previous next

[216] they only furnished occasional reinforcements in defence of the field-works near the Water Battery, called Spanish Fort.

Upon examination I discovered the line of defence to be about three thousand five hundred yards long, enclosing a battery of four heavy guns in Spanish Fort, overlooking the bay, and strengthened by three redoubts so located that they commanded very well the right and center of the position.

The whole artillery consisted of six heavy guns, fourteen fieldpieces, and twelve Coehorn mortars. Several additional guns were received during the operations. Of this line there were four hundred yards on the extreme right, in front of which the forest had been cut down, but no defensive works constructed; about three hundred and fifty yards in the center, across a deep ravine, in front of which was only a slight curtain partially complete; and about six hundred yards on the extreme left, with no works of any kind, and the dense forest covering that flank untouched.

The three redoubts gave no mutual support with the exception of two guns in redoubts 2 and 3, and no cross-fire could be obtained. The main line from redoubt 3 was retired without any deviation, and the left flank was thrown back and fell off into such low ground that artillery could not be used to any extent along its front, as in a regularly laid out cremaillere. The works from redoubt 3 were placed so far back on the retreating slope that the infantry could only command its crest, but not the ravine beyond; and, generally, from the center to the extreme left flank, the enemy's line was upon the highest ground.

Such was the extent and incomplete condition of the defences at Spanish Fort when, on assuming command, I carefully inspected them.

It was apparent that an immense work with the spade, pick, and axe was before us, and that some decisive measure must be adopted to prevent the large army already upon our front from coming upon us vigorously or by an onset. At once the main body was disposed along the rifle-pits and set hard at work, though there was quite a deficiency of tools.

Special parties were detailed to lay off a long line of battle as far in advance of the position as they could go, and to make campfires along its whole length; and other devices were employed to create an exaggerated impression of our numbers and to conceal

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Spanish Fort (Alabama, United States) (3)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Coehorn (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: