War of the Rebellion: Serial 126 Page 0189 UNION AUTHORITIES.

Search Civil War Official Records

our army. It having been determined to remain in the position thus carried, the rebel works from Fort Harrison to the New Market road were occupied by our troops and their front turned during the night and following day. Shortly afterward a line was thrown up, with batteries at appropriate intervals, extending from our left flank, at Fort Harrison, tod on a large work at a point a little above Cox's Landing. This work, called Fort Brady, was on the site on which the rebels had commenced the erection of a powerful rifled battery to command the mouth of the canal. We armed the work with three 100-pounder Parrott guns and several 4 1\2-inch Rodman rifles, constructed a large bombproof for the protection of the garrison, and surrounded it by strong lines of abatis. The line from this work to Fort Harrison afforded a secure defense in case of a flank attack on the left, as it subjected the attacking party to a chance of being defeated, cut off, and capture, or driven into the river, after leaving their own lines.

October.-Efforts were early made to strengthen the right flank by a strong line and redoubts, but the works stopped by order from the then commander of the Tenth Army Corps. A strong attack on this flank was made by the enemy in force on the 7th of October, which the cavalry who guarded this flank were unable to withstand, and which at one time threatened to be very disastrous to this army.

Terry's division, of this corps, with the artillery under Jackson, checked and finally drove back the enemy, and then the work of securing the flank was pushed rapidly along.

About 400 yards east of the New Market road a strong redoubt fifty yards square was built, and formed a salient from which the whole country within 600 yards was commanded, and from its right flank an infantry parapet of strong profile, well protected from assault by abatis, ran toward the New Market road, where it rested, about the vicinity of the Four-Mile Church. From this point to hear the mouth of Four-Mile Creek strong isolated redoubts were built and manned with troops and artillery, so placed as to mutually support each other. Along New Market Heights the most salient points were taken and occupied by strong closed works, and in their front for 1,000 and 1,500 yards the woods were 'slashed," thus making a continuous abatis in their front to the limit of the range of their artillery. Works were also placed to flank the valleys and sides of these hills.

As there was some possibility of moving the greater part of this army to a new field of operations, leaving but a small force behind, a line of interior works, some 3,400 yards long, was built but for such a contingency. The right rested on Four-Mile Creek, and the left on the same as generally belong to field defenses, the stronger batteries being placed so as to command the most important roads or the most probably points from which an attack would be made, with infantry parapets four to six feet thick on top joining them.

In front were ditches from eight to twelve feet wide and six feet deep, and in advance of these a line of good abatis. This line was well indicated, the batteries completed, and infantry parapet two-thirds finished, the remaining work to be done after the troops occupied the line. Often the greatest difficulty has been in getting an army to take up a proper and exact line of defense at first, each regiment, company, and man digging where they find their spades, without reference to the fitness of things, indicating the necessity of more engineer officers.