I recently picked up a new book, edited by my friend Lee White – Ranger at Chickamauga – of the letters of C. Irvine Walker of the 10th South Carolina Infantry and of Brigadier General Arthur M. Manigault’s Staff. The letters are great.
Walker struggles to be eternally optimistic, no easy task in the Army of Tennessee. He is also a Bragg supporter, defending Bragg to the home folks (including his fiance – now there’s a topic for a lover’s quarrel: Braxton Bragg!) even after Perryville, Stone’s River, and Tullahoma. He does seem a bit down after Tullahoma.
However, Chickamauga provided a bit of (short-lived) redemption. In his letter of October 5th, C. Irvine wrote: “I am exceedingly glad to see that you and the rest of the world have begun to believe that Genl. Bragg is a General. (Modern MTV Translation: I got yer Bragg right here, B***H!) Alas, Missionary Ridge, just a few short weeks later, would end that euphoria, though from what I have read so far, Walker maintained his loyalty to Bragg well past the end of the war.
There is one other tidbit that touches on range and tactics. In January, 1863, a few days after Murfreesboro, the 10th had a clash with the 15th PA cavalry. The 10th was haphazardly armed, and included several companies carrying old .69 caliber smoothbore muskets converted to percussion. Walker noted their range – 100 yards – allowed the Yankee pickets to close with impunity. One night the regiment replaced those pickets with companies carrying rifled arms -Enfields, from the context, with a range of 500 yards according to Walker – and ambushed the over-bold Federals.
The letters are outstanding. If you want a look inside the Army of Tennessee, pick up a copy. Below are a couple of links that might help…