skirmishers, would dig, individually, shallow trenches about four or five feet by two, with their longest dimension toward the foe, and throw up the earth in a little mound of a foot or fifteen inches in height, on the side toward the opponent.
This would result in a line of such excavations and mounds, each individually constructed and without any communication with its neighbors.
Then the neighbors would dig out the ground between them and throw it to the front, thus forming a continuous line of earthern parapet; but, if their antagonists were firing, or danger was near, it was preferable to deepen the trenches and throw up a larger earth protection before joining the individual trenches.
In the rear of such hasty works, heavier lines often were constructed by large forces working with spades.
Semi-permanent works were used both in the East
and in the West
, Forts Henry
, and other small works were all of a permanent or semi-permanent character, having more or less of the scientific touch that followed the old school of fortification.
But little was known in the West
of the art of hasty entrenchments for some time.
, the Federal
camps were not entrenched, although the foe was known to be somewhere in the vicinity.
said that the reason for the lack of field-works was that their construction would have made the new men timid.
As a matter of fact, the value of them was not realized by anyone, except that it was known, of course, that heavy works were capable of withstanding an attacking body several times the strength of the defending force.
But, after Shiloh
took command and erected earthworks nearly every foot of the way from Pittsburg Landing
to Corinth, Mississippi
, a distance of at least twenty miles, and then prepared for a regular siege of the latter place, where his army outnumbered that of Beauregard
about two to one.
His approach took a month, at the end of which time Beauregard
This cautious advance marked the first use of