History Detectives has highlighted technological advancements that occurred during the Civil War. Learn about the date of the invention, who invented it, and how it was used. Then, learn how the Civil War revolutionized warfare. You’ll be surprised at just how much technology was developed and used. Learn about the innovations that led to the end of the war, as well as the implications of their use. Here are five innovations that changed the course of the war and the face of warfare forever.
While war was in full swing, soldiers had to use rifles instead of muskets. These rifles were much more accurate than earlier models. Their barrels were designed to grip ammunition more securely and spin bullets more smoothly. Another major technological development was the Minie ball, which was smaller and traveled farther than its predecessors. During the Civil War, soldiers and officers were issued rifles and carbines that could fire multiple shots.
Another technological advance during the Civil War was the development of the telegraph. Samuel Morse had invented the telegraph a decade before the conflict began. By 1860, telegraph wires had already stretched over 50,000 miles, eliminating the Pony Express. By 1861, telegraph wires reached coast to coast. The telegraph became an essential tool for both Union and Confederate forces. The hot air balloon was used at several battles, including the Battles of Bull Run, Gaines Mill, Seven Pines, and Fredericksburg.