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Geology is at best a synthetic science; the general geologist must have a working knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and many other sciences. This training in a spectrum of skills makes the geologist peculiarly fitted to deal with multiple-variable problems, especially those which can be reduced only to qualitative solutions. Such problems are numerous in historical criticism; history, like geology, is a reconstructive art involving the interplay of large numbers of variables. Many otherwise incomprehensible events, particularly in military history, become logical and understandable when methods of inquiry based on geological information and techniques are applied. Such examples from the Civil War in the Vicksburg area include the location of the ironc ad gunboat Cairo, the non-intervention of the Confederate trans-Mississippi armies in Grant's march through Louisiana, Grant's decision to march far inland in Mississippi after the battle of Fort Gibson, and several others. Based on such examples, it seems obvious that geologists are not exploiting their peculiar skills to a maximum.
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