By Earl J. Hess

The japanese campaigns of the Civil struggle concerned the frequent use of box fortifications, from large Bethel and the Peninsula to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Charleston, and Mine Run. whereas a lot of those fortifications have been intended to final in basic terms so long as the conflict, Earl J. Hess argues that their historical past is deeply major. The Civil struggle observed extra use of fieldworks than did any past clash in Western heritage. Hess reports using fortifications by means of tracing the campaigns of the military of the Potomac and the military of Northern Virginia from April 1861 to April 1864. He considers the position of box fortifications within the security of towns, river crossings, and railroads and in several battles. mixing technical points of building with operational heritage, Hess demonstrates the an important position those earthworks performed within the good fortune or failure of box armies. He additionally argues that the improvement of trench conflict in 1864 resulted from the surprise of conflict and the continuing presence of the enemy inside of amazing distance, no longer easily from using the rifle-musket, as historians have formerly asserted. according to fieldwork at three hundred conflict websites and wide examine in legit stories, letters, diaries, and archaeological stories, this booklet should still develop into an critical reference for Civil struggle historians.

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In short, there is, in my view, no evidence that rifled small arms significantly affected the success or failure rate of frontal assaults or led to the increased use of field fortifications. Moreover, my reading of McClellan’s report does not support the view that the young captain recognized such a shift. McClellan did note that the Russian fieldworks around Sebastopol were strong and well designed. But he also pointed out that they were little more than ‘‘inert masses’’ unless defended by highly motivated infantrymen and artillerymen.

Secretary of War Seddon recommended to Davis on January 3, 1863, that the practice be institutionalized by creating a company for each brigade. Their task was to take care of any problems with roads and bridges to facilitate marching during campaigns. ∑∫ Just as in the Federal army, most of the work of constructing fortifications in the Confederacy was done by infantry units. The engineers were responsible for laying out lines, or at least for selecting where lines should be laid out if there was little time available.

He was given a commission as brigadier general of volunteers in September 1861 and ably directed the construction of the Washington defenses. His astute handling of engineering tasks in the Peninsula campaign was fully documented in his report, which could easily have served as a model for how engineer officers should record their activities. Barnard was McClellan’s chief engineer from the summer of 1861 to August 1862, but his place was filled by equally capable officers. Cyrus Ballou Comstock, although holding rank as lieutenant and captain and hindered by sporadic bouts of illness, served as chief engineer in late 1862 under Ambrose E.

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