American Civil War Fortifications by Ron Field

By Ron Field

The Mississippi River performed a decisive function within the American Civil struggle. The accomplice fortifications that managed the decrease Mississippi valley have been placed to the try out within the long Federal crusade of 1862-63. Vicksburg was once a citadel urban, often called the "Gibraltar of the Confederacy," whose seize is usually visible because the key to victory within the struggle.

This ebook explores the fortifications of the river valley, concentrating on Vicksburg and its defenses which boasted a community of forts, rifle pits, and cannon embrasures surrounding the town and reading the strengths and weaknesses of the fortifications while below siege. additionally tested are a variety of different fortified strongholds, together with New Orleans, Port Hudson, New Madrid and, forts Henry and Donelson, all lavishly illustrated with complete colour paintings and cutaways.

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Columbiads, one 8in. 71in. Whitworth rifle, and one 3in. Armstrong rifle. com ABOVE LEFT This very fanciful map of Confederate defenses around Port Hudson, Louisiana, by Charles Sholl at least shows the extent of the earthworks around the city, although the inner bastions and many other features shown appear not to have existed. The fields of fire of the water batteries are an accurate illustration of the strength of firepower at this location. (National Park Service) ABOVE RIGHT This interior view of the “Citadel,” at the remote southern end of the Confederate defenses at Port Hudson, shows the “rat holes,” or dug-out caves, burrowed into the base of their parapet to escape Union shells.

The “Coonskin Tower” constructed for marksman Lieutenant Henry C. Foster stood to the left and rear of this work. Named for Major General James B. McPherson, commanding the Seventeenth Army Corps, Battery McPherson was situated along the Jackson Road. Constructed by “a portion of the division pioneer corps” under the supervision of Captain Tresilian, it was described as “a sunken battery” and contained two 30-pounder Parrott rifles under Captain Robert H. Offley, 1st US Infantry. On June 11, these pieces were joined by two 9in.

Com The Battle in the Crater, showing the mine explosion beneath the 3rd Louisiana Redan The Federal mine that exploded under the Third Louisiana Redan on June 25, 1863 created a 40ft-wide crater and was the signal for attack. Detecting the imminent danger, the Confederate garrison withdrew to a hastily prepared parapet behind the main work and repelled the main assault after some of the most terrible hand-to-hand fighting of the Civil War. (Author’s collection) Twenty-first Louisiana Redan (Great Redoubt) The Twenty-first Louisiana Redan was the largest Confederate fortification in the Vicksburg lines.

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