To accomplish this, trenches were dug in front of the gun and on each side about a yard from the wheels, in which the artillerists stood while loading and manoeuvring the gun, their heads being below the parapet, and only the hands of those ramming being exposed. The dangerous space was well defined and easy to be avoided, and only the head of the gunner while in the act of aiming was at all endangered. Mantlets for the gunners' protection while aiming were proposed, and some were constructed of thick oak-plank to rest upon the axles and trunnions, and they were used to some extent. The material of which they were composed, however, prevented their general adoption; for wooden mantlets would cause the explosion of a percussion-shell if struck by one, and would themselves make dangerous splinters. Barbette-guns are easily withdrawn from the enemy's view and fire, and yet kept ready for instant use. Magazines were seldom built except where the guns were exposed to a mortar-fire; dismounted limber-chests covered with tarpaulins being used instead without disadvantage. A very important adjunct to each battery was found to be a ‘look out’ upon each flank. The ‘looking out’ is the most important part of the battery service, not only that no time may be lost on any appearance of the enemy, but that the aiming of the gunners may be superintended and corrected; and to insure its being well done it should be made as safe as possible. Except in the siege of Petersburg the Army of Northern Virginia seldom built second lines of intrenchments in rear of the first; not from any doubt of their value, but because they rarely had the force to spare from the front line. Even when the second line at Petersburg was built it was principally intended as a means of covered communication which could not be otherwise obtained, and in was only occupied by a few guns in rear of the most exposed points of the first line, which were designed to check the enemy should he penetrate them. Where the ammunition is safe to be fired over the heads of the first line, it would doubtless be an excellent plan to put all of the rifled guns in detached batteries in rear of exposed points, where they would have an excellent effect in checking an enemy who should penetrate and either seek to advance or sweep down the lines. An instance of the effect of such batteries may be found in the battle of the Crater, at Petersburg, July 30th 1864, which is indeed about the only case where the Confederate lines ever had even detached batteries in rear of a point gotten possession of by the enemy. Flanner's battery in the Jerusalem plankroad five hundred yards directly in rear of the Crater, and Wright's,
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
General Beauregard 's report of the battle of Drury's Bluff .
Federal testimony as to the Merrimac and Monitor.
Report of General Braxton Bragg .
List of officers of the C. S. Iron-clad Virginia, March 8th , 1862 .
[read before the Louisville Southern Historical Association .]
Paper no. 4 .
A lecture delivered in Baltimore , in November , 1872 , by Rev. Dr. R. L. Dabney .
Letter to General Bragg .
[funeral eulogy at Port Gibson , December 27th , 1882 .]
Address of Hon. C. E. Hooker , of Mississippi .
Confederate Artillery at Second Manassas and Sharpsburg .
Our fallen comrades.
Speech of Colonel T. L. Bayne , of the Washington Artillery .
Unveiling of Valentine 's Recumbent figure of Lee at Lexington, Va. , June 28th , 1883 .
General Lee in command of the Army of Northern Virginia —Richmond, Manassas , Harper's Ferry , Sharpsburg , Fredericksburg .
Sketch of the Lee Memorial Association .
The artist and his work.
Sketches of the Third Maryland Artillery .
Lee and Scott .
The Kentucky campaign.
The twenty-fourth South Carolina at the battle of Jonesboro .
Official report of Colonel George William Logan , on the engagement between the Federal gunboats and Fort Beauregard , on the 10th and Sixth May , 1863 .
Who fired the first gun at Sumter ?
A narrative of Stuart 's Raid in the rear of the Army of the Potomac .
The annual meeting of the Southern Historical Society .
Sketches of the Third Maryland Artillery .
Address of General Dabney H. Maury at the Reunion of Confederate veterans, Maury camp, no. 2 , Fredericksburg, Va. , August 23 , 1883 .
Stray leaves from a soldier's Journal.
Correction of errors in statement of Governor Anderson , and letter of General Echols .
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.