previous next

[87] colors flying, accompanied with all our impediments, we were marched along the turnpike, down to Drewry's Bluff, on the ‘Noble James river,’ about seven miles below Richmond, and bivouacked at the future ‘Gibraltar’ that night, grumbling about the hard fate that had overtaken us, at having been turned out of our nice new houses and forced to make our beds on the bare ground.

Then Captain Drewry took us in hand, and with his accustomed energy, hurried us on towards erecting log-cabins for quarters, and preparing the battery for mounting guns, &c.— the fort had been laid out by Lieutenant Mason, of the engineers—sometimes we were forced to work on it day and night. After a busy time, the quarters were finished, and occupied, and emplacements to hold three heavy guns were prepared on the river face of the bluff. The two eight-inch Columbiads, which we were told had been constructed at the Bellona arsenal, in Chesterfield county, on the upper James river, above Richmond, were sent down the river on lighters, drawn by tugs, to the wharf, erected at the mouth of the ravine, just east of the fort. Then the heavy work of landing them and hauling them up the steep incline-railway to the level of the fort, ninety feet above the water began, and after severe labor finished, and they were at their places in the battery, ready to be mounted.

Then after skilled workmen had built substantial foundations and laid down level platforms, and laid out the traverse circles, we, under Colonel Robert Tansell, who wore the full regimentals as colonel of artillery, proceeded to mount them to their places by the aid of a ‘gin’ and much heavy pulling on ropes by hand.

After which our aforementioned Scotchman, Robert Stuart McFarland, (Major Drewry employed him), by name, began to teach us the manual of the heavy artillery tactics, showing us how to go to our places for action, take implements, sponge, load, in battery, point and fire, all of which motions we had to go through with ‘at double quick time.’ And from thence forward every day, and almost all day long, we were kept at severe drill at the heavy guns.

About this time a man named McMellon (Major Drewry

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.
Richmond (Virginia, United States) (1)
Gibralter (North Carolina, United States) (1)
Drewry's Bluff (Virginia, United States) (1)
Chesterfield (Virginia, United States) (1)
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.
Augustus H. Drewry (3)
Robert Tansell (1)
Robert Stuart McFarland (1)
W. T. Mason (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: