North Carolina as a Civil War Battlefield

Glossary - North Carolina as a Civil War Battlefield

arsenal - an establishment for the manufacture or storage of military arms (weapons) and/or equipment

artillery – large bore guns (cannons) served by a crew of men; also, a branch of the army that was equipped with artillery

bastion – a stronghold; a part of a fortification that projects out

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 running – using a ship or vessel to break through a blockade to deliver supplies or convey information outside the area

cavalry – a branch of an army that traveled and fought on horseback

contrabands – slaves who either escaped to or were brought within Union army lines

depot – a place for storing military supplies for distribution to troops in the field

emplacements – a prepared position for artillery

fortifications – works that are built or erected to defend a military position

Freedmen Colony – area behind Union lines where refugee slaves moved during the Civil War; largest colonies were on Roanoke Island and in New Bern with smaller camps located in other Union occupied areas

garrison – a military post and/or the troops stationed at a military installation

infantry – soldiers that were prepared and equipped to fight on foot with small arms (muskets and rifles) and sometimes edged weapons (swords and bayonets); a part of an army that marched on foot to battle armed with such weapons.

iron plating – solid iron plates about the size of a piece of lumber that were fixed to the outside of vessels to protect them from enemy cannon fire

Mosquito Fleet – named given to North Carolina’s navy which was made up of small boats converted to gunboats which operated in the sounds for the protection of the outer banks islands.

regiment – a military unit ideally consisting of 1,000 men, organized into 10 companies of 100 men each; throughout the Civil War, many regiments were undersized due to casualties and desertion.

salient – similar to bastion; a part of a fortification that juts or projects out from a straight line wall

sally port – a gate or passageway in a fort

scuttle – to deliberately sink a ship by flooding the hull or setting it afire most often done to prevent it from falling into enemy hands

torpedo – an explosive weapon used for destroying ships by rupturing the hull below the waterline


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