Abatis were trees cut to point in the direction of the enemy, with the tips of the trees sharpened into spikes. One or more lines of closely packed abatis could make a tricky and treacherous obstacle. The abatis in front of the fortifications surrounding Petersburg in 1864 represented an intimidating sight for soldiers before they attacked.
Ammunition for the artillery piece was carried inside this chest which was carried on the limber. The amount of artillery rounds carried inside of the chest would depend on the type of cannon the soldiers were firing. It also held the implements used to fire the gun, like friction primers, a priming wire, and other small items.
An army is composed of three Corps.
Big guns (cannons and mortars) used in the Civil War to support the infantry and defend fixed positions. Cannons and mortars were used throughout the siege of Petersburg to support foot soldiers.
Did You Know?
Union Brevet Brigadier General Frederick Winthrop was Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor John Winthrop's sixth great-grandson. Winthrop was mortally wounded at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865.
(Petersburg National Battlefield)