Discussion ACW Engineer and Fortification Papers

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UNF Digital Commons
UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations Student Scholarship
1996

Brick Versus Earth: The Construction and Destruction of Confederate Seacoast Forts Pulaski and McAllister, Georgia
by David P. Eldridge

University of North Florida
This Master's Thesis is brought to you for free and open access by the Student Scholarship at UNF Digital Commons. It has been accepted for inclusion in UNF Graduate Theses and Dissertations by an authorized administrator of UNF Digital Commons. For more information, please contact Digital Projects.

ABSTRACT
The United States government created America's third coastal defense system during the early-to-mid nineteenth century based upon the recommendations of the Board of Engineers of 1816. The engineers of 1816 believed the most economical means of protecting America was the construction of large, permanent forts along key areas of America's coast.

Union forces under Brigadier General Quincy Gillmore seized Fort Pulaski in April of 1862. Pulaski was one of the most formidable forts built under the third system. Gillmore required two months to install the weapons used against Pulaski; most of the time was spent installing smoothbore Columbiads, the standard breaching weapon of the day. Yet the weapons that destroyed Pulaski were lighter, rifled guns. Gillmore attributed the fort's destruction to rifled weapons, and found the smoothbore guns practically worthless during the engagement.

All forts built by Southern engineers prior to the fall of Pulaski, prior to the proof of the superiority of rifled weapons over permanent works, were earthen forts. Masonry's obsolescence was not a factor in the decision to build earthen works. The South needed forts immediately, for it faced an enemy that had invaded its soil and established a base on its shores. The change in construction material from masonry to earth was not in response to the recognition of a new threat, the rifled weapon, but because the Confederacy lacked the time and resources to build forts like Pulaski.

Earthen forts like Fort McAllister, Georgia, were able to withstand repeated attacks by the United States Navy and emerged unscathed. The largest guns in Federal service, 15" Columbiads, were used on several occasions against McAllister. The fort did not fall until assaulted by a greatly superior land force.

Although the lessons provided by earthen forts did not change the immediate future of coastal defenses, they did have an impact later in the nineteenth century. Under the Endicott system of the 1880s, engineers constructed coastal forts as one-tier works with dispersed batteries. The materials used were earth and reinforced concrete. By the tum of the century the impressive forts of the third system were abandoned in favor of the Endicott forts.

https://digitalcommons.unf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1126&context=etd

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USS ALASKA

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Another paper for our Engineer denizens... @Ray Ball @1SGDan and any others I may have missed...

University of Massachusetts Amherst
[email protected] Amherst
Doctoral Dissertations Dissertations and Theses
Spring 2014

Engineering Victory: The Ingenuity, Proficiency, and Versatility of Union Citizen Soldiers in Determining the Outcome of the Civil War
by Thomas F. Army Jr

University of Massachusetts - Amherst
This Open Access Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access by the Dissertations and Theses at [email protected] Amherst. It has been accepted for inclusion in Doctoral Dissertations by an authorized administrator of [email protected] Amherst. For more information, please contact [email protected].

ABSTRACT
My dissertation explores the critical advantage the Union held over the Confederacy in military engineering. The skills Union soldiers displayed during the war at bridge building, railroad repair, and road making demonstrated mechanical ability and often revealed ingenuity and imagination. These skills were developed during the antebellum period when northerners invested in educational systems that served an industrializing economy. In the decades before the war, northern states’ attempt at implementing basic educational reforms, the spread of informal educational practices directed at mechanics and artisans, and the exponential growth in manufacturing all generated a different work related ethos than that of the South. The northern labor system rewarded mechanical ability, invention, and creativity. The labor system in the South failed to do this. Plantation slavery generated fabulous wealth for a tiny percent of the southern white population. It fostered a particular style of agriculture and scientific farming that limited land use. It curtailed manufacturing opportunities, and it stifled educational opportunities for the middle and lower classes because those in political power feared that an educated yeomanry would be filled with radical ideas such as women’s equality, temperance, and, worst of all, abolition.

