id Attacking , at«o, of the of Laying Out, Constructing, Defending, and Attacking Entrenchments; with the general outlines, also, of the Arrangement, the Attack, aiw Defence of Permanent Fortification 8,
Professor of Military .and Civil Engineering in the U S. Military Academy. Fourth edition, rerised and enlarged, containing ALL THE PLATES.
Both North and South used Mahan's military manuals extensively in the Civil War.This advertisement appeared in the Charleston Daily Courier on January 23, 1862 and announced the publication of an edition of Treatise on Field Fortification by West & Johnston of 145 Main Street, Richmond,Virginia. (Authors collection)
Despite this, many of the officers and most of the enlisted men who served in the Civil War had no experience of fortifications whatsoever. To help these, a variety of manuals and other technical literature was available. Numerous pertinent British texts, such as J. S. Macauley's Treatise on Field Fortification, and Other Duties of the Field Engineer (1847) and Hector Straith's Introductory Essay to the Study of Fortification for Young Officers of the Army (1858) were extant and some officers used them. When the war began in 1861, available fortification manuals published in the US included Louis von Buckholtz, On Infantiy, Camp Duty, Field Fortification, and Coast Defence (1860); and Dennis Hart Mahan, A Complete Treatise on Field Fortification, with the General Outlines of the Principles Regulating the Arrangement, the Attack, and the Defense of Permanent Works. A first edition of the Treatise on Field Fortification was published in 1836; it was reprinted in New York in 1861 and 1863; and in the Confederacy in 1862. This volume became the standard manual on the subject, and contained complete and detailed instructions foi-planning, siting, constructing, defending, and attacking field fortifications and entrenchments, including information on permanent works.
As the war progressed, new books became available. James C. Duane's Manual for Engineer Troops (1862) included chapters entitled "Rules for Conducting a Siege," "School of the Sap," "Military Mining," and the "Construction of Batteries." Assigned by McClellan to design bridge-building equipment in 1861, Duane had become Chief Engineer in the Army of the Potomac by 1864. William P. Craighil's The Army Officer's Pocket Companion (1863) included Article 98 - "Field Works." Even the Confederates, despite poor supplies of paper, published field fortification manuals such as Egbert L. Viele's Hand-Book of Field Fortifications and Artillery (1861), while an edition of Mahan's Treatise on Field Fortification was published by West & Johnston, 145 Main Street, Richmond, on March 7, 1862.
Generally, both armies considered Mahan's manuals as state of the art. Indeed, Major General Henry W. Halleck, an Army engineer for many years who became commandcr-in-chief of Union forces in July 1862, wrote in both the 1846 and 1859 editions of his Elements of Military Science that Mahan's Treatise on Field Fortification was "undoubtedly the very best work that has been written on field fortification, and every officer going into the field should supply himself with a copy."
left Many young army officers, such as Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas J. Jackson, gained practical experience with field fortifications during the Mexican War. In this painting of the siege of Vera Cruz, 1847, English-born artist James Walker depicts the US artillery protected by battery traverses behind embrasures. (Dept. of Defense Still Media Records Center)
James Chatham Duane graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1848 and served two tours teaching engineering. He also supervised river and harbor construction and was involved in the Utah Expedition of 1857-58. Promoted captain in August 1861, he was assigned by McClellan to organize engineer and bridge-building equipage for the Peninsula ' .
Campaign. Subsequently assigned as Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac, he held this position from Antietam until McClellan was dismissed in November 1862, following which he was
appointed to the same post in the Department of the South. Promoted to major, he was recalled to Chief Engineer, Army of the Potomac, in July 1863, and a year later laid out the formidable siege lines to the east of Petersburg. He retired in 1888 as Brigadier General, Chief of Engineers, a position he had held since 1886. Sketched by Alfred Waud in September 1864, Duane is shown discussing the construction of fortifications with General Henry J. Hunt, who commanded the siege operations outside Petersburg. (Photo: Library of Congress USZ62-14656)
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