June 25, 1864: Sandbag day at Petersburg

Building field fortifications requires a lot of “consumable” materials.  Even in modern times, when the soldiers fortify a position, they tend to displace a lot of earth and use stockpiles of building materials.  One material that comes in high demand is the lowly sandbag.  In 1863, engineers on Morris Island recorded using over 46,000 sandbagsContinue reading “June 25, 1864: Sandbag day at Petersburg”

“I decidedly prefer the rope mantlets.”: Hunt and Abbot prepare for a siege

Yesterday, I made short reference to Colonel Henry L. Abbot’s suggestion to Brigadier-General Henry Hunt in regard to mantlets for the siege train at Petersburg.  To properly set this part of the story, let me step back to June 14, 1864 and a response from Major-General Delafield, the Army’s Chief Engineer (“Army” as in “allContinue reading ““I decidedly prefer the rope mantlets.”: Hunt and Abbot prepare for a siege”

Where in the world is the Siege Train on June 18, 1864? Not where Grant wanted it to be!

When formed, or more accurately, reformed,  in April 1864, the siege train for the Army of the Potomac was intended as a resource to call upon as the army neared Richmond. When the initial assaults on Petersburg failed to gain their objective, it was time to call upon the siege train.  So was that “train”Continue reading “Where in the world is the Siege Train on June 18, 1864? Not where Grant wanted it to be!”