previous next


It was not a mere sneer that described Napoleon as “only an artillery officer.” His method of massing great guns was almost unknown in America when the Civil War opened; the Confederates, to their cost, let two years go by before organizing so as to allow of quick artillery concentration; yet what else could have won Gettysburg for the Federals?

Proper defense against cannon was even less understood until the Civil War.

If Louis Xiv's military engineer Vauban had come to life during any battle or siege that followed his death up to 1861, he could easily have directed the operations of the most advanced army engineers — whose fortifications, indeed, he would have found constructed on conventional lines according to his own text-books.

Thus the gunner in Blue or Gray, and his comrade the engineer, were forced not only to fight and dig but to evolve new theories and practices. No single work existed to inform the editors of this History systematically concerning that fighting and digging. No single work described Federals and Confederates alike, and readably told the story of the great events with the guns and behind the ramparts from 1861 to 1865. That gap it is hoped this volume will fill.

American resourcefulness here became epochal. For siege work great guns were devised and perfected which rendered useless, for all time, most of the immense brick and stone and mortar fortifications existing in the world. The introduction [12] of rifled guns worked as great a revolution in warfare on land as that of the ironclad vessel on the sea.

The photographs in this volume follow the artillery in the field, both Federal and Confederate. They comprehensively illustrate the precaution taken by the Federal engineers to protect the Northern capital from capture. They supplement graphically the technical information in regard to the fabrication of guns and making of ammunition. A dramatic series of views follows the gradual reduction of the Confederate forts and batteries on Morris Island by the Federal besiegers, and the latter's attempts against Sumter.

The photographs in the latter part of the volume reflect the ingenuity of the American soldier in protecting himself on the battlefield; the bridging of broad rivers in the space of an hour by the Engineer Corps; the expert railroading under difficulties of the United States Military Railroad Construction Corps; the Confederate defenses along the James which baffled the Federal army, and preserved Richmond so long free though beleaguered. [13]

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.
United States (United States) (1)
Morris Island (South Carolina, United States) (1)
Gettysburg (Pennsylvania, United States) (1)

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.
Vauban (1)
Napoleon (1)
Gray (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1861 AD (2)
1865 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: