Union Soldiers On Morris Island, South Carolina

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I came across this image while doing some research. It is identified as Union soldiers in front of Port Hudson. Not sure if the identification is correct or not but it is a rather candid image of soldiers in the field nonetheless.

Rather interesting how two men are working and the rest are "supervising". Some things don't seem to change :biggrin:

Sap_Roller.jpg
 
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Interestingly enough, looking at the picture, the brass on the corporal's hat appears to read "C" and "24". Which we can assume would mean company C, 24th Infantry. Initially looking through the units involved in the Port Hudson Campaign there are two units that this man and or unit may be from. The 24th Maine Infantry or the 24th Connecticut Infantry.

Of course this is a best guess based on the identification of the image is correct and my out of prescription glasses are correctly reading that somewhat blurry brass on the corporal's cap.:unsure:
 
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AUG

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Actually this photo is usually identified as the 1st New York Engineers demonstrating sapping on Morris Island, SC.

Supposedly there are a few infantrymen of the 24th Massachusetts in there as well, probably demonstrating how the engineers would have been protected by infantrymen as the sap was constructed. The cylinder-shaped thing in front is called a gabion, which could be rolled forward to keep the engineers under cover as they worked.

A sap is a trench designed to slowly advance upon a besieged enemy. They would usually extend out from the main line across no man's land and work their way further and further toward the enemy lines. Usually infantrymen would skirmish with the enemy as the trench was dug further.
 
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Thank you for the additional information Gents. I found it difficult to believe that this image was taken in front of Port Hudson as well. That is why I said "not sure the identification is correct."

I did attempt to change the caption to indicate that it was on Morris Island, South Carolina and not Port Hudson but the "edit" option apparently does not work for the caption.
 

AUG

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Thank you for the additional information Gents. I found it difficult to believe that this image was taken in front of Port Hudson as well. That is why I said "not sure the identification is correct."

I did attempt to change the caption to indicate that it was on Morris Island, South Carolina and not Port Hudson but the "edit" option apparently does not work for the caption.
Look for the "Thread Tools" tab at top right and in the drop down menu click "Edit Title," and that should do the trick.
 
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Ray Ball

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Actually this photo is usually identified as the 1st New York Engineers demonstrating sapping on Morris Island, SC.

Supposedly there are a few infantrymen of the 24th Massachusetts in there as well, probably demonstrating how the engineers would have been protected by infantrymen as the sap was constructed. The cylinder-shaped thing in front is called a gabion, which could be rolled forward to keep the engineers under cover as they worked.

A sap is a trench designed to slowly advance upon a besieged enemy. They would usually extend out from the main line across no man's land and work their way further and further toward the enemy lines. Usually infantrymen would skirmish with the enemy as the trench was dug further.

You should probably edit your title.
I believe one very minor correction is required here AUG351. The item isn't a gabion, its a sap roller. The roller is a bundle of sticks or several fascines rolled together and bound. The gabion is smaller and hollow, although shaped very similarly. It is made then placed and filled with dirt, rocks etc. as a part of a wall or the revetment for one.

The fact that there are infantrymen doing some of the labor is consistent with the practices of sapping. The work would likely have been directed by engineers but the labor provided by the infantry as they had the numbers to provide the required unskilled manpower along with guards for the work detail.

I also just noticed that the one Engineer is wearing white work coveralls. I'd read about them several times and never noticed them before when looking at this photo.

Thanks for posting the shot Cumpston1862
 
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AUG

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I believe one very minor correction is required here AUG351. The item isn't a gabion, its a sap roller. The roller is a bundle of sticks or several fascines rolled together and bound. The gabion is smaller and hollow, although shaped very similarly. It is made then placed and filled with dirt, rocks etc. as a part of a wall or the revetment for one.

The fact that there are infantrymen doing some of the labor is consistent with the practices of sapping. The work would likely have been directed by engineers but the labor provided by the infantry as they had the numbers to provide the required unskilled manpower along with guards for the work detail.

I also just noticed that the one Engineer is wearing white work coveralls. I'd read about them several times and never noticed them before when looking at this photo.

Thanks for posting the shot Cumpston1862
Thanks for the correction Ray Ball. I've always thought a sap roller to be the same thing as or a type of gabion.
 
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