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Fort Welch:

Assessment of the Principal Earthworks:

The Federal "Fish Hook" Line, Petersburg, VA


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Description: Fort Welch (MAP) is a pentagonal redoubt with positions for nine field guns, alternating barbette and embrasure; one magazine is visible between guns 4 and 5; length of parapet 145.5 meters, average relief 3.66 meters, average width 6.4 meters; outer ditch perimeter 221.4 meters, enclosing 3,188 cubic meters (0.8 acres); estimated 1,726 cubic meters excavated, requiring 324 labor days; prescribed garrison 175 men plus artillerists.

History: under construction October 3-10, 1864; named for Col. Norval E. Welch, 16th Michigan Infantry, killed at Peebles' Farm; occupied by two guns of Battery D, Pennsylvania Light Artillery; later by 11th New York Battery with six 3-inch rifles; garrisoned at various times by detachments of 58th Maine Infantry, 51st New York Infantry, 17th Maine Infantry, and 140th Pennsylvania Infantry.

Situation: located in fairly mature woodland; a few large and many smaller trees within fort, dense undergrowth; parapet cover is leaf litter, park boundary comes very close to ditch.

Condition: generally in excellent condition, parapet damaged by animal burrowing; water-filled ditch; surviving embrasures, gun platforms, ramps, sections of banquette, most nicely defined.

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