The popularity of Civil War collectibles is just one indication of this fascination for a very unique and significant part of American history. This one conflict caused more deaths per head of population than any country suffered during World War I, although the vast majority of deaths, estimated at more than one third, were due to disease.
Another reason for the relatively large loss of life over a fairly short period time is the disparity between improvements in weaponry and the old fashioned battle tactics used. During this period, and just prior to it, weapons improved immensely in effectiveness. Rifling was applied to canons and small arms, improving distance and accuracy. The rifled musket was common, but the breach loading rifle and carbine also came onto the scene, speeding up the frequency with which the weapons could be reloaded and fired.
The first real repeating guns became freely available, and the so called ‘machine guns, or rapid fire guns were first used in battle. They were not used as much as they might have been, however, since the Union was reluctant to employ these new weapons for some reason. In spite of the new weaponry, the tactics were still those of the Napoleonic era and before. Masses of troops on either side faced and charged each other, and were easy targets for the accurate weapons being used.
You can learn more about this fascinating time in history by visiting The Historical Weapons Store. There you will find more articles on the life and history of people in the Civil War, as well as a variety of collectibles to commemorate this event, such as a enfield rifle, Confederate pistols and Civil War swords.