Meeting of September 14, 2023

Brett Gibbons on “The Influence of the Crimean War on the American Civil War”

In 1853 a conflict began that, for the first time since the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, pitted most of the great powers of Europe against each other. What initially started as a conflict between the Russian and Ottoman empires quickly escalated to involve the western European maritime powers, Great Britain and France. The Crimean War signaled the arrival of modern warfare and offered keen observers an opportunity to learn important lessons. New technology altered the fighting and forced adjustments. While military planners quickly forgot most lessons of the Crimean War, turning the conflict into one of the century’s forgotten wars, the struggle had a profound impact on the American Civil War.

Brett Gibbons is an author and historical researcher, having written several books on 19th century arms, ammunition, logistics, and military history, including The Destroying Angel, The English Cartridge, and Like Fire and Powder. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve in 2010, and was later commissioned as an Ordnance Officer at Fort Benning Officer Candidate School. Today he serves as a Logistics staff officer, and had the privilege of commanding two Army Reserve sustainment companies on two overseas deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Spartan Shield. Brett is the owner of Paper Cartridges LLC located in Gettysburg, Pa, and has been researching and making historically correct Civil War era bullets and cartridges for the reenacting and historical shooting communities for the last 15 years.