Before the Civil War, fighting was based off using brute force to overpower your opponent. Later, during the time of Napoleon, battle plans and guerrilla warfare started to come into play, and the true changing period for battle strategy and hardware began.
While there are many aspects of it, warfare, at its core, is nothing more than outmaneuvering your enemy. Like a supersized game of chess, you might say. So when one side of a war began to plan precision attacks, the other side was not ready for it.
The material evolution really kicked off with the development of the Spencer Repeater and other carbines, which could fire multiple shots without reloading.
This all kicked off, during the civil war at least, when President Abraham Lincoln began to invest in rapid firing rifles for the Union, which included the Spencer, and, eventually, the Gatling Gun, which could fire at very high rates of speed
Here, you can see the revolutionary Minnie Ball, which is much different from previous musket ball designs in that its shape makes for more a more aerodynamic, stable flight. You pair this with rifling in a barrel, and you have pinpoint accuracy.
As we continue to move forward, it is important that we look to the past to avoid mistakes, and repeat good decisions, so that we might have a brighter road ahead.