discarded their breast- and backplates.

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