War of the Rebellion: Serial 088 Page 0576 OPERATIONS IN SE. VA. AND N. C. Chapter LIV.

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seen that for the 12-pounder gun only eight shrapnel are allowed. In determining the proportion for the light 12-pounder gun the number was increased to twelve, because circumstances might arise which would make them useful, but it was expected that habitually one-third of them, at least, would be used as solid shot. Batteries should be as much as possible protected from sudden attack, either by their position or by troops posted near them. A position within rifle-range of a wood, or other cover which is not held by our own troops, is a bad one, and should not be taken if possible to avoid it, since the enemy can occupy the cover, if only with sharpshooters, and pick off our men and horses. Woods and other places of cover within the range of small-arms must therefore be occupied by our own troops. Even on perfectly open ground the flanks of a battery must be protected from assaults. Its front can take care of itself; and hence it follows that the supports of batteries should never be placed behind them, nor amongst the carriages, but always on the flanks, either on the prolongation of the line of the battery, or, if cover can be secured, in advance or rear of that prolongation; but always within easy supporting distance and no closer, so that the fire directed on the battery may not injure its supporting troops. Although artillery, as a rule, must protect itself against attacks from the front, yet if such attacks are made by a heavy force, either in successive lines or in column, and with determination and persistence, the supporting troops should, if practicable, wheel forward their outward flanks, so that their cross-fire may sweep the ground in front of the battery, and may then charge vigorously with the bayonet, the commander of the supports having previously arranged with the commander of the battery for a suspension of the artillery fire. The enemy having been driven off, the supports will at once fall back toward the flanks so as to unmask the fire of the battery.

II. Artillery should, whenever practicable without undue detriment to its offensive powers, seek positions in which it may be protected from the enemy's fire, or concealed from his observation. The best natural cover is that afforded by the crest of hills which slope gently toward the enemy. The guns should be placed behind them with their muzzles looking over the top. The limbers and caissons will thus be entirely concealed. Cover which makes splinters when struck by shot, such as masonry, wood stacks, & c., is objectionable. Artificial cover may be obtained by sinking the piece. This is done by making an excavation for it to stand in. The excavation should be one foot and a half deep in front, and should slope gently upward toward the rear. The earth is to be thrown up in front to the height of about one foot and a half. Ditches may be dug at the sides for the men. This system of sinking the piece is used with advantage behind the edge of a hill, as it permits the piece to be brought closer to the crest and enables it the better to sweep the ground. Good drainage should always be secured. Next to the protection of the guns, that of the caissons and limbers is of importance. Where the batteries are frequently moving the limbers cannot be put under cover, but must remain close in rear of the pieces. Where so situated that they are not likely to require movements greater that can be effected by hand, as on a defensive line, or in position, a caisson body for each piece, or even one for each section, may be partially protected near the guns by digging trenches of one spade width, for the wheels only, so as to sink them to the axles, all the limbers with their horses being placed under cover if it can be found within reasonable distance of the position of the battery. Each section should load from one caisson-body until the latter is empty, when it should be