How many modern American infantrymen would it take to defeat the entire Confederate military?
This was a question I found myself pondering today. Obviously the Confederacy is in the news a lot these days after the riots in Charlottesville, ESPN’s debacle with announcer Robert Lee and HBO’s upcoming show “Confederacy.”
Instead of focusing on those overplayed topics, I thought it’d be more fun to play out this hypothetical scenario.
The Confederate army peaked at around 300,000 soldiers, who were armed with basic rifles and black powder revolvers. They also had artillery with cannons. For the sake of this arguement, lets assume the modern infantry solder carries an M4, a 9mm sidearm, has access to mortars and a few bazookas. They will also have plated body armor.
The accuracy of a Civil War era rifle is less than 100 yards, while the accuracy of an M4 is several hundred yards. This alone makes me think it wouldn’t take nearly as many soldiers as people might think, especially if there is an endless stream of supply.
The modern infantry unit could dig in a few hundred yards back and take pot shots all day. Add in night vision, and dozens of infantrymen could spread havoc against the Confederacy in an unimaginable way.
We must also account for the fact the Confederate soldiers might panic when they see the modern weapons and equipment. Confusion can be a big problem in war.
By my best estimates, I think 10,000 infantry men could take out the Confederate army. They’d be heavily outnumbered, but their advanced weapons, equipment and knowledge of the Confederate military tactics might serve as an insurmountable lead.
How about we up the ante, and give the modern soldiers two Abrams tanks. In this scenario I think it could be done with fewer than 1,000 soldiers. Those tanks could be massacring people, and there’s nothing the artillery or rifles of the Confederate military could do.
It’s a fun debate to have, so weigh in with your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments. I’d love to hear what you think.