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Burrows of Grant's soldiers besieging Petersburg In these bomb-proof quarters of Fort Sedgwick, and many others, the Federals sought protection. When the artillery fire was not making it “Fort Hell” in fact as well as in name, the bullets of the Confederate sharpshooters were singing over the salient and the breastworks. A cap on a stick thrust above the breastworks was invariably carried away. Many a man taking a hasty glance over the parapet to note the effect of his own fire was killed. Barrels and gabions were used to lengthen the chimneys needed for heating the underground huts. The distance between the main lines, at Fort Sedgwick, was about fifteen hundred feet, and between the pickets only two hundred.

Confederate entrenchments as far as the eye could reach The Confederate fortifications in defense of Petersburg were among the most substantial and strongest erected during the war. These tremendous works were built with a degree of skill that has since made them a wonder to military men. They were undermined and blown up by Union troops at the famous “Crater,” but were never carried in a front attack till the final assault after which Lee withdrew.

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