Each outside stake had five, and each center one, four wires from it. When this entanglement was placed in front of palisading, wires were crossed from it to the stakes, leaving no place for troops to form or work between the two.
This obstacle was rapidly built, and but little injured by the enemy's fire. From the fact that our own men, who knew of its existence, were often thrown down by it, I judge it would have proved efficient had the enemy made as assault on our works. It is particularly well adapted to localities like this, where there is no timber at hand for other obstacle.
NOTE Numbers 3.
BOOMS. (See Fig. 5, p. 306.)
These were made of the captured 12-inch squared timber found at the lumber-yard. Enough pieces to reach across the creek were connected in the manner shown in the figure.
The ends of the boom were made fast in the bank by means of chains and kedge anchors, the anchors being buried in the earth and secured by pickets. Bars of iron spiked on the sides of these timbers would have not considered necessary in our defensive lines, on account of the strong fire that could be brought on each boom.
NOTE Numbers 4.
THE SEAWARD DEFENSIVE BARRICADE. (See Figs. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11, p. 307.)
This structure, forming the right of the second parallel, extended across the beach from high to low water line. It is built of piles and cribbing, and has proved the most durable defensive field work, exposed to the action of the waves, yet constructed in this department.
The crib work was of round timber, from 6 to 12 inches in diameter, laid on the surface of the beach. The piles were 7 inches in diameter, and were easily worked by hand into the quicksand 3 feet 6 inches, but it was almost impossible to force them any deeper by this method. Rope lashings were chiefly used for fastenings, as the noise of driving spikes was found to attract the enemy's fire.
The barricade consisted of 34 yards of musketry parapet, on each flank of which was a field gun battery. That on the right, at the extreme low-water line, was called the surf battery, and was arranged for two field howitzers; that on the left, at high-water line, was first occupied by three Requa batteries, and afterward by boat howitzers. The total length of the structure was 57 yards.
A brief description of the surf battery will, in connection with the drawings, explain the whole. Its foundation was a strong crib, 32 by 36 feet, built of heavy logs fastened together with ropes. On this was spiked a platform of heavy plank, 30 feet front by 25 feet wide at the bottom, its surface just above the highest tides. On the front of this platform was built a sand-bag parapet 11 feet wide, 6 1/2 feet high, and having a slope of 1 to 3 inside and 2 to 3 outside. At each flank of the battery was built a light sand-bag epaulement, containing a recess 2 by 2 by 3 feet, for ammunition.
The surf battery was provided with three covered embrasures lined with boiler iron, two for the left gun and one for the right. They were so arranged as to flank the second parallel, and defend all the ground in its front to extreme low water.