These differences in the North and South produced unique skill sets in both armies, and consequently, resulted in more successful and resourceful Union engineering operations during the war. Moreover, without the unique and astonishing engineering operations conducted by common laborers, machinists, shipbuilders, and both common school educated and West Point trained engineers, it was unlikely the North would have won the war. The outcome of the Civil War depended on the Union Army’s ability to improvise and take the war to the South. Northern armies operated on unfamiliar terrain, which included mountain ranges, swamps and wetlands, alluvial plains, forests, and rugged hills, all of which were difficult to access because of dismal road systems and poorly mapped landscapes. Union generals were forced to execute a strategy that demanded the control of 750,000 square miles of territory and the defeat of enemy armies, partisan raiders and cavalry constantly threatening long and tenuous supply lines. Between 1861 and 1865 the North engineered victory.


https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1031&context=dissertations_2

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Ray Ball

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I've read his book of nearly the same title and found in fascinating, I look forward to reading this as well. Thank you very much for sharing this.
 
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Not a problem sir! Came across a few papers that I thought might be of interest.
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Collection; Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title; Engineer operations during the Vicksburg Campaign.
Author; Puckett, Robert M.

Abstract; This study investigates the role that Engineer Operations played in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. A background study and description is made of the structure, composition, capability, and employment of engineer officers and units during the American Civil War. The Vicksburg Campaign is analyzed in detail to determine the contributions that Engineer Operations made to the Campaign's success. The Campaign is broken down into four phases: (1) the Confederate Fortification of Vicksburg, (2) operations in the Bayous, (3) the Campaign of Maneuver, and (4) the Siege of Vicksburg. Each phase is examined in an engineer context to determine what type of Engineer Operations were conducted and whether they were critical to that phase and the Campaign overall. The final conclusions derived from this study are that Engineer operations were critical to the successful outcome of the Campaign and without the engineering capability the Union Army possessed, it would not have been able to overcome the natural and man made obstacles faced in the effort to seize Vicksburg.

Series; Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Publisher; Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date, Original; 1992-06-05
Date, Digital; 2008
Call number; ADA 255141
Release statement; Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2008-10-16
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Collection; Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title; Defending America’s shores: a historical analysis of the development of the U.S. Army’s fortification system, 1812-1950.
Author; Charlesworth, Timothy J.

Abstract; This study investigates the contributions of the U.S. Army’s coastal fortification system to execute the coastal defense policy of the United States, in view of the tremendous technological advances and developmental shortfalls it had to contend with over the course of its existence. The concept presented is one showing the ultimate failure of the entire fortification network to maintain its viability to defend critical harbors when individual fortifications underwent their baptisms of fire. Until the conclusion of World War II, the U.S. Army has traditionally been the instrument entrusted with executing the land-based element of American coastal defense policy. The overall challenge was to organize a coastal defense establishment properly resourced to meet any threat within the fiscal restraints imposed by the national leadership. The study explains the development of the coastal fortification system in relation to the Army’s concept of organizing and equipping organizations to conduct operations in support of its mission and the technological impacts influencing coastal fortifications. This study will promote the lessons from the Army’s failure to continually develop a system capable of adapting to technological changes and will serve as an example of the consequences of flawed policy decision making for future force developers.

Series; Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Publisher; Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date, Original; 2000-06-02
Date, Digital; 2000-06-02
Resource Type Textual
Release statement; Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2006-02-20
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Collection; Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title; Field fortifications during the American Civil War: a tactical problem.
Author; Chuber, David C.

Abstract; This study analyzes field fortifications and their effects on combat operations during the American Civil War. This study is divided into three areas. First is the instruction and practical training on field fortifications available to the future Civil War officers. Second is the construction of field fortifications including the different types of fortifications and their integration into defensive lines with obstacles. Finally, are the lessons learned in combat operations using field fortifications during the Civil War and how they helped to change and develop U.S. tactics creating new, usable doctrine. At the start of the war, commanders found that few officers had any first-hand experience with field fortifications. Although many of the regular army officers had studied engineer concepts at West Point, few had any experience other than with static defenses or coastal fortifications. When Union and Confederate armies conducted large-scale operations, defensive positions were built to protect supply lines. Small forces used field fortifications to multiply their combat power against any larger force. Commanders were forced to realize that the tactical manuals of the day were just parade drill manuals and could not help them when it came to using field fortifications.

Series; Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Publisher; Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date, Original; 1996-06-07
Date, Digital; 2007
Call number; ADA 313032
Release statement; Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2007-05-22

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Collection; Master of Military Art and Science Theses
Title; Engineer battlefield functions at Chancellorsville.
Author; Weber, James R.

