View single post by 39th Miss. Walker
 Posted: Sat Jan 12th, 2008 02:00 pm
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39th Miss. Walker

Joined: Tue May 1st, 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 80

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In the ideal situation the fortifications would be laid out by an engineer. In the case of rapid entrenchments the soldiers themselves would do what was necessary. In most cases at least "guided" by an officer.
Later in the war the common soldier on both sides became very proficient in laying out and erecting earthworks. Engineers for the CS folks were always in short supply.

In the case of the Union troops they did most of their own digging.
In the case of the CS forces it would depend. Much of the earthworks build for defense were built using slave labor. Rapid entrenchments were built using any manpower they could get, slave or troops. Later in the war CS forces built many of their own earthworks.
Most of the coastal defenses, large forts etc. were slave built.
The Union did use black labor to help where is was possible to secure their use. The pioneers were used mostly to clear roads, help erect bridges etc. not necessarily as earthworks builders, although they certainly did some.

Keep in mind the South had the "luxury" of using slave labor, and were on their own home turf. The union forces being "invading" forces had what, who, they carried with them and didn't have the availability.

Yes they did carry digging implements with their baggage where possible.

The CW was interesting period in that the tactics did change from a Napoleonistic form of warfare to the trench warfare as was so common in WWI. It's tactics were the predecessor of the Great War later to come.

Last edited on Sat Jan 12th, 2008 02:02 pm by 39th Miss. Walker

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