Hi again, FTS.
This evening (Australian Eastern Standard Time), I have had opportunity to look at those links you posted. I do miss having access to History Channel, which I used to watch with great interest during the years I worked as a Fly-In / Fly-Out worker (and where the camp had a Satellite TV system, which included History Channel).
One thing I notice in these discussions is that a number of the innovations talked about actually predated the American Civil War.
For example, the Minie bullet was used by the British Army in the Crimean War (1853-1856), and also during the Indian Mutiny (1857). During those wars, the British standard infantry weapon was the model 1851 rifled musket ( 24 guage, or .577 inch calibre), which fired the Minie bullet and which was already well blooded by the time the Civil War broke out. The Prussian Army went one better than that, introducing the Dreyse needle rifle in 1841. This was a bolt action, breech loading rifle that got its name from the firing pin, which resembled a needle. The Dreyse rifle played a decisive role in the Prussian victories over Denmark in 1864, and Austria in 1866. As to the use of observation balloons, the French easily beat everybody else with those. They used hydrogen-filled observation balloons as early as 1794, when these played a role in the defeat of the Dutch - Austrian armies at Mauberge.
Photography, also, was used to effect in the Crimean War, when correspondents of The Times brought home to the British public both the horrors of war and the incompetence of its army commanders. That war, too, saw extensive use of military railways, which saved the British army from starvation. (These were built by civilian contractors, which is the main reason the railway system was successful!).
Another feature of the Crimean War was the extensive use of earthworks, which again predated the Civil War by almost ten years.
Of the other Civil War innovations, these were either not used extensively (e.g. repeating rifles), and/or were of very limited success. An example of the latter is the so-called "torpedo" that the first submarine used. This was what today would be called a "Pole Charge" - a quantity of explosive on the end of a piece of timber, whose length is presumably long enough that the person detonating the device is not endangered. Except in the case of the Confederate submarine that sank a Federal warship with one of these devices, that length was not long enough - and it, too went down with its target!
Similarly, too, with the iron-hulled warship. It was many decades after the Civil War before these became commonplace. (Most British warships of the 1880s were still wooden-hulled, with both sails and steam propulsion).
While you share the point of view of some historians who consider the American Civil War to be the first Modern War, I have my doubts!