|Defenders of long Bridge — a battery drill The little boy on the corner is not looking at the cannoneers. Real soldiers and 12-pounder Napoleon field-guns are no novelty to him by now. He is staring at something really new in the summer of 1864--the camera. He finds the curious looking box vastly more interesting. The soldiers stationed at the Virginia end of Long Bridge were “caught” by the pioneer photographer at drill. They are in correct position ready for action. The duty of the soldiers with the long swabs on the right of the guns near the muzzle is to sponge them out, and to ram home the new charge. The men on the left near the muzzle place the charge in the gun. The men on the right, back of the wheel, cover the vents until the charge is rammed home. The men on the left, back of the wheel, have duties more complex. They prick the cartridge, insert a friction primer attached to a lanyard, step back, and at the order: “Fire!” explode the primer. Still further to the left of the guns stand the sergeants who are chiefs of pieces. The men behind the limbers cut the fuses for the length of time required and insert them in the shell. It is the duty of the men at their left to carry the charge from the limber and deliver it to the loaders who place it in the gun. Finally, the corporals directly behind the cannon are the gunners who sight the pieces. The remainder are to help prepare and bring up the ammunition from the limber, and to take the places of any disabled. All this is familiar to their companions lounging about the hotel. The time is evidently summer. The boy is barefoot, and the trees are in full bloom.|
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
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.