The act of charging a defended position with bayonets fixed with more of an emphasis on initiating hand to hand combat than firing at close range. During conflicts like the Civil War this tactic made some sense. It was mostly a battle of morale. The attacker's had to have great morale to run full speed through a barrage of gunfire and artillery. The defender's had to hold their ground and keep firing as a horde of screaming soldiers rushed at them. By the time WWI started the bayonet charge became a suicide run. Rifles could be loaded and discharged at a higher rate, artillery was more accurate and heavy, and most importantly, machine guns could be readied quickly and fire continuously. The results were men being mown down before even reaching the enemy. It would, of course, take several massacres before old school Generals gave up on this.