Teaching through our historic sites

Fort Fisher

Glossary of Terms

battery – There are two meanings for this term: a). a grouping of 4 to 6 pieces of field artillery. b). an emplacement, often but not always made of packed earth, timber or sandbags. These emplacements can be used either offensive in support of advancing or besieging troops or defensive in support of forts and fieldworks.

blockade - the isolation by a warring nation of an enemy area (as a harbor or port) by troops or warships to prevent passage of persons or supplies; designed to obstruct the commerce and communications of an unfriendly nation.

blockade runner - a ship or vessel used to break through a blockade to deliver supplies or convey information outside the area.

bombardment – an attack especially through unrelenting artillery fire.

earthworks – fortifications built by troops in the field for temporary use.

enfilade – to sweep the whole length of a work or line of troops by artillery or small arms fire.

export – to carry or send goods or merchandise to some other country.

field artillery – Small, light and mobile cannons, weighing roughly 2400 pounds with the barrel and carriage. Field guns fired rounds that generally ranged from 10 to 12 pounds. Typically pulled by a team of 4 to 6 horses, but in an emergency could be moved by hand. Used most often against infantry or other smaller targets.

fieldworks – a strong, sophisticated, but temporary defense construction typically made from compacted earth and timber. Fieldworks would not necessarily be manned all the time.

fort – A large structure, built either from masonry, brick and stone or earth. These can take many shapes depending on their locations and specific purpose. Often mounting heavy sea coast cannons, they can also contain field artillery as well.

heavy sea coast artillery – Large, heavy, immobile cannons, weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds. These guns fired rounds that were between 5 7/8 and 11 inches in diameter and weighed between 32 to 150 pounds. Used against enemy ships or large concentrations of infantry.

import – to bring goods, supplies, and merchandise into a place or country from another country.

parapet – the crest of a rampart.

port – a harbor town or city where ships may take on or discharge cargo.

rampart – a mass of earth which protects a fortified place.

sally port – a gate or passageway in a fort

traverse – mound of earth higher than the parapet which offers protection to artillery gunners and gun chambers from enfilading fire along the line of a work.


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