Probability of kill for American Civil War artillery and infantry

Robert Kirchubel's picture

Dear H-Warriors,

My organization ( is modeling Pickett's Charge in an effort to improve/expand/modernize old Lanchester type attrition models. Our fluid dynamics prof is having one body of fluid smash into another. Last month we had an article on our early work on the topic published in the online "Journal of the Operational Research Society."

Civil War is not exactly my thing, but we need solid math on probablity of kill for 12 lb Napoleons, 10 lb Parrotts, 10 lb 3" Ordnance Rifles, in particular using canister rounds, plus muskets found at Gettysburg. I've heard good things about Downey, The Guns at Gettysburg and Hess, The Rifle Musket in Civil War Combat, but have not been able to get my hands on them yet...and frankly doubt they will have hard data my guy needs. Any help will be appreciated.

Rob Kirchubel

Both Downey's and Hess' books are collected in the library of which I am the director.
Are there search terms or topics for which you wish me research in them?
Rea Andrew Redd
Director, Eberly Library
Waynesburg University

Mr Kirchubel, whilst Downey has gone absent from the shelves of my bookshelve, The Rifle Musket in Civil War. remains.

Remembering that I am some 8.500 miles from your location, can I help you in any way?

To save clogging up the message bank, my home email is .


I actually co-authored an article on this very subject several years ago: "Refighting Pickett's Charge: Mathematical Modeling of the Civil War Battlefield" in the December 2015 edition of Social Sciences Quarterly. In that, we applied the Lanchester model to Pickett's Charge to determine possible alternate outcomes. We did utilize Downey for help with our numbers, but we also utilized Paddy Griffith's Battle Tactics of the Civil War for some of his numbers on firing rates and casualty figures. I might also recommend Jack Coggins' Arms and Equipment of the Civil War for some good technical details on many of the weapons employed.

I'm glad to discuss this further. Feel free to email me directly.

Steve Sodergren
Chair, Department of History & Political Science
Norwich University