Abstract; This study investigates the significant effect of mobility, countermobility, survivability and topographic engineering on the American Civil War Campaign of Chancellorsville. The operations occurred near Fredericksburg, Virginia in April and May of 1863. In the battle, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia decisively defeated the Union Army of the Potomac. Engineer-related considerations contributed immensely to the Confederate victory. Engineer battlefield functions influenced the operations of both armies. The Union Engineer Brigade constructed numerous pontoon bridges to overcome the river obstacles prior to and following the battle. This capability allowed the Union Army to initially surprise and envelop the Confederate Army. The natural obstacles of the rivers and forests and man-made obstacles of abatis hindered maneuver. Survivability was a significant factor during the fighting. At Chancellorsville, the Confederates used entrenchments for the first time in open operations. This strengthened their economy of force in front of the Union Army and gave 'Stonewall' Jackson mass during his successful enveloping attack. Finally, topographic engineering was important through map production and reconnaissance by engineers. This study concludes that the Confederate Army integrated the engineer battlefield functions more effectively than the Union Army. In part, this explains the decisive Confederate victory.

Series; Command and General Staff College (CGSC) MMAS thesis
Publisher; Fort Leavenworth, KS : US Army Command and General Staff College,
Date, Original; 1995-06-02
Date, Digital; 2007
Call number; ADA 300127
Release statement; Approved for public release; Distribution is unlimited. The opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the student-authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College or any other governmental agency. (References to these studies should include the foregoing statement.)
Repository; Combined Arms Research Library
Library; Combined Arms Research Library Digital Library
Date created; 2007-07-20

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East Texas Historical Journal
Volume 33 | Issue 2 Article 7
10-1995

The Ghostly-Silent Guns of Galveston: A Chronicle of Colonel J.G. Kellersberger, the Confederate Chief Engineer of East Texas
by W. T. Block

Part of the United States History Commons
This Article is brought to you for free and open access by SFA ScholarWorks. It has been accepted for inclusion in East Texas Historical Journal by an authorized administrator of SFA ScholarWorks. For more information, please contact [email protected].

After forty-nine years in America, Kellersberger, civil engineer, former Forty-oiner, San Francisco Vigilante, surveyor, town, bridge, and
railroad builder; and Confederate chief engineer for East Texas, bade farewell to a son and four daughters, his grandchildren, and the grave of his wife, all located at Cypress Mill, Blanco County, Texas. He then left the state he had grown to love and returned to his Alpine homeland for two reasons - to write his German language memoirs and to die in the huge stone house where he was born and had grown up, but had abandoned as a young man to seek his fortune in America. Although hundreds of Kellersberger's descendants in the Houston, Dallas, and Austin vicinities still spell the family name as "Kellersberger," its original Swiss spelling, the engineer enlisted in the Confederate Army as "Julius Kellersberg," which for purposes of simplicity, the writer will adopt for the remainder of this monograph. And although Kellersberg was promoted to lieutenant colonel early in 1864, he was a Confederate major of artillery, assigned to the engineering service, for much of the time span of this story.



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Robin Lesjovitch

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East Texas Historical Journal
Volume 33 | Issue 2 Article 7
10-1995

The Ghostly-Silent Guns of Galveston: A Chronicle of Colonel J.G. Kellersberger, the Confederate Chief Engineer of East Texas
by W. T. Block

Part of the United States History Commons
This Article is brought to you for free and open access by SFA ScholarWorks. It has been accepted for inclusion in East Texas Historical Journal by an authorized administrator of SFA ScholarWorks. For more information, please contact [email protected].

After forty-nine years in America, Kellersberger, civil engineer, former Forty-oiner, San Francisco Vigilante, surveyor, town, bridge, and
railroad builder; and Confederate chief engineer for East Texas, bade farewell to a son and four daughters, his grandchildren, and the grave of his wife, all located at Cypress Mill, Blanco County, Texas. He then left the state he had grown to love and returned to his Alpine homeland for two reasons - to write his German language memoirs and to die in the huge stone house where he was born and had grown up, but had abandoned as a young man to seek his fortune in America. Although hundreds of Kellersberger's descendants in the Houston, Dallas, and Austin vicinities still spell the family name as "Kellersberger," its original Swiss spelling, the engineer enlisted in the Confederate Army as "Julius Kellersberg," which for purposes of simplicity, the writer will adopt for the remainder of this monograph. And although Kellersberg was promoted to lieutenant colonel early in 1864, he was a Confederate major of artillery, assigned to the engineering service, for much of the time span of this story.



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A very interesting story.
 
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