Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 26.djvu/170

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100 SoHflit'ni Historical Society Papers.

from the river, with a half bastion, originally Shepherd's Battery, which had been doubled in strength, and extended with a heavy curtain to a full bastion on the ocean side, where it joned the sea- face. The work was built to withstand the heaviest artillery fire. There was no moat with scarp and counter scarp so essential for de- fence against storming parties, the shifting sands rendering its con- struction impossible, with the material available. The water slope was twenty feet high from the berme to the top of the parapet, at an angle of forty-five degrees, and was sodded with marsh grass, which grew luxuriantly. The parapet was not less than twenty-five feet thick. The guns were all mounted en barbette, with Columbiad car- riages; there was not a single casemated gun in the fort. Experi- ence had taught, that casemates of timber and sand-bags were a delusion and a snare, against heavy projectiles, and there was no iron to construct others with.

"Between the gun-chambers, containing one or two guns each, there were heavy traverses, exceeding in size any heretofore con- structed, to protect from an enfilading fire. They extended out some twelve feet on the parapet, and were twelve feet or more in height above the parapet, running back thirty feet or more. Further along, where the channel ran close to the beach, inside the bar, a mound battery, sixty feet high was erected, with two heavy guns, which had a plunging fire on the channel; this was connected with a battery north of it, by a light curtain.

" Following the line of the works, it was over one mile from the mound to the redan, at the angle of the sea and the land faces. From the mound, for nearly a mile, to the end of the point, was a level sand plain, scarce three feet above high tide, and much of it was submerged during gales. At the point itself, was Battery Buch- anan, with four guns, In the shape of an eliptic, commanding the inlet, its two n-inch guns covering the approach by land.

" Returning to the land face, or northern front of Fort Fisher, as a defence against infantry, there was a system of sub-terra torpe- does, extending across the peninsula five or six hundred feet from the land face, and so disconnected, that the explosion of one would not effect the others; inside the torpedoes, about fifty feet from the berme of the work, extending from the river bank to the seashore, was a heavy palisade of sharpened logs, nine feet high, pierced for musketry, and so laid out as to have an enfilading fire on the centre, where there was a redoubt guarding a sally-port, from which two Napoleons were run out as occasion required.