with him, early became a surprise to everyone; and it did not take long to discover that a short additional time and a little more work rendered that same pit safe from ordinary direct artillery fire.
In loose soil, a few minutes sufficed to throw up a mound of earth a foot high and fifteen inches in thickness, by about two feet in length, for cover against bullets, and this was often topped by a knapsack.
It was not believed when the war broke out that a man could save his life by lying behind such a slight cover, but before the campaign on the Peninsula
was over, every man of both armies knew it.
The Confederates threw up works on the field of Manassas
immediately after their victory.
The position was well chosen and the entrenchments were very well constructed.
To increase the appearance of strength a number of embrasures were filled with “quaker guns,” so-called by the Federals-being simply logs shaped to resemble cannon and placed in position to deceive the foe. These lines were located and the works thrown up, not with the object of assuming the offensive, but to hold the advantage they had gained until it should be decided what further operations should be undertaken.
Consequently, their entrenchments were for defensive purposes only, as the quaker guns indicated.
The Federal plan of campaign having been decided on, the information reached the Confederates
before the Union
army was started for the Peninsula
, and Manassas
was evacuated immediately.
The quaker guns were still in position when the Federals
took possession of the Manassas
arrived on the Peninsula
, he found that the Confederates
were there ahead of him in sufficient force to place works across from Yorktown
, utilizing, in a large measure, the trace of the old Revolutionary works of Lord Cornwallis, and strengthening the parapets to fulfil the more modern conditions of warfare.
works were built for the same general purposes as the Manassas lines
— for defense.
And they served the purpose admirably, for