Battlefield Works, Dictionary of CW Terms

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#1
I did a brief search and did not retrieve any info so I'll try the experts here.

I was just reviewing some info about the Vicksburg Campaign. In my perusal I came across several references to different fortifications: Redan, Redoubt, Lunette, Fort and Stockade. I assume these were standard structures used on various battlefields and had particular uses.
Can anyone enlighten me as to the specifics of these battlefield works, ( use, troop or equipment displacement etc,)?
 

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ole

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#5
"Salient" is used used in many ways: artillery, infantry, advances. and the like.

The "V" formation is advantageous in that the defenders have a much wider field of fire. However, it did have a disadvantage in that only half the force can fire on an attack from one direction. (It ought to be mentioned that a salient naturally had inside lines.)

Sickles' advance at Gettysburg in fact formed a salient. That was a classic case of a salient being a disadvantage.
 
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#7
Mosin's post is an excellent start. For more you can use the Engineer Manual by Duane or Field Armies and Fortifications by Hess. Feel free to PM me if you have anything too...glad to help. Its what we Engineers do.
 

Mosin

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#8
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Mosin- it must be Kharma...I go to help you and in return find a better digitized version of Duane's from you. Thanks for that info. Now my paper manual won't get passed around as much.
 
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#12
I love this one that I learned on a site dedicated to fortification terms. "Angle of defilade." You are standing in a fort, such as I have at Fort Negley, and the man firing up at you can't see you because this angle is built into the fort. So he always fires over your head. Redan was a V-shaped gun emplacement, of which there were several at Fort Negley.
 

ole

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#14
A battery is a unit of guns commanded by (usually) a captain. The Federals usually had six guns to a battery, while the Rebs typically had four, although you ought never to assume that X battery had six or four guns. Sometimes they lost one; sometimes they gained one. A section means two guns. They were rarely deployed in single-gun units.

When you considered that the desired number of horses were 12 per gun (six for the limber and gun; six for the limber and caisson) plus those for the officers and the forge and the supply wagons, you can imagine that the trail of a battery wouldn't be hard to follow.
 
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#16
A battery is a unit of guns commanded by (usually) a captain. The Federals usually had six guns to a battery, while the Rebs typically had four, although you ought never to assume that X battery had six or four guns. Sometimes they lost one; sometimes they gained one. A section means two guns. They were rarely deployed in single-gun units.

When you considered that the desired number of horses were 12 per gun (six for the limber and gun; six for the limber and caisson) plus those for the officers and the forge and the supply wagons, you can imagine that the trail of a battery wouldn't be hard to follow.
Ole, nice explaination but I was thinking more along the lines of where we see both Battery Wagner and Fort Wagner. Not so much the unit of guns as you described but good all the same good definition for those who might be unfamiliar with the term in an artillery sense.
 

ole

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Ole, nice explaination but I was thinking more along the lines of where we see both Battery Wagner and Fort Wagner. Not so much the unit of guns as you described but good all the same good definition for those who might be unfamiliar with the term in an artillery sense.
Am not that familiar with Battery Wagner, but it might well have been a battery. But it does comply with the rule that, however many guns there were, they were still under the command of one officer.
 
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#18
Am not that familiar with Battery Wagner, but it might well have been a battery. But it does comply with the rule that, however many guns there were, they were still under the command of one officer.
Personally, I would say its a fort because it was a 360 degree defensive position however they only really focused on defending the southern edge because thats where the enemy was. Heres a CWT map of Charleston defenses. Notice both "Fort" and "Battery" are used. I know the difference between a Fort and a Battery but I'm just pointing out that "battery" can be used thrown into the the "fortification" section when it comes to terms.

charleston-defenses-map.jpg
 
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#19
Personally, I would say its a fort because it was a 360 degree defensive position however they only really focused on defending the southern edge because thats where the enemy was. Heres a CWT map of Charleston defenses. Notice both "Fort" and "Battery" are used. I know the difference between a Fort and a Battery but I'm just pointing out that "battery" can be used thrown into the the "fortification" section when it comes to terms.

View attachment 8073
I'm an Artilleryman. But I have always wondered about a Battrey vs. Fort. Thanks for the Explanation!
 
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#20
There was also a gun emplacement as a part of the Fort Fisher defenses known as Battery Robinette. So maybe the Southern defenders saw a fort as a larger complex and batteries as parts of that.
 



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