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Seige Battery (No. 27):

Assessment of the Principal Earthworks:

The Federal "Fish Hook" Line, Petersburg, VA


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Description: Siege Battery (No. 27) (MAP) is an unclosed, traversed battery with three faces of unequal length; platforms for 11 guns-8 siege guns (possibly 20-30 pound parrots) firing through embrasures, 2 field guns mounted en barbette, and 1 mortar (probable); parapet length 132 meters, average relief 2.7 meters, average width 5.5 meters; two magazines adjacent to guns 5 and 8 in angles of traverses.

History: under construction January 21, 1865; proposed name "Battery Abbott" rejected because name was taken elsewhere on the field; number 27 in line of Federal batteries; occupied by one gun of Battery B, 1st New Jersey Artillery; no record that siege guns were emplaced.

Situation: adjacent to hiking trail in mature woodland with heavy undergrowth; parapet surface cover is leaf litter; near site of Pegram House.

Condition: generally in excellent condition with crisp profile, clearly defined gun platforms and embrasures; hiking trail destroyed half of gun platform 1; magazines appear added as afterthought rather than incorporated in original plan; animal burrowing in far left flank and in magazine adjacent to gun 8.

Detail from Michler map of Petersburg and Vicinity, 1867,
National Archives RG77 G204-35 (label and pointer added)

Traverse: a segment of parapet constructed at right angles to the main front of a work, providing protection from enfilading fire.

Embrasure or en embrasure: 1) placing an artillery piece to fire through a slit made in the parapet. 2) break or depression allowing artillery to fire through the parapet. Embrasure fire provided more protection for gunners but restricted a gun's field of fire to about 45 degrees.

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