War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0578 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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forethought on his part. Guns may be honorably lost, especially if their sacrifice is necessary to the safety of other troops. But in all such cases the enemy should be made to pay dearly for them.

3. Objects of fire: It is too much the tendency of artillery to fire at artillery. In the beginning of a battle the artillery should direct its fire wherever the enemy seems most exposed to danger. When the battle is further advanced, if our own troops are about to repel an attack, that portion of the enemy's force is to be fired on whose attack is the most dangerous for the time being. If we are acting on the offensive, the guns must fire on the portion of the enemy whose resistance is the most formidable. When acting on the defensive the enemy's infantry and cavalry are the most proper objects of fire. Artillery fire is to be concentrated on single points rather than divided between numerous objects, notwithstanding that such a division or distribution of the fire may cause a greater absolute loss to the enemy. It is not the number of killed and wounded that decides a battle, but the panic and demoralization of those who remain; and this panic and demoralization are much sooner created and spread by concentrating the artillery fire on successive points that by distributing it over a wide space. The general rule is that artillery should concentrate its fire upon that part of the enemy's force which, from its position, or from its character, it is the most desirable to overthrow. Against an enemy's battery the fire should be concentrated on a single piece until that is disabled, and should then be turned upon another, and an analogous plan should generally be followed in firing upon infantry and cavalry. When firing upon a hostile column the guns are to be directed at its center. If the column is in the act of deploying the flank toward which the deployment is being made is to be fired on with canister or shrapnel. As a general rule artillery should not fire upon skirmishers or small groups of men. It is too much the habit to open fire on wagons or single horsemen, or small parties, and sometimes, as in almost all cases of shelling woods, on a mere suspicion that an enemy may be in a certain locality. This is a perversion of artillery from its proper duties, which are to destroy material obstacles and disorganize masses of men, so as to make them an easy prey to the other arms. A successful fire upon individuals, or even on small bodies, produces no adequate result, and may be compared to picket shooting, which scarcely rises above the level of murder.

4. Expenditure of ammunition: One of the evil effects of firing at small bodies is the waste of ammunition. Rapid firing at large bodies and opening at long ranges are additional causes of waste. In small skirmishes between 300 and 400 rounds per battery are expended; the fire, according to the reports, frequently averaging, and sometimes exceeding, one round per minute for each gun. In general engagements batteries have been known to expend all the ammunition in their chests in a little over an hour and a half. An officer who expends ammunition in this manner proves his ignorance of the proper use of his arm, and a want of capacity for the command of a battery. He also incurs a heavy responsibility by throwing a whole battery out of use, and should be held to answer for the consequences. There has been an improvement in this respect, but there is still too great a consumption of ammunition. It is not so much the loss of the ammunition that should be considered - limited as is the amount which an army can transport -as the loss of effect from too distant and too rapid firing. In no case, except when firing canister at short ranges, should the rate exceed one round from each gun in two minutes; and that rate should