Wed Apr 25 12:04:46 2001
Yes some regiments were armed entirely with smooth bores (especially early in the War) with the exception of one rifle company who did the skirmishing for the regiment. This was the idea behind the development of the US Model 1841 or "Mississippi rifle". Skirmishers did not cover just the flanks however. Their main duty was to cover the front. Skirmishers acted as pickets or "early warning" for the main body on defense and to draw the fire of the enemy away from the main line on the attack. Individual skirmishers in loose order would present a much harder target than massed infantry.