These were all elaborate and designed to sustain sieges and assaults of the heaviest character.
There were also other strong fortifications that fulfilled the requirements of modern warfare absolutely.
The improvements in weapons necessitated changing and, in some instances, entirely abandoning the older conceptions of fortresses, and American ingenuity devised works far better adapted to the powerful weapons of destruction that had been secured and developed by both parties to the conflict.
The habit of making themselves secure at all times became so much second nature that it was not confined to the field of battle.
This fact excited the very great interest of foreign observers.
In the latter part of the war, whenever the troops halted for whatever purpose, if for nothing more than a short rest on the march, they instinctively entrenched themselves.
Even before a fire was built, food prepared, or Camp necessities provided for, they frequently set to work to provide a shelter from the foe, and the rapidity with which a serviceable cover could be erected was always a cause for remark.
These improvised works were abandoned with the same unconcern with which they were erected.
It was entirely a matter of course.
Even by casual inspection and comparison of results, the trade-mark of the American
soldier will be found on many of the devices used by the other armies of the world to-day for hasty protection in the field, from the inclemencies of the weather, the disagreeable features of camp-life, and from the enemy.
In common with the mark left by the individuality of his civilian comrade, the soldier's initiative has so impressed foreign observers that the effect on other nations is evident.
In no profession has the American
type stood out more preeminent than in that of soldiering, and in no feature of the military has that same individuality impressed itself more than in the construction of devices for protection against the winged messengers of death loosed so lavishly by the enemy.