Forts and Armaments of the Civil War

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Forts and armaments during the Civil War ranged from simple blockhouses and breastworks, to large forts and blockades.

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Armaments and Forts

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Civil War Armaments
Blockhouse at Chattanooga, Tennessee
(Source: Library of Congress)
Blockhouses were wooden structures usually built in small garrisons to protect soldiers from enemy attack. Blockhouses were usually simple, small log buildings with opening in the walls to fire a rifle at the enemy. This picture shows a simple blockhouse at Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Civil War Armaments
Breastworks (Source: Library of Congress)
Breastworks were often built from logs, dirt and anything else to provide basic protection against enemy attacks. They could be build just before a battle, simply using the dirt gathered from digging trenches. This made breastworks faster and easier to build than forts or other larger types of fortifications. The name breastworks comes from the fact that the fortifications are about breast high.
Civil War Fort
Fort Lincoln, District of Columbia (br> (Source: Library of Congress)
Forts were built at more strategic locations and more permanent troop locations. In addition to walls and a battery of guns to protect the soldiers, forts also enclosed many buildings including barracks for sleeping, kitchens for food preparation and eating, and storage areas for food, supplies, rifles and ammunition. This is a picture of Fort Lincoln in the District of Columbia.
Civil War Armaments
Parrott Guns at Fort Brady, Virginia
(Source: Library of Congress)
A battery of guns was used on the walls of a fort to protect against enemy attack. This picture shows a heavily fortified battery of Parrott guns at Fort Brady, Virginia . This battery is manned by the 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery.


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Links to other sites on the Civil War

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For a daily history lesson see AccentHistory.net http://www.accenthistory.net
American Civil War http://www.civilwar.com/
Civil War http://www.civil-war.net/
The Civil War on PBS http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/

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