Fortifications Classifications

Battery at Petersburg drawing by Waud

Earthworks Classification
Adopted at Nashville, TN, March 1999


Class One: PREPARED ARTILLERY FORTIFICATIONS
Includes: Forts; redoubts; bastions; lunettes; redans; batteries; blockhouses Builders: Laid out or renovated by engineers Type of construction:  “Classic” prototypes; ditch-in-front, revetted Materials: Gabions; sandbags; fascines; log; plank; sod; stone revetments Dimensions: 12-20+ feet relief; 15-25+ feet width of parapet Features: Artillery platforms; embrasures; banquettes Situation: Semi-permanent defense of towns, depots, transportation routes, river crossings; sieges; may be improved from rapid fortifications during prolonged battle situation

Class Two: PREPARED INFANTRY FORTIFICATIONS
Includes: Siegeworks; main lines; parallels; connecting curtains; blockhouses Builders: Laid out or renovated by engineers Type of construction: Typically ditch-in-front, revetted Materials: Log; plank; sod; stone revetments Dimensions: 6-15 feet relief; 12-20 feet width of parapet Features: Banquettes; traverses Situation: Semi-permanent defense of towns, depots, transportation routes, river crossings; sieges; may be improved from rapid fortifications during prolonged battle situation  

Class Three: RAPID ARTILLERY FORTIFICATIONS
Includes: Breastworks; minor artillery lunettes or demi-lunes Builders: Laid out by field officers for their units, thrown up quickly, often under fire Type of construction: Ditch-in-front; ditch-in-rear; ditch-both sides, revetted or not Materials: Materials at hand – piled stone; fence rail or log fill; log, sapling, fence rail, wicker or stone revetment Dimensions: 3-6 feet relief; 10-15 feet width of parapet Features: Artillery platforms; traverses; holes for ammo chests Situation: Battlefield; bivouac; defense of roads, railroads, river crossings  

Class Four: RAPID INFANTRY FORTIFICATIONS
Includes: Breastworks; rifle trenches Builders: Laid out by field officers for their units, thrown up quickly, often under fire Type of construction: Ditch-in-front, ditch-in-rear, ditch-both sides, revetted or not Materials: Materials at hand – piled stone; fence rail or log fill; log, sapling, fence rail, wicker or stone revetment Dimensions: 2-5 feet relief; 8-15 feet width of parapet Features: Bays, balks, traverses,  “command” holes Situation: Battlefield; bivouac; defense of roads, railroads, river crossings

Class Five: COMMUNICATION AND SUPPLY
Includes: Communication trenches, covered ways, entrenched military roads Builders: Laid out by engineers or field officers Type of construction: Ditch-in-front, ditch-in-rear, ditch-both sides, parapet both sides, revetted or not Materials: Earth, log stone or wicker revetment Dimensions: Ditch 3-15 feet wide Features: Associated holes and bunkers for storage Situation: Semi-permanent fortifications, siegeworks, or prolonged battle when front line troops need resupply  

Class Six: INTERNAL WORKS
Includes: Magazines, bombproofs, bunkers, traverses, associated with enclosed or semi-enclosed artillery fortifications Builders: Laid out by engineers to strengthen prepared positions Type of construction: Square or rectangular hole with surrounding berm, sometimes roofed; internal parapet designed to provide defilade Materials: Earth, plank or log sides, flooring, sometimes roofed, sandbags, gabions Dimensions: 5-15+ feet per side; traverses of varying length, relief Features: Access door or trench Situation: Associated with prepared artillery positions, siegeworks    

                                                                                                 
Class Seven: PERSONAL FIELD SHELTER
Includes: Discrete fox holes, picket or skirmish holes, command holes, slit trenches, “rifle pits” Builders: Typically sited by individuals in action Type of construction: Hole with earth thrown in front or shallow trench, ditch-in -rear Materials: Earth, sometimes wood or stone fill, typically not revetted Dimensions: 2-5 feet relief, 2-8 feet width of parapet Features: Discontinuous, arrayed in pattern of unit, shelters 1-3 persons, slit trenches shelter 4-10 persons Situation: Picket or skirmish lines, holes associated with rapid entrenchments 

Class Eight: DEFENSES OF CONVENIENCE
Includes: Stone walls, piled stone breastworks, sunken roads, railroad cuts/fills, often enhanced by digging Builders: Pre-existing features adapted to combat or constructed ad hoc by soldiers Type of construction: Various Materials: Stone, wood, earth Dimensions: Various Features: Walls, barricades Situation: Meeting battles, stony ground 

http://www2.cr.nps.gov/gis/battlefield/earthworks.htm   Mapping America's Battlefields -- Application of CWFSG Earthworks Classification System
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