Monday, April 8, 2013

Diary of Alexander G. Downing: Monday, June 16, 1862

It came my turn for the first time to go on fatigue. Our men are throwing up a line of breastworks and building some very strong forts. I worked all day at one of the big forts built for the siege guns. The fort is fifteen feet high, with a ditch in front fifteen feet wide and ten feet deep. At the top within each fort the guns will be mounted on a dirt platform about ten feet high so as to afford a good view in front. When the works are completed on this grand scale it will require one million men to defend them.1

1 These works were never completed, the commanding general having called off the work. It was a good thing that it was discontinued, for the heavy work during the hot weather would have greatly injured the men. — A. G. D.

Source: Alexander G. Downing, Edited by Olynthus B., Clark, Downing’s Civil War Diary, p. 54

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