palisadoed gorges, connected by infantry parapet.
The batteries of course were the vital points, commanding the entire line; the ditches here were deep, and several rows of abatis and chevaux de frise were planted in close musket-range along the front.
Outside the connecting parapet, shallower ditches were dug and obstacles placed, and a line of loaded shells was laid at intervals among the entanglements, at the points confronted by national troops.
Splinter and bomb shelters were erected, and to increase the amount of fire, high mounds were built behind the breastworks, which served as bomb-proof shelters underneath, while the top was arranged for infantry fire.
Listening galleries were dug to prevent successful mining operations; dams were constructed to flood the ground where streams ran towards the rebel lines, and every appliance of the defensive art was called in play to render the fortifications impregnable.
On the opposite side of the James
, the main rebel line started from Drury's Bluff, and then ran south to the Howlett House
, on the high commanding ground that overlooks Dutch Gap
; here the river in its windings intervened again, and the peninsula of Bermuda Hundred
was crossed, the line still running almost due south, till it struck the Appomattox
, north-east of Petersburg
From this point the works extended south-westerly to the Weldon
road, when they turned to the north, and completed the circuit of the town.
In front of Butler
, on Bermuda Hundred
, the rebel line was extremely strong, and like that north of the James
, was intended to be held with a comparatively small