Cylindrical baskets open at both ends, placed upright and filled with dirt used to stabilize earthworks. Gabions were common sights among the numerous trenches of Petersburg as basic support systems of the extensive earthworks.
Gloves or gauntlets as artillerymen called them, were often worn by members of an artillery crew to protect their hands as they transported and fired the rounds.
Artillery crews used this leather bag to protect and carry the rounds for firing the gun. Artillery crews usually consisted of seven men who ran the drill for firing the cannon. The number five man on an artillery crew would receive the round from the number six man stationed at the limber. Then the number five man would carry the round inside of the haversack, running to the muzzle of the cannon, before giving it to the number two man who placed it inside the muzzle.
The number four man of an artillery crew would wear this pouch containing a lanyard and friction primers for discharging the cannon. Sometimes the number three man of a crew would wear a pouch also, in case the number four man fell in battle.
Did You Know?
The only contemporary visual evidence of the Battle of Five Forks was drawn by artist Alfred Waud. (Five Forks is a unit of Petersburg National Battlefield)